Days take their cue from different sources, from the sea and its coming-and-going cadence of tides. From the weather, with its changeable moods and from the wind, which soon snuffs out the intentions of anyone wanting to get too much done. As if life has no choice but to adapt to local customs that revolve around fishing, the sea, and the whims of the weather. Nine islands of lava. They are a paradise lost in time.
The central group of islands are known for cetaceans, particularly sperm whales (Physeter catodon), blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) and more than a dozen species of dolphins and marine mammals.
The area has a very complex oceanographic circulation, influenced by the Gulf Stream and branches of the North Atlantic current and the Açores current. Oceanographic features of the area show steep submarine walls, ridges and escarpments and a very short continental shelf. These territories constitute a relatively food-rich area in the nutrient-poor central North Atlantic, and serve as a feeding ground for migrating cetaceans and for a plethora of other marine life, included apex predators: sharks and shoals of pelagic jacks, amberjacks, bonito, tunas, etc.
Franco Banfi is an award-winning versatile photographer, who fell in love with the Azores archipelago and its hidden underwater side. Recently he founded a company to run tours to particular destinations, leading small groups of travellers focused in wildlife.
To see more of his images and tours please check his website.