Freediving with a thousand fishes in Lido Islet

The photo above was taken at lunch time, it was a perfect set with Nau Santa Maria* just passing by Lido islet.

But i only went freediving after work arround 7 p.m. The weather was great and there were more people in the Gorgulho beach than the last time i' been there.

I enter the sea through the "calhau"** of course and head up to Lido islet.

In the way i saw various fishes, from brown-frogfishes (Sphoeroides marmoratus), to parrotfishes (Sparisoma cretense), Atlantic-lizardfishes (Synodus saurus), greenfishes (Thalassoma pavo), Madeira-rockfishes (Scorpaena maderensis), starfishes
(Marthasterias glacialis) and of course "castanhetas-pretas" (Abudefduf luridus).

I can't forget i had the pleasant company of two small "guelly jacks" (Pseudocaranx dentex) until i get the sand zone, where i did my first dive arround 9m to the bottom.

After that the bottom was a desert, so i decided to swim backwards to the islet. As i got closer i turned arround and looked down, i could already see the rock formation coming from the sand.

I was a bit disappointed when i arrived at Lido islet, cause there wasn't so many fishes as i would expected. So i decided to make a counterclock wise tour arround the islet.

Before the first dive i already spotted, from surface, a trumpetfish (Fistularia petimba) hidding away below a platform rock. So i went down and made a visit to him, but this guys are very shy and as soon as he saw me, he get away. I didn't follow him.

I did some more dives until i made half the way and saw a lot of "white sea breams" (Diplodus sargus) rushing behind the bottom rocks going i don't know where.

Now i was going to enter the darkzone, since the sun was covered by Lido Islet rock, and I didn't expected, but this were amazing dives with a shoal of more than a thousand sardines (Sardina pilchardus).

Back to the starting point in the islet, i saw what i was expecting to see from the beginning, the shoal of hundreds of "dobradas" (Oblada melanura) like the last time i've been there.

Coming back to land i still had the opportunity to play with a "choco" (Sepia officinalis).

* Nau Santa Maria - a funcional replica of the ship that Colombo used to discover the american continent in 1492.
** calhau - small round stones in a beach

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