“Lionfish Reef”

We dove with schools of fish during each dive in Bonaire.
©Jean Janssen

We had originally scheduled afternoon boat diving, so I was half asleep when the knock came at the door at 7:45 am to let us know there was a schedule change and that we needed to be at the Dive Shop at 8:15.  I couldn’t even find the key to the front door and was speaking to Igor through the slats in the vents next to the door.  He said our neighbors were having their coffee on the porch and were wondering what was going on.

An underwater self portrait
©Jean Janssen

Rocky and I got up, he had breakfast, pulled all our gear together, and drove the 15 minutes to the dive shop to make it there on time.  Unfortunately, the underwater camera and my backup computer didn’t make it into the bag.  We had an all Italian crew-boat captain and dive guide.  Most of the staff is Dutch.  Only one equipment issue-loose straps on Rocky’s tank.  We might have this down by the time we leave at the end of the week.

A French Angelfish (the easiest to photograph because they are big and move slowly)
©Jean Janssen

We went out to Klein Bonaire again to a beautiful reef, Joanne’s Sunchi, which is on the south side of the island.  The wind picks up there later in the day, so the entry conditions are best early.  Of course since I didn’t have my camera, we saw lionfish, barracuda, anemone shrimp and the largest pair of porcupinefish I have ever seen.  “Granddaddy” just kept floating by, proud he had lived long enough to make it to that size.  In spite of the morning rush, it was a relaxing dive and I continue to do well on my air consumption, surfacing with half a tank or more after an hour-long dive.

A Juvenile Blue Tang (the adults look like “Dori”)
©Jean Janssen

We are back on the large catamaran functioning as a dive boat.  There is no head (toilet), but our dive master announced that “the facilities” were open at the end of the dive.  In others words, when everyone is out of the water they leave the ladders down and you can go back in without your wetsuit (we do wear swimsuits underneath for the uninformed) and hang out until you are done.  Have a loose swimsuit?  Even better.

Colorful coral and a branching vase sponge
©Jean Janssen

We met another family on the dive boat, also on spring break.  “Dad” had an underwater camera with dual wide-mounted strobe lights to go with his wide-angle lens.  Of course they were from Texas-everything is bigger in Texas (even if it’s from Texas being used in another country.)  Jane had her camera and daughter Svetlana (Rocky thought she said “slut-mamma”) was Mom’s spotter.  When she became bored with her camera assistant duties, she acted out “I dream of Jeannie” under the water.

A school of yellowtail snapper. Svetlana would rub her tummy like she was hungry every time we would see them.
©Jean Janssen

The junior diver in our group, Demetri, picked the second dive of the day based solely on the reef’s name, No Name.  The site is also off Klein Bonaire on the North side.  There is a white sand beach and a pirate ship ferried tourists back and forth to the shore on a dingy.  (There is another cruise ship in town today.)  This meant we had to be extra careful when surfacing as to not come up under the dingy’s motorblades.

I love spotted trunkfish
©Jean Janssen

We must have seen a dozen lionfish on this dive, often in groups of three.  Makes for an interesting mating ritual.  Back on the boat we began referring to the dive site as Lionfish Reef.   I also saw another barracuda and several tiny shrimp only about an inch long.  I spotted a juvenile porcupine fish in an interesting gold color.  Another fabulous, calm dive.

Rocky enjoying the sunset.
©Jean Janssen

©Jean Janssen

No night dive today, so cocktails at our friend’s house and then we all went out to dinner in town at a nice seafood restaurant, It Rains Fishes, where you sit on the porch and enjoy the breeze and the view of the harbor.  The girls discovered that the drinking age in Bonaire is 16 and a nice time was had by all.

About travelbynatasha

I am a retired attorney who loves to travel. Several years ago I began working on a Century Club membership achieved by traveling to 100 "foreign" countries. Today, at 49 years of age the count is at 82. Many were visited on land based trips. Some were cruise ports. Some were dive sites. Most have been fascinating.
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