In 2013, we visited Curacao, Netherlands Antilles.
Curacao is a part of the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) and sits approximately 40 miles north of the coast of Venezuela.
I chose this travel destination for many reasons which I will cover in a coming blog about Curacao itself. The primary reason was so hubs and I could experience Substation Curacao.
The Curasub experience involves a deep water dive in a small submersible vehicle which can dive to depths of 1,000 ft. It is used by scientific researchers and photographers from around the world. In addition, it is certified by Germanischer Lloyds as safe for tourists, and meets or exceeds all safety regulations. At the time of our trip, it was the only such vessel in the world which had this safety certification.
We opted for the deep dive experience and our particular dive took us to just under 800 ft depth.
The sub was a tight fit, but the views out the portholes, especially when the spotlight was turned on, made us forget about the claustrophobia that could have otherwise bothered us in such a small space. On our particular dive, there were three passengers and the pilot. Another woman and I laid on benches on our stomachs to see out the front porthole, the pilot was in the middle, and hubs had a small seat in the back of the sub with a side porthole. Hubs could also look past the pilot and see out the front porthole. The other woman passenger graciously let hubs lay on a front bench with me for the first part of the dive and then they traded places.
Our pilot was knowledgeable and fun. He was in constant radio contact with the surface, checking in with all gauge readings. There was never a time we didn’t feel safe.
Through the portholes, we saw marine life that would be unseen by scuba dives which wouldn’t reach these depths. The woman who joined us on this dive was a seasoned scuba diver and she thrilled in every bit of the marine life we witnessed on this dive. We were allowed to take our own cameras on the dive, so the photos here are my own (with the exception of the initial photos of us as we were submerging in the Curasub – those were taken by a diver from the Curasub team)
There was an LCD display above our heads that read our depth as we submerged.
It was mind-boggling that even at 600+ ft depth, the clear water allowed enough sunlight from the surface for us to see things around us, even when the spotlight was turned off. Everything was grey without the spotlight, and then, when the spotlight was turned on, the colors were beyond belief!
At 700+ ft depth, the ocean floor reminded me of what the surface of the moon might look like. These are sea urchins on the floor.
Back at the surface, after every dive, the Curasub is given a bath and then stored out of the elements until the next dive.
This once-in-a-lifetime experience was a bit pricey, but worth every single penny. We worked it into our travel budget ahead of time and we were both happy that we did. I’d highly recommend this adventure to anyone visiting Curacao.
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“There’s nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater,you realize that you’ve been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent.”
― Dave Barry