Welcome to Episode 16 and the final Postcard from Curacao.
The virtual “Postcard from Curacao” series, that launched 16 weeks ago, was initially designed to transport you to a place where you would rather be and bring you a moment of joy, and tranquility to your day so you could dream of Curaçao, an island located in the HEART of the Dutch Caribbean. The fact is, this series also became extremely important to our community, our island and, also for us personally.
As you may know, if you have been following the series, we have taken you to the BEST Beaches, visited the BEST hotels, dove with the BEST recommended dive operators and given you the opportunity to see, above and below the waterline, why Curaçao is consistently a world class dive and vacation destination. But these experiences alone can also be said about so many other world class destinations too, such as our better-known sister Bonaire.
As true as the above statement is, as a community “Curaçao is clearly distinguishing ourselves from these other world class destinations by focusing on not only the blue factors but also highlighting the topside richness of our island where you can experience the essence of Curacao through the culture, language, music, and history.” says, Jeremiah Peek, General Manager of Ocean Encounters.
Jeremiah went on to say, “The fact is that Curaçao is one of the most unique islands in the Caribbean, if not the world, that offers everyone who visits something different because it bridges all the gaps, intrigues the senses and allows you the freedom to experience it, on your own terms. I guess that is why we say that you need to dive in and feel it for yourself”.
Travel Tip: Discover Punda Vibes every Thursday night in downtown Willemstad. This interesting event has turned into weekly habit that has been making waves in Punda on Thursday nights. Punda Vibes has a simple goal: to make people from all walks of life fall in love with Curacao’s booming art scene, history, and culture. It is a celebration of Punda’s booming art scene wherein the town showcases work from local artists. Pop-up craft markets, live theater, and historic dancing is combined with music that fills the alleys and where you will find yourself dancing under the stars. Afterwards, a stunning fireworks display decorates the sky.
Do not forget to check out this incredible area and weekly event when you are planning your Curacao vacation so that you can immerse yourself into one of the most beautiful inner cities in the world that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
View or Replay your favorite “Postcard from Curacao” episode
- Premier Espisode – March 25th, 2020
- Caracasbaai – April 1st, 2020
- Cas Abao – April 8th, 2020
- Eastpoint – April 15th, 2020
- Santa Martha – April 22nd, 2020
- GO WEST Diving – April 29th, 2020
- LionsDive Beach Resort Curaçao and Ocean Encounters – May 6th, 2020
- The Dive Bus at Marie Pampoen – May 13th, 2020
- The Kenepa Plantation – May 20th, 2020
- Avila Beach Hotel – May 27th, 2020
- Blue Bay Beach – June 3rd, 2020
- Jan Thiel Bay – June 10th, 2020
- All West Apartments – June 17th, 2020
- Curaçao Sea Aquarium – June 24th, 2020
- Klein Curaçao – July 1st, 2020
At the very beginning we wrote, “It has been said that we should be patient in a storm and focus on the sunshine after.” But we all know that these “ground-hog days” during this global coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19) are not easy but we chose to ignore the obvious challenges and focused on the task of providing you with these weekly reminders that quickly became reminders for us too. Why, you may ask? Because, we have the opportunity every day here on Curaçao, to feel, to taste, to experience Curaçao but like most, the proverbial “forest always gets lost in the trees”. By providing you these moments, we also reminded ourselves how fortunate we are to live on this coral rock we call home and the inherit need to protect it for future generations.
Additionally, we must say that we are overwhelmed by the volume of positive feedback we received weekly from you. PLEASE, do not stop! It is one thing to develop and deliver content where the only indicators of its effectiveness are the numbers displayed on a screen. But it is completely another thing when we hear from you personally via email or facebook messenger that our goal to provide “you a moment of joy, and tranquility to your day” was effective and appreciated, not to mention wanting to plan your next visit Curaçao as soon as you can! WOW… THANK YOU for the overwhelming response and please continue sending us messages because we love hearing from you.
