Bonaire Vacation Pictures

French Angelfish

These are underwater photos taken in Bonaire an island of the Netherlands Antilles October 1999. All photos were taken with my ikelite Aquashot 3e camera using the external Substrobe, water correcting lens, flash deflector, macro kit, and 200 speed APS film. While there, we stayed at Buddy Dive Resort and had a great time.

Dividing Bar

Bonaire is everything the dive magazines say it is! The reefs are beautiful and the fish and creatures are abundant. We were able to do our orientation dive right off the hotels dock just 2 hours after the plane landed! Diving off the shore is as simple as taking your truck through the drive through air fill station, picking up tanks, driving down the road till you see a rock painted yellow with the name of the dive site on it, backing the truck to the edge of the sea, putting on you equipment, and walking into the water.

Coral Reef
Rock Beauty and Blue Chromas

The license plates have the slogan "Divers Paradise" and it is! Practically, the whole island is setup for nothing but divers. The hotels all have docks with wooden sets of stairs for exiting the water after your dive. At Buddy Dive they even have spotlights that shine directly into the water to help find your way back on night dives.

By far the most memorable dive was at the Town Pier. A guide is required for this dive (arrangements can be made at any hotel) who gives a briefing at the site. This is the same pier that the big cruise ships dock at. The dive is about 30 feet deep and there are 4 large pillars and many smaller ones. All are covered with corals, sponges, and creatures galore. This picture is of Orange Cup Coral.

Orange Cup Coral
Christmas Tree Worms

If a picture is worth a 1000 words then I can wright a 9000 word essay on the Town Pier dive since 9 of the pictures on this page came from that single dive. Bring lots of film it doesn't take long to use it up. So much to see! Here are a couple of Christmas Tree Worms.

These Bearded Fireworms seemed to heard together. They reminded me of caterpillars.

Bearded Fireworms
Decorator Crab

The Decorator crab had a piece of sponge on his back that was bigger than his entire body. He was out just crawling around on the bottom and walked right into the framer on my camera for this shot.

Ok, so you may be asking, what did we get for our $15.00 dive fee? We got the best guide "Alex" who searched us out and took us to this long pipe laying under the pier. Inside was the cutest octopus shown here.

Spotted Moray Eel

This Spotted Eel was out hunting for dinner. It was a little challenging to take this picture using the macro lens and framer as the eel swam along the bottom. He really didn't seem to mind me snapping his picture but he didn't cooperate either.

Yellowline Arrow Head crabs were everywhere under the pier. I made the mistake of touching one with the camera framer. It quickly scampered away as I cringed at the thought of it crawling over me. Think fast moving spiders and you know what it was like to watch these creatures move around all night.

Yellowline Arrow Head Crab

This Balloonfish just hovered around looking for a good place to hide. I am sure by the time I took this picture he had already been photographed about 100 times that night.

A Spotted Drumfish was another soul looking for a place for a good night rest under the pier.

Spotted Drumfish

On a night dive right off the dock at Buddy Dive, I met what I call the "Bad Boys of Bonaire" - Charlie the Tarpon and the Three Snooks. As we started the dive I noticed there were two large Schoolmaster grunts that seemed to be following us. I didn't think much about it until I spotted a Four-Eyed Butterflyfish with my flashlight and one of the Schoolmasters came over and ate it. Crunch! Crunch! Crunch! was all I could hear as he carried the fish off in his mouth shaking his head from sided to side. I felt like I was an accomplice to a murder - and I guess I was! Well that was the last fish I was going to hold my flashlight on. If they wanted dinner they were going to have to find it themselves - in the dark!

Just as I had realized what had happened a six-foot Tarpon known by the locals as "Charlie" shows up and starts to circle us. I guess he heard the crunching and figured that if anyone was going to have a bite to eat he wanted his share. Soon he was joined by three Snooks that must have come to eat any leftovers that Charlie passes up. Well we made sure not to shine our lights on any more snacks for these bad boys (Sorry Charlie) but we did have fun aiming the flashlight into the sand and seeing how close we could get them to come to us. With Charlie all I could think was to keep my fingers to myself.

Creole Wrasse

It was a great dive trip. The people were friendly and the diving was phenomenal. In addition to the pictures above, I also saw several sea horses, barracuda, and some of the most beautiful coral and sponges I have ever seen. I saw everything but the elusive Frogfish. Maybe next time?

Dividing Bar

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Revised: October 21, 2000
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