Bonaire Scuba | Boats Dives, Night Dives & Shipwrecks
On Thursday in Bonaire, we went out on our first boat dive. We got up early in the morning and had a good breakfast before we had to board the boat. (Breakfasts here are an amazing spread and served under a covered patio overlooking the water). Some of us were lucky enough to see a huge manta ray flying by Buddy Dive’s dock! Once all of us were on the boat, we headed out for the southside of Kleine Bonaire, a small Island to the west of us. One by one the divers jumped off the back of the boat and into the deep blue. We dove down to about 60 feet and saw a beautiful hard coral, barracudas, seahorses, blue tang, and so many more. Getting in and out of the boat was so much easier than the beach entries over hard coral.
After lunch, our dive master Bob held three different buoyancy clinics for the open water certified students; meanwhile, the advanced divers did their navigation dive to finish off their certification with Mondo. During the buoyancy clinic, Bob showed us what correct weight we needed by doing points buoyancy tests and dropping weights out of our BCDs as needed. Then he showed us the proper way to swim with good buoyancy to protect the coral and not run into them. Also, this is the best way to preserve our air for a longer dive. Even though we had learned this in our pool class in August, it proved very helpful for us here, making more sense now. During the navigation dive, the advanced divers had to figure out how many kicks it took them to swim 100 feet (averaging about 18 kicks). Then, we had to navigate our way around the shallow part of the ocean by using a compass. Mondo made us swim a square in the ocean, only using our compass.
When everyone was done with their diving, we had a good taco salad bar, and after some kids went on a night dive while others enjoyed time by the ocean. On the night dive we saw an octopus, jellyfish, eels and other huge fish! After the dive, Bob presented a fish identification class and showed us so many different types of fish and how they interact with each other. Did you know that fish clean each other at what they call a cleaning station? The presentation helped us so much on Friday to identify the fish on our dives.
Luckily, we got to sleep in on Friday morning. After breakfast, we went to dive near the Hilma Hooker, a ship that once held 25,000 pounds of marijuana, hidden by the captain with a false deck. Due to missing registration papers, the ship was detained. After the marijuana was found, they never could figure out who actually owned that ship. It sat at anchor for a while, and then started to take in water one day. Within two minutes, it sunk. Now it is a famous dive site on Bonaire. It was an amazing sight to visit! There were so many fish like enormous tarpons, barracudas, groupers, etc. We enjoyed lunch on the beach after our dive, and then headed to our next dive site, Invisibles, just a couple miles to the south. We had to sit in the van to wait out the heavy rain, but luckily it only lasted for a few minutes. It was very beautiful and the clear water seemed to last forever. Eels hung out in the coral, and puffer fish lurked around the sea floor. When the dive was over, we attempted to walk onto shore, but kept slipping and sliding on the wet coral and crashing waves. Luckily, we had our instructors Bob and Mondo to help us carry out our gear and get over the coral safely. Eventually we all emerged from the surf. Overall, today was a great experiential day and we are all sad our trip in Bonaire is coming to an end soon.
P.S. Connectivity for downloading photos has been challenging for the group, so you will just have to wait until the Bonaire ECS to see all their amazing photos!