Today is World Turtle Day, a day to highlight the plight of turtles worldwide. Pretty much every species is endangered. Some of the videos I’ve seen of turtles engulfed in plastic, discarded fishing nets, and other rubbish are just heartbreaking.
Here on Curacao we have a special place to see turtles. If you want to swim with turtles, and want to absolutely guarantee you see some, the the place to be is Playa Grandi. There are always, always, always turtles in the bay.
You can see dozens of them most days. The fisherman clean their catch on the dock, and toss the remains into the water. Dozens of turtles hang around waiting for their chance at a free meal!
We headed up to Westpunt to check out the turtles in Playa Piskado. It’s always a great favorite of ours, and most of the island as well! It can get crowded out there. There are so many turtles in the bay, and everyone loves to snorkel with turtles.
There were literally dozens of turtles today. Usually we can count fifteen or sixteen, but today – wow! Again, usually the fisherman come into the dock and offload their catch, while gutting and filleting the fish. But today, this boat stayed out in the deeper water, and I’m not sure if that attracted more turtles or what. But what a show they put on!
There are lots of things to see in this bay besides the turtles, but you wouldn’t know it by the pictures we take. I took about one hundred pictures, and ninety are of turtles! haha They certainly catch your attention. The one picture I always have to take is of old King Neptune. He’s in fairly deep water out near the drop off.
One other thing we saw that is quite cute. There are a lot of these little crabs wandering around the bay, and they seem to pick up a buddy. We often see flounders bumping into the crabs. We’re guessing the crab stirs up the sand and some micro food, which the little flounder gobbles up. It’s really quite cute.
Wow – I didn’t realize how long it has been since we’ve posted on the blog. I got a reminder from GoDaddy, our hosting service, that they automatically renewed our hosting and realized, oh right! We have a blog!
We’ve been doing not much of anything really. Just being retired. We’ve been in the ocean of course, and been out to restaurants, and had some fun evenings in one of the casinos here. But really, we’ve just been enjoying being in nice warm weather and not worrying about rain and snow and cold.
I’ve been doing a lot of golfing here on the Blue Bay golf course. It’s a challenging 18 hole course. The trade winds really make club selection so important. One hundred and twenty yards into the wind is a 6 iron, but 120 yards with the wind is an 9 iron. There are some great holes. This picture is approaching the green on the 14th hole.
We went out to Playa Piskado (or Playa Grande as it is sometimes called) with a nice couple we met from Delaware, and had a fun swim with the turtles. It’s always a great way to show off the ocean around Curacao. There were tons of turtles of course, but we saw a couple of Queen triggerfish! All the years we’ve come here, we’ve never seen a single queen triggerfish – we see them in Bonaire and Aruba a lot. So it was neat to finally see one here.
Will try to get more regular about posting. Bailey is doing great, btw!
We’ve been doing a lot of snorkeling with Mike here the last couple of weeks and we’ve been kind of quiet on the social media front. We’ve been getting up early, and hitting lots of different beaches. And of course we’ve had a few rounds of happy hour, so our days have been quite filled – Caribbean style!
We were at Playa Piskado a couple of times, since you absolutely 100% know you will be swimming with turtles. And both times we were there, it was a really good snorkel. But I managed to get a couple shots of a herd of turtles that is kinda hard to believe! Seven turtles in one shot! SEVEN! Fun stuff for sure!
New Year’s Eve is quite an event here in Curacao. For weeks before hand, shipping containers pop up all over the island, in vacant lots, beside major roads, in store parking lots, selling fireworks. And they are busy, busy, busy. People are buying armloads full of various noise makers. There is a celebration on the 29th, called Pagara, where people pop noisy fireworks to drive out the bad spirits of the last year, in preparation for the new year. It’s quite a display itself.
But on New Year’s Eve we just were not prepared for how the island goes crazy. There are major fireworks displays across the whole island. From our apartment we watched fireworks going off at least 100 places. The horizon was filled with a constant display. And it went on and on. The main displays went for well over thirty minutes. Solid color from left to right, in front and behind us. It was unreal. They were still going off at 1:30 in the morning! This island knows how to ring in the new year!
This bay is one of our favorite places to snorkel. It’s known as Playa Piskado, although the sign at the entrance calls it Playa Grandi. Piskado is a Papiamentu word that means fisherman. Several times a day, the fisherman come to the dock and clean their catch. The remains are tossed into the ocean, and lots of turtles come and get a free dinner. The place is usually quite busy with lots of snorkelers looking to catch these graceful creatures having dinner.
The bay is quite well protected, so the ocean is usually quite calm. Even though it’s a major turtle spotting beach, there are plenty of other fish to see. We say a rather ginormous lobster hiding under a shelf, like usual. And there were loads of other fish, of course. The butter hamlet is one that Pam likes quite a bit. We managed to get a pretty decent shot of one today.
This picture is one I really like – it’s a neat reflection picture. I’m taking a picture of the turtle coming up for air, and Pam is taking this picture of me taking a picture! Lots of reflections going around. Pretty cool effect.
This is a video of one of the larger turtles coming up for air. We usually miss getting them in the frame, so I’ve included it in this post just to show we can get lucky!
This fish on the right is also a neat looking guy. They normally do not like to be photographed and quickly hide themselves. But today, there were quite a few of them over near the side wall away from the turtles, and they didn’t run and hide. It’s called a jackknife fish, and looks pretty lovely.
We had brunch at a restaurant called Kome, a Papiamentu word meaning “Eat.” It’s in the downtown area called Pietermaai, close to the famous Curacao sign. It was simply wonderful. Loved the layout of the restaurant with an open kitchen and local artwork on the walls. The staff were really terrific, and the food even better. The restaurant owners stopped by our table a couple of times throughout the meal to make sure we were enjoying the place. We will definitely be coming back for dinner. The only thing is, Bill Murray kept staring at us through the whole meal!