July 7th - 18th, 2023

+++ Azores with Behind the Mask+++

Faial Island

If you like the following, this trip might be for you:

Mobulas

Princess Alice Bank is certainly the most famous dive site in the Azores for spotting large schools of mobula rays.

Blue sharks

The waters and shallows around the islands of Faial and Pico are arguably one of the best places in the world to dive with blue sharks!

Dolphins & Whales

The Azores are known for their incredible marine biodiversity. About twenty different species of dolphins and whales can be seen here.

Videotrip

Your trip leader is an expert videographer both above and below the water and will be on hand to answer your questions.

Conservation

Respect for the animals and for each other is what makes the trip to the Azores so special. The animals are not hunted or forced to interact.

Small group travel

The trip is run with a maximum of 7 participants to maximise the nature experience.

The Azores

"The Azores are a top destination on our doorstep. Hardly any mass tourism, authentic small accommodations and warm hearted people. The ocean is full of surprises there and the beauty of the islands personally draw me there again and again"

- Marcel, Behind the Mask-

Meet you BTM trip leader

Vanessa Cara-Kerr

Trip leader & Filmmaker

Azores with Behind the Mask

July 7th - 18th, 2023

 

Rates & Inclusions:

€ 2.495
  • per person

Included:

  • Airport transfer from/to Horta (HOR) to your accommodation
  • 11 nights at guesthouse Casa da Baia, Twin- or double rooms with breakfast
  • 1 day ocean-going trips looking for bait balls, whales & dolphins (~ 8 hours) *
  • 2 full day trip to Princess Alice Bank (~ 8 – 12 hours on the sea, 2 dives incl. weights & tanks) *
  • 3 half day (3-4 hours) shark dive experiences incl. guide, 1 tank, weights *
  • 4 coastal dives incl. private boat, weights, tanks & guide *
  • Behind the Mask trip leader & filmmaker Vanessa Cara-Kerr

* all ocean trips are on a private chartered Zodiac for the group (max. 7 persons) and inclusive Skipper & guide if a skipper and dive guide. For the 2 full days in Princess Alice we will charter the comfortable catamaran with toilet on board for our private use (normally takes up to 12 guests). There is 8 days of activities planned for 10 full days on the island. On shark days you have half of the day off to enjoy the island or look into your footage.

Not included:

  • Flights to Horta (HOR)
  • Food & drinks (except breakfast)
  • Additional activities
  • Crew tips
  • Single room surcharge for 11 nights 400 €
  • Dive & travel insurance. We highly recommend Dive&Travel Plus plans from DiveAssure

Important note: Minimum number of participants 6 persons to confirm and carry out the trip. We strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance with our partner DiveAssure. For extensions in the Azores, please contact us! Our terms and conditions apply.

Get in touch!

July 7 – 18, 2023

The trip starts and ends in Horta (Airport HOR) on the island of Faial on July 7 and 18. (Days of arrival and departure). You will be picked-up by the crew and transferred to the guest house.

 

Daily Plan

Due to unpredictable weather conditions, the daily action plan will be discussed one day before or even change in the morning again. This means you should be flexible and ready for some short-notice changes every day. The activities included will happen at some point during the week. If some trips won’t be possible, there will be a refund or other similar activities instead. This group is limited to 7 divers on private boats which maximizes the experience but also makes it easier to plan and discuss within the group.

 

Your BTM trip leader: Vanessa Cara-Kerr

If you’re a Behind the Mask Fan you know Vanessa from her various Tutorial-Videos on our youtube channel! Vanessa learned scuba diving in 2009 and is a certified BSAC dive leader. She films with a Panasonic GH5 and a Sony FX3 in a Nauticam Housing with Keldan Lights underwater. Genereally she likes the warm tropical waters with beautiful reefs, but she also loves drysuit diving in icy cold waters.

In her main job she is founder and part-owner of a video marketing agency in the food industry, but long before that she founded a video production company called “Reef Patrol” which is committed to document the work of NGOs worldwide, that work on protecting and restoring the world of coral reefs and oceans. There is a lot more that you may find out about our all-round-tralent in person on this trip.

Please note that Azores is not a typical dive destination as others. The amount of actual dives is low as there is a lot to see on or above the surface. On shark dive days for example there is only one scuba dive happening (with a lot of adrenalin) So this trip is not for divers looking for logging 20 dives per week. Also we would like to mention that this kind of experience is, like anywhere else, weather and nature-dependent. There is no guarantee for great pictures or your private dolphin or shark swim. It’s nature. Manage your expectations and the day is yours! For any questions feel free to contact us: marcel@behind-the-mask.com

The locally run guesthouse with simple and clean rooms is located directly behind the Norberto Diver dive centre. Just a few metres away is the island’s meeting place, Café Peter Sports, where you can have lunch, dinner and cool drinks.

