Bonaire Pictures: Tuesday


This gallery contains 18 photos.

Tuesday morning I did Weber’s Joy with the Hinzes and Alec and Nick, Tuesday afternoon, the Nolans, Henri Menco and I did Dee Scarr’s Touch the Sea program, and in the evening, I did a dusk dive with Jack and … Continue reading

Bonaire Pictures: Monday


This gallery contains 25 photos.

Monday morning we went on a pair of shore dives to the north of the resort; the first site was called “Oil Slick Leap” and the second one I’ve always known as “Old Blue”, but is now marked as “Tolu”. … Continue reading

Last Dives

Today was the last day of diving for this trip. You have to be done 24 hours before you fly.

This morning, Paul prevailed upon the boat crew to try Rappel, and unlike yesterday, no one swooped in and scooped it on us. We ended up doing both dives of the boat trip on that one site; the first heading north, the second heading south. During the first dive, we saw a green moray eel and a turtle; during the second, a squid. It’s a beautiful site, with lots of texture to it; the southern end has a lot of old broken coral while the northern side is more pristine. The mooring is right next to the shoreline; it’s a sheer cliff (hence the name) with an undercut; there’s lots of neat things to see under the overhang.

Moray Eel

On the way back, the boat captain suddenly made an S-turn; I was wondering why when suddenly I heard someone shouting “Dolphins!” There was a pod of dolphins gamboling around us. The pulled up along side us then fell behind; we stopped and they dropped under the water; then we turned around and they started up again. I tried getting a picture, but they weren’t close enough, and the camera has too much shutter lag.

We got back to the dock, had lunch, and soon it was time for our last dive of the trip. Alec, Natalyia and I headed north from the dock. The camera battery was exhausted, and soon the lens retracted and refused to come out and play again. We saw tarpon on this dive, plus a third bait ball of very small fish spinning around underneath one of the dive boats, plus a school of jacks spinning around underneath them. It was a good end to the diving.

For the end of the day, Paul took us on a tour of the northern end of the island. I switched batteries, and off we went. We went up to the nature preserve, through Rincon, and ended up at an overlook looking over the southern end of the island.

We went out for dinner, and now all that remains is to pack up, settle up, and endure the trip home.

Update: More pictures here.


Weber’s Joy and Dee

Today started off clear and dry. Henri was scheduled to do a photography class this morning, so I did the shore dive with Nick and the Hinzes. In the afternoon, Henri and I did Dee Scarr’s Touch the Sea program with the Nolan’s.

Weber’s Joy

Weber’s Joy, AKA Witch’s Hut is along side the road leading north to Oil Slick and Old Blue. There’s an abandoned shack, with a turn in along the road, and steps leading down to the water.  The water’s edge is lined with dead coral cobbles; once in the water, there’s a sandy bottom until you reach the wall. Since Henri was doing her class, I tagged along with Jack and Jane Hinz.

We crossed the sandy area, and descended  the wall to about 80 feet, and swam alongside the wall to the south; gradually getting shallower as we went along. It was a rather quiet section of the reef,  I didn’t take too many pictures, and it looks like Jack wasn’t shooting much video.

We continued to get shallower once we turned around,  and found some more things of interest as we got shallower. After John Wall’s presentation the other night, I started looking more carefully, and found a Flamingo tongue snail on one of them.


Watchamacallit on the soft coral... also known as a Flamingo Tongue. It's part of the mollusk family.


The timing of the dives was a little inconvenient. I was scheduled to meet Dee at the drive in at the drive in at 2:00; we came out of the water at quarter of eleven. Allowing for an hour’s surface interval, another hour of dive time, plus cleanup, plus drive time back left me very little time to eat, replace my tanks and be ready for Dee. I decided it was cutting it too close and decided to head back, despite the fact the group was going to Karpata, which I’ve been wanting to do. In hindsight, they got back at 1:30; I might have been able to do it, but it would have meant a lot of rushing around, which I hate to do. I hate the time pressure, and it makes mistakes more likely.

Instead, I went back to the resort, had lunch at the restaurant (since I had the time), bumped into Paul, who was taking the morning off, and had a nice chat and relaxed. I then went back to the room, got some chores done and got my gear ready.

Touching The Sea

We spent the afternoon with Dee Scarr, a naturalist friend of Paul’s who is on a first name basis with many of the denizens of the reef, and runs a program called Touch The Sea.

Dee begins by giving a short description of what we’re likely to see underwater. Then everyone gears up, and heads into the water. First we headed for some concrete mooring blocks, where she showed us how the various coral colonies on the blocks were either growing together (in the case of the same species) or killing each other (in the case of different species). Then she showed us a male fish protecting its egg mass. Along the way, a couple of French Angelfish came along, and she fed them. Later, she had Henri feed them, and they immediately took a liking to her. They kept coming back for more.

