From Diary 1, the
14. As usual, while we eat breakfast, a tiny hummingbird visits the flowering bushes on the veranda. The day's first plunge is at Alice in Wonderland. Morten stays back, and Amira having problems with getting her legs, covered in nine millimetres neoprene to sink, Jesper and I head for a nice dive. Among the huge amount of fishes and corals, a small hogesbilled turtle emerges.
Back bye Yellow sub to return my long fines: The short, lightweight works fine, and are so much easier to take off in the surf. While we are there, I get one kilo of weight more. Can't tell if it is the grilled cheesecake or the new, thick suit that makes it necessary. Back for lunch and a bit more tampering with my BCD. I have to listen to suggestions on sewing it from scratch...
All in the car, and out to Oil Sleek. We have to send Amira in again, the weights still causes her problems. Switching between six combinations of suits makes it almost impossible to find the right and balanced weight. It is a balance between freezing or caring more than ten kilos of lead. Personally, I freezes.
Morten and I takes the last dive at 6 pm. Had a plan of trying Jeannies Glory, Bloodlet or Reppel, but as usually, we misses the yellow stones that makes the sights, and end up at Karpata. Doesn't matter that much; it is after all the best sight on the island, I think. We head down stream, to the left, where the steep wall is very folded and overgrown. We are rewarded with two hogsbilled turtles and plenty of other marine life. Sometimes, all around this island, you feel like swimming in a fish soup.
Supper at an excellent, newly opened Indonesian restaurant, where we defiantly have to get back to. I am so much out of energy when we reach home! It is hard to be on vacation!
15. A good nights sleep after the tree have been cut down: It was banging against the roof all night. The first dive is at Yellow Sub's House Reef to get Amira proper balanced. She ends up in the thin shorty; alternately would be 14 kilos weight! The reef just in front of the city are excellent, and we even see a large spotted eagle ray.
I try to pay my used gear and the Nitrox for the first six days, but I'll have to wait for the boss to get the 10% - or more - I want. Back to pick-up Morten, and lunch, and then off to Hilma Hooker; the wreck on 10-30 meters. The sight is real good, and we can see almost the whole huge ship. Along it, some one meter plus thaipans and other huge fish only lazy moves, when we swim bye.
The last dive in this round of Unlimited Nitrox should be something special, and I lure the others out to Cai. Here are some large mountains of concylies, which have been eaten many ears ago. The dive is in a bay on The Wild Side, where a wall of coral boulders forms a home for lobsters. Unfortunately, the current are turning, and the sight less than five meters. Short dive, but we have to return the tanks and do a bit of shopping. First dive I don't freezes at, but that changes, when we hit the mall's cold.
16. First non-diving day, and we head for the Washington-Slagbaai National Park, witch makes up 20% of the entire island. We starts at nine, after Amira and Jesper have prepared fried chicken and other delicacies for the tour. Against all odds, it pours cats and dogs when we drive up north, and we even gets a few showers in the park.
The main vegetation is acacia bushes and tall cereus cacti. Everything looks more green than last we were here,15 month ago. The cacti have buds, not fruits, and the acacia and alike bushes are covered in green and lush leaves. We take the long way around, showing the main sights to Amira and Jesper: The Window: A hole in a rock-wall, The Blowholes at Playa Chikitu, the ancient (1 million years old) coral rock and the fossilised coral reef at Boka Chikitu.
Some giant waves hits the wall, and I just get turned around and bend over, before I am totally soaked, but my camera survives. Once again, I am taken by the power of the bronze plate, warning about swimming in the bay. It is erect in memories of a 19 years old man, who did take a swim.
We are hit by an intense shower, and drives on to Boka Kokolishi and it's light tower. We eat lunch, sitting well covered in the car, while them the column and barrow cacti are getting soaked. The rain drives off, and we walk up to the tower and the magnificent views. One can see most of the park from here, and it is a beautiful sight!
We continues of the rough and serrated road along the northern end of the island. Occasionally, we get a chance to meet the sea, and most times that means a inland lagoon with pink flamingos. Where ever we stops, colourful lizards watch us intensely, and occasionally, a giant green iguana joins in in the begging for scraps. One can not be picky, living in this deserted and dried place.
In the bushy areas, wild goats do their best to disappear, which seems sensible, considered they are living in a national park. On the other hand; the donkeys approaches the car, and don't seem to be surprised to see slices of bread appearing from the opened windows.
A short detour brings us to Pos Mangel; the only freshwater pool in the park. It measurers only ten meters, but last we were here, in the dry season, the area were crowded with thirsty birds. It is significantly more quiet to day, but on our walk down to it, we see a real colourful starling and some of the tiny pigeons.
I have this dream of making a Bonaire area in Copenhagen Botanical Garden, and searches for seeds of the more interesting plants. Last time we were here, the column cacti had plenty of fruits, now they only have buds, and that paten goes for most of the rest. Although I did bring my heavy boots just to botanise, I can't find much.
It is getting late, and we have to leave the park at five. While we drive out, some amazing views emerges. One at the basalt columns, others where the road are flanked by giant cacti. There are significantly quiet at the backseat - until the snoring starts. Can't blame them; I could do with a nap my selves. The rough road demands some attention, and the beautiful nature the rest.
