Top Scuba Diving News Stories of 2020 from Curaçao
The top news stories of 2020 was dominated by Covid-19 and its effects on our global community. To start thinking about reviewing or looking back at this year with clarity can be somewhat difficult because, like most, I think we would all just like to just forget about it and move on. Sadly, we have been affected by numerous unseen challenges and personal difficulties this year due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic – most notably here on Curaçao was the lack of tourism that undoubtedly created a massive economic crisis. But, it is easy to fall victim to negativity, right!
So, with that being said… “Hindsight is Always 2020” – therefore we wanted to share the top diving news stories of 2020 to provide a positive perspective about scuba diving here in Curaçao and to hopefully create a clear picture why you should start planning your next vacation to Dive Curaçao in 2021!
Curaçao, voted in as a Top 10 World Class Destination
2019 finished with a bang largely due to Dive Magazine Readers voting Curaçao in as Top 5 World Class Dive and Vacation destination. “The Dive Magazine – 2019 DIVE Travel Awards saw more than 4,500 individual nominations made for 78 destinations, 470 dive centres or resorts and 215 liveaboards. With close to 20,000 votes cast across the Top 25 in each category, finally, after six months, we have the winners…”
Largest of the ABC (including Aruba and Bonaire) Islands, Curaçao is as steeped in history as it is excellent diving. Home to some of the most biodiverse reefs in the Caribbean, the sheltered southern coast is rich in coral, and suitable for divers of all levels, with little in the way of adverse conditions at any of the popular dive sites.
Dive Magazine highlighted these Curaçao diving hotspots:
- Mushroom Forest – years ago the hard coral formations on this reef were attacked by disease leaving them deformed and looking like giant mushrooms. The disease died out and now this is one of the most vibrant and striking reefs on the island.
- Westpunt – the dive sites around the north-west tip of the island such as Alice in Wonderland and Playa Piskadó are some of the best.
- Tugboat – this small wreck near the southern end of the island is overshadowed by the dramatic drop-offs nearby, lots of coral and fish.
Curacao Scuba Diving Industry – 2020 Vision for the Future
WILLEMSTAD – “The Ministry of Economic Development has announced that they will start research on the diving sector on the island. Previously it appeared that of the nearly 100 diving schools on the island, only 25 are known to have gone through the audits and comply with the regulations set by the ministry which oversees the tourism sector. Now there is no legislation for the diving sector which makes it impossible to require diving schools to comply with certain rules and regulations. The Minister of Economic Development, Giselle Mc William announced that her Ministry is now going to map the diving sector in collaboration with the Curaçao Tourist Board (CTB).”
In times when the Curaçao Scuba Diving Industry has amazing growth potential and the Curacao Government is rapidly advancing toward more progressive marine management legislation, users fees seems like a unavoidable financial option and that is simply not doable without a mature dive industry working together under very high standards.
Scuba Diving In Curaçao, The Original Social Distancing
“Similar to quarantine, the experience of diving is entirely solitary and singular, yet inextricably intimate. The world feels foreign and strange, and—-though we may be navigating it alone—-we’re ultimately reliant on one another. Needlessly endangering oneself is the equivalent of needlessly endangering your friend. And yet, somehow, by the final day, I mastered the art of scuba-induced serenity—remaining calm despite every instinct in my body frantically insisting otherwise.” writes Katherine Parker-Magyar
Katherine went on to write: “When I boarded my flight home, I already missed the parrotfish, the silence, the rhythm of my breaths beneath the sea. Though I wasn’t sure then when I’d be able to return, Curaçao gave me a gift I’ll keep with me: An appreciation for the vast unknowns of this planet and the realization that “Just keep breathing” is as sound a motto as any for how to live. (Particularly in these panicked times.) Diving in Curacao taught me to be present, to be aware of my fragility, and to be in awe of the world around me. We may be in isolation, but we remain connected to a world far greater than we could ever imagine. Maybe everything is dushi, after all.”
Dive Travel Curaçao announces Sustainable Tourism Initiative to celebrate World Wildlife Day 2020
Dive Curaçao, from the very beginning, was originally created to be a complete online resource for Curaçao dive tourism. Since the founding and ultimate launch in 2016, the platform has grown tremendously and is continually evolving to build an atmosphere that both educates and fosters the enjoyment of sharing the amazing underwater experiences that are available on Curaçao, while highlighting several key components to clearly distinguish Curaçao from other Caribbean and worldwide destinations by focusing on history, culture, language, food and music, but especially to promote the fact that we as a community are active with initiatives for marine conservation and sustainable tourism.
“At the heart of Dive Curaçao and now, Dive Travel Curaçao, is an unwavering commitment to provide exceptional value, high quality and personalized service to ensure that you, as our client, can have the opportunity for the best Curaçao experience, above and below the waterline”, says Bryan Horne, the Managing Director. To further underline this commitment he says; “our coral reefs are a vital component of our island’s tourism product, therefore we are also proud to announce that 1% of Dive Travel Curaçao’s net annual proceeds will be donated to Coral Restoration Curaçao so they can re-invest it in restoring corals for the future of Curaçao.”
Top 10 Reasons to Dive Curaçao
Dive News Curaçao: July 22nd, 2020
Largest of the ABC (including Aruba and Bonaire) Islands, Curaçao is home to some of the most bio-diverse reefs in the Caribbean. The sheltered southern coast is rich in coral, and suitable for divers of all levels, with little in the way of adverse conditions at any of the popular dive sites. Divers and snorkelers never seem to be able to stop talking about the beauty of scuba diving Curacao. Let us assure you this is with good reason.
