Day 6: Bonaire
|Alejandro the photographer and THB (there's rainwater on the under-seawater camera case; so is there a difference between fresh and sea water? between having drops or being all wet?)|
|Rock Beauty (we don't think we've seen this one either)|
|Inside the main entrance to the resort|
Woodwind tour to Klein Bonaire today. THB is up and loading the car early. Off we go before 8:30, the tour leaves from the Divi Resort, just south of town. No problema, we take the beach route, see the big Woodwind sign on a gate facing the road, remember to park around the corner in the lots across from the resort and wait for someone to show up to let us in the gate.
After a few minutes THB decides to move around and check out the place, walking back to the main entrance of the resort only to spot a Woodwind tour van arriving to drop of couples on the tour. OOOPS, we were waiting at the wrong spot, the tour leaves from the other side of the resort as you move south along the water.
|That's "weather" coming from the east|
|Dee taking a mock "vote" on whether (weather?) we're up for giving the tour a start|
|That's what we call "rain" south of the boat, Ziggy says more is on the way|
Off we go on the best trip ever…except it is starting to rain and LB overhears the staff discussing (en Espanol!): do we go or do we stay. There are 16 paying customers aboard, the captain (Ziggy) of the combo sail/motor catamaran, two naturalists (Dee and Marissa), a photographer (Alejandro) and 3 kids.
Dee, the lead naturalist, decides: we’re going. Apparently the rest of the staff voted to not go!
And, yep, it starts raining right away:
|A Sugimoto horizon, in Bonaire|
So, Dee tells the captain, Ziggy, to go slowly out and maybe the “squall” will blow over. Or, it will be raining while we’re in the water. Or, the water will be too murky to snorkel and we’ll go back after getting across to the island, Klein Bonaire.
Instead, it’s the best trip ever! At least it is the best snorkeling we’ve done this week, and we’ve been snorkeling in Paradise.
THB has managed to lose one his booties, so he borrows fins and opts to use one of the Woodwind eye-adjusted masks. GOOD DECISION!!! Things look great, especially underwater (duh!). And, Dee personally smears vaseline all over his mustache ever time we go in the water (three times). She apparently does not offer shaves on board.
|a red-crowned THB snorkelfish, in borrowed mask and fins|
And, there are underwater pics taken by LB (up front, we turn down Alejandro the photographer’s offer to buy his pics for which he seems grateful because then he can take pics of those that have shown interest).
Three snorkels, mostly on the south side of Klein Bonaire; we're not sure how long each is, the first seemed longer than the third. Per Dee, a few (many?) years ago the dropping off of snorkelers to later meet them at no-name beach or the far end of the island was stopped because of "accidents" and snorkelers drowning (good reasons). Now all snorkelers must be accompanied by a naturalist, hence our group of 16 is broken into two groups of 8 and LB and THB go with Dee. She periodically talks to us while we tread water and then she dives down (and stays down!) to highlight what she has told us.
|Lunch is just offshore in front of Divi; this is a glass-bottom boat|
Department of alt-facts: CPR co-owner Vincent thinks that there is a water taxi service to the island that will drop you off for a drift snorkel back to no-name beach. THB and LB are thrilled that we decided on the guided tour.
A few highlights without pics: a small turtle scurrying off quickly; two black seahorses entwined at maybe 12-15 feet down, a "bee" fish that was very small.
The last snorkel doesn't start until after 1pm, and on the way back to Divi Resort we get a hot lunch of stir-fry noodles (LB's is veggie, THB's has pork and chicken and veggies) and carrot cake for dessert. LB gets a beer. Price of tour, with tip: $75pp, a real bargain.
We try to sign up for a Saturday tour: that's a day off for them, most likely because that is a heavy leave/arrive day on the island. Tomorrow, Friday, doesn't have enough people signed up to go out unless everyone confirms and the crew agrees. We send the tour organizer, Ulf, an e-mail to say we'll pay extra if that makes a difference between going and not going.
Return the rental underwater camera, $37 for 24 hours, shower, and discuss the downloaded pics. The ones that made the cut are further down in this post.
THB's bootie has gone officially missing, he'll be using his regular fins the next few days (or, fingers crossed, Woodwind's tomorrow). The two lost towels show up (yes, we seemed to have lost two CPR towels...pretty soon we'll be searching for our asses and wondering where we left them), the towels (not our asses) were on LB's bed (don't ask).
|An actual sunset|
Dinner is at Mi Banana again, LB talks the waitress (en jovial Espanol) into arepas (at dinner you get 5, not 4). THB has the boneless flattened grilled 1/2 chicken with patatas fritas, casava fritas, boiled veggies and a limonada (day before Friday is no alcohol; the waitress loves LB's explanation about why that is, THB can't quite follow the espanol); LB has veggie platter and dos cervazas; $35.
LB’s pics THB decided to display all these in extra-large format because he loves these pics and they represent 7 days of snorkeling, all in one post. Pics are from the three Woodwind snorkels today
Mostly plant life:
|This type of coral is highly endangered, dying off quickly (rising water temps?)|
|THB and DB's next ceramic purchase|
|Many very small fish periodically swarm the coral|
|The smaller coral is really a bright-dark green, very pretty|
|There's a spiny anemone hiding in between brain coral|
|This ceramic piece wouldn't fit in THB and DB's places (doesn't mean we wouldn't buy it if we could find one like it)|
|A school of fish in amongst the dying coral|
Mostly fish life:
|Wrasse from the top, we see a number of these in different colors, here they are too far down to get a side view|
|THB's fave: neon blue on black|
|Sand diver, usually hard to see in entirety|
|A sand diver in camouflage: can you see her?|
|Trumpetfish starting to duck behind fan|
|Side view of wrasse|
|Eel #1 (same eel)|
|Eel (#2); note blue marking in #1 and #2|
|Eel #3, almost in entirety|
|There are two fish hiding in the shadows in the middle of the pic that are also very interesting, not easy to spot|
Sort of alive, neither fish nor plant:
|Sea cucumber, we think Dee called it donkeyploppen!|
|Adult red crowned bobblehead with borrowed headgear|
|Juvenile masked red crowned humanploppen|