When in Aruba, Dive with Clive

Friends of ours posted photos of their trip to Aruba this week so it reminded me of our trip there nearly four years ago. Coincidentally our friends are diving with the same shop we used — Dive Aruba. What follows are photos and video I shot and a review I posted on TripAdvisor back in March of 2013.
Diving with Clive was excellent! My wife and I are both experienced divers with more than 500 dives between us. This was our first trip to Aruba. On this trip our 25-year-old daughter was also along for her second dive trip and first time diving with us. We dove six days for a total of 12 dives. We prefer small dive boats and native dive masters with expert local knowledge, and this is exactly what we got with Clive. The most impressive aspects of our week of diving were the boat and airplane wrecks. We didn’t see many large creatures except for one eagle ray and some of the largest green morays I’ve ever seen. Clive makes entry into the water easy. You sit on the transom, don your mask and fins, and then they bring the BCD with tank to you so you can strap it on. That way you don’t have to walk the deck with all your gear and fins on. Another nice plus: Between dives they change the tanks for you. The only downside (and likely with other dive shops on the island) is that there were no dockside lockers to store your gear overnight so we had to carry it back to our hotel each day. Not a huge problem for us; just a minor inconvenience. For those who rent gear, this wouldn’t be a problem because you would be able to leave your rental gear with Clive each day. I would definitely recommend Dive Aruba for accomplished intermediate to advanced divers. Beginners may not be comfortable with his practice of leaving you unescorted for the last half of a drift dive as he swims back to retrieve the boat.

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Diving through the cabin of a sunken Dash 80 airplane

Diving through the cabin of a sunken Dash 80 airplane

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The California Lighthouse was named after the S.S. California, which sunk before the lighthouse was built. Perched on a high seaside elevation, the lighthouse has become one of Aruba's scenic trademarks and offers a picture perfect view of the island's western coastline of sandy beaches and rocky shorelines.

The California Lighthouse was named after the S.S. California, which sunk before the lighthouse was built. Perched on a high seaside elevation, the lighthouse has become one of Aruba’s scenic trademarks and offers a picture perfect view of the island’s western coastline of sandy beaches and rocky shorelines.

In Aruba National Park, the Guadirikiri Cave is famous for its two chambers, illuminated by the sunlight streaming through holes in the roof of the cave.

In Aruba National Park, the Guadirikiri Cave is famous for its two chambers, illuminated by the sunlight streaming through holes in the roof of the cave.

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The view from our Marriott hotel room in Oranjestad, Aruba

The view from our Marriott hotel room in Oranjestad, Aruba

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The Bushiribana Gold Mill ruins are on the northern coast of Aruba. The abandoned gold mill once processed ore from mines in the nearby hills during Aruba's gold rush of the early 1800's.

The Bushiribana Gold Mill ruins are on the northern coast of Aruba. The abandoned gold mill once processed ore from mines in the nearby hills during Aruba’s gold rush of the early 1800’s.

The Casibari Rock Formations is a collection of diorite boulders near the village of Paradera. It's a great place for a short hike with impressive views.

The Casibari Rock Formations is a collection of diorite boulders near the village of Paradera. It’s a great place for a short hike with impressive views.

 

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