Bonaire 2014

Bonmapjpg.gif (72333 bytes)

Timing is everything in life. Unfortunately, once again, we could not coordinate schedules to allow a larger group of Donkey Divers to dive together on this trip.

Kim and I are back on Bonaire. My favorite place to dive. This is my 16th trip and Kim's 5th trip to Bonaire. Between the two of us we have 520 dives on the beautiful reefs of Bonaire and Klein Bonaire.

Depending on internet access and surface interval time, I will try to update pictures daily while we are diving here.

Wally and Robin will be coming down here later this month.

Once again, with the help of Vee at The Travel Shop I arranged a trip to Bonaire.

We are staying at the Belmar Oceanfront Apartments on their "Drive, Dive and Stay Package" which includes a vehicle to get us to the shore dive locations, boat diving and unlimited air from Buddy Dive Resort . The only thing not included is our meals but that is not a problem since we have our favorite restaurants on the island and we may have time to check out a few new ones, too.

Click on the thumbnails below picture to see an enlarged version. Then click your browser's "BACK" button to return to this page:


Blue Tang we saw at Alice in Wonderland.
Kim found a chain link eel.
A juvenile drum fish
This green moray eel was swimming free on the outer reef at Alice in Wonderland.
This lion fish was also on the outer reef at Alice in Wonderland.
 This huge midnight parrot fish was trying to blend in with a school of tangs on an afternoon feeding outing but he was so big he didn't really blend.
A rock beauty seen on Alice in Wonderland
Sunset viewed from our balcony as we wait for a night dive.
Bobbejan's BBQ ribs and a Bright. Great way to top off a great day of diving.
This Barracuda gave Kim a scare but he didn't bother us.
Another free swimming eel today on a site called Knife on Klein Bonaire.
A couple of parrot fish. They come in various sizes and colors.
A white spotted file fish puckers up.
A huge grouper weighing over a hundred pounds hides under the bow of a tug boat wreck.
 A porcupine puffer fish.
A juvenile French angel fish.
My dear friends and fellow divers, I come to you tonight with a heavy heart. It is with great regret that I must tell you about a flood on Bonaire today. My camera housing flooded this morning when we were getting in for the first dive. So, there will be no more pictures or video taken underwater on this trip. Last night I did download all my video and pictures from the memory card so I didn't lose any that I had already taken. I will post more of the pictures that I took the first two days after I sort through them and edit them for posting. I will probably get that done on the plane ride home so check back next week. In the mean time I may have surface pictures to post and I will update details for our trip as time and internet connections allow.

We decided to make 1,000 Steps our first dive of the day today. We geared up and descended the equivalent of 8 flights of stairs to get from the road to the beach. Anyone who has been diving on Bonaire is familiar with this site. Going down in full gear makes it seem like a couple of hundred steps even though it is only about 80 but coming up after the dive with 60 plus pounds of equipment on your back it usually seems like 1,000 steps. Anyway, we get down to the beach and my tank has a bad "O" ring and is leaking air. I figured we could make the dive anyway if I watched my pressure gage to see if I was getting low on air, in which case we would make the dive a little short. Then as we get into the water and I try to inflate my BCD the deflator hose came lose from the inflator. While I was trying to see if I could fix it I noticed that there was a couple of inches of salt water sloshing around in my camera housing. At that point I decided to abort the dive and return to the condo to repair and regroup. After climbing the 8 flights of stairs to get back up to the road and our truck, I broke down the housing and camera and rinsed everything with fresh water. At the condo I flushed everything again and set it out to dry. I give thee camera less than a 1% chance of surviving, the battery 5%, the memory card 10% and the camera housing 50%. Then I repaired the deflator hose and we headed out for a dive at Bachelor's Beach. Wouldn't you know it?!? Kim found a sea horse on the very next dive and now she has no photographic proof or memorabilia to frame. It was a great find.

After having to abort our first dive due a flooded camera and equipment malfunction, we did manage to get in four great dives and we ended the day with a nice meal at Mona Lisa's where we had their delicious pork schnitzel. Unfortunately, their dessert menu has changed and they no longer have the apple strudel with cinnamon ice cream. Tomorrow morning we are planning try 1,000 Steps again without the camera.

