We were all missing Bonaire and the great diving there. There is also diving in Curacao, but it is not as prevalent or convenient. We heard about a good diving spot where you enter from the beach, so we loaded up and headed out. We drove and drove. Where was this place again? Not off the back of our boat. That’s for sure.
The drive was about 75 minutes, but we found this cute beach bar and restaurant with a dive shop next door. We saw people with tanks strapped on walking down to the water, so we knew we had the right place.
You’d never know there was a hurricane by looking around. Sun worshippers filled the lounge chairs without a care in the world.
Near the beach was a diamond-shaped marker. We aren’t sure what it is actually for, but Hodges from Coco de Mer shot through it like she was an arrow going for a bullseye. She finds a way to make everything fun! We love her energy and enthusiasm!
I gave Wade my camera to see if he could do any better with it, but for some reason most of the images came out really red. Weird. And I can’t figure out why. This was a good sized lobster and it made the guys wish they could go spear fishing. But the only fishing allowed in dive sites is for lionfish. We did see some divers come out of the water some lionfish, but we didn’t bring our spears.
Porcupine fish are so cute. They have big googly eyes and they look like they are smiling, which you can’t see from the side view. When they feel threatened, they blow themselves up into a spiky ball, like a mace. Deflated, the spikes are folded back.
It was great to be diving again with our scuba club. But we were missing Stu and Lesley from Sula. Since they stayed behind in Bonaire at the marina, we wondered how they were getting on and hoped that they didn’t get hit with a big swell or winds.
This was such an unusual pose for lionfish. There were two of them hiding behind this coral. Maybe it was because divers had just been trying to hunt them, but normally lionfish show no fear and turn their back to you. Their spines fold back and eels can swallow them head first, but if approached from behind those spikes will stab and poison you. With no natural predators in the Caribbean (because they are invasive and relatively new), lionfish are fearless and will stay in place until your spear is inches away from them. Therefore, they are easy to catch if you are good with a spear. The eels, by the way, are only recently learning to eat them after being taught by humans feeding them the ones too small to fillet. Bigger ones are kept and make for delicious eating!
Peter from Milly is a relatively new diver, but he looks pretty comfortable in the water. The sponge looks huge, but it is just the perspective, being much closer to the camera.
In every picture of me diving, my hands are out to my sides like this. Normally I cross them in front of me. It just dawned on me why the change. I am borrowing one of Steve’s (Slow Flight) buoyancy control devices (BCD) and it is slightly loose on me. The tank will slip to a side and throw me out of balance, so I am using my arms to keep myself in balance. Something to keep in mind when shopping for a BCD.
We saw a lot of shrimp. I think they come out more at night, but during the day you can see their long antennae protruding from under the coral.
I am surprised at how common a sight eels are and the spotted moray is probably the one we see most. We see them every dive.
All these are juveniles and seem like unlikely friends, but they are a combination frequently seen together.
The goldentail moray is much larger and less commonly seen than the spotted moray. It grows to about 28 inches and mostly hunts at night. It is not often we see the entire eel, as they are normally tucked away in the coral. We saw a lot more awesome fish and an octopus, but the pictures were not rescuable. Oh well, I know we will have many more opportunities. Next up, we think it is safe to return to Bonaire, but we could be wrong.