Our skilled pelagic tour leader and main skipper will help you with any uncertainty in the identification and will provide good and safe observations. There are good identification field guides onboard for you make use of. The journey will start after a complete briefing about the trip, made by the crew, and will last 3 ½ hours, to the Desertas Islands where you can enjoy the beautiful islands of Madeira Archipelago and their natural heritage, birdwatching from the boat. On Deserta Grand Island we will anchor in a shelter bay, Doca, in front of the warden's research station that belongs to the Madeira Natural Park . There you will have the opportunity to swim in very enjoyable clear water.
A pleasant guided tour in the island with about 1 ½ hours will take place, visiting areas where are some nests of Bulwer's Petrel and Cory's Shearwater, fallowed by a nice and traditional dinner will be served on board. Around 7:00 pm we will do a small pelagic trip (2 hours) until the sunset, giving the chance to observe the returning of the marine birds to their nests in the colony. Back to the Doca, where we will spend the night and the opportunity to heard the calls of the Madeiran Storm-petrel Oceanodroma castro. We return to Madeira in the next day, leaving by 9:30 am after a nice breakfast, experienced good and new observations, and arriving Funchal by the 13:30 pm. On this tour is essential to bring your own sleeping bag and lunch for the first day.
The Desertas Islands belong to the Madeiran archipelago and are located 11 miles SE of the main island ( Madeira ) and 21 nautical miles from Funchal harbour. Ilhéu Chão, Deserta Grande and Bugio comprise this sub-archipelago. In 1990 the Desertas became a Nature Reserve, comprising the islands themselves and the surrounding sea to a depth of 100 metres. The reserve is divided into two protected zones of which the southern half of Deserta Grande and Bugio are strictly forbidden to visitors even by boat. On Deserta Grande there is a permanent research station with tree wardens, who are the only human inhabitants of the islands today. Since 1992 Desertas became part of the European Biogenetic Reserves, mainly because of all the marine birds that breed there and the population of monk seals that uses this island for resting and breeding.
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