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A Postcard from Curaçao | Episode 6 | Westpunt (Watch Video)

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

Welcome to Episode 6 where we are visiting with GO WEST Diving in the small fishing village of Westpunt and diving into some of the best scuba diving sites of western Curaçao.

Westpunt is the name of the westernmost point of the island of Curaçao and is also the name of the island’s northernmost settlement, home to the famous dive site called Watamula, that lies two kilometres to the northeast. Close by you will find the incredible coral beaches of Playa KalkiPlaya FortiPlaya PiskádoGrote Knip and Kleine Knip.

Westpunt is known for excellent scuba diving and is home to several shore and boat dive sites including the submerged airplane wreck, known as Elvin’s Plane Wreck and beautiful reefs. Most of the tourist accommodation in Westpunt caters to scuba divers and offers excellent infrastructure such as the Kura Hulanda Lodge and All West Apartments. GO WEST Diving, is the onsite recommended Dive Operator for both of these recommended accommodation options.

Travel Tip: for lunch or dinner, your visit simply cannot be complete without diving into the mouth-watering flavors of Sol Food and Sunshine Getaway. You will be served a great meal that could include the best pizza you can find on Curacao or a perfectly pan fried filet of freshly caught lionfish, which will undoubtedly be served with a side of enthusiasm from Sunshine. They are only open Friday to Sunday, so it is recommended that you make a reservation.

The house reef of GO WEST Diving is Alice in Wonderland, a simply remarkable top 10 shore diving and snorkeling site that is located at Playa Kalki.  What makes this site so special is the massive hard coral formations that rise up, growing in some cases over 60 feet/18m in height encompassing a host of hiding places for the unusual characters like the pair of resident frogfish and octopus! Of course, Hawksbill Turtles, Eagle Rays, and large schools of Boga’s being hunted by Yellow Fin Tuna are regular visitors too.  But, the real the attraction of Alice in Wonderland is the beautiful coral formations and all that hides within!

Another signature dive site is Elvin’s Plane Wreck.  This is wonderful nearby site that commemorates Elvin, an incredibly passionate underwater enthusiast and a cousin to the owner of GO WEST Diving.  Together, they formed the original dive shop at Playa Kalki, known then as All West Watersports.  (Did you know… the original dive shop still stands today and is the now the Playa Kalki Beach restaurant)

Today, the wreckage lies on a sandy patch surrounded by stunning hard coral formations. Regularly, this is a drift dive that can finish around the point of Watamula where schools of barracuda can be found. Turtles, ocean triggerfish, lobster, porcupinefish and green morays plus large schools of bogas are also seen here.

There are numerous dive sites within a thirty-minute boat ride from GO WEST Diving that are an absolute must when visiting Westpunt.  They include Mushroom ForestThe Blue RoomBlack Sand Beach and of course, Paradise.  

But, just like Sol Food, a visit to Westpunt would not be complete if you do not dive, what is argueably the number one boat dive on Curaçao, Watamula.  This mindblowing site is an intense and often overwhelming spectacle starting with a hard-coral field, then a soft coral patch, then finally ending with another hard coral field! It is so intense that the diver really does not know where to look first! In addition to the imposing coral formations, the intensity of the macro life combined with Ocean Triggerfish, Schools of Chubbs and Porcupine Fish will leave you surfacing wanting to don another tank for more!!

Tune in for Episode 7 that will release on May 6th, 2020 where will be heading back east to visit with Ocean Encounters and LionsDive Beach Resort to discover more about their combined “Green Mission – Sustainability Pledge”.  We will also be diving into the Coral Restoration Curaçao nursery plus the outplanting site located on their house reef known as the Stella Maris.

We hope you have enjoyed this Postcard from Curaçao and we also hope to see you soon.

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.

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.

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Breaking News: Captain charged in Conception boat fire tragedy

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According to reports in the international press today, it has been announced that the Captain of the dive boat Conception, which was completely destroyed by fire last year, resulting in the tragic loss of 34 passengers and crew, has been charged with 34 counts of seaman’s manslaughter. 

The Captain Jerry Nehl Boylan was among five crew members to escape the blaze on board Conception, a dive boat operated by Truth Aquatics, which took place in the early hours of 2 September 2019 whilst the boat was moored offshore, close to Santa Cruz Island off the coast of California.

The BBC reports that Mr Boylan has not publicly commented on the charges, and is expected to surrender to the authorities at a later date. According to the BBC, each charge of seaman’s manslaughter carries up to 10 years in federal prison.

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Crossover to NAUI for FREE!

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As a boost to help the diving industry, NAUI are still offering a FREE Instructor cross-over course together with five free certifications to all Instructors. This can include Open Water, Advance, Rescue, Nitrox and various other specialities and can be mixed and matched so all five do not necessarily need to be for the same certification.

NAUI have also frozen the membership fees for 2021 for instructors crossing over or restarting.

NAUI’s Southern UK Rep Simon Lodge says: “Throughout this year, the diving industry has severely suffered so as a result, to help kickstart the diving industry NAUI will not be charging membership fees 2020/2021 to any new instructors.” 

Founded in 1960, NAUI Worldwide is one of the scuba industry’s largest not-for-profit agencies whose purpose is to enable people to enjoy underwater activities as safely as possible by providing the highest quality practical education, and to actively promote the preservation and protection of the world’s underwater environments. As a pioneer in diving education, NAUI has developed many of the programs and concepts accepted throughout the diving industry. NAUI: A Higher Standard!

For more details please contact Simon Lodge (Southern UK Rep) on simon@europe.naui.org or Craig Warner (Northern UK Rep) on cwarner@europe.naui.org.

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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