Chilling in Bonaire

Sunday afternoon and we head off to the beach at Luc Bay. This is a windsurfer’s paradise with shallow blue water and lots of wind….. The dark patches in the photos is sea grass which is being cultivated for the turtles as this is a nesting place for them.  We enjoyed a lovely lunch in the beach bar and then took to the water – amazed by some of the gravity defying leaps around us and the skills of some of the youngsters.

Luc Bay 1 Luc Bay 2 Luc Bay 3 Luc Bay 4 Luc Bay 5

We had a really chilled afternoon people watching and then headed back up the coast to Morphie for a quiet night in after another spectacular sunset.

Sunset 1

Monday morning and we headed off early to return the truck. We were sad to see it go as we had had such good fun exploring the island. But we had pretty much done it all – so it was time….. After dropping off the truck we wandered back to the dive shop and did a single dive on the house reef. And we saw four huge tarpon just hanging around…. We also saw a huge shoal of blue tangs but sadly couldn’t find the seahorse that is supposed to reside on this reef…. Was a good long multi-level dive and we were underwater for almost an hour.

Dive 1 Dive 2

After cleaning and stowing all our gear we headed back to Morphie – with an initial panic because we couldn’t see dink on the pier!   He was still there… but had been pushed underneath… so the top of our outboard got a bit scratched up. Grrrrrr…. this is because people here tie up their dinghies so tight that they bounce others underneath the pilings. Oh well – what can you do???  Anyway… that was us for the day…. we just spent the rest of the day and evening on board.

Tuesday morning we were up really early, had a quick breakfast, made rolls for our surface interval, before heading into town.  We have booked to go boat diving so had to be at the shop ready to go by 8.30 am….. All sorted and there were four of us – which we were pleased about when we saw the size of the little boat that came in. But hang on, loads and loads of tanks on board. Then we find out that there are another 10 people coming from the other dive shop. Going to be a bit tight!

Dive boat

Went and picked them all up – got our gear ready to go – and we headed across the channel to the coast of Klein Bonaire. The first dive of the day was at Leonora’s Reef. A lot of the dive sites have girls’ names – apparently because they were all named after girlfriends of Captain Don!   Not sure whether that is urban myth, but makes for a good story….

This site was a typical sloping reef with huge coral formations with hollow centres – these are the ancient ones because corals age from the inside out and begin to die where the coral polyps are the oldest. Estimates of age for some of the formations here have been placed at over 75 years old.  Unfortunately the visibility wasn’t so great as the weather was overcast so a bit gloomy and a bit busier than we have got used to with so many divers in the water. But they all kept a reasonable distance so we had a good time – with loads and loads and loads of beautiful fish, including a few free swimming eels.

Dive 3 Dive 5

Dive 4

The second dive was Carl’s Hill – and the main feature of this dive is the sheer wall that begins 20 yards offshore and drops to a sandy bottom at 70 feet. The face of the wall is covered with sponges and gorgonians and a seldom seen species called featherbush hydroid which sits on the upper face feeding on the plankton. Again large schools of blue tangs and a few bar jacks were around. We also saw some great little stuff in the shallows as we finished our dive on top of the reef for our safety stop. Really enjoyed boat diving and was glad we had signed up for this.

Dive 6A

Dive 7

Back on board in the middle of the afternoon for a short time then we headed back into the bar…. Time for more football!   This time it was Brazil –v- Germany.   We were anticipating a good match and a great atmosphere as there is a huge Brazilian following here and we had been entertained by them royally during this World Cup. Oh dear….. oh dear….. Terrible upset. The supporters couldn’t bear to watch – and the few German fans celebrating didn’t help matters either. Head in hands and everyone left pretty downcast after such a terrible result for them. Had to feel sorry for them…. After the game we headed back to Morphie for a quiet evening on board – and no cars noisily patrolling the waterfront tonight with flags flying and horns blazing. Not sure that the Road Runner counts LOL

German fan celebrating

Wednesday we were up pretty early and got busy. Boat jobs beckon – Morphie needed some tender loving care down below, particularly the wood. So we changed beds, scrubbed floors, polished walls and generally gave her a spring clean. She looked and smelt lovely afterwards! We then headed back to the bar for the 4pm kick off – tonight is going to be fun – Holland –v- Argentina. Hup Holland Hup!!!  The locals were in festive mood and were clearly expecting to celebrate big time tonight.

Young Dutch fan geting excited

Well the match wasn’t great….and they just couldn’t score. As the time went on it got more and more tense – felt just like watching an England match!!!! Then extra time…. still 0-0. Oh dear.. penalties looming.. and this time they didn’t swap the keeper.

Tension mounts

Not sure what is going on…. Oh dear…. all over…. Holland are out!  Absolutely shock and horror all round…. We had intended to go to the cruisers “burger night” in the marina after the match – but ended up chatting with other people we had met so didn’t move…. and had a pretty late night in the end!

Sunset out to the anchorage

Thursday morning and we were going to go diving…..but didn’t feel like it after the excesses of the night before. And to be honest we were both pretty tired – we have been quite busy since we got here and think it just caught up with us – so ended up doing nothing all day! Just reading, snoozing and chilling. Was lovely!!!!

Sunset 2

Friday morning – today – and we were up early to another stormy, windy and slightly miserable day. We have been surprised by the amount of Sahara dust that is getting dumped on Morphie – but mustn’t complain as the presence of this in the atmosphere suppresses tropical storm activity! But it doesn’t rain here that often to wash it off….

Our first task today was to head off to the smart modern laundry – on foot this time – to get the sheets and towels done.

Large modern laundry

Then to the bank for more drinking vouchers and finally to the local Chinese supermarket as we had managed to run out of soft drinks again – and then back to Morphie. Richard then ran ashore to Budget Marine to drop off our cooking gas bottle as they think they know someone who might be able to fill it. This has been a constant problem up and down the island chain with the US fittings on our bottles – so today Richard ordered an adapter which we hope will help us resolve this once and for all!!!! So fingers crossed for Monday when we go to pick it up. And that’s it for the day folks! Another early night beckons.

Tomorrow we’re planning to do our final shore dive – and then bring the gear back to Morphie to dry off and get it packed up for the season. And I think there might be another football match to go and watch in the afternoon????

Bye for now.