Thursday, February 23, 2017


We are really enjoying Bonaire.  The water is crystal clear and there is a great feel to the city.  We can snorkel right off the boat.  Bonaire is surrounded by a marine park so there are fish everywhere. There is no anchoring allowed so we are on a mooring that was only $150 for 14 days, quite reasonable. The island is what we sailors call steep to , which means that the bottom drops off very quickly from the shore.  We are moored within a 100 meters of shore, and yesterday we snorkelled along a reef along the shoreline and it had moray eels, tangs, butterfly fish, a beautiful trumpetfish, crazy goatfish using their spiky things to dig on the bottom , nudibranches galore and so much more, it was terrific.  
We went to a talk on sea turtles last night, it was great, very informative . They have tagged them here, getting a 200 pound turtle in a small boat and applying the GPS tag is quite the chore, as you can imagine. They have data of where all the turtles have gone, and their tracks were amazing. All the way up to Cuba and all over the Caribbean basin. The presenter also told us where we could see hundreds of them popping up to breathe as they feed. 

Yesterday walking along the esplanade we saw some young men practising water polo.  I have never seen that before in the ocean. I suppose that makes sense here, why use a pool when you have unlimited warm water to practice in. Interestingly the coach was a woman. We have set up our diving while on the island.  Bonaire is all about diving, they have lots of sites all over the island. The shop we visited had a unique set up.  You were given a sheet and everything you rent is recorded on the sheet, you have to do a set up dive to ensure your equipment fits and the weights you have are correct. Then you can use the equipment as much or as little as you want. They have a spot for you to keep your stuff which is locked with a combination lock , that is so you can return your equipment after hours if you choose to dive on your own. A lot of the dives are just off the steep to shore so you could get in your car and zoom off to whatever site you wanted to go. We will have to be very careful not to overspend here. 
 Bonaire is a part of the Netherlands which is evident in some of the architecture here. They chose to not be associated with the other two Netherlands Antilles and have the U.S. dollar as their currency . There are also signs that there are factions on the island that do not want any help from the Dutch.  We here Dutch, English and a lot of Spanish spoken.  Quite a few of the stores we have been in have had Spanish speaking staff, I would assume from either Venezuela or Columbia, I guess Panama may be a candidate as well. My Spanish is way better than my Dutch, which is non-existent. 
We are hoping to take an island tour tomorrow.  There will be a smaller cruise ship in and they will speak English.  The day I asked about the tours, they were all being given in German. Yesterday there were two big ships in and it was interesting watching the one that had been behind manoeuvre to get out.