There's a special site on the West End of Curacao called Duane's Release. The story behind the name is about a diver named Duane Hendrix who loved diving, touched many lives, but died an untimely death in 2004 at the age of 21. An avid diver and traveler, Duane loved the Caribbean and wanted his ashes spread in the ocean where he would travel the entire world. Friends at a West End dive shop listened and did one better: they found a unique unnamed site and put in a mooring ball, registering it as an official dive site in 2005. Family and friends made it sacred by “releasing” his ashes there. A memorial plaque sits by the mooring pin, although slowly being covered by sand and coral. Family and friends clean it periodically, knowing one day it will be reclaimed by the sea.
Sandwiched between diving favorites Rediho and Playa Hulu, Duane’s Release has characteristics of both: lush growth covers a gentle slope thick with sea rods, star and brain corals, oversized orange elephant-ear sponges and gorgonians. The folds of the reef are filled with macro critters. Octopus, eagle rays, arrow crabs, Peterson shrimp in their corkscrew anemones, and eels may be encountered. Duane would have been thrilled to dive there over and over again. Fittingly, the site is prolific with angelfish. With a slight current, divers drift along as if carried by an unseen hand. When you're in Curacao, be sure to explore this dive site as a tribute to a man whose short life impacted many.
Dive Type: Boat
Snorkel Site: No
Experience Level: Open Water (Min)
Depth: 0 -120ft (0 - 36m)
Due to recreational & commercial boat traffic, an inflated surface marker buoy is recommended diving. Consult a Curacao Dive Task Force Operator for additional details & recommendations.