Captain’s Log Date: July 10th, 2022
During the past weeks, we have made landfall on the tropical island Bonaire.
The approach was promising as we passed a small island in front of Bonaire; this tiny place is called ‘Klein Bonaire.’
The reefs surrounding Bonaire present a wide scale of colours, from deep blue to turquoise, and the white beaches make the eyes watery by the strong reflection of the sunlight.
“Divers Paradise” is written on the official license plates of the cars on the island! Is it paradise? We will soon find out, and our stay is almost one month, so time to check things out and dive
Together with us, SY Zelda, owned by a Norwegian family and two guests onboard SY Blowing Bubbles, will help us to discover Bonaire above and below the surface.
Step 1: The Island
After arrival and easy official check-in, the rental car awaits us in the marina. We rented a powerful big SUV from Blue Flamingo Car Rental Bonaire. The island has some lovely offroad places to go to, and renting a strong car seemed the wiser choice. What a splendid service this company offered and at excellent prices. The AC of the car soon became everybody’s friend!
After a first day of touring the island, time to take a peek below the surface.
Step 2: The Coral Reefs of Bonaire
Both SY Blowing Bubbles and SY Zelda are docked at Harbour Village Marina, nicely at the exit pontoon of the marina.
Next to the marina exit is the dive site “Something Special,” just 100ft (30mtr) away from the diving platform of SY Blowing Bubbles. So all we need to do is get the scuba gear on, jump in the water and dive…
Will “Something Special” also be unique?
Well, without getting too much into details, our “house reef” could be described as “Always Special” during the 30+ dives we made on this dive site during the 25-day stay, we had a surprise on every dive: a baitball that stayed around for six days (see video), giant lobsters, giant crabs, eagle rays passing by and not to forget the frogfish saying hi to us on multiple dives. Our night dives on this site were enchanting, and even multiple Ostracod night dives were possible! The giant tarpons joining us during the night dives were impressing, and seeing them hunt is sometimes so funny, although they do succeed in catching a fish regularly, just in front of your eyes.
After some days of diving the reefs surrounding Bonaire, time for the next step.
Step 3: Klein Bonaire
The island Klein Bonaire is just a short distance away (one mile). A large marine reserve with effortless boat access to many dive sites.
After taking the dinghy out a few times to scout some of the dive sites around Klein Bonaire, the time had come for some more diving. We then started preparing and loading up SY Zelda with enough scuba tanks as day trips to Klein Bonaire are planned adventures. Once there, some more remote dive sites now come within reach. These dive sites have tough and soft corals that make us feel like we are dreaming while diving.
Klein Bonaire is a unique place to dive and must be put on any diver’s bucket list if they like to see an abundance of colourful corals mixed with fish.
Step 4: Below the Land Surface of Bonaire
Bonaire has a soft subterrain, the results of which form many caves. My first visit to Bonaire dates back to 1992, and since that time, coming back to Bonaire regularly. During those trips, I had the chance to meet up many times with cave specialists and geologists. During the years, I got pretty familiar with the cave systems and spent a lot of time exploring the caves of Bonaire.
Time to share this adventure with our guests and SY Zelda. With the safety of using a rope, we descended 15mtr (50ft) down into the cave system to find a large freshwater lake to go swimming/snorkelling/freediving.
Fully decorated ceilings and impressive structures around… Yes, a little secret gem is hidden in Bonaire’s cactus jungle, a great and unique place to enjoy the wonders of caves. Challenging? It could be for those not well prepared… We managed to ‘surface’ again with only smiling faces and fantastic stories to tell.
Step 5: Bonaire? Yes, Bonaire is really a Divers Paradise.
Soon we will be back, to introduce more people…
Do you want to join? Check out the other article in the magazine.
Rendez vous Oct 1-9th 2022 in Bonaire!
See you there!
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