Well, it didn’t take long – we are addicted to diving already and often back on the boat having breakfast by 9am having done our first dive of the day!
Three different couples have accompanied us on a few dives and we have started travelling to other sites in our dinghy but are avoiding shore dives, as we don’t want to hire a car and then have to stagger over the rocks carrying our gear. Our longest dive so far has been 97 minutes and I still had plenty of air left but Rob was nearly out. Fortunately I bought a smaller tank than him, so we can remain in synch for refilling the tanks. A brilliant free guide details the sites around Bonaire, the strength of current and what you might be lucky enough to see at each one. We are just working our way through those suitable for beginners and have seen barracuda, sleeping tarpons, moray eels and turtles, plus hundreds of colourful fish. Creature and fish ID books are essential.
We have started studying the fish behaviour book, lent by one of our new friends and are trying to identify what we see to mark up our logbooks. One of the authors gave a talk at ‘Buddy Dive Resort’ on Sunday evening, with brilliant photos. You can see a huge amount just snorkelling here, so there is no absolute necessity to dive but it is fascinating to be so close to the fish and feel weightless as you gentle drift or fin along. Next we plan to talk to the nearest dive school about doing an Underwater Photography course. Having photos would help with recalling what we have seen, as once we get back on the boat we often forget exactly how many stripes or colours the fish have.
Boat wise, not much has changed as we are still on the same mooring we moved to last week. It has only rained a couple of times since we arrived and as Bonaire is very dry, the boat gets covered in red dust. Perhaps some of it comes over from the Sahara as well! The dust gets into everything, so Beyz will need a big clean up once we get to Grenada, in time for our friends arriving. She continues to be an ideal boat for our lifestyle, especially as the stern is so easy for getting dive equipment onboard, swimming off or just sitting watching the sun go down. When we see other people trying to clamber aboard their boats, on the side or via a steep ladder on the stern, in a swell, we are extremely grateful for Beyzano’s design! Her cockpit is excellent for entertaining, another thing we do a lot of.
By coincidence, ‘Full Circle’, a boat we met on our very first night after we left our UK home marina in June 2011, is here. We also caught up with them in Porto Santo and Gran Canaria – it’s a small world! Another 473, owned by a Belgian called Bart, arrived last week and we met him in St Lucia. He enlists crew to help him sail his boat and they have come south from St Martin and intend sailing on west to Panama and Mexico.
We almost gained a new crew member this week, as a would-be stowaway tried to clamber aboard via the dinghy!
If you are a user, Facebook has a few pages dedicated to sailing. Grenada cruisers, Trinidad cruisers and Women Who Sail are some we joined for keeping up to date with events and gleaning advice. Recently one for Guyana and Suriname has been set up and provides great information on inoculations, visas, marinas etc. with links to websites.
We enjoy being here, with the friends we have made and busy days. The weeks are flying past!