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What to Expect From Your First Liveaboard

I still remember the first time I decided to plunge into something new and book my first liveaboard charter.  None of my dive buddies wanted to join me, so I grabbed my gear and set sail alone. There are far too many places to discover in the world to pass this up!  I must admit that the excitement of exploring a new underwater environment was paired with a little fear of what I might encounter on my first ever liveaboard . I’m sharing my experiences with you all in the hopes that it will encourage you to try a dive liveaboard yourself!

Choosing the Right Liveaboard for Me

First thing I did was start looking into companies that offered liveaboard sailings and, being a single female traveling alone decided that there were a few things that I absolutely had to have:

  • Hot showers after every dive
  • Private/semi-private cabin (I would be willing to share with another female)
  • My meals prepared for me (I do not cook willingly even at home)
  • Dive masters in the water and available for me to dive with
  • English speaking crew
  • Nitrox; as I was recently Nitrox certified and wanted to use it
On board the Maldives Aggressor.

On board the Maldives Aggressor.

So after checking out many different dive liveaboards with exciting destinations, I decided that the Aggressor Fleet offered all this and more. The booking procedure was easy and once handled, I was expertly guided to the Cayman Islands where I began my first of over 25 LiveAboard trips aboard these dive boats.

Travel Tip: There is no extra charge if you are willing to share a cabin with another passenger of the same gender,  but you can also get yourself a private cabin for a single supplement charge.

A Week Aboard a Resort Afloat


Courtesy of  Aggressor Fleet

Every morning I woke up on top of some of the world’s best diving sites where I could experience multiple dives daily.  My relaxing charter vacation included personal touches like:

  • Delicious snacks between meals
  • Warm freshwater showers
  • Pampered service from an attentive crew
  • Fun with other divers onboard and more – all for a great price

Put simply, it was a week aboard a floating resort.

What to Look For

Knowledgeable Divemasters

When researching liveaboard charters, make sure they have divemasters that will accompany you on every dive and also offer instruction and guidance as needed. My charter had Divemasters, (who are also instructors) that accompanied me on every dive and were eager to help me locate resident critters for my prize-winning photographs. Which was great because I could snap my own version of those Dive Magazine photos I’m always gawking at.

All-Inclusive Packages

Try to find a liveaboard package that includes everything for you like: diving, deluxe accommodations, chef prepared meals, snacks, soft beverages, even local beer and wine so once you are aboard you literally have nothing to worry about.

Licensed and Trained Professionals

Captain and Divers

Make sure your liveaboard has licensed, professional trained mariners. They should also be equipped with safety equipment and an expert crew that is well trained. This was important in making me feel a little better about traveling on my own.

Eco-friendly Living and Diving

Marine conservation is key for me. So one of my criteria for choosing a charter was that they would be environmentally friendly. That’s another reason why I went with Aggressor Fleet.  Many of their dives are conducted within marine sanctuaries and UNESCO World Heritage locations.  This enables pristine diving now and measures to ensure it remains the same for future divers.

Thanks to Sharon Connor for sharing her experiences on her first liveaboard.  There are over 70 dive liveaboards available worldwide from Maduro Dive.




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Must Do Dives: Curacao Pt.II

A continuation of our 10 Must Do Dives: Curacao

As we mentioned in our Must Do Dives: Curacao Pt.I,  Curacao is an unbeatably popular dive destination that is only growing amongst divers.

Below are the last 5 must-do-dives of Curacao.

Happy Diving!

Mushroom Forest

Photo Courtesy of

This expansive area of coral flats is named for the extensive, striking mushroom-shaped, coral formations. One of the top dive sites of Curacao and a great place to practice your navigation while spotting the colourful reef life. Most life is found around the 40-ft to 50-ft mark, where gigantic, mountainous star coral formations are still evident and attract giant moray eels, porcupinefish, barracuda and lobster.


Between Klein Knip and Playa Jeremi, there is a bit of paradise! This dive site is reachable by boat only. A great variety of big hard coral colonies and colourful sponges are found here and is home to many barracuda, green morays and lobsters. The best depths to experience this reef is between 30-ft to 70-ft. Along the shoreline, there is also a small cave that can be accessed on calm days, where you will find large schools of glassy sweepers, numerous lobster varieties and crabs.


