I’m back from Bonaire. It seems like our trip flew by in the blink of an eye. Our first day was a travel day, and those are the necessary “evils” for anyone who travels. We started off early in the morning, leaving the house about 4:30 AM to catch our flight at 6:50 AM. First stop, Houston. We barely had enough time to get from one flight to the next, but after running across the airport, from one terminal to the next, we made in time to connect to our flight that took us straight into the airport, into the main part of the island, Kralendijk. By the time we landed and got ourselves situated, we were beat and we all turned in relatively early. But after that, we went for it with gusto and a vengeance. 🙂
Bonaire is an extension of the Netherlands. Everyone there speaks 4 languages – Dutch, English, Spanish and language of the Caribbean Islands, Papiamento, which is a combination of Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, Taino Indian, and African languages. Bonaire has a complicated and colorful history. It has been a Dutch province since 1816.
We were welcomed to the island by these two lovely ladies in their original traditional island attire.
Today, the main industries are #1, by far the MOST lucrative of their industries, is tourism, especially dive tourism, followed by a very distant second with bird watchers and nature enthusiasts. The #2 industry for Bonaire is salt production for the world, followed by the #3 industry, shipping, but more on those later.
Bonaire is a diver’s paradise. If you are not a diver, most probably, you will not enjoy Bonaire. The whole island is one big dive site and is a beloved dive destination for divers from all over the world. This was our second time to Bonaire.
Because the whole island is one giant dive site, this is a popular sign saying “Beware, Divers crossing”.
Most of the dive sites look something like this, and the entrances and exits are NOT for the weak, in any way, shape or form. Once you get into the water, all is great, but getting in out and out is very challenging, to say the least. This was one of our favorite sites, Andrea I, and we dived it about 5 times in the course of a week. This was one of the easiest to enter and exit, but it was still an adventure. All of the shore dive sites are recognized by yellow rocks with the names painted on them.
This is NOT us, but it was us on many other occasions. Nancy took the prize for the most dives out of the three of us, with 30 to her credit for this trip. I had 26 and Larry had 25. I wanted more, but had a tummy bug for a little bit, and that prohibited my from accomplishing more dives on that day. We were shooting for 5 dives per day, and did pretty well with that goal too. For anyone who is a non-diver, this is a very aggressive dive schedule.
We did not dive 1000 Steps this time, but Larry and I have dived it before. We chose NOT to dive it this time because those steps are killer, especially with all of our gear, and it doesn’t help to have bad knees either. Nancy and I both have really bad knees, with three knee replacements and zero ACL’s between us, so 1000 Steps was definitely out for us. Legend has it that even though there are really only 87 steps from top to bottom, it seems like 1000 with all your gear on, and that is how it got its name.
Yes, the water really is that blue. 🙂
None of us had any underwater cameras, AGAIN, for this trip, but the diving is phenomenal. We still have not replaced ours yet, and our friend Nancy, who was traveling and diving with us, flooded hers on the first day. You will just have to use your imaginations on all the fabulous things we saw. The reefs are in excellent condition and are vibrantly filled with lots of life.
This is a mural that is very representative of the abundant sea life that Bonaire has to offer. Other than the dolphin and the wrong kind of Angel fish they have represented here, we saw everything all the time, and much, much more.
You can do boat dives too, but all of our dives were shore dives. We dived a few different sites over the island, but our own house reef, the Calabas, was where we dived most of our dives this trip. It was so easy just to jump right in from the dock, with an easy entrance and exit. Plus we all were assigned lockers to store all our gear, which made it even easier because we did not have to haul it all around.
Our home for the week was the Divi Flamingo. We traded in one of our timeshares and stayed in a little studio apartment all week.
This was our view from our room. We enjoyed it before, after and in between dives.
Even when we were in between dives, for the most part, we were still wet and still in the water. What can I say? I am a mermaid and the water is my domain (when outside the kitchen). The water is my happy place. 🙂
I have oh so much more to share, but this is a good place to end for now. You know there will be a whole bunch more to come later. Stay tuned. 🙂
Find your happy place and live life to the fullest. Stay cool, stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.