First Boat Dives

This morning, we did our first boat dives. We left the dock shortly after 8 with all twenty of us and our guides Remy and Connor. The first dive was at a site called “Rockpile”; I don’t remember the name of the second site.

Rockpile is on the other side of Kleine Bonaire, a small deserted island off the western coast of the main island. The site sloped down from about 20 feet into the depths; I mostly stayed shallow. I’ve had a regulator free-flow that’s been costing me bottom time so I didn’t want to go too deep.

Near the halfway point of the dive, Remy shook his rattle to get our attention. He’d spotted a sea horse in some soft corals. We all took turns getting close and taking a look. It took me a minute to realize what I was looking at:

Sea Horse

Sea Horse

I was back to using my strobe this morning, and in hindsight, for this site, the filter would have worked well. It would have been nice to get a macro view of the site, and in addition, I hadn’t gotten the strobe set back up properly. It wasn’t aimed right, I guess, and I didn’t have the power setting or ISO right either. A lot of these pictures have a heavy cast.

For the second dive, we motored to a site just past the harbor. We moored, and after a proper surface interval, headed down. There were lots of little fish fluttering around the coral. At one point, the guide found a small golden eel poking out of a coral head, and we took turns taking its portrait.

Golden Moray Eel

Golden Moray Eel

It reminded me that I needed to get closer to the reef to be able to spot things; I’d been hovering about 10-12 feet off the bottom. I got closer, and in fact, did spot a second moray eel.

I was nearly out of air, so I did my safety stop, and got back onto the boat. Shortly afterwards, several other people saw a turtle come by.

On the way back to the dock, we passed a square rigged ship tied up at the dock, and were treated to a display of flying fish.

Update: More pictures here.