Courtesy of Ocean Encounters

Deep water currents provide this rarely visited dive site with excellent visibility and make it a good site to spot some larger marine life. Probably, the best change to spot seahorses, as well as eagle rays. Mooring depth is 15-ft, so the safety stop is spent hovering around numerous soft and hard corals. Beautiful sandy channels and steep topography give this dive site a unique feel. Eagle rays, turtles, Barracuda and porcupinefish are regularly spotted here. A unique dive site with a best viewing depth between 35-ft to 85-ft.

Superior Producer Wreck

In Willemstad, just west of the Santa Anna Bay. The hull lies at 100-ft and the top deck of the wreck is at 77-ft. The wreck sunk in 1977. Thirty-five years later, this cargo vessel has an abundant growth of coral and sponges, and is home to abundant marine life. Curacao’s largest, deepest, and most famous wreck makes this a must do dive.


Photo Courtesy of Scuba Board

North side of a sandy patch, full of barrel sponges and also small nudibranches like the purple headed sea goddesses. Further north of the mooring, squid are frequently in the shallows. The reef ranges to between 30-ft to 50-ft, with interesting photo opportunities. The south sandy patch of this reef structure provides the opportunity to see stingrays and squid in the shallows directly in line with the south mooring.

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Must Do Dives: Curacao Pt.I

Curacao is a unique, southern Caribbean, Dutch influenced island that has quickly become a popular dive destination. We’ve witnessed this islands popularity increase among scuba divers; especially, within the last 5 years, as a variety of dive sites have been discovered.

Courtesy of

Counting down the 10 Must Do Dives is no easy matter! How can you choose just TEN amazing Curacao dive sites? We needed a little help, so we asked two of Curacao’s leading dive operators, Jnolo Ambrosi of Ocean Encounters and Bryan Horne of Go West Diving, which of the 60+ dive sites made the cut.

Of course, we all have our favorite spots but after careful consideration of all factors (and some wine), we picked 10 sites every diver can enjoy. They’re the best combination of diving experiences from fringing reefs to shore diving, plateaus, wrecks, and more – all along Curacao’s coast and an off shore island.

To be extremely fair (and we also couldn’t choose which goes where) we decided to list these destinations in ABC oder for your reading (and diving) pleasure.

We hope you enjoy our list! Let us know your favorites via Facebook, Twitter, or just shoot us a comment.

Alice in Wonderland at Playa Kalki

Alice in Wonderland is the beautiful house reef of Go West Diving and is located just 100 feet straight out from the pier. This is a great choice for an afternoon dive after a busy morning on the boat. Either direction offers a varied dive experience. Look for a concrete hand at 10-ft, about 50 yards right of the pier, and don’t forget to say hello to Donatello, the house turtle. A reference rope runs from the end of the pier down to the coral reef and beyond 100-ft, but the best diving lies between 35-ft to 80-ft. Green morays, lobsters, lettuce sea slugs and sharp tail eels also make their home here.

Black Rock

Black Rock

Farthest East dive site with a mooring 5 miles before east point. Mooring is at 27-ft and the slope drops to 180+ ft. Very large star and boulder coral. Staghorn and elkhorn coral are abundant in the shallows, and there is a better chance of seeing large green morays, rays, sharks, turtles (bigger stuff). 20% of the East coast of Curacao is owned by one family. The family has yet to develop the area; therefore, there are no hotels, roads, beaches, houses, or people for that matter. This means that the coral formations are extremely healthy, and are exactly as nature intended it.

Drift from Blue Bay Wall West to Snake Bay

A wall dive to 132 feet. This wall dive is accessible only by boat. The wall is lush with coral, and there is a better chance of seeing larger fish and big schools along the wall. One of Curacao’s only true walls, coupled with nutrient rich currents, provides a spectacular show as you cruise along the pristine reef.

Kathys Paradise

The point past Newport along the South East Coast. A plateau from 12-ft to 28-ft and then drops off to 120 feet. This site is a drift dive beginning near smokeys and heading west. There is a small wall from 27-ft to 50-ft with lots of cracks and crevices for critters to hide in. At the beginning of the dive there is a brain coral the size of a mini cooper. Anytime you have a point along the coast, this creates nutrient rich currents making the reef and marine life both healthy and abundant. Plus, it makes for a nice relaxing drift dive.

Klein Curacao

Klein Curacao

Located 18 miles southeast of Curacao. This is a shallow plateau dropping to 120+ feet. Everything is bigger at Klein Curacao. Ocean triggerfish are abundant and seeing 5 turtles on 1 dive is not rare. Fish life is uninhibited with the absence of local fisherman. This and other uninhabited islands away from the mainland will invariably make for phenomenal diving. Especially when the conditions are right and you can drift the windward side of the island.

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