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Bonaire Day 5: Let op! drempels

First thing this morning, we knew we had to take care of the flat tire issue. Mike did change it the night before but this meant we had no spare and with flat tires so common on Bonaire, we didn't want to be without a spare for long. We called the rental company and they asked us to drop off the flat tire. They would fix it then come out to the condo and switch out the spare for us. Driving back to the condo, we came across our favorite sign. Apparently the Dutch word for speed bumps is drempels and caution signs were all over the place. It became our little joke of the week.

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After getting the tire taken care of, we did our normal two dives on Bari Reef. Most people who go to Bonaire drive around to multiple dive sites each day. That was originally our plan but once we saw the convenience of diving at Bari, we got a little lazy. The reef there is so diverse that it was an interesting dive site all week. Many of the people who have been going to Bonaire for years spend their entire week on Bari as well. As much as we loved it and were comfortable with it, next time we'll probably do a little more exploring just to see some different underwater landscape and critters.

It was 1 p.m. by the time we started the first dive and on this one, we pretty much stayed together in our exploration of the reef. After a surface interval back in the condo, we got a bit of a late start on the second dive at 5 p.m. By this time, it was getting a bit dark on the reef.

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I got down to about 60 feet and Mike was just below me at 70 when suddenly, I had a panic attack. Mike helped me with a controlled ascent and we decided to finish the dive in the shallows since I seemed to be feeling a little claustrophobic on the darkening reef. This turned out to be a good thing as we saw lots of cool things we probably wouldn't have seen otherwise.

Smooth trunkfish

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Ocean surgeonfish

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Foureye butterflyfish and Spanish hogfish

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Sharptail eel being chased by various fish

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Peacock flounder

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Smooth trunkfish

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Porcupinefish

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Coney (sea bass)

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French angelfish

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Mike hadn't been sleeping much at night on this vacation (what else is new, right?) so he was pretty exhausted after our last dive. We decided to get a quick dinner in town at La Guernica, a restaurant serving Spanish tapas. Dinner included a view of the town waterfront.

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We shared three tapas plates--bruschetta with tomatoes and onions, grilled shrimp in a lobster gratin sauce, and crab salad wraps. The food was excellent but we didn't waste any time with food pictures as I swear Mike was actually falling asleep at the table.

We made it back to the condo and Mike was fast asleep by 9 p.m. I read a little and followed suit shortly after.

Posted by zihuatcat 13:39 Archived in Netherlands Antilles

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Thanks for sharing your week, this is very informative for our upcoming trip to Bonaire.
Could you comment on what the orientation dive was like with Bonaire Dive Adventure? Was it just a description of the rules and a check of the equipment/weighting? Or was it more like an OW check-out dive with a review of skills: air share, mask fill/clear, hand signals, etc?

by A W

AW,

There was no skills test. The orientation itself is just a description of the marine park rules, some dive site recommendations, and a tour of the dive facilities, etc. and how all of that works. The check out dive is done at your own convenience. There is no divemaster in the water checking skills or anything. It's basically done on the honor system and the sole purpose is for you to check your gear and weight. The divemaster was available on the dock right after orientation if there were problems but that's about it. We actually waited and did our check out dive the next morning because we were just too exhausted after the red eye.

Have a wonderful trip to Bonaire!

by zihuatcat

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