The coast of Tarrafal, approximately 20 km long, is a system of protected bays, secluded beaches and rocky points. The extreme volcanic landscape continues beneath the water, creating breathtaking underwater formations. The grottos and reefs encrusted with marine life are home to a wide variety of types and sizes of fish. The mountains behind Tarrafal, up to 1900 meters, shelter the bay from the constant northeasterly trade winds, and the sea is usually smooth and calm. These conditions make it an excellent place for fishing, snorkeling and swimming. Occasionally winter storms in the north Atlantic send a large swell to our part of the ocean, limiting activities somewhat, but lack of local winds and choppy conditions still allows enjoyment of beach and sea. Humpback whales breed and give birth in our waters from January to April. Other whales and dolphins can be seen year around. Sea turtles lay their eggs on our beaches in summer; the eggs hatch in autumn.