Category Archives: Diving

Bonaire Fall Festival Special

Bruce Bowker’s Carib Inn

Bonaire Fall Festival Special

 

Starting at $119 night

Take $20 off per night on any non-seaside room and both houses!

Price is per room.

Special is available August 26th to November 4th, 2017.

Government room tax not included.

 

No minimum requirements, and no Booking Code necessary!

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Be a Card Carrying Member

I see this far less than years ago but there are still some who ask for dive equipment and/or tanks without any proof of certification. Some have simply forgotten their card. Others have never had one but wherever they had been diving, allowed it.

Some of the certifying organizations have a system where proof of certification can be found through an online system. Others do not and that causes a problem. Some divers argue that they have been diving for decades and others say that the place they were at last year never checked.

Perhaps this analogy will help better understand why showing your certification card is necessary. You show up at XYZ car rental and tell them you don’t have your driver’s license. They say you can’t rent a car. You say you have been driving for over 35 years. They say you still can’t rent a car without proof of a license. You say the ABC rented last year and you showed them your license. They say you still can’t rent a car without proof.

I don’t know anywhere that would rent someone a car without a driver’s license. It is very simple. If you want to drive or dive just make sure you have your license.

 

 

 

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New Retail Area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After spending a long time considering what to do, we finally decided to tear down the wall.  The left picture shows before and the right picture after. It took a few days planning and a few days of work mainly in the evening but we did it. The biggest challenge was keeping the dust contained when breaking a concrete block wall. It went surprisingly well.

The store now has a much more open feeling and a lot more space. The new area now has all the wetsuits and related items with womens’ on the left side and men’s on the right. There are still a few more new displays and lighting to be added as soon as they arrive here on Bonaire.

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Our New Dock Ladder/Steps

We just installed our new dock ladder which closer resembles a staircase. Many improvements including more steps, better angle and a platform to aid in putting on and taking off equipment. Made locally by a professional welder, this ladder is made from heavy duty stainless steel. So far every diver has said it is the best dive ladder they have used.

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Our Dive Boat is Back

After a very traumatic morning that started at 3 am nearly 8 weeks ago and ended with broken ribs, broken boat, broken engine and broken spirit, our other dive boat is back in service. All repairs are done including a brand new coat of bottom paint.

Along with my dive staff, I am very happy to see this is finished. It was a lot of hard weeks without it.

The first picture shows the boat being put back in the water the same place is was sadly towed out. The second picture is tying up at out dock once again.

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View the Just-Launched Carib Inn Video

The Carib Inn Video.

We are delighted today to share with you our just-launched video featuring Bonaire’s fantastic diving and, of course, the Carib Inn.

We invite you to take a few moments and watch our new video.  For those who have stayed and dove with us in the past, we’re sure it will bring back quite some memories.

For those whom we have not yet welcomed to our inn, we look forward to showing you why Carib Inn has been a favorite since 1980!

 


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Carib Inn’s Yearly Photo Contest Winner is Marilyn Forshey Pollock

Congratulations to Marilyn Forshey Pollack!

Marilyn is the winner in Carib Inn’s Yearly Photo Contest

Carib Inn is happy to announce that Marilyn Forshey Pollock has won the Yearly Photo Contest with her beautiful image of a seahorse. She has won two unlimited shore dive packages for her next visit to Bonaire.

photo_contest_winner_nov2016

Interesting facts about seahorses:

Why are they called seahorses?

Seahorse is the name given to 54 species of small marine fishes in the genus Hippocampus. “Hippocampus” comes from the Ancient Greek word hippos meaning “horse” and kampos meaning “sea monster”. The word “seahorse” can also be written as two separate words (sea horse), or hyphenated (sea-horse). Having a head and neck suggestive of a horse, seahorses also feature segmented bony armor, an upright posture and a curled prehensile tail.

Where can I find seahorses?

Seahorses are mainly found in shallow tropical and temperate waters throughout the world, from about 45°S to 45°N and live in sheltered areas such as sea-grass beds, estuaries, coral reefs, or mangroves. Four species are found in Pacific waters from North America to South America. In the Atlantic, H. erectus ranges from Nova Scotia to Uruguay. H. zosterae, known as the dwarf seahorse, is found in the Bahamas.

Physical aspects of seahorses

Seahorses range in size from 1.5 to 35.5 cm (0.6 to 14.0 in). They are named for their equine appearance with bent necks and long-snouted heads followed by their distinctive trunk and tail. Although they are bony fish, they do not have scales, but rather thin skin stretched over a series of bony plates, which are arranged in rings throughout their bodies. Each species has a distinct number of rings. Seahorses swim upright, another characteristic not shared by their close pipefish relatives, which swim horizontally. Razorfish are the only other fish that swim vertically. They swim upright propelling themselves by using the dorsal fin. The pectoral fins located on either side of the head are used for maneuvering. They lack the caudal fin typical of fishes. Their prehensile tail can only be unlocked in the most extreme conditions. They are adept at camouflage with the ability to grow and reabsorb spiny appendages depending on their habitat.

