Missing Island is a shoal halfway between the Island of Gorgona and Livorno. The shoal has two summits a couple of miles apart which rise to a depth of about 36 and 46 meters, from a depth of 80 meters on the side of Livorno and over 120 meters on the side of the Island of Gorgona. Missing Island L’Isola mancata www.intotheblue.it
Gorgona is about 20 miles away from Livorno, (just over 18) and our missing island is more or less in the middle of this distance, we are in fact a little over 8 miles from the island of Gorgona and about 10 miles from the coast and from the port of Livorno.
Shortly, the shoal is in the middle of the sea! and goes up from a rather deep bathymetry to depths accessible to scuba divers who can dive with the air without the use of particular mixtures, at the expense of diving safety.
This shoal is locally called “la Ciabatta” (due to the slipper shape assumed by the bathymetric depth of 50 meters on the nautical chart) and “Secchina” or “Secchino” and is almost a naturalistic paradise for divers. I say almost because even if the distance and the geographical conditions would suggest an uncontaminated paradise, in reality this shoal in the high seas shows all the signs that man and history have left in the Mediterranean Sea, ranging from the mines of the Second World War, to the anchors and the fishing lines of the sport fishermen, up to the mucilage, which even if decidedly far from the coast and at temperatures of 16 ° / 17 ° C on the bottom is still sometimes present during the summer.
From a naturalistic and biological point of view, however, this area almost completely redeems itself and makes us think about how life in the Mediterranean Sea and the Tuscan Archipelago must have been a century ago when the impact of man was not yet so evident. Furthermore, the proximity to the Island of Gorgona, still a penal colony, and the Island whose access and fishing are prohibited give us hope that the area can be safeguarded also in future years.
As soon as we arrive on the seabed, the transparency of the water and the practically unlimited visibility make us understand immediately that we are in front of a spectacle that is now more and more of rare beauty, from forty meters deep you can see the support boat on the surface. The area is rich in red, white and yellow Gorgonians; the classic coralligenous seabed of this area of the Mediterranean Sea.
Fish such as Groupers, Sparids, White Bream, are present practically everywhere and can be approached quite easily by divers. The omnipresent Anthias Anthias, the echinoderms such as sea urchins and starfish, the countless colorful sponges, frame what really must have been a natural paradise of the Mediterranean Sea.