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Lisa's Box of Treasures Our jewel at VisitAruba.com - Lisa has many gems to share with you. She has a wealth of information about Aruba - and if she doesn't know, she will find out! :) So, enjoy and ask away!

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Old Tuesday, August 21st, 2007, 10:21 AM
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Default Antilla Wreck

The following story is very well-known to divers around the world who has at one point visited the island. There are several other variations to the story. And the real one is next.

We go back to the time of WWI. The Spanish explorers discovered this beautiful, tropical paradise island in the 1500. In 1636, the Dutch, during the war with Spain, established a naval base here. Later the British took it away after defeating Spain. Following the defeat of Napoleon the realignment that took place among European countries (Congress of Vienna 1814) resulted in Aruba becoming a Dutch colony along with other islands, what is now known as the Dutch Antilles. In addition to Aruba, the islands in the Dutch Antilles include Curacao, Bonaire, St Marten, St.Eustatius and Saba.

During World War I, Aruba was a major supplier of calcium phosphate (Guano), which is good to make fertilizer as well as explosive powder. In early May 1940, the German freighter Antilla anchored in the waters of Aruba, while a chain of events is unfolding in Europe. May 10th, the German invaded by landing in Rotterdam and The Hague. Queen Wilhelmina had to flee to England. The Dutch Army surrenders four days later. Holland is at war with Germany and thousands of miles across the Atlantic, the peaceful island of Aruba is soaked into it.

Unaware of the events taking place in Europe, the German freighter Antilla was caught in Dutch waters. The Antilla was brand new at the time, and rather than see her turned over to the enemy, the Captain decided to ruin the ship. After putting the crew ashore, he overheated the boilers, opened the valves, closing the drains and, finally he blasted a hole in the side of the freighter which were in the middle of the ship. So, when the cold seawater hit the hot boilers, they exploded, ripping the ship in half. The ship sunk in less than 60 feet of water; the mast and chimney still emerging from the water. Several days after their capture, as they were transported to a prisoner of war camp on the island of Bonaire, the captain and his crew saw the remnants of their once proud ship sticking out of the ocean.

The Antilla is the largest shipwreck dive in the Caribbean. Covered by tube sponges, coral formations, tropical fish, shrimp, lobsters, and orange anemones. The pelicans know this area very well and love to rest on the Antilla and enjoy a meal of the silversides which jump from the water below.

The entire wreckage is 400 feet long and much of the ship is still intact today. The porthole, deck fitting and interior sections can be explored.
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Old Tuesday, August 21st, 2007, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: Antilla Wreck

Following the war, the captain and some of her crew purchased the former POW site where the spent the war and turned it into a resort. Today it's known as the Divi Flamingo.

In the lobby by the office is a large picture of the Antilla before she was scuttled.
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Old Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007, 08:24 AM
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Default Re: Antilla Wreck

That's great. I didn't know that really happened to them afterwards. Thank you ScubaBOS.
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Old Saturday, August 25th, 2007, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: Antilla Wreck

Here's a good webpage to read about the Antilla!! Has some pics too!!

http://www.coldwarhistory.us/Exhibit..._in_aruba.html
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Old Sunday, August 26th, 2007, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: Antilla Wreck

Interesting site, thank you.
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Old Thursday, September 6th, 2007, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: Antilla Wreck

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScubaBOS View Post
Following the war, the captain and some of her crew purchased the former POW site where the spent the war and turned it into a resort. Today it's known as the Divi Flamingo.

In the lobby by the office is a large picture of the Antilla before she was scuttled.
It is my understanding that the Divi Flamingo has the only remaining casino on Bonaire. Is that true? Anyone going who can get me some chips?
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Old Thursday, September 6th, 2007, 03:52 PM
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One Happy Island Re: Antilla Wreck

Chip collecter, If you want to send me a e-mail, I can give you a Bonaire board that you can ask about your chips. Kent
kentgerber@adamswells.com
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