Friday, August 6, 2021

Last Wednesday, very early morning, Pattie and I departed RDU for a thrice-postponed trip to Bonaire. So we’re on an island in the Netherlands Caribbean, just north of Venezuela, near sister islands of Aruba and Curacao. We have been to Aruba before, and at that time we were neither scuba diving, nor aware of the wonders of Bonaire’s rich reef ecology.

Bonaire is reknowned as a diver’s paradise, and that’s why we’ve come here. We’re staying at a “dive resort,” which means that they seriously cater to divers’ needs, supply unlimited tanks of commonly used gas mixtures (air and enhanced oxygen “nitrox”), and provide a truck and hearty breakfast.

There are lots of options for boat dives, but this island is really known for the many (about sixty) shore dives. That is, after gearing up you walk into the water from the shore, put on your fins, and off you go. On the map below, see the many shore dive sites marked with red circles:

And one of the best sites on the island (at least according to a few folks around) is the “house reef” right here at Buddy Dive. As per their requirements on this protected natural marine park (the entire island) we’re asked to do our first dive here on site to assure we’re properly weighted and can avoid bumping into the reef life on the ocean floor.

On Thursday, we slept in after Wednesday’s long travel day, then had breakfast and went on down to get in a dive. Just lovely; so much so that after a bit of a rest we went back for a second dive on the house reef. Teeming with life, with colorful fish of all sizes, and most remarkable to me is the variety of coral life.