Bonaire B’s Birthday Day

It’s a special day today as it’s B’s birthday.  B, J, S, and R are off to start their open water certification at Tropical Divers.  J&A, Murray and I are off on a morning boat dive and A has tagged along with the students for a while.  As our boat pulls away from the dock, J, B and S come down to say bye and the divers on the boat, most of who do not even know B, end up singing Happy Birthday to B as we leave.  It was a great way to start the celebration of B’s birthday.

Gary is the dive master on the boat dive over to Klein Bonaire and he is great.  Informative, friendly, loves diving. Tons of fish on the dive.  We love diving.  Debbie has the camera today and is getting used to taking pictures again.  Quite a few over exposed pics, so the strobe has to be turned down abit and watch the bounce back from the corals. It is brighter down there than we thought it would be.

Klein Bonaire, a small uninhabited island 5 mins by boat from Bonaire itself has some really good dive sites. More than ½ of the divers that come to Bonaire just shore dive so the sites at Klein don’t see too much action and the fish seem to realize that they will not be bothered over there so make their home near the small island. Sort of like humans wanting exclusivity.  The dive master here is not quite the full service guy we are used to. On this dive boat one must assemble one’s own gear and you have the option of following the dive master or not. The only requirement is that if you do not follow the group, you must get back to the boat or it is a long swim home.

Next on the itinerary is a shore dive at Tori’s Reef. J and A join us. The learning curve is steep. Don’t set up in the sand. The tailgate of the truck is a good place. Plan your entry point before you head to the water. There can be 10,000 sea urchins between you and the open seas.  The hardest part is entering and exiting the water. Once you’re in it, diving is diving and it is quite familiar just as if you fell in off the boat, but maintaining your balance on slippery uneven footing with a 60 lb. pack on your back and 10 or 14 lbs. of lead attached to your waist is quite a feat.

It is such a different world underwater. It is quiet and serene. I am not totally relaxed yet, that should come the next couple of days, and I spend most of the time monitoring my vitals. Yes, my heart is still beating, yes, I am still breathing albeit, too deep and too fast. In the next couple of days I expect to reach Zen and be able to concentrate on looking for unusual undersea creatures. It would be good to find a seahorse or to spot an eagle ray for the group.

Lunch comes next. Are you kidding! You want to eat, it is Sunday, you don’t expect to find anywhere open do you? It is another one of those up tight North American things again. We have no right to expect that just because we are hungry that there should be a restaurant or café open on a Sunday. AND there is not much open. Eventually we do find a small café on the waterfront open and we eat.

Dive 3, Andrea 1, it takes a bit of driving around but we find it and into the water we go. We learned, we used the tailgate to don our gear, but we still need work on the where to enter and exit part. This dive was much more thought out and we started into the current. Debbie found a good brain coral at 30 ft. that we used as a marker and we ended the dive exactly in front of the car. This would be a good lesson for us to build on as I would love to do that each time all week long.

We arrive home at 5:45pm, just in time to turn around and leave for the Soroban to celebrate B’s  b’day.  J and A have made the appropriate arrangements and there is a table for 9 already set. The restaurant is not too crowded and the food was quite quick and very good. Everyone enjoyed their food. A few folks pass B cards and gifts and the restaurant owner springs for a piece of cake and ice cream.  A good time is had by all.

The road back to the Carib Inn is unlit so we stop the trucks on the side of the road, turn out the lights, and stare at the sky. The stars are amazing. The Milky Way is quite visible. None of us present know enough about the terrestrial bodies to impress the others so we all ooh and aah for a few minutes, climb back in the trucks and dive home. Make only rough plans for tomorrow. Dinner between 6 and 6:30.

Bonaire is still on the huge plus side. I think you would have to be a diver, snorkeler or be happy just sitting pool side to come here but if any one of those pursuits turns your crank this is the place.

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