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Published: April 19th 2018
I skipped diving on Tuesday because I thought it might be a good idea to give my knee a rest. Donna and I had a nice leisurely breakfast while Jim and Dave loaded onto the dive boat to go out for a couple of dives. We spent about 3 hours in the pool, and then went down to meet the dive boat when it came in and take a swim in the ocean. It was great, weather has been warm and sunny.
In the afternoon we rested and stayed out of the sun as we had all had plenty of sun for one day. We then decided to do a little exploring and drive up to the north end of the island. Curacao is 45 miles long from tip to tail, and we are currently about 1/3 of the way up from the southern most part of the island. We thought we'd take a drive and experience some local cuisine. Good God Almighty, the roads are like paved donkey cart paths and the people here drive like they are professional NASCAR drivers! I was white knuckled all the way up and all the way back. My understanding is the "new
highway" is on the other side of the island - too bad for us, but I assure you there is barely room for two cars to pass, but pass they do. Anywhere, anytime if they feel you are in their way. We did find a restaurant in Westpunt and it was okay - nothing we can't get right here at the resort, so I made the executive decision we would not be going out at night anymore to experience the local cuisine.
Today I decided to try out my knee again, and I'm happy to say it was a perfect dive. We dove a site called Mushroom Forest and everything worked, even me. No equipment failures, no flooding masks, and the dive was 60 minutes long ending at a location called the Blue Room, which was a cave, only technically not a cave because you could surface inside and there was air above you. It was beautiful and it restored my confidence that I still have it.
The boat captain "Santiago" was an amazing skipper, his wife accompanied him and she was pleasant, knowledable and fun to visit with as well. Our dive master Jorge went above and beyond
Spotted trunk fish
to be helpful, taking our fins and BCD's off so we could climb up the pelican ladder unencumbered by 40# of tank and dive gear back onto the boat. It made the entire experience so pleasureable. The dive at the Mushroom Forest was billed as a lot of coral formations, which it was, but it was also teeming with marine life. For the first time I saw the dreaded lion fish swimming out in the open and not hiding under a coral ledge waiting for unsuspecting baby frye to swim bye and get sucked into it's belly. Remember lion fish are not native to the Caribbean. They eat 10X their weight per day, and lay 30,000 eggs a month. They have no natural predators, and are destroying the fish on our reefs. They are native to Indonesia, but a bunch were released from a tank in Florida during one of the hurricanes, and now they are as far north in the Atlantic as Virginia and as far south as Bonaire, and maybe further. Yes they are beautiful, but they are nasty, venomous, frye eating monsters that need to be eradicated.
I didn't do the second dive today, choosing to
keep the finning to a minimum. I stayed on the boat and talked to Santiago, such a pleasant person and so knowledgable about the island being a native of Curasao. However, being a skipper is just a part time gig for him, as he actually lives in the Netherlands and is a fire suppression specialist and owns his own business! He was only in Curasao because his skills and boat were needed during the last four months to help with all the divers on the island. It's a good thing he was such a great captain, as we ran into a howling squall on the way back, 4' waves and pounding rain, but there was never a time I didn't feel safe. I didn't feel dry, but I did feel safe!
Tot: 2.89s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 5; qc: 61; dbt: 0.0389s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb