Harry's Hole and Hell's Corner Just got back from the secret side of Curaçao
The Superior Producer and the Tugboat at Caracasbaai may get all the press from Curaçao, and they're both fun dives. But for old Caribbean ambience and off-the-beaten-path diving, the west end is quickly gaining a reputation in dive circles as a top corner of the dive-rich ABC islands to experience. In fact, most of the "in town" operators on Curaçao plan at least one day a week to head out to the famous west-end site of Mushroom Forest. The Forest is actually two sites, Mushroom Forest Shallow and Mushroom Forest Deep, and it is famous for its large piles and aggregation of star corals. But the west end is not one dive; it's littered with one excellent dive site after another. Most are covered with orange elephant-ear sponges; rough tube sponges; pore rope sponges; large, purple stovepipe sponges and cascading clusters of brown tube sponge, as well as a host of corals, all of which harbor a plethora of marine life from sharptail eels to lettuce leaf nudibranchs.
But during my few days there, there was only one site that the divers on the boat asked to visit twice, a place called Harry's Hole. First it was fun trying to figure out exactly who this Harry was and how close this site actually resembled his "Hole." But once we were in the water, it didn't matter. The place was a sea horse mecca. Carlos, the dive guide from Sunset Waters Dive Shop, found no fewer than seven during the first dive, including a black sea horse and one with devilishly orange eyes. Also, a cute pair was matched in its mottled brown coloration.