Unusual among fish, a seahorse has a flexible, well-defined neck. It also sports a crown-like spine or horn on its head, termed a “coronet,” which is distinct for each species.

Seahorse locomotion

Seahorses swim very poorly, rapidly fluttering a dorsal fin and using pectoral fins (located behind their eyes) to steer. The slowest-moving fish in the world is H. zosterae (the dwarf seahorse), with a top speed of about 5 ft (1.5 m) per hour. Since they are poor swimmers, they are most likely to be found resting with their prehensile tails wound around a stationary object. They have long snouts, which they use to suck up food, and their eyes can move independently of each other like those of a chameleon.

Learn more about this unique creature at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seahorse.


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JC’s Dive Log–Karma

JC’s Bonaire Dive Log: Karma.

Time for some fun at the Bonaire Regatta Boat Party!

Last night, while I was grilling something for dinner and pouring some wine, I received so many calls from dear friends giving me the heads up about the Regatta Boat Party!! Even while having dessert 🙂 my landlord’s nephew walked by with his wife and invited me to his yacht for the event.  I started to think, then it must be my destiny to go and have fun!

But duty called, as I was scheduled to begin an AOW course the very next morning.

But the next day I was scheduled to start training 13-year-old Delaney with her PADI Advanced Open Water course. Delaney has been visiting Carib Inn since before she was even born, as her family is one of our dearest and oldest friends here at The Carib Inn. Delaney is cool and a smart kid, big time.

While on my way to work the next morning, I decided to talk with her and then schedule the two planned adventure dives beginning early in the morning.  This way we would be done by around 2:00 PM, and I would be OK with both Delaney AND my friends at the yacht. So, off I went on my scooter, playing Jack Johnson to help smooth the ride.


At the end of this dive log, you will understand why it’s funny that this song was randomly played by the phone.

Adventure Dive #1

eagle_ray_feedingThe truth is that our first dive went so well, even a spotted eagle ray came and observed our mastering some Peak Performance Buoyancy skills! Once we were out of the water, I saw all the happiness and excitement about the experience glowing on Delaney’s face.  Of course, I couldn’t tell her all I had maneuvered in order to get the afternoon off.  After all, there’s no bigger joy than giving, right?!
We debriefed and went for lunch and planned to meet again at 1:00 PM.  I had already convinced myself that I would be 1000% on the dive with Delaney, and whatever happened after that would be welcome.  Que sera, sera!  What will be, will be!

Adventure Dive #2

We briefed and got the gear ready.  At this point, I was more excited than Delaney, I’ve analyzed my feelings, and I know that I’ve been given an opportunity and a blessing to pass my passion for diving to a new generation of divers, specially one like her.

We headed down to the water to do underwater navigation, and, during the briefing, I explained to her that on Bonaire, navigation is way easier than most places, but the skills can still come in handy if one day you follow something amazing and end up away from the reef in the big blue, or, if making a deep water entry, and then following the compass to the reef.  I’ve used my navigational skills here on Bonaire many times to explore the reef system here.

So what could surpass the morning’s dive?  Well, our friend, the eagle ray, decided to come and visit again after our skills session was complete.  We then decided to head away from the reef into the deep blue staying at 12 meters/40 feet, and navigating to the shore using the compass.

Here’s where the underwater madness started!  First we spotted a fish bowl, and if that wasn’t impressive enough, a massive yellow fin tuna started striking the bowl!  When I say massive, it’s because the tuna was bigger than Delaney and I put together! We watched this amazing creature behave as if we didn’t exist, and, when it took off, we took a deep breath and started to navigate to shore.

But suddenly two wahoo came swimming by and showed off by turning around right about 3 meter/10 feet in front of us!  But we kept onward, and soon the tarpons came along, too!

Delaney looked at me, and right through her dive mask, I could see her intense happiness.

A sweet finish to the dive.

barracuda

We headed up to 5 meter/15 feet  to do the safety stop, and there she was:  a Great Barracuda of approximately 1.5 meter/5 feet, once again bigger than Delaney.  We got a bit closer, and, as if it wasn’t enough already, another Great Barracuda of the same size–if not bigger–came close and the two of them started swimming circles around us before taking off in different directions. I have to admit–I’m a bit nervous around barracudas, so with my heart pounding, Delaney got back to the compass and took us straight back to the ladder of the pier!  We gave each other the signal to ascent, and once on the surface, we both just took our masks off and simultaneous said, “Whaaaaaaaaaaaatttttttt!!!!!”

True karma.