Henri feeding French Angelfish

Henri feeding French Angelfish

Other things Dee showed us:

  • A razor fish, which dive into the sand.
  • Sponges siphoning water, which she demonstrated by syringing vegetable dive onto them, and watching it be absorbed, then ejected out the top.
  • A pair of lionfish, which Dee tried to dispatch.
  • Cleaner shrimp in some anemones
  • Three (!) squid, which came close enough to look us over, but not close enough for a good shot
  • A moray eel in a rock, which I couldn’t seem to light with my strobe
  • A snake eel. When Dee tried to feed it, the French Angelfish which had been following us swooped in.
  • A scorpion fish
  • A very small eel buried in the sand., which she fed. I got one shot, but the flash didn’t fire. When Dee tried to get it to come back up, the French Angelfish swooped in.
  • A couple of baby French Angelfish, only half an inch or so long.
  • A very small flounder.

Overall, we saw a lot, but I was frustrated with my own performance today. I picked up 18 pounds of weights Saturday, and it was OK then, but the wetsuit has gotten waterlogged, and I’m staying down more easily, so I felt very overweighted. Also, the strobe kept failing, or the camera would time out and shut itself down, and not be ready when I wanted it. Still, I got a few good shots that look like they’ll come up quite nicely.

Night Dive

The last dive of the day was a dusk/night dive with the Hinzes. Jack was using a special black light that he was shining on the corals to make them fluoresce; Jane and I mostly kept our lights off for the better part of the dive. I was using my main light and the modeling light on the strobe. Along the way out, I found a nest of three lionfish. On the way back, the tarpon arrived, and started circling us. Near the end, we ran into a cloud of small minnow like fish, swarming the area around the dock. When we came out, Paul had his spaghetti supper.

Lionfish Den

Lionfish Den

Update: More pictures here.


When I went down to breakfast this morning, it was cloudy and overcast, and it was obvious it had rained overnight. When I looked out over the ocean, there was a cruise liner standing in to Kralendijk, all its lights glittering in the gloom.

Some of the group did a dawn dive this morning; I decided to wait until later this week since I had to pick up some stuff at the dive shop, and Paul was running a shore dive this morning.

Oil Slick Leap

The first dive this morning was at a location a couple of miles north of the resort called Oil Slick Leap; I have no idea where the “Oil Slick” came from, but it’s definitely a leap. It’s a low cliff of fossilized rock about five feet or so above the water. There’s also a platform, and ladder down to the water; the ladder is the only way out. Most of our group did a giant stride off the cliff; since I had the camera, I climbed down the ladder.

There’s a mooring a short way out; we swam down to it and went down. The mooring is at the edge of the reef, and we spent our time here moving along the wall.

Yellow Fish

Moray Eel

Old Blue

The second dive of the morning was at a beach that used to be called Old Blue, and is now referred to as Tolu, to the north of Oil Slick Leap. It too has a cliff, but it’s only about three feet high, and there’s a notch in it that divers can walk down. At the base of the cliff is a narrow sandy beach. The sand extends out a short way, and then there’s a wall down to the deeper water.

As soon as we got to the wall, we found something special — another bait ball, similar to the one from yesterday, only smaller, and made up of small blue fish, rather than silver fish. We spent quite a bit of time with this bait ball; it was possible to herd it a little. After a little while, they moved away, and I decided not to chase them, and started looking at the other fish. Suddenly the bait ball was back around me again.

Bait ball of blue fish at Old Blue

There was a lot to see at this site; Henri found an eel out and about, and I saw a lionfish nearby. Just as we were turning around, I saw a damselfish chase a parrotfish out of its algae farm; I actually laughed out loud underwater.


It’s been sprinkling off and on all morning, and the heavens opened up right as we were leaving Old Blue. Paul took us on a scenic tour of the hills at the northern end of the island—cactus lined roads, goats grazing along the sides of the roads, and small shanties. here and there. A very stark contrast with the main town of Kralendijk.

Third Dive

Once we got back to Buddy’s, I had lunch and then spent some time on this post. By 3:30, Henri and I were both ready to get back in the water, so we did a dive off the dock. Buddy’s has a very nice house reef. The southbound longshore current that we’d been experiencing the last couple of dives had abated, so she suggested that we go to the left, ie, to the south. (the resort is on the western shore). It was a very nice dive. The fish were out in droves, and it seemed to be mealtime. I saw lots of black barred sergeant fish (I think that’s the name) lots of jacks, and a moray eel. During the dive, I experimented a bit trying to balance the strobe with ambient light, with mixed results.

Sponge and fish

I realized during this dive that I’m definitely overweighted. I hit the reef a couple of times today. I think while Henri’s doing a class tomorrow, I may take a couple of pounds of lead off and work on my buoyancy.

Once I finish this post, I’ll be heading over to the place next door to see a slideshow by Dee Scarr. I think we’re scheduled to do our dives with her tomorrow.

Random Observations

  • It hasn’t been raining all day here, but we’ve seen rain each day, and when it comes down, boy does it come down.
  • I’m starting to get the hang of a standard shift, but I’m still lurching around a bit.
  • There are tons of geckos around here.
  • I like the breakfast buffet here.
  • Internet access is very spotty here. I’m in a first floor apartment, and it’s generally unavailable. Nick and Paul are in a second floor apartment and have access. It’s generally better out by the pool.

Update: More pictures here