New dive site - Spanish Anchor

SpanishAnchor_20091017_007_smallOf course the dive site is not new; the site was there for a long time, but I didn't know about it. So when we heared someone (Peter and Gijs) talking about it we went checking; Peter went with us to show us the way. I got the advice not to go with my (new) car. It would certainly get scratched. So we went with two other 4-wheel drive SUVs. We went off-road just before reaching the salinas of Jan Kok. At that point the road looked reasonably well but that changed soon.

The conditions were even worse because it had rained the day before. And because the road is just next to the water of the salina, it became very muddy. The cars started slipping away even in 4-wheel drive. With quite some effort the drivers were able to stay on the road. The road became quite narrow and it soon was clear why I got the advice not to go there with a reasonably new car. Even thick branches of nearby trees were scraping the sides and roof of the cars. And there was sometimes very little space between the wheels and the side of the road. All in all a tricky drive, but we got there safely.

SpanishAnchor_20091017_035_smallThe road continued along the sea, so we went checking if there was an easier way to got there but that appeared not to be the case. We geared up and went into the water. In the water we were surprised by the beauty of the coral here. The drop-off is very close to the shore. First there is a sandy slope where the anchor chain is located but very soon the coral starts building up along a nice slope. The coral density is high and the coral looks healthy. This is certainly a site where not many divers have been.

SpanishAnchor_20091017_020_smallAt 32 meters there are the remains of a metal construction and Karel found a suspicious bag next to it. After examining the outside he poked in it with his knife to check what was inside. A large cloud of fine particles appeared.

We continued the dive along the slope. We encountered a pair of Gray Angel Fishes, some turtles, a ray in the distance and at the end of the dive a very large Barracuda accompanied by a younger and considerably smaller one.
Also the shallow parts of the reef are very nice. SpanishAnchor_20091017_025_smallNot so much soft coral but nice formations of Star Coral, Elkhorn and Staghorn Coral, Pillar Coral and Brain Coral.

A very nice dive site that certainly will be included in the second edition of the Curacao Diving Guide, but with the warning that it is not easy to get there. If you don't drive a 4x4 you better don't try to get to this site. And even driving a 4x4 you better wait for dry conditions before trying it.

More pictures of this dive can be found in the pictures section.