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Must Dive Spots at Curacao?

Discussion in 'ScubaBoard Surge 2019 Curacao' started by markmud, Oct 6, 2018.

  1. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives. ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
    1,383
    1,627
    113
    Hello Surgers,

    I am starting to research Curacao in advance of our trip on 12-Jan-2019. As is my norm, I dive into all Great Adventures without respect for societal norms, group dynamics, or other pleasantries--complete focus with OCD and ADHD sprinkled on top.

    Don't worry, when the dive boat singles-up, and then becomes underway and making way, I will be a 100% member of the crew--wherever we go, whatever we do, I will be all in! Consensus will be sacrosanct.

    However, right now I will appreciate your help:
    1. If you have dived Curacao, please pass on the "must-dive" (bucket list) sites. Please explain why; why is it unique? Are there spots like 1000 Steps (Bonaire) on Curacao? Are there spots like Vertigo (St. Croix) on Curacao? Or like Puako (Da Big Island, Hawaii)?
      1. Subjectivity is your standard of excellence--you are our SME (subject matter expert)--pepper us with your feelings.
    2. If you have not dived Curacao, please pass on the fruits of your research as to "must-dive" sites;
      1. Rules of Engagement and Order of Battle:
        1. Their are non. IE: If you meet someone in a bar in Toronto, and they are Curacao experts, either real or imagined, use whatever means you desire to extract intelligence from them. Please cite your sources, your trade craft, and of course, your method of extraction.
    Oh, one more thing, can we ramp-up the fun we are having with our Curacao Surge Great Adventure, starting now?

    cheers,
    markm
     
    MargaritaMike, Snoweman and drrich2 like this.
  2. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives. ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
    1,383
    1,627
    113
    Surgers,

    Here is my preliminary list of "must dive sites" (subject to modification, obliteration, or tweaking):
    1. Seldom Reef and Bullenbal. https://www.curacao.com/en/directory/do/dive/dive-sites/seldom-reef-bullenbaai/#
      1. I chose them because they have the word wall in their description. The pictures and descriptions looked cool.
        1. Supposedly, Seldom Reef is seldom dived.
        2. upload_2018-10-6_14-33-20.png
    2. The Wall, Blue Bay, and Piscadera Playa. Again, the key word here is wall. The Wall, Blue Bay, and Piscadera Playa Largu
      1. These sites are next to each other.
        1. The Wall, Blue Bay, and Piscadera Playa Largu
          1. Seldom dived because of the difficult access, the end by the point is the best. Healthy soft and hard corals grow almost right from the cliffs. Entry at The Wall is in the northwest corner of Blauwbaai (Blue Bay) by boat.
    3. Superior Producer.
      1. Key word is wreck--nuff said.
    4. Newport. Curaçao Dive Sites - Ocean Encounters Curacao
      1. Ocean Encounter only. Check their website. Pristine seems to be the key thought.
    5. Shipwreck Point.
      1. Key phrase is Shipwreck Point. Points seem to have more upwellings and current so they must be good. Points combined with shipwrecks must be a great combination.
      2. Ocean Encounters site.
    My trade craft was "keyboard commando". With this round of investigation, my degree of probability for accurately finding good sites is not high.

    markm
     
    MargaritaMike likes this.
  3. Canajan

    Canajan Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Mississauga
    10
    7
    3
    Hey there, I loved diving in Curacao. I lived there for a couple years but took it up late, got to do a good few dives there though.
    1, Daabooi beach is excellent, shameless plug for my instructor Bob at Divers Republic he’s excellent and very helpful. It’s a bit of a swim out to the reef but not to bad. Lots to see, from different coral to champagne bottles. Even a little dump truck box from a toy lol. Great for a night dive also.

    2, Hole number 5 at Blue Bay, difficult o get down to the water as it’s all down a rocky slope but it is doable. The reef here is awesome as it’s not dove everyday, if you go to the east and are good on air you can make it to the wall, if you are really good you can make it to Blue Bay beach even.

    3, Playa PortoMarie a nice beach, decent coral and fish to the east, and to the west a very steep slope. When you get out the bar / cafe is one of my favorites.

    4, Playa Largu, this one you’ll need a guide to take you to. I suggest Bob, but there are lots of others also. Here there is a huge elk coral, or was the last time I was there. It’s a shallow dive, but there is deeper diving here also.

    5, Sadly I never made it to the Blue room, maybe one of these days.
     
    markmud likes this.
  4. diversteve

    diversteve always tired Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location:
    26,280
    5,854
    113
    Blue Bay wall may be an OE boat dive.I saw their boat in the area one day.

    Arguably the best boat dive on Curacao is Watamula - it's west of Westpunt so not a likely dive for your Surge excursions. GoWest in Westpunt dives it weekly and Carib Sea Sports at the Hilton may also. Playa Kaliki is arguably one of the better shroe dives but it's at least a 45min drive. Just off Go West's dock at Lodge Kura Hulanda.

    The Tugboat is a signature dive. IMO not the boat but both the pier and the wall around the point to the east - lots of eels. The boat itself is just off the beach - it's only 17' deep and visible on Google Earth. The dive school there regularly closes so you might want to bring tanks - nothing else nearby.

    We liked Playa Lagun for the turtles just off the cove entrance. They eat the bycatch from the fisherman so are reliably there.

    PlayaJeremi is also a good dive nearby - you'll need to bring everything to shore dive it.

    My friends wife is an ex-Curacao dive guide. She suggests Snake Bay often.

    One of the more diverse is Varsenbaaai/Trunk Bay. You'll probably go there on a surge boat. We found seahorses there around 40' there's a large Pontoon boat wreck from about 80' to 110' or so and deeper than that is the 2nd Carpile wreck site - a bunch of old cars dropped to make a reef. We saw an OE boat tied up there once.

    The other Carpile site is off Pierbaai Beach - near Sunscape. Both Carpile's are deep and rapidly decomposing so I wouldn't make either a special trip.

    Klein Curacao is supposed to be worth the ride - have not been there. Ocean Encounters may offer it to Surge guests.

    There's the Dolphin Dive from OE's main shop near the Sea Aquarium (where they keep the dolphins) It's all about the experience, the reef there is pretty plain. It's around $200 so I doubt included in the Surge

    The most unique dive on Curacao where you get to stay dry - Subspace Curacao. Also the most expensive...lol

    The Blue Cave is a snorkel - often they go there during your surface interval when diving nearby.

    Skip the Mushroom Forest unless you like the unique coral formations - it's been damaged in storm so not as good as it was. Also due to the flatness, fish can't hide there well so it's more lifeelss than other dives.

    We mostly dove from shore. Did a boat drift dive off Lost Anchor but not memorable.

    Superior Producer is hopefully re-opened now - they closed it a few years ago to expand the Megaport.

    You can only dive it at night or maybe? it there's no cruise ships in port - I've heard it both ways. The Dive Bus used to do it from shore at night.

    If you get up to Porto Mari, it's a good double reef dive. Cas Abao nearby another good dive also.

    Some of the sites I mentioned are likely too far west to boat dive from the Sunscape.

    I'm not this Curacao knowledgeable although I have done all the dives mentioned, my friend's wife is a native and ex-dive guide.
     
    sgandza and markmud like this.
  5. Snoweman

    Snoweman Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Atlanta, GA
    2,839
    1,973
    113
    What is this? Google isn't helpful.
     
  6. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives. ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
    1,383
    1,627
    113
    Hi Canajan and diversteve,

    I will be using Google and all other means to read more about those sites you both wrote about.

    Thanks for your input!

    markm
     
  7. diversteve

    diversteve always tired Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location:
    26,280
    5,854
    113
    It's a deep diving submersible located on Curacao.
    Substation Curacao

    I think you can only buy this on Curacao
    Curacao diving paradise - Curaçao Diving Guide

    Some of this is oudated - several properties mentioned are no longer there..
    Scuba Shore Diving Site Listing for: Curacao, ABC Islands

    nice thing is the GPS numbers for the site near the bottom of each site listing. Once you leave town there's a distinct lack of street signs - we found several sites by getting near then going west to the water on any road that looked traveled. Usually worked.
     
    markmud likes this.
  8. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives. ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
    1,383
    1,627
    113
    Hi Diversteve,

    That is cool! What bottom mix are they on? haha!

    markm
     
  9. diversteve

    diversteve always tired Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location:
    26,280
    5,854
    113
  10. tkaelin

    tkaelin Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: CT
    1,945
    1,134
    113
    If your trip is am boat dives, try to get out west by car and dive some the shore dive sites. Try a beach shore dive that has a dive op and food/bar on site such as Cas Abou. Its nice to drive up, get a tank right on the beach and set up using their facilities, dive, hang your gear to dry and get some food and drink, sit in a beach chair in relax. The best shore diving site I have been to is Alice in Wonderland a/k/a Playa Kalki at Kura Hurlanda with the Gowest dive facility on the beach. The reef structure and marine life impressive. Another shore dive, playa grandi a/k/a playa piscado has less in the way of facilities (no dive op), but turtles in abundance. Active small fishing fleet of small wooden boats in this bay and cleaning fish on the dock attract the turtles. We stayed on this bay last two trips and last Jan impressive bait bails/schooling fish at this site almost every day.
     

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