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Night Diving

Night diving is a favourite pastime of ours and we certainly had our share on Bonaire. We were for ever searching for seahorses and frogfish which we didn’t find but we saw so much else.

Soapfish in a bed of Orange cup corals

Seahorses and frogfish were supposed to be almost all over the place but their ability to blend in with their surroundings made them really hard to find.

Night time is for moving
We were actually told that some dive centres caught frogfish and seahorses on clandestine night dives and put them down on their own house reefs as this attracted more customers.

Orange cups and crabs
We did, however, manage to find not only one but two seahorses on a night dive – under the Town Pier in Kralendijk of all places. Amongst tractor tires with giant green morays, oil drums and garbage, plastic cans on top of carrier crabs and other assorted items we found a magnificently strange and colourful world.

Lene closely studying something... or perhaps just asleep...?

Full of small critters like the Arrow-head crab, cleaner shrimps, slipper lobsters and the overwhelming Orange cup coral. This small coral really comes into its own at night, and rest assured that if you see this coral on a photo it’s most likely shot under the pier in Kralendijk.


A Seahorse, a seahorse...
A small distance from the pier on a piece of flat and slightly muddy bottom a wooden branch stuck out. I suppose one wouldn’t normally pay any attention but knowing seahorses…

And yes, clinging to a branch with their tails two Lined seahorses sat side by side slightly waving back and forth. Now and again they seemed to trumpet with their noses as they sucked in some unfortunate little organism. Absolutely brilliant.

Master of Disguise
Other great adventures were our night dives with a Caribbean reef octopus. On one dive we followed an octopus for some 20 minutes. It is simply amazing to watch this mollusc hunt and see how it changes colour and structure in a split second depending on the substrate or the background.

Claus on a cement block acting as an anchor for the dive markers

Silver torpedo
Anglers (and divers) familiar with the Caribbean most likely know it but to us the tarpon was a new acquaintance. Imagine that you’re just quietly toddling along in the light of your tiny torch (looking for seahorses) and suddenly a large oblong shape rushes by you from behind moving in much the same way a shark moves. Shock, rock and horror.

But it’s only the tarpon hunting in the light of your torch. But still… it’s a big silvery predator between 1½ and 2 metres long. We almost got used to it.

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