A Day of Snorkeling
Trip Start Apr 08, 2011
16Trip End Apr 23, 2011
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Bonaire is the second largest of the five Dutch Antillean islands. Though not as famous as the other two islands -- Aruba and Curacao -- in the ABC islands, Bonaire is a water sport paradise featuring diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, and water-skiing. Kralendijk is the sleep capital of Bainaire. Strung along one of Bonaire’s many attractive beaches, it is lined with pastel stucco houses and has a reef system that is a national part, protected up to 200 feet all around the island. One of our fellow cruisers mentioned that we had to have a license snorkel, but we quickly ignored that bit of misinformation (and you should also), and headed out to find some snorkeling gear and a prime spot to see some fishes
Walking along the pier, we glanced into the water and could see some of the most spectacular looking fish our eyes had ever seen. With colors of green, blue, pink, and yellow, the fish were so close to the rocky shore it seemed that you could just step into the water and pick one up. That would be true if the sand on the shore wasn’t covered with sharp remnants of sea shells and pebbles pushed up from the ocean’s floor by the light waves. Clearly we needed water shoes to brave the crumbly shores.
Initially, we walked around the sleepy village and dashed into a few shops. The place reminded me of a sleepy little place you would find in Mexico. There was one main street (if you could call it that) where most tourists strolled in search of the best deals on souvenirs. After a quick stroll down the plaza, we happened upon a dive shop, rented some snorkeling gear and went in search of a nice spot. The shop was less than a quarter mile from the ship, so it was very convenient. I wanted to take the water taxi out to Klein Bonaire, an uninhabited island just west of Bonaire, which is said to have some incredible snorkeling
I was amazed at the clarity of the water and the variety of fish. I won’t even pretend to know what kind of fish they were, but they were all beautiful. One was a combination of blue, green, yellow, and pink. Most amazing was its teeth. It had a smile as big as mine. I’m not kidding! Everytime I saw one of these colorful sea creatures it looked as if it was smiling at me. Hilarious! It would crunch up pebbles between those pearly whites, then spit out the remnants, adding to the sandy ocean bottom. Then there was this flat, sandy colored fish with prickly thingies coming from its sides and a pea-sized black eye peering at me from the top. Michael says it was a flounder. It sure was fun to watch it scoot along the sandy ocean floor, then disappear into a cloud of sand and rocks.
After about a few hours of snorkeling, I was pooped. We muched on our French bread and trail mix, then took one last stroll along the shopping street to pick up a few items.
Back on board ship, we freshened up and strolled the ship to see what was offered for the evening. To our surprise, we came upon a quartet playing classical music in one of the lounges. We love the relaxing sounds of Beethoven, Bach, and other masters of the classics, so we found a cozy nook to settle in and listen to the delightful sounds. In fact, Michael was fast asleep in no time. And who couldn’t go for a little nap after all that snorkeling.