Duanes Release near Soto, Curaçao
Duanes Release (also known to locals as Scooter) is a very special boat diving site located near Santa Martha Bay on the western side of Curaçao.
Sandwiched between diving favorites REDIHO and Playa Hulu, Duanes 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 Curaçao, be sure to explore this dive site as a tribute to a man whose short life impacted many.
The story about Duanes 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 it is slowly being covered by sand and coral. Family and friends clean it periodically, knowing one day it will be reclaimed by the sea.
Dive Site Recommendations
- Dive Type: Boat
- Snorkel Site: No
- Experience Level: Drift / Advanced (Min)
- Depth: 40 -120ft (12-36m)
Due to recreational & commercial boat traffic, an inflated surface marker buoy is mandatory when shore diving. Consult a recommended Curaçao Dive Operator for additional details & recommendations.
Location of Duanes Release
About the Area around Duanes Release
Landhuis San Nicolas is a private estate located on the West side of the island with 3 private beaches. Situated on a hill, it offers stunning panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and Santa Martha Bay. The pristine natural surroundings of this 300-acre former plantation make it a unique setting.
Curaçao speaks to the curious explorer in us all!
Home to more than 35 captivating beaches, a diverse heritage spanning 55 different cultures, ‘live and let live’ attitude and unrivaled European architecture; Curaçao remains one of the most exceptional islands of the region. Its capital city, Willemstad — a UNESCO World Heritage site — with its iconic colorful Handelskade backdrop and roster of museums, monuments, flavorful restaurants and shopping, was selected in 2013 as one of the Top 5 Cities in the Caribbean by Condé Nast Traveler’s readers. Curaçao’s natural beauty, pristine diving and snorkeling sites are a favorite with divers and adventure seekers, and its beaches and idyllic weather, situated on the outer fringes of the Hurricane Belt, has won it further accolade and recognition.
The Best Dive Sites on the Westside of Curaçao
The “Top Dive Sites of Eastern Curaçao” that are littered with wall dives, wreck dives, shore dives, and lush coral gardens. More importantly though, these sites have quickly become not only Curaçao icons, but also some of most sought after dives in the Caribbean. BUT there is another side to Curaçao that deserves exploring too. It is the West side, known to locals as “Banda Abou”.
So let’s dive into the Top 10 Dive Sites in Curaçao to give you a complete perspective about the world class diving that awaits you!