15 November, 2018
I’m always torn when it comes to subject matter for these missives. Do I do a travelogue, boating technical stuff, or what? I guess we’ll just keep on layin’ it down as we have been for the past few years until a better idea comes along.
The diving in Bonaire is super easy. The island is surrounded by a reef which begins 50-75 yards offshore at a depth of around 7-10 meters. This opens up the sport to those without watertaxis, because nearly every dive site on Bonaire is accessible from shore entries. We probably dove 2 out of 3 days that we were here. We did a couple of boat dives with Wannadive, the scuba operation next door, but mostly dove from our dinghy, ranging a couple of miles both north and south, with frequent trips to Klein (Little) Bonaire. Four days after the full moon, we did a night dive to look for ostracods. These little guys are crustaceans, some 20,000 species in all, averaging around 1mm in diameter. After the full moon, this particular species bio luminesces(?) for about a half hour after night falls. We laid on the sandy bottom waiting for the show to start. True to form, shortly after nightfall, the lights came on. We felt like we were in the middle of the Milky Way, surrounded by a galaxy of stars. Very cool. We fell into a nice rhythm with our diving. Heading out around noon assured us of good lighting for photos and our choice of dive sites, as all of the dive boats were back at base for lunch. There are mooring buoys at every site, so it makes for a secure feeling when leaving the boat while diving. Drop in the water, do our dive, then back in the dinghy easily (thanks to our new ladder). Stop at Wannadive, drop off our empty tanks and pick up the 2 that we had left the day before (now filled). Sweeeeet! Boy, what’s not to like?
Suzanne felt like she had maxed out her photo quality with her waterproof Nikon, so she picked up an Olympus TG5 camera, a serious little point-and-shoot, and an underwater housing. In my humble opinion, she’s taking some great shots-we’ll do an all-scuba gallery soon. I’m still just doing video with our GoPro Hero whenever we see a good “action shot.”
So…….The Caribbean Journal just ran a piece on the fantastic dining choices in Bonaire. I’m here to tell ya that we didn’t have a bad meal while on island. Here we go: “Bistro de Paris, Zazu Bar”-our marina restaurant. Super fresh ceviche, good burgers (especially on burger night), Happy hour from 17h00-19h00 featuring 2 for 1 beers and wines. A nice place to chill after a busy day. “La Terrazza”-a 3-time favorite for us. (2 wine tastings-4 courses with 2 wines for each course with audience participation, moderated by owner, Gabi). “Foodies”-kind of out in the sticks south of Kralendijk on the other side of the salt pans. We stopped there for an early dinner on our way home from a beach day at Lac Bai. They had just opened, so we were the only diners there when we arrived. Great service, cool setting. “Cappricio”-Just like it sounds. Fresh Italian cooking in an upscale modern venue with both in and outdoor seating. “It Rains Fishes”-right on the shore road in Kralendijk. Upscale outdoor dining featuring you guessed it. “Posada Para Mira”-just outside Rincon. This open-air thatched roofed restaurant features local cuisine-goat stew and iguana soup being just 2 of the features. The commanding view and steady breeze contribute to the ambience. “Mezze” for Mediterranean. “Sebastian’s” for oceanside seafood with an Italian bent. “Captain Don’s,” an all-inclusive dive resort just north of our marina boasts a multi-level outdoor dining area abutting the ocean. Very cool vibe. The menu is typical of North American tastes. “Between Two Buns” was our go-to for a savory lunch-great salads, specialty sandwiches. “Donna and Giorgio’s”-Italian in a funky setting. “La Creperie”-a favorite morning hangout for cruisers. Their savory crepes are super tasty. And…….let’s not forget the “Street Food” genre. Lisa had a stall in the market featuring Indonesian food. After buying finger-food from her several times, we got her to cook a traditional Indonesian meal for us, which we carried home. Yhanni has a little palapa on Coco beach where she makes killer Arepas. After a couple of post-dive lunches with her, she shared her secrets and recipes with Suzanne, who now makes these incredible Venezuelan treats.
“Dash” food truck is only open on weekends, but their fried chicken on homemade biscuits with spicy slaw are worth the wait. Their donuts look incredible too.
It’s amazing that I got out of Bonaire not a pound over a buck ninety-five. Guess I can thank the diving for that.
“Jason,” our super-ratty, but trusty Toyota Hilux pickup truck took us on adventures all over the island. From the salt pans in the south to the sunset hike up Mount Brandaris, he kept on keepin’ on. We off-roaded the windward side of the island, hiking down into every boca (little inlets in the rocky coast, often with a small pebbly beach). I don’t think that we saw 3 other vehicles all day. Along the way, we visited a cave with pre-columbian drawings on the ceiling. Massive wind generators dotted the shore on the northern end of our trek. We returned to the road(?) at the gate to the National Park. The park was an adventure for another day. When we returned the following morning, it was an all-day hoot. You are not allowed in the park unless you have a four wheel drive vehicle or truck. Yep, 2 mile-an-hour roads (ummmhhhh….make that washed-out ruts). We visited every boca, beach, dive site and vantage point in the park, enjoying a picnic lunch along the way. After lurching and bouncing along all day, 600mg of “Vitamin I”, then happy hour soothed our aching backs.
Well, let’s pick up more of Bonaire…