Twin Divers is owned and operated by the only diving twins in the Caribbean, Mark and Kurt Brown. Its shell is a blue-green and blue-white ocean freight container on the quaint, picturesque Marie Pompoen (“Pompoon”) beach next to Breezes hotel on Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. Surrounded by local fishermen throwing reda and pulling reda filled with grastèlchi, pike, mulá out of the water, their wooden boats drifting nearby. A handful of men trash-talking under a shady tree. Happy children on the beach, splashing water around. A woman swimming with her mutt. Sunbathers napping on the dock across the bay. Bachata music blaring from Sea Side Terrace (restaurant). Tourists from nearby hotels hoping to make local friends, engage in authentic conversation, learn about local traditions, and satisfy sense of adventure. It all blends together in Marie Pompoen.
Identical Twin Divers Mark and Kurt (fluent in English, Dutch, Spanish, Papiamentu) are happy to make new friends. This morning Kurt is in front of the container, loading up the truck with diving equipment to take a family of 4 from Bogotá to our underwater Mushroom Forest. Easy breezy. Mark is out back enthusiastically peppering a young Dutch couple from Maastricht with diving theory in preparation for their very first dive.
Don’t judge them by their container’s size, the twins’ 20+ years of local diving and instruction experience (Sunset Waters, Easy Divers) is unparalleled; they understand new divers and know our island’s diving conditions like the back of their (rather large) hands.
Curious, but reluctant, to try diving? No need to sign up for an expensive course, the twins will hook you up with a complimentary dress rehearsal (basic dive theory, breathing instructions — mouth piece and near-empty tank), accompany you in the water, give you a chance to practice underwater breathing. Not your thing? No big deal! Hang out and enjoy the day. Loved it and ready for your first dive? The twins will set you up with a tank, Mares buoyancy control devices, ScubaPro regulators and Mares wetsuits [XS, S, M, L and XL].
Twin Divers are deliberate about friendly, personal attention and light sense of humor. Only 2-4 divers are allowed in their introductory and certification courses, 4-8 in their certified dives. They offer a variety of guided dives e.g. shore (Marie Pompoen, Playa Piskado), drift (Director’s Baai, Mushroom Forest) as well as ship wreck diving. They’re happy to share tricks of the trade and island stories.
“Have you ever seen a seahorse?” Mark asks, childlike big eyes all sparkling wonder. He hands me a breathing device. “Come on; lets go for a dive…! Arms swinging and pointing to the water. “I hope to show you not one, but two, seahorses. A great day at work is seeing exhilarated underwater pointing. (…) Women go nuts over sea turtles!”
Lucky divers might see fairy basslets, lobsters, moray eels, manta rays, barrel sponges, reef fish, elephant ear sponges, anemones, nurse sharks, gorgonians, tube sponges, sharks, jacks, barracudas, snappers, peacock flounders, star corals, seahorses, dolphins, Creole wrasse, turtles, rays, spotted drums, brain corals, corals, octopus. (Source: Tangareef.com)
Twin Divers’ biggest pet peeve is over-promising, under-delivering. “If we suggest going to say [Mushroom Forest], it becomes a guided tour of NAf. 120 pp ($68 pp), if the water is murky and we don’t see anything, we discount the fee. We’ll make less profit, but we know they’ll return if we give them a great experience. That’s what we’re all about.”
Despite 20+ years of Curaçao diving, “I never get bored; each dive is a different experience.” Mark says. “You might not see that seahorse on your way back; you might notice an interesting new coral.” (…) “I’m inspired by underwater life. If I were a writer or painter, I’d channel that inspiration… I can completely relax underwater or really, really wind myself up. If I have to give someone a good piece of my mind, I go for a dive. Blow some steam. Otherwise… I don’t even know!” He says, throwing his arms up in the air.
Want to go drive buggies in the countryside? Visit our Blue Room? Spear Lion Fish? BBQ on the beach? Spot differences in the identical twins? Twin Divers is open 7 days a week from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm. Feel free to stop by to book your dive, diving course (Beginner’s dive, PADI Open Water Course, PADI Advanced Open Water Course, Divemaster Course, Specialty courses) or snorkel lesson.
Or just bring a smile and hang out at their container on idyllic Marie Pompoen Beach! You’re always welcome.
*Sponsored by Twin Divers.