Curacao – 2012

We traveled to Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles during the third week in April 2012 and stayed at the Lions Dive Resort.  We encountered beautiful reefs, clear water, wrecks, and all manner of fish. And we had some excellent food and conversation. Here are some photos from that trip. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

This octopus retreated into a coral head as soon as it spotted a gaggle of divers heading toward it. What is really amazing is the way the octopus’ skin mimics the colors of the coral, the texture of its skin even matches that of the rock and coral.

The wreck of the cargo ship Superior in the late 1950s or early 60s inspired a local saying on the island. It seems the Superior sank under the weight of a massive cargo of blue jeans in 75-100 feet of water. The natives promptly dove on the wreck and “recovered” the jeans. Submersion in salt water left the jeans with a distinctive odor that even repeated washings could not eliminate. TO this day locals on Curacao refer to blue jeans as “salties.”

This was the first dive  on the last day. The wreck sits on the bottom at 100 feet, but the wheel house is first encountered at about 75 feet. We were not allowed to enter the wreck, except the cavernous hold below. I love wrecks.

Derek Prosser on the wreck of the Superior. We didn’t have much time on the wreck, but the conditions were perfect.

I know Lion fish are invasive in the Caribbean, but I still think they are beautiful, this was a large specimen and easy to photograph. We saw a number of these, though not as many as further east in the Caymans last year.

This is a Chain Moray Eel, and it is the first of its kind I have ever seen. I was lining up to photograph a cleaning station and a Trigger Fish, when I looked down to put my hand down and saw this fellow. He was pretty small, maybe 2 inches in diameter. I saw a lot of eels on his trip.

A more familiar golden eel. These beauties were quite common.

This was a very large Sand Eel. This one was free swimming along the reef and it was moving so fast I had trouble framing a good shot. This is more or less a grab shot.

When I show people this photo, they think this Arrow Crab is terrifying. Then I tell them it is only 3 inches across.

I see six juvenile Drum Fish in this photo. Some people see seven. How many do you see? There were lots of  these on Curacao. I have never seen this many at one time.

Squid, more than just an appetizer. I never get tired of looking at these fascinating creatures in the water. I get the feeling they are nearly as curious about me as I am about them. We saw them on several dives (and appetizers too!).

These coral pillars were spectacular. The reefs in Curacao were all very healthy. The tallest of these pillars are probably 8 feet tall.

We encountered this small wreck on our last dive. I didn’t get the name of the wreck, but I enjoyed getting to explore it for a my last few moments underwater in Curacao.

This is fellow traveler Steve Napper of the Denver area. This small wreck was another nameless one we encounter on a beautiful dive.

 

 

This is part of the Lions Dive resort where we stayed.

This is the diveshop and the fleet of excellent boats. Most days our group had an entire boat to ourselves.

This lizard was sunning itself on the retaining wall at the restaurant where we ate lunch several days.

Love the tropical sunsets. was hoping the boat to the right was going to lineup with the disk of the sun. Maybe next time. No green flash either.