Welcome to episode 14, where we are visiting the Curacao Sea Aquarium Park, diving at Shipwreck Point then descending into the unknown depths with Substation Curacao beyond traditional recreational dive limits.
According to the Curaçao Sea Aquarium, back in the early 80’s, Adrian “Dutch” Schrier dreamed of bringing his passion for the sea closer to the general public. Equipped with acute insight and specialized knowledge, Dutch became very aware that the rare beauty and health of the Caribbean Sea surrounding Curaçao would not last forever if public education about the underwater world was not easily accessible and reasonably affordable. In 1984, Dutch founded the Curaçao Sea Aquarium and now, 35 years later, it has evolved into the Curaçao Sea Aquarium Park which is one of the most unique examples of marine education and tourism facilities in the Caribbean.
The Curacao Sea Aquarium Park is situated in the Bapor Kibrá district of Curaçao, next to Ocean Encounters and LionsDive Beach Resort. Today, the facility is not only home to the main Curaçao Sea Aquarium, but it also includes Dolphin Academy, Dolphin Therapy, Animal Encounters, Sea Lion Encounters, Substation Curaçao and the newest attraction, the Ocean Lens. Each one of these individual attractions include interactive programs with a distinct focus on marine education, protection, and conservation.
A prime example of Dutch’s limitless dedication for creating these interactive programs at the Curacao Sea Aquarium Park would be Substation Curaçao. There is simply no where on our planet, except at Substation Curaçao, where you can dive safely down to 1,000 feet (300 meters) in a specifically designed 5 person submarine, called the Curasub, and have an experience that literally equates to going into outer space.
“After I release the ballast air, your journey will start with a slow & even descent along the sloping drop offs around the Ocean Lens Curaçao located here at Shipwreck Point. The beauty of these incredible dives is the kaleidoscope of color & the unexpected variety of life that you will encounter. It is another world that exists on these deep reefs and this is your chance for a trip into an inner space to observe an incredible world only a few know. At the depths that we reach in the Curasub, it is another world of life, wonder and amazement.” says Bruce Brandt, head Engineer and Pilot
So, when you are on Curaçao next, stop by Substation Curacao and consider this bucket list adventure where you will explore the twilight zone well beyond recreational scuba diving limits.
Travel Tip: If you want the ultimate view, without getting wet or taking a trip in the Curasub, of what lies just below the surface then you need to visit the Ocean Lens. The view is not only comfortable, but it is also breathtaking where you are surrounded by an intensity of color and life.
As we mentioned back in episode 7, Bapor Kibrá, which literally translates to “broken ship” is home to one of the best dive sites on the island called Shipwreck Point.
Shipwreck Point is one of those “must dive sites” located between Cornelius Bay and the Stella Maris reef. In 1884 the SS Oranje Nassau, a trading ship of the West India Company, also perished at this location and remnants of the original kettle can be seen from Sea Lion Encounters.
Apart from the SS Oranje Nassau boiler, divers will find anchors, a shaft and propellers located around the mooring between 20 and 35 meters, and the two tugboats at 50 meters make this a remarkably interesting dive site for technical divers.
Shipwreck Point is an incredible fringing reef and one of the healthiest around Curacao largely since it is located on this south-easterly point where loads of fresh salt water circulate and currents are constantly merging. It can be reached from Ocean Encounters at LionsDive Beach Resort on their regular boat dive schedule but from shore, this dive can be a challenge since the nearest entry point is the beach in front of Hemingways Beach Bar and Restaurant.
Tune in for Episode 15, that will release on July 1st, 2020, when we are sailing to Klein Curaçao with Bluefinn Charters to explore this historically significant and now deserted Caribbean island, then dive the surrounding picturesque reefs to understand why the locals say “that the underwater habitats of Klein Curaçao is where everything is bigger and there is more of it with almost the guarantee of turtle sightings”.
We hope you have enjoyed this Postcard from Curaçao and we also hope to see you soon. Don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list and to the Dive Curaçao YouTube Channel to be automatically notified.
Sincere Love from Curacao,
Bryan Horne, Dive Curacao
Tilo and Yvonne Kuhnast, Nature Pics Films