First impression sailing into Curacao was rather bleak but captivating nonetheless. Upon closer inspection the spartan landscapes began to show its complexity and unique combination of contradictions. Volcanic layers of welded ash, lava flows folded by plate tectonics with broken synclines and anticlines pushed skyward and eroded into eclectic forms. Cloak these forms with a vegetation not expected in the Caribbean with pillar cactus, barrel cactus, Spanish swords aka agave, acacia like tree/shrubs with mangroves right at the waters edge. We anchored for almost a week in a secluded anchorage inside what is known as Spanish Waters and got to see and experience this unique environment live and up close both day and night. Unforgettable is the best word to wrap up my feeling for Curacao.
Of course there is Willamsted with its colorful buildings lining the malecon and the giant cruise liners that dwarf the city skyline, the swinging pontoon bridge, the fish mongers and produce vendors and of course tons of ‘brand name’ stores for shoppers to do what they do everywhere – shop.
On our exit last night we actually motored into the main harbor opening the pontoon bridge past a monster cruise ship to dock at Immigration and then back through the swinging bridge past all the folks lined up on both sides waiting and watching for us to pass and the bridge swung back so they could walk to the other side.
Off into the sunset, we set sail for Aruba some 75 miles to the west and with the wind just off our backs we arrived before my more conservative plan at 3:30 am and had to tie up and dock and sleep for a couple hours until customs opened at 6am.
Andrew and I did sneak in two dives off the reefed coast of Curacao, gorgeously clear waters lots of colorful sponges, corals and reef fish. The highlight, especially for Andrew was in the last minutes of the last dive a Giant Manta gracefully swims by along the reef’s edge. I captured some good footage close up of a spotted Moray eel.