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Bonaire – so many dives, so little time

That’s the tourist bureau’s slogan for Bonaire on their Dive Guide. Known for its shore dives where divers rent pickup trucks and tanks and drive to marked spots, suit up and just walk in from the shore and eventually slip under the  water and drop over the nearby sloping reef wall that runs along most of the island, I so far have all boat dives under my belt here. I will fit in a shore dive or two before we depart for the next island Curacao. Boat dives take you where fewer go and today’s east coast dives where very few go.

The effort takes more planning and experienced divemasters but the rewards are untouchable. The east coast of Bonaire faces the open ocean, the Caribbean which is wide open to the Atlantic so there’s swells and currents and sometimes more turbidity. But today we were treated to turtles large and larger, swimming, eating and sleeping, a green moray eel the length of two yard sticks, a nurse shark, barracuda not to mention all sorts of other less celebrity but nonetheless beautiful and interesting fish. Saw so many turtles that we were always looking one way or another at one, sometimes two at once. Also experienced harvesting the dreaded lionfish with three hunters along with us, they speared every one of these voracious out-of-town reef predators they saw and eventually cleaned them and will eat them for dinner. There is a concerted effort here to eradicate if possible the lionfish. And Bonaire’s reefs are really all about the corals, fans, sponges in amazing vivid colors. I hope my go pro captured some of the great moments of close encounters with our neighbors below the ocean’s surface.

I’m sure there is nightlife here but after a day of diving, it’s hard not to just fall below the sheets and hit the pillow.

 
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