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Dive Review of Multiple in

Multiple: "Shore Diving in Curacao - A Mixed Approach", Nov, 2016,

by Michele Berg, MO, US ( 2 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 9402 has 3 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity 2 stars
Dive Operation N/A Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments We wanted a trip on the cheap, so we got a flight using airline miles, and rented a studio apartment via AirBnb. Our accommodations were not luxurious (no AC, no hot water), but our hosts were gracious and thoughtful - they did our laundry and brought us breakfast a couple of times. The wifi was decent. And hey, we were here to dive, not hang out in some swank hotel. A little spartan living never hurt anyone.

We purposefully chose a place on the more NW end of the island, far away from Willemstaad and the cruise ships. This was our third trip here, so we were familiar with several of the dive sites.

We mostly returned to our old favorites, because the better you get to know a site, the easier it is to spot when something different and exciting happens. We spent most of our time at either Playa Grandi or Porto Mari.

Playa Grandi was to the NW of us, while Porto Mari was to the SW of us, each by about a 15-20 minute drive. We started our trip getting tank fills from Go West Diving, because we'd used them in the past, and they are a solid dive shop. However, nitrox tank fills run about $18 per there, their parking lot is almost always full, and the upstairs (parking lot) filling station only has air - you have to contend with steep stairs to get nitrox.

So we decided to give Discover Diving a try, because we did a dive at Playa Lagun one afternoon. DD has nitrox fills for $12 a tank, which is great. But their blends can sometimes be low, their o-rings often need replacing, the tanks aren't always full, and their rinse tanks are full of some kind of red tree sap. Not ideal. The younger staff members were always friendly, though the older gentleman who works there shouted at me and told me he can't speak to women. At which point, my husband refused to speak to him anymore and forced him to speak to me. At any rate, the convenient location and (mostly) friendly staff led us to get a handful of tanks from them.

Once we began diving at Porto Mari, we got to know the dive shop there. Their nitrox was $12 a tank, like Discover, but they had decent rinse tanks and their fills were generous. My one beef is that they don't have an analyzer - they tell you that every blend is 32% and you just have to trust them that this is correct.

Site synopsis:

Playa Lagun: A nice dive, but there was a huge rainstorm during our trip, and we were told there was a landslide that washed out and covered the dive site.

Playa Grandi: Consistent delivery on green turtle experiences. The fishermen feed them fish guts, so they seem to hang around the site most of the time. The droves of snorkelers chasing them with GoPros didn't really phase them. I tucked up and sat still in the water column, and several of them came very close to check me out. My husband got some great turtle close-ups. There was also a masbango bait ball at this site while we were there, being harried by barjacks and a barracuda. Watching the bait ball move was magnificent. Good coral mounds after a kick out.

Porto Mari: Good coral mounds on the second reef. Eagle rays can often be seen feeding in the sandy bottom either between the reefs or before the first reef. Again, I sat still in the water column, and the eagle ray fed quite close to me, which was pretty amazing. We also saw a coronet fish hunting near dusk on one dive; a divemaster told us that there's a pair that regularly visits this site.

Overall: Sadly, there is a ton of algae growing everywhere, and a dearth of fish. The sites were covered in fishing line, leading me to assume that overfishing is a problem here. I'm not sure if a waste management system has been installed; if not, that could be what is causing the algal overgrowth. There is a lot of coral damage since our last dive trip here in 2012; a local divemaster told us this is the result of Hurricane Matthew. Still, since we are shore divers, this is our second favorite place to dive, after Bonaire. I hope the decline that we've seen in the past four years doesn't continue, and instead the reefs rebound with proper conservation.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Bonaire, Curacao, St. Kitts/Nevis, Jamaica, Cozumel, Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, Florida Keys, Caymans, Monterey CA, various quarries
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather rainy Seas no currents
Water Temp 83-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 30-60 Ft/ 9-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None - shore diving, though the dive shop at Porto Mari asks that you let them know if your dive will be longer than an hour so they don't worry.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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