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Dive Review of Seascape/Hilton in

May, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Randy and Carol Thompson, FL, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (11 reports)
Report Number 3352
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
0-25 dives
Where else diving
Bonaire, Maui, Big Island of Hawaii, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Florida
southeast, Florida Keys, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Turks &
Caicos, Bahamas, New Hampshire, Massachusetts
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, cloudy, dry  
choppy, surge  
Water Temp
81   to 82    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 65    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Depth limits and times requested, but not enforced.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
No dip tank on board
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
4 stars    
Corals are a mixed bag. Some are in very good shape, other areas made me
want to cry with all the trash such as bottles, beer cans, styrofoam cups,
etc. Clarcke is the in house instructor. He shares dive supervision with
divemaster Seal. Clarcke is fun, knowledgeable and easy going. Went with
Seal on a night dive off the beach. His wife, Jassan, oversees the dive
shop and booking. 

Found out the hard way that he does not carry a dive knife, when I became
ensnared in fishing line toward the end of the dive. Word to the wise:
Always carry a knife when in Curacao. My husband finally freed me by taking
his reg out and biting through the line. When we returned to shore, I asked
Seal why he doesn't carry a knife. "There's one in the shop," he
shrugged. "Well, one in the shop doesn't help," was my reply.
Hope he learns something from this. Clarcke said he always carries one.

The island's reefs could benefit from some intensive clean-up and more
stringent marine protection laws. We observed fishermen motoring in and
setting up right over one of the popular dive sites. Clarcke told us they
throw out their beer bottles, hence the mess. It's a shame, because the
corals in many spots are every bit as good as those in Bonaire.

However, marine life isn't quite as abundant as it is on Bonaire. We saw 2
frogfish and some 4 or so seahorses the whole week. One big turtle joined
us while we were doing a shore dive. One of the frogfish lives on the
abandoned pier at the resort. He's a tough one to spot, but he was there
twice when we looked for him. Lots of the small stuff, not much big. We did
see a good size jewfish (aka Goliath grouper) on one dive, but he was the
sole big boy for the week.

The prevailing attitude of the locals is far more cordial than that of the
residents of Bonaire. For this reason, we'd be more apt to return to
Curacao than Bonaire. Bonaire's newly conceived, grossly misplaced rule
about no gloves was far more than an irritation. I received several
jellyfish stings on my hands, two of which blistered and tore, revealing
deep, raw flesh that became severely infected. No explanation and
entreaties on my part to the harbormaster made any difference. Without a
signed note from my physician (we had been to Bonaire two years prior and
no such rule existed, so I didn't know to bring one) he was absolutely
absurdly intractable. Why? "To protect our marine environment."

Bonaire is designated a "protected marine sanctuary" and they
have the actual temerity to charge you $25 per diver for the privilege of
diving there. However, when we almost got snagged by a fishing hook as it
was being reeled up, we asked. The answer we got was that yes, it IS a
"protected marine sanctuary" but you can line fish. Huh??? WTF?

Gee. Where I come from, protected marine sanctuary means protected marine
sanctuary. It doesn't mean the locals can fish it to their hearts' content,
endangering not only the reef, but dive sites and divers, as well.

My wearing gloves is no threat to their marine environment. I've logged
hundreds of dives in my 16 years of diving. However, locals throwing in
lines and lures sure is. Until they clean up their REAL threats to the
marine environment, Bonaire can do without my dollars.

But back to Curacao, no problem with using gloves there. No problem with
just about anything. The one big difference between the diving there and
Bonaire is the wave action of the sea. Bonaire is mostly flat calm. Curacao
is always rockin' and rollin'. If you are prone to sea sickness, I strongly
recommend asking your doctor for a prescription for Transderm Scop patches.
Morning is a better time to dive for calmness of the seas. Even so, but the
end of the second morning dive, the exits were always a little wild.

We were charmed by Curacao with its colorful facades, picturesque streets
with sidewalk cafes, its warm, charming people, and its great diving. The
one sour note was that our digital camera was stolen from our room. That
could happen anywhere, however, and we had no problem with car break-ins
like those that plague Bonaire. Good topside opportunities, and although we
didn't go, we heard that the restaurants are good and not ruinously
expensive. We'll definitely go back.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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