Supper at one of the favourite restaurants. I wisely chose a light main meal and commit suicide with a quarto Death by Chocolate. Almost works!
17. Sunday, and we take it real easy. I sort my photos and resizes them. Leave Amira sleeping, while we find some essential spare parts for her diving gear at Bonaire Adventure and Diving Shop. Then down town to the internet cafe to upload the first week while the brothers relaxes with a beer on the pier. Home by the supermarket and the local grosser. The supermarket have at least 50 different coffee creamers on a five meter rack, but no instance coffee at all.
Home to tamper with the gear, cleaning some seeds and do some serious stirring out in the thin air. At three, I pull my selves together, and head out to the ridge, leading to the peak: Seru Largu, which raises to the staggering 123 meters. Only the fare north can top that. I take the back road, crawling the ancient rough coral reef, which are cowered with Acasia, cacti and other hostile vegetation.
To my big surprise, I find some small and wind shaped trees I haven't seen before. Try to find seeds of the more interesting plants and photos of the rest. The area is almost bare coral limestone, slightly covered with 3-5 meter trees and few Cereus, but I do find a few shrubs in the cracks. The more or less wild goats seems to find the most.
It is like a maze, and I get my trousers torn along with my legs, arms and hands. Then, with no warning, I find my selves on a parking lot. I have reach the peek, and here are a Madonna sculpture and a large cross. Doesn't seem to be that visit, and after a short view over the town, I start the tour back.
Catch up wit a small group of donkeys, which seems surprisingly scarred of me. The lower part of the ridge seems to be completely overgrown with cacti, Agavas and Acasias, and I have a living hell, trying to find out to my car. Had promised to be back around five, and I hit our front poach at 16.59.55. Morten claims I'm too early... I clean some small Passiflora fruits I found. The are dark purple, and not surprising, the colour sticks to my fingers, wash after wash.
We pack the car with disposable grill, marinated chicken and some other stuff, and drive down to Oil Sleak for a nice BBQ. It starts to rain on the short drive, but clears up at the beach. After the last divers have emerged, the moon takes over the lightning, and we enjoy some nice "home made" supper. A bit disappointing, there are no dessert menu.
18. After two days of rest, we are ready for an other round of diving. With a new Unlimited Nitrox account, we head down south to Salt City, just upper site the pink salt lakes. Easy access into the water, and a magnificent sight. Plenty to see, and even a small hogsbilled turtle. After an small hour, we returns to the car for an apple break and some surface time.
Warmed up, we drive a bit more south to Pink Beach, with it's palms and nice sandy beach. An other cosy dive with plenty to look at, but lunch is in some minds - and the rest of us is just cold enough to agree. Here are a double reef, but the outer is quite deep and there can be a rather strong current. The fish are bigger, but the colours weaker, and it is really not worth the swim.
Afternoon dive at Ol' Blue, up north. Shorter swim to the reef, and a nice top reef on top of that. Spots a few new fish of the more than 350 species, of which I think we have seen a pretty big part of. Here are 110 species of corals, and there seems to be longer and longer between the new ones. I wish I had a (working) camera: I would love to get an image of each species!
This evening supper at the one main restaurant we haven't tried. As every where else, the food is excellent. Here the portions are not as huge as some other places, but the taste is heavenly. Morten get fried yucca, which is very tasteful. I start with a starter; pork role topped with havarti, salad with nuts and a mild muster sauce. That makes room for a dessert: Warm pineapple capatchio with white chocolate trifle, arranged with fresh strawberries. If I hade made it my selves, I would strictly walk to the kitchen and prepare a new - double portion!
19. Morten and I make a morning dive at southern Punt Vierkant. A large hogsbilled turtle to start with and plenty of life afterwards. Pack to pick the others up, and then up to Oil Sleak, making some weight adjustments once again. When that is sorted out, we swim south with the current, but this area offers so many beautiful corrals.
Stops at the supermarket on the way home. A ship most have come in: The peevishly empty shelves have been filled - but now; some of the others are empty. Amira prepares a lunch that can mach the restaurant's, but I stick to a packed of dry bisques. Fell that I already are caring weights enough! Five kilos of lead might not sound like much, but in comparison with the tank, BCD and other equipment, it is is quite a load to draw up of the water and across the corral barrier at the beach!
A short stop by Yellow Sub's Nitros sheet to re-load, and then out at the northern Andrea II. Huge, deep reef and as a special treat: A giant Blue Parrotfish. It is truly blue! It swims a bit further out than the other giant Midnight Parrotfish, that seems to prefer the steep walls just under land.
Back to the apartment to relax with homemade popcorns, books and PCs. At eight, I drive the others down to Front Poach for a night dive. I can't handle the thought of being cold, and have to surface into the dark, cold (24C) night. On the other hand; their stories about giant barracudas and stuff like that might talk me into a night dive to morrow.
While I wait, I head down to the internet cafe to upload my diary, and check mails in general. A walk through town, a rest at the dockside and a cupertino at our favourite restaurant. I left them with the car, and walked into town, but it sounds like I shouldn't have bothered: They emerged in a completely other location, and have to walk anyway.
At home, I see their photos of "the giant barracuda and the group of morays". Strangely enough, they are only able to produce blurry photos of a big herring and some small Sharptail Eels...