The day’s dive were amazing and completely worth the time we spent underwater.  I wouldn’t have changed the day at all.  We finished about 4:00 PM, and I went off to Coco Beach to meet my friends on their yacht.  But nobody was answering the phone, so I decided to ask a friend to zoom his camera onto the boat and figure out where they were. The first boat in the viewfinder happened to be my friend’s boat, so I arrived at just the best moment.  We had a great time at the Boat Party, and, best of all, I had a great story to share with everyone!
Here’s a little video about the Boat Party made by my friend with the camera.

 


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Jean Carlos Blanco, from Panama, joined the Carib Inn staff in August 2015. He has been a PADI Open Water instructor since 2012. His favorite courses to teach are Deep, Night, Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Dive Master and Rescue. His special interests are ship wrecks, exploration dives and night diving.

 


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JC’s Dive Log–Something Special

JC’s Bonaire Dive Log: Something Special.

It’s September 16, 2016.  As I open my eyes, all I see is rain. What a way to start the day. But, in the end, it is good for Bonaire’s green areas and as Bruce will say, “we really need this rain!”

Carib Inn from the sea

Destination:  Something Special Dive Site.

In my drive to work the sun already started to shine by 8:00 a.m. My mood wasn’t the best. Things between me and D haven’t being the best lately. (I have to say because I promise to be 100% honest at the moment of writing this log, so there you go.) Got the boat ready for the morning dive, just 2 people this time. Destination – Something Special and I needed something special indeed. Something was telling me inside God was going to make this day batter for me and the ones with me on the boat.

We briefed and agreed on looking for miniature life throughout this dive. Once the divers were safely in the water, I jumped in. As I descended I saw them heading straight down to approximately 18 meters/53 feet. They were heading to the gravel area we talked about in the briefing but a bit faster than I expected.

An eagle ray graced us with his presence.An eagle ray came swooping in to say hello.

As I was tying the safety rope a beautiful eagle ray came by announcing this would be a good dive. It glided in the water for around 1 minute and headed toward the divers. I could clearly still see their bubbles but I didn’t want to bang on my tank and scare the ray.

As I approached them as inconspicuously as possible, I couldn’t stop admiring the abundance and the excitement of being almost alone and invisible to what was surrounding me. My two divers were very experienced and photographers.Garden eels can often be found hiding in the sand.

Garden eels, Horse Eye Jacks, and Striped Mullets.

All these creatures were coming to me, and l was able to get very close to almost everything around me. I had a nice interaction with a sharp tailed eel. It was showing a special curiosity about me. Then I headed toward the direction of The eagle ray came quite close to our group.the divers, of course passing by the sand pit where the garden eels were doing their dance, kept going up until I met the guys on the gravel and guess who came to show off? The same Eagle Ray I saw at just the beginning of the dive! I kind of knew that it would head into that direction because the last time I saw it she was heading to the marina entry.

We swam along the rope on the bottom and were suddenly surprised  by an encounter with a school of striped mullets, around 100 of them. We kept going on the line until I made it to one of the Coral Restoration Gardens. After that, we followed the line to a small ship wreck. I was told by Larry the name is “Our Confidence.” It is rather faded, but still beautiful with a small school of juvenile Horse Eye Jacks swimming around it.

A tree of juvenile corals, part of the Coral Restoration Foundation on Bonaire.

Image courtesy of Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire.

By now it was time to turn around and to my surprise an even bigger school of striped mullets. More than a hundred this time. The other two divers were corralling a school of smaller species of silvery fish that I couldn’t manage to identify just at the entry of the marina at less than 10 meter/ 30 feet.

Barracuda, Scorpionfish, Mantis Shrimp, and Blennies Galore!

 

Of course, the opportunist barracudas, three of them to be precise, were a medium size, the biggest being about 3 feet.  They were calmly waiting for the right moment to strike. Farther on, two good sized scorpionfish were almost invisible with their perfect camouflage, patiently waiting for their prey.

Some of the tinest finds were blennies and yellow-headed jawfish.

A mantis shrimp just outside his "home."Going bit shallower, to about 5 meter/ 15 feet, a majestic show of blennies including sailfin, spinyhead, redlips, and yellowheaded jawfish. Back under the boat a mantis shrimp was keeping itself busy and as I got closer those exotic eyes and capacity of moving them like a gyroscope was just a bit creepy! Yellowline gobies were around, too.

And to finish the dive, a green turtle.

When we finally headed back to the surface, the same way I was greeted on my entry with A green turtle happened by to say "so long."an eagle ray, I was graciously said “so long” by a green turtle. FYI, I made it to the surface with my mask half flooded and not because of a beard, I had just shaved a couple of days ago, but for the huge smile I had on my face.

Thank you, God, for a better day indeed.

 

 

 


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Jean Carlos Blanco, from Panama, joined the Carib Inn staff in August 2015. He has been a PADI Open Water instructor since 2012. His favorite courses to teach are Deep, Night, Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Dive Master and Rescue. His special interests are ship wrecks, exploration dives and night diving.

 


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