The word “bonaire” literally means “the feeling one would get after doing something satisfying” and the island of Bonaire off the coast of Venezuela has certainly lived up to this! It doesn’t have the jaw dropping beauty of the other Caribbean Islands we have visited, but once your head is below the waterline a different Garden of Eden awaits! Seven dives (including a night dive using torches) in some of the best scuba areas in the world has been awesome. What have I learnt this week? Fish actually lie down and sleep! They find a crevice or hollowed out piece of coral and they close their eyes and remain motionless…not something I have ever thought about before!!
We hired a Wingle – Great Wall which James believes is a Chinese ute to transport us around the many dive sites. Everyone drives a ute! It has been many years since I have had to hoist myself in and out of the back of a ute!! Up until now we had been entering the water from boats so this was a new experience again! The tanks were loaded on to a specially designed timber tray and you set up to dive sitting on the tail gate …then the long road to the water would start. Heaven forbid if you fell – it would have taken at least 2 people to haul me back up!! Once in the water there were some interesting moments trying to fit fins while treading water but then you are fluid and weightless, I imagine like being in space! Getting out was also hard work – I would even use the word feeling shattered after several dives.
Daily activities abound as do the evening social events and when you have more than one Oyster yacht in any one place at a time, then the drinks flow. We decided that it was time for an introduction to a true Aussie BBQ – only music from “a land down under” was played and we introduced them to beetroot in a burger…most came wearing something Australian and our marina neighbours were most unimpressed with our midnight rendition of “Up there Cazaly”! We managed 21 revellers on Miss Tiggy and a major decision was made – BBQ’s will now be on the beach! Ironically as we were explaining the meaning of the words to “Tie me kangaroo down sport” and “Jake the peg”, Rolf Harris was successfully having charges dropped. “True Blue” is becoming an iconic song and by the end of the night we had them all singing it but still grappling with understanding the lyrics! How do you explain to a Swede….”if they sell us out like sponge cakes, do you really care?”
We celebrated the birthday of Hugh (Meteorite) with a magnum of French bubbly kindly donated by Eric (Lisanne) who had won said magnum for being the first Oyster across the line in the ARC…he felt it an appropriate time to share his trophy and we certainly enjoyed it.
It is not all fun and games of course and we are certainly not living in a bubble! On the other side of the coin is the constant need to be vigilant – crime is rife and has touched our group several times. A young couple, part of the OWR, were walking back to our marina past midnight and were held up at gunpoint – just a reminder to us all to take extra care.
Now fully armed with dive gear and a slight obsession with our newly found sport, we are heading for the A (Aruba) and C (Curaçao) of the ABC islands and then on to Colombia.