I was back at the supermarket on Monday afternoon picking up supplies for a shared dinner with friends who had rented a house on the island near our resort-a wonderful spot on the Barkadera.
Tuesday morning, anticipating our night dive, we slept in. Yes, I was still in my nightgown when housekeeping arrived. I’m on vacation. Before midday we headed out to do a little touring on the south side of the island. We intended to stop in town, but a cruise ship was in port so we kept on driving. We drove through the brush area where goats grazed freely. My Daddy always used goats to clear patches of land, simply moving the fence lines when one area was cleared.
We passed the stables for horseback riding and the butterfly gardens and found ourselves at Lac Bay with its beautiful white sand beaches. I always thought there wasn’t a lot to do on Bonaire if you weren’t diving, but I think there are as many windsurfers on the island as there are divers. Several bars and restaurants line the beach and there are lots of places to rent or store windsurfing gear. There is also a resort at Sorobon if you want to stay right where the action is. Even if you aren’t surfing, you can rent a beach chair, have a drink, wade in the water, have a massage, or just watch the show.
We had lunch at Kon Tiki, a restaurant on the Bay. Rocky and I enjoyed fresh fish and a banana shake-no alcohol before the night dive. Kon Tiki also has apartments to rent with a view of the Bay.
After lunch we went back to town, passing the donkey sanctuary on the way in. There are wild donkeys all over the island. On my first trip here I rolled the window down to get a good picture of a donkey on the side of the road. He stuck his head right in hoping for food. I just tried not to get bitten. As I asked my mom for help, she just kept taking pictures. This time we left the windows rolled up or kept the finger on the power button. Glad not to have the manual crank for the window in this rental vehicle.
We ended the day with a night dive at the salt pier. There is a tremendous amount of salt mining on the south quarter of the island. This is a beach dive, so you gear up (except for fins) on land and walk in. Easier said than done; there was serious surf at the shore line. We dove in the dark by flashlight out to the pillars holding up the various platforms that make up the salt pier. Lots of drama before the dive with tank issues. I had the hardest time getting my fins on in the surf. The dive master was behind me and Rocky in front putting them on. Ridiculous. Our dive master was Francesca from Parma (think Ham), Italy. She was very patient with us, especially considering it was Rocky’s first night dive and the “dive Princess” couldn’t get her fins on.
Underwater, Rocky and I were perfect and it was obvious Francesca was surprised (given the beach and surf drama). We saw a scorpionfish right off the bat, wonderful coral in a wide variety of colors on the pillars, lionfish, and fluorescent plankton in the water-where you turned off your light to get the full effect. Reloading your gear in the dark is challenging, but it was a great experience overall and I was so proud of Rocky.
We ended the day with a late dinner on our patio. Perfection in Paradise.