19-Feb-2008 -- As our cruise boat, the Empress of the Seas, was getting close to Curacao, I noticed that the captain was keeping a pretty good distance from the shoreline, in fact we had a course that was going to place us very close to this confluence if he kept to it.
I grabbed GPS and camera and went up on the top deck to monitor our progress, but by the time we had less than an hour to go, it was getting obvious that the ship was a bit too far inshore, so we could never pass within the required 100 m offset.
As we got close to the closest approach, a container ship was meeting us on an opposite course, a little south of us, and I believe this vessel must have passed more or less directly on top of the confluence.
As we curved north to go into the inner harbor in Willemstad, the Empress did in fact pass within 6.3 km of the confluence, so this was as close as we got this time. During the actual docking process we got to watch how Captain Gunnar Todal negotiated several knots of current, as well as 16 knots of wind, making it quite tricky to get the 211 m long vessel into the narrow channel and then dock it on the inside of the swinging/floating bridge that connects the east and west parts of the city. The harbormaster had unfortunately miscalculated badly, leaving too little dock space for the ship: Capt. Todal had to dock temporarily in such a way that the local ferries were blocked, then the mis-placed ship in front of us had to start up its engines, and then move about 15 m further up the channel to allow the Empress to follow it and dock properly.