Renee Ross's Dive Log
Playa Kalki (Alice in Wonderland) on 12/27/2007
Playa Kalki was definitely the best reef we saw on Curacao. Huge mushroom like corals that just towered above the wall-like diving at about 60 ft deep, to the right of the dive dock. Fish were small but plentiful, but the hard corals here were extremely healthy. Amazing! Note to shore divers, on Curacao it's easier to rent the tanks at the individual sites. Kalki's dive shop (run by Ocean Encounters) was cheaper than Habitat where we bought a package of air. Kalki's dive shop was excellent, you walk down the stairs to their dock area, buy the tanks, suit up on their benches and they lock up your belongings in a room. They have a bathroom, shower and rinse tanks and a nice dock for your use. Early December was a slow time so we had the whole reef to ourselves at most every site we dove. The beach there charges $6 per chair and not many chairs to be rented. For repeat dives there, we just did a morning dive, then stored our equip in the locked dive room and went to have lunch at the local restaurant named Jaanchie's (good food, but a bit pricy) then back for the afternoon dive. We even forgot our camera in an underwater housing in the dive room when we left, and returned a half hour later and the camera was still secure in the room for us. Great, friendly dive staff! I would never recommend staying at the resort there though. Too crowded for us.
Saint Marie on 12/27/2007
Rented our air and weights from the Habitat dive shop. They were very friendly and helpful. Their location is not ideal. Tow long flights of steps (broken clay in many of the steps) to get down to the dive dock. The reef was very close in, but not as healthy as other sites we visited. Night dove here and not many creatures out compared to Bonaire. Some of our group had computer problems and the dive shop was very helpful with advise and renting us replacement computers. Our daughter had a new scuba pro wrist computer and it worked one dive then froze up for the rest of the trip! The resort was very quiet since it was the slow season. The front desk not helpful in trying to rent the internet room, as we never did get their computer to work and had to go all the way to Punda to send an email.
Cas Abao on 12/27/2007
Our 2nd favorite site for shore diving Curacao (the first was Playa Kalki). Dive shop right on the beach where you can drive up to the hole in the fence at the dive shop and drop off your gear and park right close. Shop is run by the Marriott in Willemstedt and has a very nice staff. We rented our tanks there, cheaper again than Habitat, about $5.50 a tank. Beach charges $3 per chair, and there is a bar on the beach with good smoothies and food. French Fries were greasy though. Diving: Swam out to the drop-off, and headed 'right' at about 65 ft. Beautiful hard corals, small fish but plentiful. Watch out for current though. We had no current at first, but then noticed the soft corals swaying our direction and turned to find the current harder than we expected getting back to the beach entry area. Our son snorkeled there, too, and saw a stingray along the left shoreline. This beach is a beautiful place to spend the whole day. Uncrowded in early December and beautiful sand and the bluest water! We dove this site 2 days. A lady hit our rental car and ran off while we were out diving, and the dive shop personnel saw her and sent someone to her house to make her come back to fess up, which she did. She paid the damage directly to the rental car company. The dive shop has a very nice manager, and the shop has rinse tanks and tables you can use to suit up. And during surface intervals they let you put your gear in their storage room (an old railroad car).
Port Marie on 12/27/2007
Diving was great at this double reef. We went out the sand channel and then to the right, and quickly noticed we were down to 83 ft, came up to about 65 along to the right and outside of the outer reef. It was a beautiful reef, very healthy, lots of small fish, nothing large, but the reef makes up for it. Came back along the top of the reef at about 35 feet. It was all very healthy, sun was shining, a perfect day on the water. The beach is not our favorite, though. It reminds you of a giant cruise ship with lines and lines of chairs. They charge you for the chairs, but don't sit at the dive shop end of the beach. They have a compressor or generator there that smells of diesel all day. It's a long way to carry your gear from the parking lot, but you can drop it off by backing up to the beach and then parking. It's still not very convenient for shore diving like Bonaire though. Much longer walks with your gear to get into the water. The beach bar is good for smoothies, and the dive shop has rinse tanks and showers that they did not charge us for. There was an entry fee to get onto the beach. Curacao nickels and dimes you to death with all the fees for everything. I miss Bonaire!