Vaersenbaai

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Vaersenbaai_20110717_001_smallCharacteristics
Shore dive
Wreck dive
Bar / Restaurant
Entrance fee for visiting dive schools
Advanced Diver (for wreckdiving)

Description
This bay is completely renovated after a hurricane (Omar) and lack of maintenance took its toll. For a long time it was dangerous to park your car here. This all has changed. Since July 2011 this place is once again open. The change is so dramatically that you have to see for yourself. The restaurant is completely renovated and expanded with two parts with lounge chairs. A new layer of sand has been put on the beach and luxurious beach beds have been placed. The pier and float have been replaced by new ones. There is also a new dive shop at the location. Even the name of this beach has changed to Kokomo Beach. There is a guard on duty 24 hours per day.
The beach is still free. Bringing your own food or drinks is not allowed. Also pets are not allowed. Shower and bathroom are available for a small fee. Divers who rent a tank or other gear from the dive shop have free access to the rinse bassins next to the dive shop.

There are several options for diving. For the less experienced diver or if you don't want to go deep, you can do a normal dive along the reef. The coral is nice in both directions. Another option is a dive to the pontoon (from 18- 36 meters depth) or you can do a deep dive to the car wrecks (starting at about 25 meters to beyond 40 meters. There is also a small boat wreck beyond 50 meters but it is not advised to go that deep.

The drop-off is close to shore. Coral density is quite high and the coral is looking healthy. There are several large Elephant Ear sponges and most of the time there is a lot of fish.
If you want to visit the pontoon you can dive along the reef to the left until you see the pontoon beneath you. The top of the pontoon is at 18 meters and the deepest part is at about 36 meters. So watch your bottom time if you go deep.

For the car wrecks you need to swim at the surface for about 20 minutes until you see under water the concrete block where in the past the buoy was anchored. There you go under water. The first wrecks can be seen at 20 meters. They extend to beyond 40 meters. The boat is even deeper. So watching your bottom time is even more important than when you visit the pontoon.

How to get there

KokomoBeach_20110603_001_smallFirst you have to go in the direction of the village of St. Michiel. Driving on the road to Bullenbaai there is a sign that directs you to St. Michiel. Don't go into St. Michiel but continue on the road to Bullenbaai. After a while you pass the salinas where often flamingos can be seen. As soon as you see the sign with Vaersenbaai on it turn left and follow this road till you see the entrance gate. Park your car outside the gate.