Location: Kralendijk, Bonaire
Did you know that before the sun rises in Bonaire, it is a breezy 78 degrees Fahrenheit (25.5 Celsius), at least on this day it was. I awoke from a restful sleep at 0530 to stretch these legglets for a run, followed by some sanding to prepare for varnish. As I was sanding and singing Shakira (Shakira), I realized, “I MUST GO WAKE EVERYONE UP!” I took my speaker and blasted Raspberry Beret by Prince, but when I went down below, everyone was filling their brains with the phylums Nematoda, Porifera, and Platyhelminthes (and probably much more) for their upcoming Marine Biology exam. While the students were all taking the previously mentioned exam, Calum and I prepped/varnished the cap rail and pin rails. The next class was seamanship, where half the student group learned how to plot a deduced reckon for their Navmaster. After lunch, I conducted a navigation dive with Colm, Ethan, and Katelyn. Near the end of the dive, in about 8 feet of water, we saw a HUGE (WE ARE TALKING 3 FEET) parrotfish. SO large I actually was surprised and yelled underwater at my divers behind me. While we were using our compasses and practicing our skillz, Tom, Val, Bennit, and Katie went to explore the underwater world off the coast of the tiny island named Klein Bonaire (which translates to “little Bonaire”). They saw a TURTLE, loads of parrotfish, trumpetfish, scorpionfish, and (it wouldn’t be a blog written by me without mentioning it) smooth trunkfish! After dinner, a group of divers with Calum, including Maddie, Ethan, Colm, and Sonnet, went night diving to find that MEGA PARROTFISH.
With the ever-looming mid-point (day 45) just around the bend, we look forward to the second half of the trip but also look back at what we’ve already accomplished. Some things we have done to this point: traveled just under 1000 nm, certified 12 new SCUBA divers, explored 3 islands, and found out everyone wants to commandeer Vela and sail her to New Zealand. So buckle up because we have 49 more days of sunshine, bioluminescence, Calum deciding if he’s from New Zealand or South Africa, talks about wrench fingers, jokes about Tom working on his New Zealand accent, Shona’s evil laugh, Adelaide blaring Big Country, Leoni entertaining us with her alternative names for things, and all the chaos, but joy, that goes with living on a 112ft boat traveling the Caribbean, studying science, learning about life, and the environment we put our tootsies in daily. Sometimes we forget how lucky we are, but then we look at a flamingo as we go to the shore heads or see the change in turquoise water where there is sand, and remember we have it pretty good right now.
Photo 1: From Leoni on yesterdays dive; Anthony and Bennit doing backflips off of Tia after their dive as Shona looks out
Photo 2: Shona really excited after the dive
Photo 3: Bennit, Shona, and Anthony exploring the underwater world