Bonaire Day 7

Filed under: — Anastasia @ 3:32 pm

Naturally, 8am the next day rolled around and there was no sign of anyone by the truck. I started calling the rental place around 8:30, and was told someone was on the way. By 8:45, I tracked down a cell phone for that person and called them directly – turns out they were looking for the car over by the Sand Dollar office, even though I’d clearly stated several times the night before that it was parked by the dive shop. He came and gave the battery a jump; I left it running for a while and then parked it back by our condo while we went off to do a dive.

Just to be on the safe side, we piled into the other truck to get to the dive site. Our destination was the wreck of a sailboat named Our Confidence, located somewhere south of Eden Beach and possibly near Harbor Beach Resort. (We found conflicting information in the books on the best entry site, and none of the Sand Dollar DMs could give us any useful tips on finding the wreck).

At Eden Beach we got decent directions from their dive shop: enter off the dock and head south past a couple of buoys, and we should be right on top of it. We discovered a pretty strong current pushing us back the way we came. Luckily, that’s the way you want the current to be running, so we forged ahead.

Eden Beach is on a very rubbly area of reef, so there wasn’t much to see on the way besides sand and occasional piles of rock. As we were cruising along, I noticed a funny-looking object sticking out of the sand; I thought it was an old styrofoam cup or something. Jeff was on the other side of it, and started taking pictures so I went in for a closer look. Turns out it was a big snake eel sticking his head out of the sand!

Snake eel in the sand:

We pushed on over several ridges, every time thinking the wreck must be just out of sight. After about 15 minutes of swimming, we finally saw the hazy outline of a sailboat.

Wreck of the Our Confidence (photo by Carol Yin):

I have to say, I’m astounded that this wreck isn’t more popular and that more divemasters didn’t know how to get there. The current was a bit annoying, but not frightneningly so, and it was definitely worth the effort. The wreck sits in about 50 feet of water, which gives you plenty of time to hang out, and also means decent lighting for photography. It’s a wooden boat, so it’s rotting away in interesting ways. There were a lot of old ropes and cables strung around, so perhaps it isn’t very publicized because it would be an entanglement hazard for new divers. But we all loved it!

It was especially good for video because of the current. While the photographerss struggled constantly to maintain their positions, I would just swim against the current to the bow of the boat, hit “record,” and let the current take me from bow to stern in a long, smooth pan.

On the way back to shore, we stopped under the Eden Beach pier to wave hello to the ReefCam:

Being upstaged by a fish at the ReefCam:

Then it was back to the condo… where of course, we discovered that the battery in our other truck was dead again. Argh.

Carol and Michael opted to have a relaxing lunchtime before our afternoon dive, so we left them to deal with pestering the rental agency again. Jeff and I hopped back in the water for one last dive at Bari Reef. I was tired of dealing with my camera, so I went video-free on this dive – and thoroughly enjoyed it!

We puttered around mostly in the shallows, heading north in search of the “Reef Balls,” big cement spheres used as artificial reefs. On the way we passed several moored boats, which provided shade for huge schools of jacks swirling around in tornado-like formations.

At one point, Jeff suddenly started pointing his camera at me and taking pictures, which seemed odd since he had the macro lens on. It finally occurred to me to glance behind me – where a big snaggletoothed barracuda was hovering just outside of my peripheral vision!

After the dive, Jeff dunked all his gear in the Sand Dollar rinse tank. Almost instantly, his hands began to itch and burn. We think someone rubbed up against fire coral on their dive and then rinsed their gear in the dunk tank, leaving little fire coral bits behind for the next innocent bystander. Ouch! I made an emergency stop for some vinegar so Jeff could finish out his diving day.

Our afternoon dive was next door with Buddy Dive, on a boat trip arranged by Bruce (who just bought a house in Bonaire with his wife) for all the digitaldiver.net folks. We liked the boat operation there much better. No doubt we were influenced by the fact that the Buddy Dive divemaster was an ace at finding little things, including multiple frogfish:


We briefly considered squeezing in one last night dive, but decided to quit while we were ahead and call it a day. There was a digitaldiver.net evening get-together at Bruce’s – they have the most gorgeous house, with the perfect patio for hosting parties. Funny how everyone we know with vacation homes seems to not have kids!

Afterwards, Jeff and I sneaked off for a ‘date night’ dinner at an Italian restaurant, then joined Carol and Michael back at the condo to make plans for our topside adventures the following day…

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