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Discovering the Dutch Caribbean Island of Curaçao

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As a working dive professional, I thought I had seen it all but an experience in 2013 changed my perspective completely about the Dutch Caribbean Island of Curaçao.

My name is Bryan Horne and I am the Founder of Dive Curaçao. I was born, raised and lived in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada where I might have been relatively content with my life as a salesman had I not made one fatal mistake, I learned to scuba dive! After completing the PADI Open certification I became instantly enthralled and incredibly curious about the underwater world. I started diving everywhere I could in Canada, honing my skills and feeding my diving addiction. But, it was when I visited various destinations around the Caribbean that I discovered the delights of diving in clear, warm, blue water. It was then I realized that I had discovered my life’s true passion.

Some people have a midlife crisis, I like to think of discovering my love & passion for diving as my midlife awareness. I quit my job, sold everything and headed to the Utila Dive Centre in Honduras where I completed the PADI Instructor Development Course under the expert guidance of Andy Phillips, PADI Course Director at GoPRO Utila.

Then, I discovered Curaçao in the winter of 2006-2007. I can honestly say that it’s never the same scene twice since arriving here. A whale shark, spinner dolphins, a giant ray, sea turtles, even a humpback whale have all wandered into my path over the years. That’s the beauty of diving around Curaçao: it’s natural biodiversity.

In 2013, I was contacted by Maurico Handler of Aquaterra Films to provide support, safety and guidance during his underwater filming sequences. These numerous dives which stretched from Eastpoint to Westpoint (Oostpunt to Westpunt) re-ignited a fiery passion because I was viewing the Curacaoan reefs through his eyes which ultimately inspired me to share this incredible, often underrated, underwater world with you.

Maurico Handler (Aquaterra Films) is a world renowned Natural History Cinematographer/Cameraman and under water specialist for National Geographic Creative, was contracted by the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) to film & document nature above and below the waterline for the 6 Dutch Caribbean Islands.

Healthy coral reefs are attracting all kinds of marine life visitors, and hopefully more human visitors now, too. Curaçao is surrounded by more than 104 sq. km (40 sq. miles) of some of the best coral reefs in the Caribbean, but has remained off radar for most diving enthusiasts. So, when deciding to come to Curaçao, please do not limit your experience to either the East or the West. Discover all of Curaçao and the incredible magic that lies just below the waterline, to truly uncover this best-kept secret of the Caribbean! Don’t wait, take the plunge into our warm turquoise waters, but be prepared for your senses to be overwhelmed by a 360-degree kaleidoscope of intense colour and abundant life!

​The most common questions I hear when tourists are deciding to visit Curaçao is – “what to do, where to dive, who to dive with, where to stay and of course the classic question, where is Curaçao?”. Dive Curaçao was founded with these primary questions in mind and even if we do not have the answer, being a local, we know who to ask. So, please ask us! Dive Curaçao is not biased or affiliated with any one company however our standards are high because your safety and your excellent travel experience is what will keep you coming back.

Lastly, re-discovering the intense beauty of Curaçao’s reefs also made me realize that there is so much more to Curaçao that that is truly unique to the Southern Caribbean. To be honest, I now appreciate that I had an epiphany that week that apathy could no longer be embraced. Where understanding that conservation, a responsible approach to sustainable tourism & sustainable development could no longer be ignored. Therefore, Dive Curacao supports, encourages and participates in island wide conservation efforts.

Re-ignite your passion and find a fresh perspective… Discover & Dive Curaçao!

Photography courtesy of Turtle & Ray Productions HD, Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, Sheila Ott, Ty Sawyer, Blue Travel Magazine

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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Scubaverse UWP Winners Gallery: Christian Horras

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Each month we give the winner of the Scubaverse Underwater Photography competition the opportunity to show off a little more of their work in a gallery. The March winner was Christian Horras and you can see their winning image at the top of this page.


What do you love about diving & underwater photography?

For me it is all about showing the beauty of our world underwater to people that don’t dive and thus can’t see it for themselves. I want to share my own passion for the amazing ecosystem that is so much older than everything we know living on land. As I am from Germany, there are only a few people in my surroundings that have ever seen a coral reef or a shark with their own eyes. It is a big privilege to be able to go diving all over the world and in return it should be our task to arise awareness of this fragile and endangered ecosystem.

What equipment do you use?

I use a Nikon D810 in a Isotta Housing and various lenses, depending on the subject: a Sigma 15mm F2.8 Fisheye, a Nikon 16-35 mm F4 and two Nikon Macro lenses (60mm and 105mm), as well as a WeeFine +13 Diopter. The Fisheye is my main lens, as it allows me to get really close and still cover a big field of view. For lighting I use two Retra Pro Strobes and a Retra Snoot.

Where can our readers see more of your work?

Website: www.christianhorras.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/christian.horras/


To enter the latest Scubaverse Underwater Photography competition, with a chance to win some great prizes as well as have your own gallery published, head over to the competition page and upload up to 3 images.

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Emperor Divers reaches halfway in Covid Diver Heroes Initiative with fourth award

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Emperor Divers have reached the halfway point with their #coviddiverheroes initiative and are still receiving worthy nominations every day! Here, they recognise their 4th winner, another awesome hero from the diving community with an inspirational story of selflessness through the pandemic. Nominated by David White, Phuong Cao wins a free liveaboard trip in the Maldives when she can finally take some time off, and here is her story:

I, David White, would like to nominate Phuong Cao (36) for her tireless efforts fighting this pandemic. Not satisfied with being a frontline hospitalist in New York she took a second job on the COVID team in Guam to treat patients under even tougher conditions on her weeks off! She continues to commute 7750 miles each way and apply herself to both jobs for three months already and counting. Her energy level has no limits and she’s only happy when those in her care are on the mend. I think she definitely deserves a break! I guess the Maldives would be the best choice for her as I know she has dived with you in the Red Sea already.

Phuong Cao

We have been in touch with Phuong who had this to say: “Wow what a surprise! Thank you for the recognition. Holding my breath until I get back underwater!”

The halfway point is a good chance to remind people that the initiative is still running and the Emperor Divers team would love to hear about more heroes, as there are four more to award in the next 2 months!

Do you know a diver who has been heroic this past year? Emperor know that, worldwide, people have had to step up during this pandemic which has affected so many lives. They want to reward some real heroes with free liveaboard trips in the Red Sea or Maldives.

Luke Atkinson, Emperor’s Red Sea Manager, said: “This initiative is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to all those hundreds of people who have taken a selfless interest in looking after the vulnerable in their community. Examples could include healthworkers, carers or those who have come out of retirement to volunteer locally, but really we know there are many other ways people have been heroic.“

Emperor want to hear from people who know a heroic diver who would love to have a free liveaboard trip to look forward to in the future. People need to nominate a Covid Hero Diver and tell Emperor (in 100 – 200 words) why they deserve a free trip, and whether they would prefer the Red Sea or the Maldives. A multinational panel of Emperor’s most loyal and compassionate staff will judge the entries and pick a winner every 2 weeks for the next 2 months. There are two remaining Red Sea and two more Maldives liveaboards to be earned, so get nominating and give that hero a reward for their amazing work!

Winners will be announced by 14th (Maldives) and 28th (Red Sea) of each month. Final entries for Red Sea by 20th May ‘21 and Maldives 5th June ’21.

Entries, comments and questions should be sent to heroes@emperordivers.com.

Terms & Conditions apply: Please contact heroes@emperordivers.com for details.

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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 john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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