Although this maybe our official last postcard episode, we are planning a few encores plus we are already working on numerous concepts for several new series that will allow you to virtually be here in the heart of the Dutch Caribbean to Dive Curaçao. If you have ideas, you are officially invited to share.
Thank you all and once again, we hope you have enjoyed this Postcard from Curaçao and we also hope to see you soon. Please, do not forget to subscribe to our mailing list and to the Dive Curaçao YouTube Channel to be automatically notified.
Sincere Love from Curacao,
Bryan Horne, Dive Curacao
Tilo and Yvonne Kuhnast, Nature Pics Films
Scubaverse Underwater Photographer Interview: Ivan Donoghue
In an ongoing series, Scubaverse’s Underwater Photography Editor Nick Robertson-Brown talks to underwater photographers from around the world that he admires. In this blog: Ivan Donoghue
NRB: Tell us a little about yourself
ID: My name is Ivan Donoghue. I live in a coastal county of Ireland called Wexford and it was with Wexford Sub Aqua Club that I learned to dive in 1990. In 1996 I bought my first small housing for a disposable camera, then moving up through a Nikonos V, several compact digital cameras and now shoot with a Canon 7Dii DSLR in an Aquatica housing.
Over the years I’ve had modest success in some of the underwater competitions including the British and Irish Underwater Photography Championship, the British Wildlife Photography Awards, Hook Peninsula Photography Competition, Diving Life Photography Competition, and this year I was truly delighted to be awarded the Love Your Coast Photographer of the Year.
I have run the main underwater photography and videography competitions for Irish divers and I’m proud to have helped promote underwater photography in Ireland.
NRB: How did your underwater photography start?
ID: I began diving in 1990 with my local club, Wexford Sub Aqua, in the south east of Ireland. After six years of learning the skills, I purchase my first u/w camera, an UNDY housing which accepted disposable cameras. After that I bought a second-hand Nikonos V (now resting on my shelf). After that it was a couple of compacts before moving to DLSR with a Canon 550D and Aquatica housing and then a Canon 7Dii in recent years.
NRB: What is your favourite u/w camera equipment (past & present) & why?
ID: My current Canon 7Dii and Aquatica housing travels home and away with me, but the one piece of equipment that opened my eyes was the INON wide angle wet lens. Adding the ability to get close to the subject is a game changer in everyone’s images. Where once I could only get a diver’s face, now I was getting their whole body and fins. It really was a game changer for my photography.
NRB: What would be your advice to anyone new to underwater photography?
ID: Firstly, if I could go back in time, I believe a dedicated underwater photography workshop would have been so beneficial to me and cut out a lot of mistakes. Secondly, buy a camera and housing set up that allows a wide-angle lens to be fitted. Getting close and adding good light to the image will make your pictures stand out. Shoot RAW and shoot using manual settings.
NRB: What, or who, has been the single biggest inspiration for your underwater photography?
ID: I believe Alex Mustard is the best in the world. Not only does he take award winning images, write books, he also educates people on how they can become better through books, talks and trips.
However, my biggest inspiration is Irishman Nigel Motyer. I first met Nigel when we were discussing introducing an U/W photography course for the Irish Dive organisation. That day he lent me his SLR and I took my first wide angle pic. From that day we have travelled to the Bahamas, west of Ireland and Hook Head and on these dives, I have learnt from him.
NRB: What image are you most proud of and why?
ID: The image I am most proud of is the recent one of the Jellyfish and Diver. The reason is that it was the winner of the Love Your Coast competition 2020, the first time an underwater image took top prize. The picture also shows a dive friend Nick Pfeiffer who kindly took me and my wife in his boat that day to the Aran Islands and also had the good manners to make the background more interesting by posing! That is what divers do for each other – we go that extra mile to help fellow divers.
NRB: Where is your favourite dive location, and is it your favourite for the photography?
