Long Beach at Piscadera Bay
Playa Largu or Long Beach at Piscadera is accessible from a boat or by shore but don’t let the name Playa Largu deceive you – it is not much of a beach, but it is a great dive.
Located next to the opening of Piscaderabaai, this dive site has a shallow plateau with a mixture of hard and soft surfaces with several nice colonies of black coral. The coral density is not very high with several interuptions of ridges and sand channels. The drop-off starts at a depth of 6 meters to descend to depths of 40 meters. The reef wall can be very steep at places with beautiful large over hangs.
As mentioned above, Long Beach is west of Piscaderabaai and it is accessible from the shore, but you will not easily reach the most beautiful parts of this dive site. A boat dive is recommended and it is certainly worth the investment. The open sea opposite the reef is home to large barracudas.
Quick note: Piscadera Long Beach has many nicknames, including Piscadera Playa Largu and Playa Grandi. Don’t confuse Piscadera Long Beach with Boka Grandi or Playa Largu.
For directions to this site, contact The Dive Shop Curaçao which is the on-site recommended Dive Operator at the CARMABI Foundation.
Carmabi Research at Long Beach
This 3D model was collected at Long Beach and was made possible through a collaborative effort with the Carmabi Foundation.
This model is part of an experiment to outplant Diadema antillarum (long-spined sea urchin) and monitor how an increase in their density improves the health of the reef as they graze down algae which directly competes with corals. By overlaying the original images onto the model, we can see up close the detail of interactions between coral and algae in these plots!
This model was created using Structure from Motion (SfM) technology and is visualized using the custom built software Viscore developed by Vid Petrovic and Falko Kuester as part of the Cultural Heritage Engineering Initiative (CHEI) at UC San Diego.
About the Carmabi Research Station
To facilitate ecological research CARMABI, originally short for the Caribbean Marine Biological Institute was founded in 1955 and has remained the largest field station in the Southern Caribbean. The field station, now known as the CARMABI Research Station, still sits at its original, picturesque location at the opening of the Piscaderabaai and reefs are found right in front of it.
The number of visiting scientists has been increasing in recent years which prompted the construction of a new water-side building with lab facilities and dormitories for up to 30 people. Researchers or students that want to study Caribbean coral reefs, terrestrial systems or geology can now use these facilities for their science projects. The institute is currently visited by approx. 250 scientists a year for research purposes and by various universities for courses related to coral reef ecology.