Things to know:

  • Guest house with 8 rooms, a communal kitchen, living room with TV
  • Roof terrace with great views over the bay
  • numerous cafés, bars and restaurants within walking distance
  • Newly renovated rooms with private bathroom
  • Free Wifi

The Azores

The Azores (Portuguese: Açores) are an island archipelago located in the North Atlantic Ocean, roughly halfway between mainland Portugal and North America. The archipelago consists of nine islands of volcanic origin that are known for their untouched natural scenery and friendly inhabitants. Apart from the volcanic craters, green meadows, lakes and waterfalls, Azores are a true eco-tourism paradise offering incredible marine biodiversity, whale watching and world-class diving.

The Island of Faial

Located only 4.5 nautical miles from the island of Pico and approximately 14 nautical miles from the island of São Jorge, Faial is one of the ‘Triangle Islands’. Recognised as the yachting capital of the northern hemisphere, it has a strong connection to the sea with its main port – Horta Marina – providing a safe harbour for thousands of vessels as they cross the Atlantic. The number of sailboats huddled in the small bay adds to the charm of this city, which lies in the shadow of the extinct volcano of Guia Hill. No visit to Horta is complete without a visit to one of its most famous Portuguese bars – Peter’s Café Sport. Overlooking the Marina with Mount Pico as its backdrop, the walls are covered in flags left by travellers, giving the bar a sense of the history of the city.

Faial was the site of the Azores last major eruption, the Capelinhos Volcano (1957/58). The landscape created by the eruption on the island’s west tip makes for a fascinating day trip and the Capelinhos Volcano Interpretation Centre has lots of information about the devastation caused by the event.

For divers, the main reason for a trip to Faial Island is the opportunity to dive with blue sharks. This is one of the only places in the world that you can swim with this amazing predator and although it is possible to do it on several of the Azores islands, the best place is the Condor seamount which is just ten miles offshore and accessible from Faial.

Because Faial and Pico are so close together, divers can experience the benefits of both islands. On Faial you have the some fantastic opportunities to dive around Guia Hill and in the Faial-Pico channel, as well as the Espalamaca Fumaroles where you can observe active volcanic springs of hot water and curtains of small bubbles emerging from the seabed. On Pico there is an excellent rocky coastline to explore. Faial is also one of the main departure points for trips to the Princess Alice Bank, located about 45 nautical miles away and one of the best dive sites available in the Azores because of the large schools of pelagic fish, manta rays and sharks.

More about Azores islands

All the nine islands of the Azores Archipelago are of volcanic origin and are located in the North Atlantic, scattered along a 600 km stretch of ocean from Santa Maria to Corvo, approximately between 37° and 40° north latitude and 25° and 31° west longitude.

The islands of the archipelago are divided in three geographical groups: the Eastern Group, comprising Santa Maria and São Miguel, the Central Group, including Terceira, Graciosa, São Jorge, Pico and Faial, and the Western Group, composed by Corvo and Flores. The Azores, along with the archipelagos of Madeira, Canary Islands and Cape Verde, constitute the biogeographic region of Macaronesia, a name which means “fortunate islands” for those who live there and visit them.

In the realm of legend, some associate the Azores to the Atlantis, the mythical island kingdom quoted by Plato. As for history, references to nine islands in the Atlantic Ocean located approximately in the position of the Azores can be found in books and maps since the 14th century. However, it was with the Portuguese Maritime Discoveries, led by Prince Infante D. Henrique, that the Azores were definitely registered in the map of Europe. It is unknown whether the first navigator to reach the archipelago was Diogo de Silves in 1427 or Gonçalo Velho Cabral in 1431. The origin of the name Azores is also debatable as there are various theories. The most common associates the designation of the common buzzards found on the islands which were mistaken as being another bird of prey: the northern goshawk (açor). What is now certain is that it was Prince Infante D. Henrique who incited the settlement of the islands. First, animals were sent, between 1431 and 1432, and later settlers started to arrive from 1439.

From that date, the settlement continued throughout the 15th century (Western and Central Groups) and the 16th century (Western Group). Jews, Moors, Flemish, Genovese, Englishmen, Frenchmen, and African slaves came together with the Portuguese from the mainland to face the hardships of such a task.

This epic start moulded a people that throughout the centuries was able to resist volcanic eruptions, isolation, invasions of pirates, political wars and infesting diseases. The courage of the Azorean people was confirmed when they resisted the Spanish domination during the succession crisis of 1580, and when they supported the liberal movement during the civil war (1828-1834).

The Azores have a long list of natural parks, of areas of protected landscape, of protected fauna and flora species, of forest reserves, and of sites with geological interest guaranteeing the preservation of a priceless natural legacy. As a form of compensation for all of this effort, the Azores are considered to be a sanctuary of biodiversity and geodiversity and one of the best locations for Nature Tourism.

In the Atlantic Ocean, life multiplies itself by more than two dozen species of dolphins and whales that either inhabit or pass through Azorean waters. There are abundant colonies of molluscs, crustaceous and fish, thus completing the region’s extraordinary marine diversity.

6 spaces still available

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