Greetings From Bonaire

Greetings from Buddy Dive in Bonaire. I’m here for a week of diving as part of a dive trip through East Coast Divers. This will be my fourth time here, and the group is a mix of familiar and new faces.

I don’t know why, but dealing with airports really stresses me out. I worry about filling out forms wrong, going in the wrong direction, holding up the line in security with all the crap you need to take pictures underwater, and losing my papers or passport (I have a talent for making things disappear). In addition, whether it was caused by this worry, or was simply coincidental, I’ve been dealing with acid reflux this week, which lead to chest pains, which led to more worry, which caused things to tighten up even more. leading to more chest pains… I was not pleasant to be around this week, I’m sure. I finally reached the point mid-week when I decided that I had to get it checked out, even though I was pretty sure it was mostly in my head. It was; everything checked out OK, and the antacids are finally doing their job.

Unfortunately, while I was cleared to fly, my dive buddy Ralph is dealing with real medical problems and had to drop out of the trip. I dove with Ralph here two years ago, and off and on in New England, and was looking forward to diving with him again. I’m hoping he’s feeling better soon.

All that worry turned out to be over nothing; unlike two years ago when we had to deal with a cancellation, rebooking, and delay of the Boston to Atlanta leg of the trip, this trip was completely smooth sailing. I got to the airport early enough to go through security without hurrying too much, the flight left on time, arrived early, and getting through the Atlanta airport was pretty painless. This morning’s flight was packed, but uneventful; there are several other groups besides ours here this week.

It was a bit of a zoo at the baggage pickup and again at check in with all the groups trying to check in at once. I’m afraid I snapped at Paul, who was trying to get the dive paperwork done; I’d just finished dealing with baggage and needed a little time to get my act back together.

Finally, round about four, I was able to get to my room, unpack and get my stuff together. Because we’d been here two years ago, my next door neighbor Henri and I were able to skip the orientation, and had time to get a dive in. We went in a little after 5:30, which is a great time to do a dive. The sun is still up, but getting low. You can still see well underwater, but the light level is just low enough so that if you bring a dive light, it brings out the color in things.

The dock at Buddy Dive
The dock at Buddy Dive

It was a great dive. There were a lot of fish out, and they were schooling up and down the reef. To our left, we saw a couple of large tarpon patrolling the deeper water. What we weren’t really aware of, at first, was the stiff longshore current we were swimming against. There’s a wrecked boat a little way to the north of the boat; it’s typically the turn around point of a dive. It took forever to get there, but when we turned around, we practically flew back. Henri saw a very large fish under the boat, but I missed it.

When we got back, Paul had gotten barbecue take out from a restaurant in town, so we all went over to his place for supper.

Tomorrow’s going to be a busy day. In the morning, I want to do a dry run with the new housing, to make sure it’s OK. In the afternoon, Paul says he has a special dive he’s working on for our boat dive.