With all the BVI diving under our belt it motivated us to not skip Bonaire. So we went a slightly longer route rather than heading straight to Panama, as originally planned, and made our way to Bonaire to get in some diving. What an incredible island. Beauty and the Beast best describes it, a flat desert above the water line and a magical wonderland underneath. If we were more modern we would have a GoPro and insert all the underwater photos here but we don’t and my memory will just have to be enough. We moored close to the dive shop and signed up for three unlimited days of diving. We went as far as the dinghy would take us, exchanging tanks twice a day. The coral was some of the best we’ve ever seen, both soft and hard, and most of all healthy. After seeing a huge field of stag coral and discussing it with the dive shop, they even directed us to an area where they are doing stag coral restoration.
But don’t get me wrong, although desert like on top it was still really incredible. We rented a car and spent the day exploring the island. Donald even took some of the unmarked roads to places we probably weren’t supposed to go (and in directions that were probably opposite the “proper” way). Different then any other Caribbean island I’ve seen with great hiking and diverse wildlife like eagles, iguanas, and flamingos. The wildlife viewing above the water was just as good as that underwater. The birds:
The (imported) mammals:
And then there’s just the landscape – deserts can be very pretty, especially when bordered by the blue Caribbean water:
Lastly, as noted in the post on Martinique, the tiny house crowd should really check out the former slave quarters at the salt mines (almost literally – they’re evaporation ponds rather than mines, but otherwise…):
On our last night in Bonaire we joined a cruiser’s cocktail hour on another boat and met Kate and Andrew on Wildside. They would be heading to Panama next as well and we would end up spending quite a bit of time together.