We like to think there is no place in the world offering such great shore dives, boat dives or opportunities to enjoy the beauty of sea’s nature while snorkeling. But honestly, as you could imagine, we are a little biased. So, we have compiled the Top 10 Reasons to Dive Curacao from an international list of travel writers, bloggers and news media outlets to help us out and provide you with a fantastic overview of our beautiful island, located in the heart of the Dutch Caribbean.
Anniversary of the Superior Producer
“This Week in 1977, Curaçao’s Superior Producer Became an Iconic Caribbean Wreck – One of Curaçao’s most well loved dive sites, widely regarded as one of the best wrecks in the world, sank on 30 September 1977. Bryan Horne of Dive Curacao takes look at the history of the MV Superior Producer, and how it came meet its untimely end.”
Today, the wreck sits upright on an even keel, with her bow facing west in roughly 30m (100ft) of water, approximately 150m (500ft) from the shoreline just west of the Curaçao Mega-pier. The wreck is an advanced dive but easily accessible from either boat or shore, with Curaçao’s clear water making the Producer easy to spot from the surface. The best approach is generally to begin the dive at the stern due to the direction of the prevailing currents, which are rarely very strong.
As you descend the fringing reef from a shore dive, an eerie dark shadow starts to appear as you head out into open water. At first, you only see the stern, but then the entirety of this magnificent 50m (165ft) mass, with its superstructure rising to within 21m (72ft) of the surface reveals itself, covered in a vast kaleidoscope of colour. Today, with more than 40 years of growth, the Superior Producer has become an amazing artificial reef site home to numerous colonies and different species of corals, sponges, gorgonians and sea whips. Because of this, it is a natural attraction for schools of large predatory fish such as tarpon, barracuda, snappers and jacks.
The Top Diving News about Curaçao continues…
Curaçao is a Best Overall Destination for 2021
Every year, Scuba Diving Magazine asks their readers to “pool their collective knowledge by ranking a variety of categories, like destinations and operators, on a 1 to 5 scale. An independent agency collected their responses in May and June of 2020, analyzing the scores to reveal what the best places the planet has to offer for everyone from wreck divers to beginner divers, and more.”
With nearly 6,000 divers “weighing in” for the 28th Annual Scuba Diving Magazine’s Reader Choice Awards, Curaçao was once again named as one of the Best Overall Caribbean and Atlantic Dive Destinations for 2021.
Start thinking of packing your mask, fins, dive computer, certification card and your thirst for adventure as you consider traveling to Curacao, one of the best overall scuba diving destinations in the Caribbean and Atlantic region for 2021. WHY? Because we believe, like you, that Curaçao is an incredible Dutch Caribbean island that is a world class scuba diving and vacation destination! We invite you visit Dive Travel Curaçao and let us help you discover Curaçao so you can “feel it for yourself”!
Divers return to Curaçao and Ocean Encounters for a handful of reasons, starting with the lineup of famous sites, such as Mushroom Forest, Klein Curaçao, Eastpoint and Blue Room, where visitors can’t help but be wowed by the health of the reefs and the density of the fish schools flowing over top. Another big reason that divers get hooked on Ocean Encounters is the staff because they continually deliver above and beyond what is expected to ensure that every guest has the ultimate dive vacation.
“The Dive Bus, led by Mark Pinnell and Suzy Wright-Pinnell, was Curacao’s first 100% Project AWARE and Green Star Dive Centre, and has since grown into a PADI 5-Star Dive Resort, offering a host of fun-diving trips and services, a full range of recreational training courses and – very importantly – The Dive Bus Goody Fridge.”
Postcards From Curaçao – The Complete Series
The Postcards from Curacao series, complete with 16 episodes, was initially designed to transport you to a place where you would rather be and bring you a moment of joy, and tranquility to your day so you could dream of Curacao, an island located in the HEART of the Dutch Caribbean. The fact is, that this series also became extremely important to our community, our island and, also for us personally.
As you may know, if you have been following the Postcards from Curacao series, we have taken you to the BEST Beaches, visited the BEST hotels, dove with the BEST recommended dive operators and given you the opportunity to see, above and below the waterline, why Curaçao is consistently a world class dive and vacation destination.
But these experiences alone can also be said about so many other world class destinations too, such as our better-known sister Bonaire. As true as this statement is, it is also true that as a community, “Curacao is clearly distinguishing ourselves from these other world class destinations by focusing on not only the blue factors but also highlighting the topside richness of our island where you can experience the essence of Curacao through the culture, language, music, and history.” says, Jeremiah Peek, General Manager of Ocean Encounters.
Jeremiah went on to say, “The fact is that Curaçao is one of the most unique islands in the Dutch Caribbean, if not the world, that offers everyone who visits something different because it bridges all the gaps, intrigues all the senses and allows you all the freedom to experience it, on your own terms. I guess that is why we say that all you need is to dive in and feel it for yourself”.
Project AWARE Unites Local Divers in Curaçao
Local divers unite to protect Curacao’s reefs and are leading the charge in the fight against plastic pollution. Early in 2017, the Curaçao Diving Industry in collaboration with the Project AWARE Foundation committed to the Adopt a Dive Site™ initiative. Four members initially adopted their house reefs, pledging to conduct monthly Dive Against Debris beach and dive site clean ups. Today, with Dive Against Debris™ events spanning from Caracasbaai to Westpunt, this program has grown to more than twelve local diving operations who are investing in the future of sustainable tourism in Curacao.
“Scuba divers have a deep connection to the ocean and a desire to want to protect it. We love to mix the passion for ocean adventure with conservation,” says Jack Fishman at Project AWARE, a global movement for ocean protection.
He went on to say that, “the community of Curacao are true leaders in the fight to protect what we love. Together dive centers on the island have united to protect their local dive sites from the onslaught of trash. They realize that conservation cannot be done in isolation and that it takes the collaborative efforts of all to really make change.”