Ocean Encounters, with the help of LVV (Landbouw, Veeteelt, en Visserij), the agricultural and fisheries department of Curacao, created two new dive sites and re-opened an old one.
Ocean Encounters is the dive operator in charge of maintaining, repairing, and creating new sustainable dive sites throughout Curacao. With repairs on the present locations finished, Ocean Encounters focused their energy on creating new dive sites in areas without buoys.
Using a hydraulic drill to push 1.5 meter long steel "Pins" into the ground they were able to reduce the environmental impact of using concrete blocks or anchoring. The pins have a holding force greater than 75,000 pounds, which is enough to keep any dive boat moored safely. According to the LVV "no one else takes care of the dive sites."
The new dive sites are "Misha's Mischief," named after the daughter of one of the senior staff of Ocean Encounters, and "Gill's Finger," named after an unfortunate mishap that occurred while drilling at that particular sight. The Corner, an old sight between Small wall and Director's Bay has been repaired and reopened after almost 5 years without a buoy.
With the addition of new sites, Ocean Encounters is now taking some sites off the schedule to give them a rest. "We hope to have enough sites in the area with proper buoys and anchors to give all the sites a 6 month break every year." said Christian Ambrosi, program coordinator.