On Bonaire the name of the game is
shore diving, and unlimited shore diving 24/7 is usually included in
whatever package you buy. At a surcharge you may, of course, join a boat on
either the west coast (expensive) or the east coast (even more expensive).
It is a colourful world, though, which is mainly due to sponges in all shapes and sizes. The large, purple tube sponge – or vase sponge – is typical in these waters.
How do we do this?
Initially we started the day in a true holiday mode. Got up, made some breakfast, discussed dive sites and went off. This meant that we had our dives before and after noon, and quite frankly… we found the dives just a tad boring (shame on us, I know).
The dive shop was very reluctant to point out anything of interest and seemed mainly interested in selling guided dives, so what to do? We tried a little bit of this and a little bit of that – and ended up diving very early morning, late afternoon and at night… and in between, of course.
Go for Morning Dives
We had some terrific morning dives, where we hit the water at about 6 a.m. and spent almost two hours submerged.
We had ribbontail rays and eagle rays, we had some five different species of trevally on their morning hunt and saw how they drove a big school of boca together in a bait ball and started eating away. And a great barracuda jointed the feast.
The Dance of the Oval Squids
One of the dives ended in the shallows where we suddenly found ourselves in the company of seven small Atlantic oval squids. They hovered right in front of us in a straight line changing colours, patterns and positions at (almost) exactly the same time.
We were rather excited – in particular Bernie, whose gift for enthusiasm quickly rubbed off on the rest us.
At one point a snapper approached looking mischievously at the squids, so Bernie sputtered and cursed the snapper away waving wildly with his arms and legs. Top notch entertainment! Apparently the squids didn’t mind but the snapper fled for dear life.
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