Playa Forti and Daaibooi - 2 dive sites with sponges

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Playa Forti 20131027 008 smallTo continue our 2-tank dives to the Western part of the island my dive buddy and I planned a dive at Playa Forti, also known as Sweet Alice, almost at the most Western tip of the island and a second dive at Daaibooi, more in the middle of the island. Both sites have a lot of nice sponges.

Playa Forti is next to Playa Piskadó where we did our dive last week. There are several restaurants bordering the parking lot and there is a dark rubble beach at sea level. To reach the sea from the parking lot you have to go down the stairs which can be a challenge with all your gear. Just be careful. 
The place is well-known by the tourists because people jump from the rocks into the water. A distance of a little under 10 meters. Not without danger as a lot of people have found out, but that is not stopping others. There is a special platform next to one of the restaurants to jump off from. Not something I would dare to do, but that is maybe something that comes with my age.

We geared up at the parking lot and went down the stairs to the beach and then into the water. It is quite a long swim to the drop-off. The drop-off is very gradual so pick your navigation mark carefully to find your way back to the shore. Not that there is a risk you will miss shore if you have a more or less correct compass heading to shore. But we are lazy and want to leave the water at the same spot where we enter it. 
We went to the left. Almost the only option because the reef between this dive site and Playa Piskadó is not very interesting. I have never experienced a strong current here so going left is not a problem. There are Rope sponges, Tube sponges, Elephant ear sponges to name a few. We had a nice surprise during this dive when a large Cero (Mackerel) started circling around us. A perfect photo opportunity as you can see in the photo.

On the way back we started very shallow (around 8 meters) but there is not much to see there so after a short while we went deeper. When we found our mark we turned toward the beach and left the water close to the stairs.

Daaibooi 20131027 013 smallFor our second dive we drove to Daaibooi. That took about half an hour. Daaibooi is a nice beach. A mix of local people and tourists find their way to this beach each weekend. There is an area where you can BBQ and there is a small restaurant where you can get snacks and drinks. You should try the "Frikandel"; Wikipedia describes it as follows: "A frikandel (plural frikandellen) is a Dutch and Belgian snack, a sort of minced-meat hot dog, developed either in 1954 or in 1958/1959 in the Netherlands or Belgium, depending on the source". This is in my opinion the best place to eat it in Curaçao.

After a short time we geared up and entered the water. Also here it takes a lot of time to reach the drop-off. The swim is not very interesting because you are swimming over plain sand.
The drop-off is even more gradual than at our first dive site. Every time I dive here I am surprised by the good condition of the coral. This is a very interesting dive site. A pity that it takes such a long time to reach the reef. Also here are several kinds of sponges. On the way back you should look out for heaps of old bottles. In the past this was a place where boats anchored to transport sea salt. Apparently the empty bottles were thrown overboard.

To see more pictures from these two dives click on each of the pictures below. The first picture reveals pictures from the dive at Playa Forti; the second shows pictures from Daaibooi.