Bonaire is one of the small islands off the coast of Venezuela that make up the Netherlands Antilles. Our travels began early with a flight out of Boston and a layover in San Juan. When we arrived that night, the heat and humidity were still high. We stayed at Captain Don’s Habitat and I saw the saying “Diving Freedom” on their welcome sign. It seemed to fit with the countries’ license plate that said a “Diver’s Paradise”. For the first time in my life, I saw crystal clear blue water and the week was filled with diving and projects. The diving here was unbelievable! I saw so many marine creatures, from sea turtles, eels, angel fish, and many more. One day on the boat to a dive site a pod of dolphins swam by. If I had to pick a favorite dive there would be a tie between a night dive at Town Pier and the Hilma Hooker. The night dive was incredible; being my first night dive, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The colors of the corals at night and the creatures were wicked cool. The Hilma Hooker is a shipwreck off the south end of the island. It was amazing being able to see the wreck lying at the bottom in about 110ft of water, from 15ft below the surface.
Besides for diving, I worked at the Habitat dive shop, and at STINAPA and the Bonaire National Marine Park. While at STINAPA I helped conduct underwater surveys. The surveys were being done on the behavior of divers touching corals.
When not underwater, Dave and Pat Morton, Kim Douglas, and I traveled the island, where we saw the salt flats, Rincon, Lac Bay, and the slave huts. One of the last days I was there, Jack Chalk, our host, took Kim and I on motorcycle rides on his Harley around the island. It was a new experience being able to taste the salty air, while driving. The trip was filled with lots of diving and more leaning than I could have ever imagined, but mostly it was a wicked lot of fun!!!