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Curacao Trip Report Lagun and Westpunt

Discussion in 'Curaçao' started by tkaelin, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Orca

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    Finding dive sites shouldn't be a problem with a paper map/printout.
     
  2. diversteve

    diversteve tech admin Staff Member

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    This may be a little dated but here's what we were told about theft from vehicles. There has been some at Jeremi - if you saw it you'd know why - no one sees the parking area from the road and the beach below has no view of the parking lot.

    Our apt. mgr also specifically mentioned the 2nd Gnip site as being pretty remote.

    Otherwise we locked and left everything. I shoot video, my buddy stills and I didn't give it a thought.
    Many of the sites you park between the shop window and the water so they normally can watch for you - at two they specifically said they wpould if we pointed out our vehicles. At Porto Mari Curacao Tourism has a security officer patrolling during the day - maybe they've expanded that to other locations. Not all but a lot of properties have high gates, fences, alarms etc. Our Lagun apts were behind about a 10' wall/locked gates - our Piscadera condo fully fenced with a guard shack. And they were observant - I'm an insomniac so was stopped one night about 2am while I was walking the grounds.

    It's not as much casual theft as Bonaire but there is some.

    We didn't have a gps and managed. I got lost once but it wasn't my fault, they were paving the road I wanted and directed us through a neighborhood. We actually saw the dive site on the other side of the channel but had to double back to go over the bridge to get there.

    Otherwise once you leave town, there's usually a sign off the main road for the nearby resort/town/beach and it's always west. There is a noticeable lack of street signs though. I managed with a Curacao street map but most of the time just used a free dive site map someone left in our condo. It showed all the major roads which is mostly all you need.

    Call it just a feeling but once or twice on Bonare I felt like someone was watching from the bushes. Never once on Curacao.
     
    drrich2 likes this.
  3. tkaelin

    tkaelin Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: CT
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    You will be a long way from the Westpunt, maybe an hour or more depending on the time of day.
     
  4. diversteve

    diversteve tech admin Staff Member

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    We kept tanks/weights for several days - I don't recall if we paid for every day but probably. Mostly we changed tanks around lunchtime so I can't answer your questions but the shops I mentioned have websites.
    Royal Seaquarium condos? The main Ocean Encounters shop is about 1/8 mile across the channel (there's a road) I did the dolphin dive with them but don't know their rental policy. 100' away you can go in off the beach at Lions Dive.

    The Tugboat is a couple minutes east of there - so is Directors Bay. Possibly no open facilities at either.
    If you dive the Tugboat - it's near one of the two moorings off the beach just east of the shop. I think it's the 2nd one to the left. The other one would be a good night dive - it's covered in orange cup corals.

    Or if you see the cruise snorkel boat - they're onthe tugboat. It's only 17' deep.

    The pier there is pretty shallow as well and there's still another dive all the way around the point - at the end of the beach east - my friends said it drops pretty quickly to about 90' and there was hundreds of small eels.

    Also Jan Thiel Beach/dive is somewhere nearby. From the aquarium I think east.

    It's a good area for the family, there's the aquarium (small Sea World) Mambo Blvd has shops/dining and a couple other restaurants. Hemingways at Lions Dive is supposed to be one of the better on island.

    Not too far east from Pierbaai either which is where the Dive Bus is based
    Sort of/not exactly. Sometimes there's a sign for the beach, at a couple sites - including Jeremi - there was a red painted rock with the name on it - similar to Bonaire. But don't spend a lot of time looking for it. Most of the sites have a ball indicating the mooring or the drop but it's pretty obvious since you can see it from the surface if you put your mask under. Even the ropes stand out on your return.

    We did not tow a flag at all, no one mentioned it at any site we dove.

    If there was one that would require it, it would be OE by you possibly - they have a no solo policy also and make you do a checkout dive if your first dive is with them. I had to get the DM we dove with sign my log so I didn't have to the morning of the dolphin dive. Which btw is $200pp.
     
  5. Divedivasdoitdeeper

    Divedivasdoitdeeper Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Saint George, UT
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    We've been to Curacao twice, for approximately a month each time. And I think I have a black belt on the grocery store game... I'm a chef in my real life, so we just make a list of meals we would like to have. Stuff that's easy to take with us on dives, and we make a list of ingredients, shop right when we get there, and then as we run low on fresh items. From home we bring things that are ridiculously expensive on the island... Like nuts and peanut butter... I love that having a kitchen is an option. We save a run of time and money and have a lot of fun with it!
    Feel free to ask for ideas!
     
