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A Postcard from Curaçao | Episode 11 | Blue Bay Curacao (Watch Video)

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Number 11 in a series of inspirational postcards from our friends at Dive Curacao.

Welcome to Episode 11 where we are visiting the Blue Bay Curacao, a 220 hectare plantation, that is a Golf and Beach Resort with one of the most beloved beaches on the island located close to the fishermen’s village of Sint-Michiel (Boca Sami), north-west of Willemstad.

Understandably, many think that the name Blue Bay was chosen because of the striking blue water in the bay. The truth is that this alluring part of Curaçao was already named ‘Blaauwbaai’ (Blue Bay in Dutch), after Anno Blaauw, the owner at the time, where he grew limes, oranges and – to make the name even more appropriate – the blue pigment indigo.

Over the years, the plantation has had its share of different owners that dates to the 1800’s when it was occupied and plundered by French pirates.  In the 20th century, it became the property of the Jacobs family, who used it as a farm and then, during the Second World War, American soldiers manned cannons at Blue Bay to shoot at German submarines.

Then, in the early 1990’s, a local development group purchased the plantation from the Jacobs family and built the first infrastructure. By 1997, the developer, Mr. Steve Raspoort saw the area’s enormous potential and step by step, he established a thriving resort and golf course. Then, in 2005 under the guidance of Mr. Sepp Koster, they continued realizing the original vision of Mr. Raspoort to create a welcoming place where his life was enjoyed to the fullest. Blue Bay has since grown tremendously to become a household name on Curaçao, and in the Caribbean.


Travel Tip:  At Blue Bay you can spend a day relaxing on the white sandy beach underneath a palm tree, have a swim in the Caribbean Sea, explore one of the two coral reefs while diving or snorkeling, play golf at the 18-hole golf course or end your day at the beach with a drink at the Sunset Bar & Grill, while looking at the dazzling sunset.


The appealing white sandy beach at Blue Bay is a popular destination for sun worshipers largely due to the azure water, waving palm trees and the boundless cocktails that are served with a smile. But, this location is also an incredible launching area for some of the best snorkeling and shore diving on Curaçao because just offshore is an impressive coral reef that is lauded by scuba divers and snorkelers for its ease and accessibility.

To experience an intense feeling of freedom below the waves, Blue Bay is an attractive location where you can learn to scuba dive, freedive or snorkel at Blue Bay Dive and Watersports, a PADI 5 Star IDC Center that advovates environmnetal safe practices .

“We love the ocean, and we want to do what we can to protect it for the future. As divers we see the damage that human activity is having on the ocean environment more clearly than anyone else and we have realised that it is time for us to make changes to prevent further damage,” says Mick Bosman, Managing Director at Blue Bay Dive & Watersports.

Mick went on to say: “That is why we pledged to continue the monthly Dive Against Debris cleanups at our adopted house reefs, why we assist & support the great work of Sea Turtle Conservation Curacao and why we continually advovate best practices for sustainability from Project AWARE.  I believe that together we can make a difference here in Curaçao by utilizing our network of divers to inspire locals, tourists and other dive professionals to take action and spread awareness”.

Blue Bay Dive and Watersports also offers fun guided shore or boat dive but you will need to prepare yourself to be visually overwhelmed by colorful fish, delicate corals and an endless blue space that will surround you.

The house reef, plus Blue Bay Wall and Blue Bay Garden are stunningly beautiful and right on the doorstep. You can literally walk straight from the beach into another universe.  By swimming five minutes from the beach and you will start to see multi colored corals and a mindblowing amount of biodiversity in fish varieties.  Another 15 minutes out and you’ll encounter a coral density nearing 100 percent — meaning the coral covers the entire ocean floor — plus sponges and sea fans galore.


Travel Tip:  If you love sunsets then you need to experience “The Blue C”, a 60-foot luxury catamaran, because sunsets on the ocean are even more special than from shore. This 2-hour trip is a great way to see Curacaos lovely shoreline from another angle.


Whether you are a beginner or highly experienced, Blue Bay Dive and Watersports will be at your service with friendly staff that are focused not only on your personal safety and enjoyment but also on preserving the environment for many generations to come.  Scuba diving or snorkeling provides an extraordinary feeling of freedom and there is no better place to explore this underwater world than at Blue Bay Dive and Watersports.

Tune in for Episode 12 where will be visiting Jan Thiel Beach, a popular Curaçao beach that is known for more than it’s clear blue water plus we will be diving the wonderful house reef with the on-site PADI dive operator, Dive Center Scuba Do.

We hope you have enjoyed this Postcard from Curaçao and we also hope to see you soon.  Don’t 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


Videos produced and edited for Dive Curacao in cooperation with Nature Pics Films.  Photography of “The Blue C” courtesy of Blue Bay Dive and Watersports, taken by Gail Johnson Photography.