Dinner at Mona Lisa's.
Today we had 5 great dives. We managed to actually complete a dive at 1,000 Steps and then went on up to Karpata. Both are amazing reefs. At Karpata we witnessed an epic battle between a damsel fish and a fire worm. The fire worm was climbing up some staghorn coral that the damsel fish claimed as her own. She came dashing out and bit the fireworm. she must have gotten some the fireworm's venom because she swam back and forth quickly for over a minute. Then she would charge the fireworm but back off before making contact. Finally, she came up with a different line of attack. She began spitting on the fireworm. She kept spitting water in the fireworm's face until he finally gave up and left. This afternoon we dove the Hilma Hooker. We went to the outer reef. It was the first time I have ever gone to the outer reef at that site. It was beautiful but pretty deep (about 80 feet at the top). Then we dove at Pink Beach. We jumped in Sara's Smile right at dark for a night dive and Kim was excited to see that the tiny flashing aliens were out tonight. That topped of a great day. We checked out a new place to eat called Divers' Diner Bar and Grille. We had lion fish ceviche as an appetizer. I think we will eat there again.
Kim enjoying some reading during our lunch break from diving.
Day 6 was another great day. In the morning Kim found another seahorse at Witches' Hut. Her second this week. We also saw a squid and 3 turtles on the two morning dives. Our first afternoon boat dive at Forest was Kim's 250th dive. Here she is celebrating with Mariska, our dive master on this dive. We have been diving with Mariska for about 4 years now.  W'e did another dive at Monte's Divi from the boat and then a night dive at Bachelor's Beach to see the blinking aliens at the same site where the Donkey Divers first discovered them several years ago.
Today we took it easy and only made 4 dives. We made two morning boat dives with Murph. The first was at Mi Dushi and the second was Rappel. It was the first time Kim had done Rappel. She fell in love with huge coral formations and the shallow wall ( from 0 to 20 feet) which is so colorful and full of life. We made our afternoon dives at Something Special and Red Beryl. Both were beautiful, relaxing dives. We saw a Hawksbill turtle at Red Beryl. The picture to the left shows divers setting up their gear for a night dive as the sun sets over the horizon. We found another new restaurant tonight. Cuba Compagnie was a fun place with great food.
Woke up Saturday morning with plans to get in two dives but it was raining, cool (78 F.) and for the first time this week, there was no wind. We got worried that if we dove until noon, our dive gear might not dry out before we had to pack it so we made the decision to skip the dives in order to give out gear a chance to dry. The sun came out after 1:00 but there still isn't much wind. I think everything is going to dry inn plenty of time.
For those of you who haven't been able to sleep since last Monday when I reported the flooding of my camera, I have an update. The video camera that also took the underwater pictures on this page is officially dead as I had expected. Also, the battery and memory card will never record another image. The good news is that the housing (most expensive part of the equipment) seems to be fine and working well with the other camera of the same model that I picked up on ebay a couple of years ago as a back up.
The reef is very colorful with a variety of species of fish.
Date Location Dive Site Maximum Depth Bottom time
8/9/2014 Bonaire Sara's Smile 70 50
8/9/2014 Bonaire Alice in Wonderland 88 54
8/9/2014 Bonaire Salt Pier 54 59
8/9/2014 Bonaire Sara's Smile 32 40
8/10/2014 Bonaire Oil Slick Leap 50 61
8/10/2014 Bonaire Andrea II 39 48
8/10/2014 Bonaire Bonventure 64 73
8/10/2014 Bonaire Knife  52 60
8/10/2014 Bonaire Buddy Reef 40 61
8/11/2014 Bonaire Bachelor's Beach 65 65
8/11/2014 Bonaire White Slave 67 36
8/11/2014 Bonaire Lake 64 69
8/11/2014 Bonaire Windsock so beach 53 62
8/12/2014 Bonaire 1,000 Steps 65 74
8/12/2014 Bonaire Karpata 71 62
8/12/2014 Bonaire Hilma Hooker 100 59
8/12/2014 Bonaire Pink Beach 59 58
8/12/2014 Bonaire Sara's Smile 54 45
8/13/2014 Bonaire Yellow Submarine 58 60
8/13/2014 Bonaire Carib Inn 48 62
8/13/2014 Bonaire Sharon's Serenity 53 70
8/13/2014 Bonaire Carl's Hill 43 67
8/13/2014 Bonaire Sara's Smile 29 36
8/14/2014 Bonaire Witch's Hut 57 50
8/14/2014 Bonaire Andrea I 55 48
8/14/2014 Bonaire Forest 43 56
8/14/2014 Bonaire Monte's Divi 56 69
8/14/2014 Bonaire Bachelor's Beach 50 41
8/15/2014 Bonaire Mi Dushi 55 65
8/15/2014 Bonaire Rappel 59 67
8/15/2014 Bonaire Something Special 50 66
8/15/2014 Bonaire Red Beryl 59 40





To see pictures from other dive trips, click on the button below to go to my SCUBA page. It has links to other pages of pictures and dive reports from many different dive trips over the years. 

                         Scuba Diving Page



Hit Counter