    AdivingBel and JohnN like this.
  6. tkaelin

    tkaelin Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: CT
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    A month at a time . . . wow maybe someday. I could not agree more on the cooking and eating in thing. It saves a ton of money but more importantly time. We know folks who have the opposite view - on vacation no kitchen or cooking which is fine but for us it is a time killer.
     
  7. ReefHound

    ReefHound PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Houston, TX
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    That's a nice option but I still have some concerns. One is the cost, at $12-15 per dive times 3 or 4 dives per day, that adds up to a lot more than a shore diving package. Especially if we already have tanks covered in a shore diving package, which I understand is required for the 24/7 access at All West, then that's a total duplication of cost. Another concern is the possibility of getting to a site that doesn't have rentals or for some reason or other they aren't open. We have to lug all our dive gear anyway, I don't see tossing a few tanks on top much more effort, and reduces the amount of cash to carry arround.
     
    drrich2 likes this.
  8. tkaelin

    tkaelin Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: CT
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    Its all about personal preference. Unlimited air at Gowest is $33 and a single tank is $10 so you need to do 4 to make the unlimited worth it. On our last trip I was able to decide day by day whether I went unlimited or by tank. If I knew I was going to be diving all day at the house reef at Lagun Blou or Nos Krusero I paid for unlimited. On other days when I would be driving to other shore dive sites with ops I would pay by tank. Still a heck of a lot cheaper than a boat dive. At Lagun Blou I just kept track and settled up at the end of the stay. At Gowest I let them know day by day but sometimes at the end of the day if I was not sure in the beginning.
     
  9. ReefHound

    ReefHound PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Houston, TX
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    That's $33 for one day, drops under $30 for week package, and is included in many drive and stay packages. Right now a few travel sites are offereing 7 nts at All West, 6 days tanks and weights, and a car rental for $678 per person. If I could have that package for $500 without the shore diving and rent tanks as I go, then I'd probably do that.

    Are you saying you paid for your tanks afterwards and they charged by single or unlimited rate depending on which was lowest?

    As I said, it's about more than price. I'm the type that plans to dive at 9am, shows up at 9am, and am in the water by 9:15am at the latest. I know people that would be lucky to be in the water by 10am. I'd rather not dick around an extra 30 minutes showing c-cards, filling waivers, leaving deposits (after waiting behind another group of 6 doing same). In Bonaire, we would often toss the whole kit in the back of truck and disassemble later (or swap out tanks at next site). One of the appeals of shore diving is the flexibility. If I dive in after 4pm I don't want to cut my dive off at 5pm so I can get the tanks up to the counter before they close at 5:30pm. And generally I find it easier and faster to kit up at the car and wear it to the water.

    Do most site shops have air fills? It would be nice to double-dip at sites, bring my own tank for dive 1, and get it refilled on surface break.
     
    drrich2 likes this.
  10. tkaelin

    tkaelin Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: CT
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    Yup. On the last trip I split our trip up: 3 nites at Lagun Blou and 4 at Nos Krusero. The op on site at Lagun Blou is Wedefoort but I never actually saw anyone from the shop. There was a supply of tanks and weights and a sign in sheet. I just kept track of the tanks and weights we used and settled up at the desk for the resort and ended up paying by tank because it made more sense. Tanks were available 24/7.

    At Nos Krusero we were diving with Gowest. Other than grabbing our weights from them the first morning we went day by day. We either told them at the end of the day how many tanks or unlimited or told them the next morning. I think they would prefer to have you signed up and committed in advance but that is their issue. This worked best for us and they did not object. Tanks at the Gowest shop are only available shop hours 8-5 but you could grab extra tanks for other hours.

    On our first trip to Allwest three years ago we essentially did the same. Some days unlimited, some by tank and we settled up at the end. Two years ago we did the same although there was a little push back as they said essentially we want you to pay for unlimited because we have no one there to see what you do. My wife usually only does two dives a day and some days I may use 4 others only 1-2 if we are also doing shore dives elsewhere. I told them I found their reason/preference insulting and that I did not care for it as you are saying you can't trust us with the tank count. They relented and let us do it on the honor system which IMHO that is they way it should be.
     

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