Bryan Horne wasn’t born in Curaçao; he’s a Canadian native, drawn to the Island “out of a passion for scuba diving and the underwater world.” Moving was always going to be a life-changing decision, but in diving, Bryan had found his calling. As the founder and owner of Dive Curaçao, he spends his days showing off Curaçao’s hidden undersea treasures – and does his part to preserve them for future generations.

Marine Life & Conservation

Exhibition: Protecting UNESCO Marine World Heritage through scientific research

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From now until 30 October, the photo exhibition “Protecting UNESCO Marine World Heritage through scientific research” features 21 photographs at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, as well as a digital edition.

Exceptional photographs highlight how innovative marine experts and scientists take the pulse of the ocean by exploring ecosystems, studying the movement of species, or revealing the hidden biodiversity of coral reefs. Scientific discoveries are more important than ever for the protection and sustainable conservation of our Marine World Heritage. This memorable exhibition comes ahead of the launch, in 2021, of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (“Ocean Decade”). The exhibition was jointly developed by UNESCO and the Principality of Monaco.

The 50 marine sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, distributed across 37 countries, include a wide variety of habitats as well as rare marine life still largely unknown. Renowned for their unmatched beauty and emblematic biodiversity, these exceptional ecosystems play a leading role in the field of marine conservation. Through scientific field research and innovation, concrete actions to foster global preservation of the ocean are being implemented locally in these unique natural sites all over the world. They are true symbols of hope in a changing ocean.

Since 2017, the Principality of Monaco supports UNESCO to strengthen conservation and scientific understanding of the marine sites inscribed on the World Heritage List. This strategic partnership allows local management teams to benefit from the results obtained during the scientific missions of Monaco Explorations. The partnership also draws international attention to the conservation challenges facing the world’s most iconic ocean sites.

The exhibition invites viewers to take a passionate dive into the heart of the scientific missions led by Monaco Explorations in four marine World Heritage sites: Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Philippines), Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary (Colombia), Rock Islands Southern Lagoon (Palau), and the Lagoons of New Caledonia: Reef Diversity and Associated Ecosystems (France). It is also an opportunity to discover the work of a megafauna census; the study of the resilience of coral reefs and their adaptation in a changing climate; the exploration of the deep sea; and the monitoring of large marine predators through satellite data.

To visit the Digital Exhibition click here.

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Dive Training Blogs

Deptherapy returns to its Roots – Part 7

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Join Richard Cullen from Deptherapy for the final part of his Blog about the charity’s recent expedition to Roots Red Sea, El Quseir, Egypt.

Deptherapy expeditions do not just magically happen, they need planning and they need funding.  This expedition was funded by our long-term partners the Veterans’ Foundation.  The funding is part of a grant they awarded us for programmes this year, which were then put on hold because of COVID.

All charities in the Armed Forces’ Sector are struggling for funds. Deptherapy desperately needs support going forward and every penny counts.

We know what we do works and at the end of this blog you will find details of the research studies into Deptherapy’s programmes and how they impact on the lives of our beneficiaries.  This includes details that are hot off the press about the latest study that reports that what we offer through scuba diving and 24/7 support has benefits beyond those found in other sporting rehabilitation programmes.

Well tomorrow we fly home, late in the evening with the journey home for some of the guys who live up North taking around 15 hours after leaving Roots.

We want to make the most of today but with the tide running we are not going to be able to dive until later this morning which means only two dives today.

Oatsie and Swars about to start their sidemount dives

Things, however are really busy over at the dive centre with Swars and Oatsie putting their sidemount kit together for their training dives with Steve Rattle leading to their RAID sidemount qualification.  It has been nice to be able to offer the guys this extra training, given the amount of work they have put in this week.  They have needed to get through their theory quickly but given the RADI online learning system this has not been too arduous.

Steve came diving with us yesterday to get some more photos and was really amazed at the progress that Corey had made. He was quite open in his praise, as in his view Corey has gone from a non-diver to being a very competent OW diver capable of diving, unsupervised, with a buddy.  Praise indeed.

Other than the sidemount course we are diving as a group today: Corey, Keiron, Michael, Moudi and me. Corey has been given some tasks – SMB deployment on both dives and the afternoon dive will be a ‘naturalist dive’.  Guy Henderson has set Corey a task: ‘to identify three species of fish and record the time into the dive and the depth at which each one was spotted’.  Guy runs Marine Biology courses on the reef and knows where the fish are to be found, how long into the dive, and at what time.

The two Toms are getting put through their paces. They have walked their cylinders down to the entry point, but Steve sends them back to the dive centre to collect other kit they should have brought with them.

Our general dive goes well and the sidemount guys appear from their sidemount dive some 90 minutes after dipping their heads under the water.

