A Second Chance in Brazil
Not long after meeting Nuno we sail across the Atlantic Ocean to Brazil. In Salvador the diving centre advertises with shipwreck dives in the adjacent bay. Could this be our chance to see ships-turned-reefs? Dive instructor Bruno explains that the wrecks near Salvador are the result of shipping accidents. Some of them are 100 years old. Two wrecks are in shallow water. “Tomorrow we will go there, you can join us then”, Bruno suggests. We are delighted and can’t wait to see with our own eyes what a shipwreck can do for marine life.
The next morning the dive centre boat takes us to a spot just past Salvador’s lighthouse. Under Bruno’s guidance we descend to a wreck at a depth of only seven meters. Although it is more than 100 years old and covered by colourful coral, many of the ship’s parts are still recognizable. Countless fish swim around the remains of the hull. The three-dimensional wreck with its abundance of marine life forms a stark contrast to the flat, sandy soil that dominates the underwater landscape around this dive site.
Our second dive is at the breakwater close to the marina. We were not expecting much at the concrete structure, so the tropical biodiversity here surprises us. Shellfish and corals have attached themselves to the large stone blocks of the breakwater, while the many gaps between the stones form suitable shelters for fish and other small marine creatures. Bruno knows the place by heart and points out special animals like a moray eel and a seahorse. Here, too, an artificial reef forms the basis for entire marine ecosystems. And just like the shipwreck, it is also good for diving tourism.