Bonaire 2008

Bonaire 2008

Arrival, Diving and Adventures with Friends
This page features photographs, both above and below the water line, from our trip to Bonaire with Randy’s brother Mark and his wife Sue. We flew Continental from San Francisco to Houston (after a several hour delay), only to be delayed again in Houston, not departing for Bonaire until the very early hours of the morning. Finally we arrived in Bonaire in time to pick up our rental trucks, check in at the resort, eat breakfast and attend the diving briefing.

Randy and I then immediately put our gear together and did a checkout dive, while Mark and Sue rested up from the long flight. As usual the diving in Bonaire is great, and Captain Don’s Habitat’s home reef did not disappoint us. The photos below include some from Captain Don’s above and below water.

While we were there the four of us and Sue’s friend Donna and her family, Rick, Daniel, Denisha and Dillon, went on several land adventures around the island. We enjoyed the drive out to the butterfly reserve, only to find it closed on Mondays, and continued on to the very end of the road at Lac Bai where it is very beautiful with Mangroves and blue, blue water. On the way to Lac Bai we stopped along the wild side shoreline, where the waves were pounding the coastline with white caps and spray. At Lac Bai there were lots of shore birds to photograph a few of which are presented below with some scenics. Mark was driving and we yelled at him to “STOP” “STOP” every time we saw a lizard also. :-)

We (Mark, Randy and I) did go diving also again on Captain Don’s home reef, at Andrea I, Klein Bonaire, the Hilma Hooker, the town pier, Oil Slick, and the Cliff. We really enjoyed diving in the warm water, the visibility was good and the reefs are so healthy. I have to give the people of Bonaire a lot of credit for doing such a great job managing and protecting their reefs.

Treasure Hunting
Then we went treasure hunting! Mark and Sue participate in geocaching, a popular activity where a GPS is used to find a cache that is registered on the geocache website. The coordinates and clues are given and then you have to find the cache. When (if) you find it, you can then take one item out and put one item in. Some of the items have a tracking number where you log onto a website and enter where you found the item. Some of the items travel all over the world! We had fun looking but did not find the geocache. We did explore some cool caves, which Rick, Donna and the kids had found the day before. In some of the caves were Indian pictographs, ancient drawings on the walls and roofs of the caves. On the way out we stopped at an old lighthouse and keeper’s building which were slowly being worn down by nature and the ocean.

Touring Washington Slagbai Park
Randy and I on our last day toured around Washington Slagbai Park. They say it takes three hours to go around the long way, but it took us much longer. There is a shorter road but you miss so much of the park when you take it. If you go remember to pack a lunch and plenty of water, there are no stores once you are past the entrance. We enjoyed seeing and trying to photograph many birds, including Caracara, parakeets, Hummingbirds, Bananaquits, Yellow Warblers, and the very occasional Troupial. We also got some great photographs of iguanas, and the blue tailed lizards that are all over the island. The scenery is quite beautiful also. While we were there we had occasional rain (downpours) in the morning and when it stopped it got quite hot. At Slagbai beach we got out and used the facility and put our feet in the water to cool off. You can dive here; there is a protected bay with a sandy beach entrance. In the lake on the other side of the road are Flamingos which were not as skittish as the ones we had seen at Gotomeer, so we were able to get some better close ups of them.

Captain Don’s, Ice Cream, and Other Good Food
We had a great time in Bonaire with Mark and Sue, and Donna, Rick and the kids. The bungalow at Captain Don’s was comfortable and perfect for two couples with two bedrooms each with a private bathroom. We shopped in town for lunch and snack things and usually only ate out at dinner (breakfast was included in our package) and for ice cream at Lovers Ice Cream. We also found a nice bakery called, I think, The Last Stop Bakery. They sell out early and have a really good chocolate turnover, mmm, mmm. The restaurant at Captain Don’s, the Rum Runner, was quite good and we ate dinner there several times, the restaurant at Buddy Dive is also quite good, and in town we ate at Papagayo for lunch one day and really enjoyed it. I’m sure there are many more really great restaurants, but we were only there for a week.

We hope you enjoy our pictures and this short trip report!

Randy and Kathy