We’ve have not been snorkeling as much as usual. Not for any reason, really, just haven’t seemed to jump in the ocean as often as usual. I guess with the lock down, we kind of got out of the habit of being in the ocean.
Yesterday we decided to try a late in the afternoon swim. The winds seem to die off in the back half of the day, so we decided to go jump in. It was nice and warm and the water was pretty clear. Sometimes the little bay where we enter the water gets cloudy from all the bodies, but it hasn’t been busy, so the water was nice and clear.
We saw the usual suspects and had a nice time, and then as we were about to leave, we spotted a big octopus. He was definitely the biggest we’ve ever seen here in Blue Bay, and as big as any we’ve ever seen.
He hung around a chunk of coral and let us check him out over and over again.
The covid-19 crisis has hit Curacao too, of course. The island has stopped all foreign air traffic, forbidden cruise ships from docking, ordered stores and restaurants to close, and forced grocery stores to implement social distancing measures. Blue Bay Beach has been closed to anyone except residents, and they’ve removed a lot of lounge chairs so that there is at least two meters between them. As you can see from the picture, the place is deserted. We were on the beach yesterday, and there were about six other people. And none were in the ocean.
The featured picture is pretty funny. A golf foursome practicing social distancing! Each one has a golf cart to themselves, and they hit their shots to different parts of the fairway. Perfect social distancing!
We’ve had some nice new art work added around the resort. It just seems to pop up when you least expect it. This colorful cow/bench is one of many on the island, done by a local artist. There are a number of them around the island, at different beaches, and outside various stores.
The ocean was pretty rough – we should have waited until late afternoon when the ocean is generally calmer – so we didn’t really get many shots of fish, but I guess we need to post at least one here! The bay was quite clear, I guess because so few people have been in the ocean for the last few weeks. So, here is a pudding wife, not to be confused with the less colorful custard husband.
It was fun to see that Blue Bay Beach was voted number one beach in Curacao by the Art of Scuba Diving website! They particularly like that the beach was kid-friendly since it has “amazingly soft white sand” that has a “gentle slope” to it so that kids can safely play.
They also mention the many amenities, including a dive shop, several restaurants, a playground just for kids, lots of shade, plus beach chairs and umbrellas too. Another new thing just added that they don’t mention are several sail clothes fastened between trees so that there are extra shady areas, not just from palapas. There is also a nice massage hut where you can get various spa treatments as well.
Another nice amenity is the beach service from the restaurant. Not a lot of beaches in Curacao have service staff patrolling the beach to get you a drink, lunch or a snack, but Blue Bay does!
And of course, it has some of the most amazing coral you will find anywhere! When you head into the water, go to the RIGHT for the best coral. Head around the point, and then swim across the sandy section to see the truly beautiful underwater scenes!
Monday we hit Blue Bay Beach, somewhere we’d never been to before. It’s in a large private complex, and you go through a security gate, down a long road, and finally reach the bay. It’s a smallish cove, with a dive shop, restaurant, bar, a small beach wear shop, even a massage tent! There were lots of lounge chairs, so we knew there would a charge. It was a pricey eight bucks each. But my oh my, was it worth it! This snorkel was the nicest, most amazing we’ve ever had on Curacao.
The coral was lush, rich, healthy and magnificent. I’m not sure we’ve seen this variety of coral in one spot. Just simply amazing fan coral, fire coral, tube coral in towering purple brilliance, brain coral, huge elkhorn coral – it just went on and on. We got in the water, went to the “right” side and couldn’t stop swimming – we kept saying, we’ll go just a little bit more, then we’d see even more amazing formations ahead and we just kept swimming. We saw absolutely everything the ocean has to offer, short of a turtle. We saw a big green moray eel, a rainbow parrotfish with her crazy orange and blue face, there were Spanish hogfish like crazy, a porcupine fish hiding in a big elkhorn coral, even an octopus got in the act today.
There were filefish – scrawled, dotted, you name it they were there! What a place. There was very little current, and the water was amazingly clear. There is a wide shelf close to the cliffs rising from the water, then a long sloping drop off filled with coral and fish. This is a beach that will be on our must have list any time we come back here to Curacao!
After we’d been in the ocean for close to three hours, we had lunch in the restaurant there. Not your standard beach fare of burgers and fries either! I had a chicken satay served with a wonderful coleslaw and shrimp chips, with a really tasty peanut sauce. Pam had a chicken stirfry with two kinds of bell peppers, bean sprouts and a tangy sauce. And the service was really lovely by a nice Dutch lady. When Pam asked her to bring a bowl filled with water so she could soak her camera, the waitress didn’t bat an eye. She brought the bowl, and watched as Pam plunged the camera in. She said to Pam, “first time ever I saw someone do that to their camera!” (You do it to get the salt off the housing before changing batteries, or taking out the memory card.)
Here is a two minute movie of various coral formations and some of the fish we saw. But do take a second and hit the gallery for Curacao 2013 to see all the other pictures we uploaded that are not referenced in the post.
If you ever come to Curacao, and snorkel at Blue Bay Beach (well ANY BEACH for that matter) do be respectful of the coral and don’t stand on it, or touch it, or break off pieces to take as a souvenir. Avoid any contact with it whatsoever – it is very fragile, and easily destroyed. And certain kinds of coral can cause considerable irritation to your skin. So just take your pictures, and leave it for the next snorkeler or diver to enjoy!