ID: I love the Red Sea and have been lucky to have a dived their several times. Egypt and its history is something that grows on you. Now that my son is older and has a dive qualification, I hope to spend more holiday time there.
Back at home in Ireland I love a shore dive about 40 mins from my home. It is a ten-minute walk from the car to the site, but when you get there, it is a shallow site with the Schlesien shipwreck, propellor, hidden caves and a blowhole where you can surface for a chat.
NRB: What are you views on marine life manipulation, moving subjects?
ID: I don’t like the idea of adding anything to a picture and it’s the same when it comes to harassing animals or damaging coral for a picture opportunity.
NRB: What do you look for when you are making your images?
ID: I love wide angle images, so I look for something in the foreground with a diver in the frame. Good visibility is a bonus, but not guaranteed in Irish waters of my home county where either windy weather or plankton blooms affect the seasons.
NRB: What motivates you to take u/w photos?
ID: I love scuba diving and I love photography, so those two addictions are very potent. In addition, for the underwater photographer the gratification doesn’t stop after the dive. It continues through to the download of images and reviewing them on the computer. A good photography dive can keep giving enjoyment for days afterwards.
NRB: If you could photograph any one thing/place what or where would that be?
ID: I’ve always looked enviously at the travel features in Scubaverse, so a lot of the places featured in the magazine would me on my wish list. I’d love to do the cage diving trip to photograph Great White Shark off Guadeloupe. I’d also love to travel to Indonesia with my family, as it’s a part of the world I’ve never been to, but I know offers superb diving and photography opportunities.
Call for Amazon Shark Ban
Alice Cimino, made a shocking discovery while shopping on Amazon. As the founder of OceanKin Conservation she was appalled to discover the sale of shark products in the form of newborn baby sharks preserved in bottles and offered as gifts. Just over a week ago, Alice launched a petition urging Amazon to ban the sale of shark products on petition platform change.com which has garnered an overwhelming response.
Amazon permit the sale of shark products on their U.S.A platform from vulnerable and endangered species, such as the Spiny Dogfish shark and Mako shark. These items range from shark pups in bottles, Mako teeth and Mako jaws to supplements created with chondroitin aka shark cartilage.
“I am trying to encourage Amazon to align their actions with their words as they profess to be a company with good values,” said Alice Cimino.
As she dug deeper, Alice’s investigations uncovered surprising contradictions within the global shopping giant’s policies and sustainability credentials. Through their Smile program Amazon support ocean conservationists such as WWF and Ocean Conservancy. Amazon also outlined plans for the company to be completely carbon free by 2040. Alice explained, “Allowing the sale of shark products not only sends the wrong message to consumers, it is also at odds with the ethics Amazon claim they have.”
Sharks populations are in critical decline, with a 70% decrease over the past 60 years. “If we don’t stand up for this keystone species, our oceans ecosystems will collapse, it’s that simple. Amazon should stand by their sustainability statements and work with the marine community to protect the oceans most important apex predator, the shark.”
A link to OceanKin’s petition can be found at www.oceankinconservation.com
Updates and further information on the campaign can be found on Instagram @oceankin_conservation & @protectoceankin on Twitter.
Win a Waterproof BODY 2X Power Stretch Hollow Fiber Undergarment!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at CPS Partnership to give away a Waterproof BODY 2X...
WIN a SeaLife AquaPod Mini!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at SeaLife to give away one of their AquaPod Minis...
WIN a Sharkskin Performance 40L Duffle Bag!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Liquid Sports to give away a Sharkskin Performance 40L Duffle...
WIN a DivePro S10 Compact Dive Torch!!!
*Please note that this competition closes on 10th March 2021, not 12th February 2021 as stated in the competition’s terms...
Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue. With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after.
Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life. The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.
£1475 per person based on double occupancy. Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available. Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp. Flights and transfers are included. See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.
This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place. Come Dive with Us!
Call 020 3515 9955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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