Corey enjoying being a RAID OW20 Diver

Lots of bubbly chat at lunchtime, a group of really happy divers. Corey really has benefited from the week and over lunch thanked the team for making him a diver. He has very quickly become part of the family and after returning home he published an amazing post on Facebook about his experience.  Corey really gets Deptherapy and had soon realised that we see past mental and physical injuries and see the person inside and work with that person.  He also realised that we want beneficiaries to see their fellow beneficiaries in the same light.  He knows he now has another ‘family’ – a family of brothers in arms who have two things in common, they served their country and they have suffered life changing injuries or illnesses.

Back into the water for the afternoon dive and Corey identifies the fish and records the details on a slate.  The two Tom’s complete their second dive and qualify as RAID Sidemount Divers. Great!

Kit packed away and it is time to return to the camp for a few well-earned last night drinks.

I am often asked why we use Roots as our exclusive base for diving. I have mentioned before that it offers us an ideal retreat, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We are secluded and there are no distractions such as late-night bars etc.

Roots Accessible Room

The second reason is the amazing welcome we receive from Steve, Clare, Moudi and the team.  We have been going to Roots since 2014 and many of the staff have become good friends, they understand our needs and are the friendliest people you could ever wish to meet.

The third reason is the huge investment Steve and Clare have made in making the resort and dive centre accessible for those with physical injuries including those who need to use wheelchairs.  All our beneficiaries can enjoy Roots and, in fact, love it here.  The reef is perfect for us and in non-COVID times we can travel to the Salem Express and other dive sites to enjoy more of the Red Sea experience.

Accessible toilet on the Roots beach

After discussions with the team I was very proud to be able to tell Corey that his progress had been such that we were inviting him on the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust sponsored two-week Marine Biology Course at Roots in June 2021. There is lots of homework to undertake under the guidance of Dr Debbie McNeill of Open Oceans and Corey will be sent the Red Sea Guide which is the basis for study.

While on that programme, Corey with fellow beneficiary Dale Mallin, will complete his RAID Advanced 35 course.  This all builds to a 10-day Red Sea liveaboard in 2022, onboard Roots’ new boat Big Blue where 18 beneficiaries will compare the coral and aquatic life on the wrecks of the SS Thistlegorm and the less known SS Turkia that is to be found in the Gulf of Suez and is rarely dived.

Paul Rose, our Vice President, is supporting the programme and is seeking the support of the UN and the Royal Geographical Society. A comprehensive report will be submitted to our partners in the project and to the Egyptian Authorities.

Last night and chill

What we do works:

In recent years there have been three academic studies into our work:

2018 – A study by a team from the University of Sheffield Medical School.

2019 – A study by The Centre of Trauma at Nottingham University.

Both these studies reported very positively on Deptherapy’s work both underwater but also in terms of the provision of 24/7 support.

The following is from our press release which was issued on 26th October:

‘A new study into Scuba Diving Rehabilitation Charity Deptherapy’s approach to supporting Armed Forces veterans with psychological injuries such as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) through the medium of scuba diving has been carried out by Petra Walker in conjunction with Hanna Kampman of the Posttraumatic Growth Research Unit at the University of East London.

This study, which used Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), demonstrates that scuba diving has rehabilitation benefits beyond those found in other forms of sporting rehabilitation exercise. IPA is a qualitative methodology that examines the experiences of participants and has been used in previous studies of Posttraumatic Growth (PTG) in para-athletes.

Petra is an experienced diver herself and was exploring the wellbeing aspects of scuba diving as part of her Masters in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology when she came across a previous study on Deptherapy. Past studies have mainly focused on the medical aspects of diving, so the opportunity to examine the mental health side of rehabilitative scuba diving was impossible to ignore. The full study is currently embargoed until it is published at a future date in an academic journal, but it follows similar academic research into the work of Deptherapy by the University of Sheffield Medical School (2018) and the University of Nottingham (2019).’

This is amazing news and sets us apart from other sporting rehabilitation programmes.

We are currently working with our VP Richard Castle who is a Consultant Psychologist and our Dive Medicine Advisor Mark Downs to identify further areas of psychological and physical dive related research.

We end the week on a happy note.  A young man who has learned to dive properly with a RAID OW 20 certification, a new RAID Master Rescue Diver, two new RAID Sidemount Divers, 5 new RAID O2 Providers, many assessments for our DMs but most of all a week of learning, of making new friendships, renewing old friendships, and building on our family ethos.

Until we meet again…

For us, Deptherapy is a journey, a journey that continues to push boundaries in the use of scuba diving in the rehabilitation of those suffering life changing mental and/or physical challenges.  On our journey we want to change the way the scuba diving industry views diving for those with disabilities.

In the new year, we will be launching, with our diver training agency partners RAID, a new and exciting adaptive teaching programme that will offer diving to the disabled community. We can’t wait to share it with you!


Find out more about the work of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education at www.deptherapy.co.uk

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