Location: Harbour Village Marina, Bonaire

Let me explain my title. I’ve noticed in our time diving here in Bonaire that the fish seem so accustomed to the presence of divers that they come really close to you. Closer than I’m used to, and I’ve been diving a lot!

My morning started at 6:00 a.m. when my alarm went off. It was time to head up on deck to set up my scuba equipment for the first dive of the day. Kelsey joined me on deck, finalizing checks on her equipment before we got in the water for some practice on the Divemasters skill circuit. While we were underwater, we were greeted by some needle-nose garfish and tiny golden moray eels.

By the time we exited the water, it was time for breakfast, which had been prepared by Jack, his two sous chefs, Sam and Makena, and Mac, the bread maker. We had a wonderful fruit salad along with homemade biscuits and gravy.

Once breakfast and clean up were done, everyone rolled into class with Leadership, first run by Tomer and then followed by Marine Biology, led by Anna.

After class, everyone was split into three diving groups to head out to a coral reef restoration site where a local organization named Reef Renewal is growing coral to be transplanted back onto a reef. During this dive, some people were completing their Peak Performance Buoyancy dive, where they practiced some underwater hovering skills by knocking over stacks of weights, staying as still as possible in the water column for one minute, and adapting to a change in buoyancy mid-dive by receiving extra weight. Another group practiced their underwater rescue skills, simulating stressed, tired, and panicked divers and how to respond.

Just before dinner, there was also an optional fun dive for those who still wanted more diving, and Kelsey, with Toby’s help, went to try mapping the reef as part of the Divemaster course.

To finish the day, we were treated to a beautiful Bonaire sunset and a nostalgic pasta dish from Jack that he says his mum would make. So big thanks to Jack and Jack’s mum!