Marie Pampoen, Curacao
Welcome to episode 8 where we are visiting with The Dive Bus Curacao and diving their remarkable house reef located at Marie Pampoen to discover more about their “seriously fun” shore diving concept and their on-going commitment to Project AWARE.
Playa Marie Pampoen is a small beach located right next Sunscape Curacao Resort, Beach and Casino. It is highly popular with locals because it is free and located near some large residential areas. Most tourists come here for one reason though, diving! This beach provides you with access to one of the top diving spots on Curacao which not only includes Pierbaai, The Dive Bus house reef, but also the unique Car Pile.
The Dive Bus at Marie Pampoen
Pierbaai is a beautiful, lively, and healthy reef filled with lots of macro, a huge variety of corals and marine life which also makes it an excellent choice for night diving. As the house reef of The Dive Bus and a Project AWARE Adopted Dive Site (ADS#88), they clear up trash on just about every dive they make and run regular dedicated monthly Adopt a Dive Site clean Up dives plus educate their divers by conducting PADI Dive Against Debris courses.
Mark Pinnell, the Managing Director of The Dive Bus and a PADI Ambassadiver says, “As dive professionals, the importance of reducing and minimizing our impact on the oceans and the reefs, isn’t “new” news for us… As dive professionals, we have a unique opportunity – and responsibility – to positively influence the knowledge and behavior of our divers. This includes making and driving change by inspiring our divers to want to protect our oceans, by helping them understand our impact on our ocean, and how they can help to minimize their individual carbon footprint while maximizing fun.”
Mark went on to say, “it is astonishing how many recreational divers we meet who are unaware of this issue, its seriousness, their individual impact – and how easily they can make a positive difference, instantly. No matter how far away they live from the ocean”.
The Dive Bus and Sustainable Tourism in Curacao
The Dive Bus, the first PADI Green Star and 100% AWARE Dive Operator on Curaçao has been working closely with Project AWARE to keep their house reef clean for the last 15 years. This unwavering commitment is not only underlined in their Eco-Policies, but it has become a core value of their operation that mandates respect, protection, and a rare generosity to influence their local community.
Travel Tip: For those of you wanting to spend several days or more exploring the great reef diving accessible from shore, ask about their DRIVE and DIVE Packages to enhance your whole Curaçao vacation experience.
Dive the Car Pile next to Marie Pampoen
Speaking of driving and diving, you need to check out the strangest wreck diving site around Curaçao, the Car Pile. According to Cathy Salisbury who wrote the book DreamWrecks, “If you’ve ever dreamed of simultaneously diving and driving, this is the place for you.”
Mountains of cars have been dumped in one spot to make an artificial and very original reef. It is like diving in the middle of a large car crash without any casualties—the fish manage to swim themselves to freedom. If you are a vintage car collector, do not miss this dive. You might find that part you spent years looking for, such as a radiator cap for your old Mercedes. Car Pile sits in the middle between Oswaldo’s Drop Off to the east and Pierbaai to the west. It is possibly the most unusual traffic jam you are ever likely to see. Cars and trucks dating back to the 1940’s is piled on the wall and are hugely popular with larger pelagic fish and home to a large variety of sponges.
Long story made short, Mark and Suzy Pinnell’s tiny little dive operation, The Dive Bus Curacao, that hit the road in early 2005, with a particular and simple concept of “Seriously fun shore-diving adventures” is truly a Curaçao dive industry innovator that is focused on providing value and quality with fun shore diving, in small, friendly relaxed groups, with a strong focus on taking care of Curacao’s reefs.
More Postcards from Curaçao!
Dive into Episode 9 where we take you on an aerial tour of the Kenepa Plantation – to visit the most exquisite beaches and hidden treasures in Curaçao.