April 14, 2017:
Happy Good Friday to you, Dear Readers!
Ever since I have been a young girl, I have been curious about Curaçao, which is one of the constituent countries of the Netherlands. The islands of Curaçao, Sint Martin and Aruba are actually separate countries, but part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. My dad and his buddy, Bill Morley went diving here, and it always sounded like a little European outpost in the Caribbean. From them, we learned that the diving was world-class. Friends of mine in more recent years have confirmed that analysis!
We had no planned activities in the morning, which turned out to be a good thing, as the town was deader than dead on this religious holiday! Nonetheless, we did a walk around the town and admired the charming Dutch colonial architecture of the buildings, and stopped to watch the swinging “Queen Emma” bridge. We also visited the “Floating Village”, which is actually a small fleet of boats that sails over from Venezuela regularly to sell fresh fish and produce. Having seen the quality of the produce, I think I might live off frozen vegetables if I had to depend on this market!
After lunch on the ship, Jim booked us on an afternoon dive excursion through Ocean Encounters. This company enjoys excellent Trip Advisor ratings, and was one of the few which could accommodate divers and snorkelers in the same trip. This was important as Shawn scuba dives, but Sylvia prefers to snorkel. There are a whole slew of all inclusive resorts about 20 minutes outside of town which cater to divers and snorkelers. Our dive provider is located at one of those resorts, Lion Beach Dive Resort, but it also picks up divers from the Sunscape Resort, which used to be known as Breezes. We would all definitely consider returning to these resorts for an extended stay after we saw how nice the facilities are!
Our dive boat went to Tugboat Bay, where we dived first on a a wall, with some really cool sea life, and then we ended up diving on the wreck of a tugboat. While we were diving the wall, the snorkelers went to see the wreck of the tug, which is easily viewable as it only lies in about 15-20 feet of water. Rumor has it that the tug sank when a boat it was guiding dropped its anchor on top of it. Who knows, but it makes a good story!
I got these shots of our dive with a little waterproof camera we picked up a few years ago, but about thirty shots in, it stopped working, so I missed some of the best photos. However, we all still enjoyed the incredibly clear warm waters of Curaçao, and saw some beautifully colored corals and basket sponges, although these photos do not reflect the brilliant colors. The fish life was also very diverse, and I saw some beautiful triggerfish, angels, and even a mosaic cowfish! Then we headed back to the resort and the ship.
We had a beautiful sunset sail away from the harbor, but I don’t believe this is the last time we’ll be visiting Curaçao.