June 17, 2001 - June 18, 2001 - June 19, 2001 - June 20, 2001 - June 22, 2001
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June 21, 2001: Curacao, Netherlands Antilles

A Curacao 2001 dive
"Mushroom Forest" - "Paca Hulu" - "Habitat Curacao House Reef"
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Two dives on the Freedom Diver II, and a night dive on the House Reef.
Diving off of Curacao:
  • Directions from Tampa: Well, you're not gonna drive there. Curacao is smack dab between Aruba and Bonaire, off of the northern coast of Venesuela.
  • Conditions on the day of my visit: Sunny.

  • Personal Notes: This day was going to be our last day to even think of attempting a night dive; we couldn't do it Friday, because you should always give yourself at least 24 hours from your last dive before your travel by air.

    "Mushroom Forest" was so named (I guess) because of the shapes of the coral formations there. Thing is, our dive plan wasn't the best, and Tuki led us on a very fast paced swim ... we ended up getting stretched out quite a bit. We saw a lot of neat things but if you stopped too long ... you'd loose Tuki!

    The "Boca Hulu" dive was just as bad but in the exact opposite way; Carlos swam a little slow, and everyone ended up bumping into each other. Around neat things to see, everyone would get clustered up, and not all divers are good at keeping aware of who is where around them. Besides, with 17 people in the same spot, even the most aware diver sometimes looses track.

    The night dive off of the House Reef promised to be interesting, but we learned a lesson that day. We went in to town after lunch and did not get back to the Habitat until around 9:30pm, getting to the dock just about the time everyone else was getting out of the water from their night dives. Originally we were happy with this development; everyone came back in saying how wonderful it was, and nobody would be in the water with us. However, the current kicked up and turned out to be flowing in the direction we intended to start swimming; about 20 minutes into the dive (roughly 7-10 minutes into the current) we all realized that we'd probably have trouble getting back to the line swimming against the current as strong as it was, and my sister called the dive.

    I was having problems without the current; I need to figure out a way to mount a light on my housing that has a longer lifetime than my camera lights (which according to the brochure are 1 hour). Because of that limited lifetime, I wanted to use the lights sparingly, only while filming; but when they aren't on, I need a light to find my way around. My primary is huge and between that and the housing I was a bit encumbered. I'll figure something out, I'm sure.

Videos!

My Codecs Page so you can get what you need to see these.

Some really good videos for this dive ... including a couple of turtles!
Mushroom Forest
[VIDEO LINK] 3.4 MB This video of Pederson Cleaner Shrimp shows one shrimp attempting to attract fish by wiggling its antennae.
[VIDEO LINK] 2.0 MB Here's some video of an Arrow Crab.
[VIDEO LINK] 2.2 MB We didn't see a lot of Longsnout Butterflyfish, and when we did, it was hard to get stills of them, since they tended to be kind of flightly.
[VIDEO LINK] 5.5 MB This turtle, my guess is that it's a female Hawks Bill, did not seem too stressed by our presence.
[VIDEO LINK] 1.2 MB Here is the film that accompanies my best shot of the Banded Coral Shrimp.
[VIDEO LINK] 3.4 MB Some really good footage of a French Angelfish.
[VIDEO LINK] 1.4 MB This is some of the better footage I have of one of the few Honeycomb Cowfish we saw.
Paca Hulu
[VIDEO LINK] 3.0 MB My buddy John took the camera for a short part of this dive to take some footage of me.
[VIDEO LINK] 5.6 MB We spotted another turtle on this dive, but the poor girl (another female Hawks Bill, I would guess) was desperately trying to hide from us, it would seem.
[VIDEO LINK] 1.8 MB This Juvenile Threespot Damselfish cannot be more than an inch and a half long. The tiny thing doesn't get eaten by the fish that swims by at the end; the damselfish hides in the coral and escapes.
[VIDEO LINK] 1.4 MB We didn't see many Banded Butterflyfish, but I managed to get film of this one.
[VIDEO LINK] 8.2 MB This is a long video of the only Seahorse I saw when I had the video camera.
Habitat Curacao House Reef
[VIDEO LINK] 621 kB I got very little video on this night dive, since we had to call it. However, I did get some video of the Peacock Flounder we saw on the way out.

Pictures!

Some really good pictures this day, including my best Banded Coral Shrimp yet.
Mushroom Forest
Some of the coral formations were kinda neat, if not beautiful, and naturally artistic.
The autofocus missed the Christmas Tree Worm and locked on the coral ... here's the best shot of about 5 that I took of this one guy.
Here's some wierd tube coral with a tiny little fish that lived inside. Chances are this a cleaner type of fish. Very timid though; a second shot of this has the fish swimming back down the tube.
There were lots of moray eels; this Spotted Moray was probably a little disturbed by our presence.
Another shot of the Spotted Moray.
A couple of very large French Angelfish. Our group disturbed these two as they hung out in a bowl coral. They tolerated us for a while but then started to swim off.
The best shot of a Banded Coral Shrimp I took with the digital camera.
Paca Hulu
A Cowfish. It has horns! Well, not really, but the growth above the eyes distinguishes it from a trunkfish.
This soft coral tree looked pretty cool so I took a picture of it.
These little guys (the fish, not the coral) probably have more official names, but they are often called Cleaning Stations, because fish swim up near them, and then they come out and start cleaning the other fish off.
Some more cool looking coral.
The best shot of four I managed to snap of this Barred Hamlet. Pretty fish but kinda timid.
Some Christmas Tree Worms. I dunno if those are their heads but it looks like two are having a conversation!
The only Sea Horse (a Longsnout, I think) I saw when I had the digital camera.
Here's a Peacock Flounder (big sucker, too) trying to look inconspicuous.
Habitat Curacao House Reef
Here's one of the Peacock Flounders we spotted right off of the leader line that runs from the dock to the reef.
The only picture of an urchin I bothered to take.
On the way back to the line, I spotted this Scorpionfish and was surprised by the Spotted Moray off to the side.


Dive data for dives on this day:

Dive Site Name Max Depth Minutes Water Temp
119 Mushroom Forest 58 feet 55 min. 79 F
120 Paca Hulu 68 feet 63 min. 79 F
121 Habitat Curacao House Reef 35 feet 24 min. 79 F
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