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!”
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 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, 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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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