Category Archives: JC’s Dive Log

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.

 


If you enjoyed reading JC’s dive log and wish to receive future editions, sign up for the Carib Inn News!

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