Since there have been zero races to talk about this season I figured I'd at least do a dive trip re-cap so this blog gets some small amount of use. My last dive trip had been in 2008. Far too long ago so I knew I really wanted to make one happen this year. The 2008 trip had been to Bonaire and since it had been awhile since I had dove I figured it would be good to go back to somewhere I was familiar with. For reference, Bonaire is off the coast of Venezuela and somewhat near Aruba. It is world class diving with a pristine reef and abundant sea life.
The trip was Saturday to Saturday with a red eye flight down on Friday night. 2.5 hours to Houston with a 3 hour layover that was spent at the bar then 4.5 hours to Bonaire. Landed at about 5:30 local time have slept a total of about 15 minutes the entire night. Something about having an open air breakfast overlooking perfect blue water wakes you up though and I ended up feeling pretty good.
The patio above the beach was the place for breakfast every day and literally steps from the room.
The plan for the first day was to get in one dive at the reel off the resort then sleep all afternoon. The first dive went terrible though. Could not equalize and spent the rest of the day stressing that my ears were jacked up and wouldn't be able to dive. Fortunately zero issues getting down the next day and everything came back like I hadn't had a layoff from diving at all.
Bonaire is renowned for it's shore diving. At the resort you get a small truck with your room and can drive to any site on the island and enter right off the shore. The coral usually starts at about 15-20 feet with the reef dropping down in a wall to 100+ in most places. Most of the sea life is around 30-40 so a typical dive profile was to go down the wall to around 80 into the current the come back at around 30-40. The resort also had boats, something I hadn't taken advantage of in the prior trip so I had a good mix of boat/shore dives. Most days were 2-4 dives with the rest of the day spent eating and relaxing.
The sea life in Bonaire is incredible. There isn't a moment you are underwater where the reef isn't full of fish. We also saw sea turtle, rays, moray eels, spotted eels and octopus. The pics below are a small taste of what we were surrounded by on every dive. Some of these are mine and some are credited to Brian Pierce.