Thursday was Three beach Thursday! We started by heading down south and jumping in at the Invisibles. I have no idea why it’s called that, but nothing was invisible! The water clarity was very nice, and there was lots to see. We’ve found that the way to snorkel here in Bonaire is to swim out to the dropoff, and swim against the current over the dropoff. When you are ready to get out, swim back into shore and drift back along the coral that is close to shore. That way you see “everything” and save energy!
After a couple hours, we got out and headed further south, past the salt plants. Bonaire, like most countries, has an unfortunate slave trading history, and their use in the salt industry is well documented. There are four different colored obelisks, representing the different qualities of salt available. When a ship stopped to pick up their product, they came to the colored obelisk corresponding to the salt they purchased. A flimsy temporary dock was quickly constructed. Female slaves would kneel, get loaded with heavy baskets of salt, and were pulled to their feet by the male slaves loading her. She would then carry it to the end of the shaky temporary dock to waiting crafts that were then pulled via rope to the offshore ships.
Travelling the south end of the island is on a single lane road, through wild lands, passing by one of many lighthouses on Bonaire, dotted with lots and lots of wild goats, donkeys, horses, flamingos, parrots and other birds.
The herds of goats are everywhere, and you better be ready to brake for them crossing the road, or simply milling about! It makes driving quite an experience! The roads are ok, not great, but the goats certainly add another dimension.
The parrots we saw are called Lora Parrots, a rare parrot, seen in very few places other than Bonaire. It used to be on Aruba, but is now extinct there due to poaching and poisoning. They estimate fewer than one thousand are left in the wild.
We dove in the water at Lac Cai, near the mangrove trees. It is supposed to be an amazing snorkel, but this was the one disappointing place we entered the water in Bonaire. Later, we discovered that we had missed the route through the mangroves to the great snorkeling! Ah well – next time we’ll find it.
We headed back to the Divi resort, and took a final dip in the ocean. And I’m sure glad we did! What an amazing snorkel it was! We swam over to the big main docks, where huge tugs are docked. Under that dock was an amazing world. Huge tarpons glided by, big barracuda hid under the tugs, huge schools of barjacks stalked the baitballs, and the pillars were lined with coral that was really amazing to see. Colorful and unique, teeming with tiny creatures, the pillars were a world all to their own.
Leaving the dock we went by a small pier. Under the pier was a huge snook. I’ve included this movie, because it’s kinda funny… about sixteen seconds in, you’ll see the movie take a big jerk… well it’s because I smacked my head on the pillar holding the pier up! And trust me on this one – it hurt! haha
Common snook movie…
Keeping close to the shore, we were in VERY shallow water – about two feet deep, and what did we spy? A turtle! He was probably getting some sun! He lazily wandered around us, taking his time. He was completely unafraid, completely unconcerned. We followed him around as he lazily swam around the beach. Just love to hang around a turtle!
Turtle movie with a barracuda too, from right in front of the Divi Flamingo Resort…
There was really so much we packed into this day. It was certainly busy, but oh so wonderful. So many great shots… so I remind you once again that the posts do not contain a link to all the pictures we took. You can access the gallery for Bonaire by clicking here or you can get to the gallery by clicking the gallery link on the menu line at the top of every page.
This last little movie is of a parrotfish being cleaned. I’m not sure how the fish know where to go to get cleaned, but they kind of “hover” and little fish dart out and nip off the stuff that is bothering the “victim.”