Shore Diving

We had no boat dives booked today, so today was shore diving day.

The initial plan was to go to Salt Pier in the morning, do one dive there, and another dive also at the southern end of the island, and then figure out what to do in the afternoon. Mike and I were talking about doing Karpata, despite the fact that Paul had mentioned doing it Thursday morning.

The plans went out the window when Salt Pier came into view, and there was a ship moored there. Cargill owns the pier, and they’re pretty good about giving divers access to it, but they can’t permit divers around when there’s actually a ship there; it isn’t safe.

So we went to Plan B. Plan B called for a shore dive in the neighborhood, plus a return to Salt Pier Thursday morning. Since Paul was now talking about Salt Pier for Thursday, Mike and I decided to do Karpata in the afternoon. So we chose a site called Aquarius just up the road from Salt Pier. It has a nice easy entrance, albeit with a bit of a surface swim. We did this dive with the entire group. It was a nice dive.

French Angelfish at Aquarius
French Angelfish at Aquarius

For the second dive, we split up. Ralph, Paul and the women went back to the resort, while Mike and Joe and I went down to Pink Beach. I’ve had some nice experiences at Pink Beach; it’s a little bit of a surface swim, plus it’s kind of out-of-the-way, so it’s less popular than some of the other dive sites, meaning the coral is in cleaner shape.

Basket Sponge at Pink Beach
Basket Sponge at Pink Beach

We had a nice dive, Joe did a great job of finding the boat mooring we used as a landmark, and then taking us straight in to the break in the shore where we entered.

When we got out of the water, we could see some kite surfers in the distance, so we drove to the southern end of the island to check it out. Curiosity satisfied, we headed back to the resort. Unfortunately, I took a wrong turn coming out of Kralendijk, and started heading up toward the hills and Rincon. Eventually, we found our way back and had lunch, and the final change of plan.

Paul found out that Salt Pier will still be closed tomorrow; either the ship will still be there, or they need to do some work without divers around. Secondly, the dive shop firmly discouraged us from heading north this afternoon. It’s too windy and choppy, and entrances and exits would not be easy, or safe. Since Salt Pier is off the docket for tomorrow, Karpata is back on the schedule for tomorrow morning. So Mike and I ended up doing one last dive on the house reef; we headed south, (normally people head north on the house reef) and had a leisurely hour-long dive along the wall there.

Schoolmaster Snapper on the Buddy Dive reef
Schoolmaster Snapper on the Buddy Dive reef

Neither of us was in much mood for a fourth dive today. Paul had planned pizza night for tonight, so the timing would have been tight, plus we’re both tired. I also wanted to get caught up on posting here. So I went through my pictures, downloaded my dive data, wrote one post before dinner, and here I sit, after dinner, getting caught up. Just a couple of pictures to add, then I’m off to bed.

Update: More pictures here.