Bonaire Diving


This is a post that I promised my friend, Balbulican. Balbulican is a diver of the experienced and knowledgeable sort. I spent a few days, prior to our honeymoon, in email conversation with him about Bonaire – specifically regarding diving in Bonaire. He is a WEALTH of information and he should get paid for doing this stuff, really. An encyclopedia of knowledge he is.

He runs a site at Underwater Motion, with his friend George – where they are “committed to capturing the beauty and excitement of the world’s premiere dive destinations on DVD.” Before we left for Bonaire – I purchased their “Dive Bonaire DVD” – – which we were able to enjoy upon our return. Thanks, Balb!

There are quite a few pictures that start below the “Continue Reading” link – be patient, there are a LOT of them and it can take some time to load (Balb – since you’re a professional – you cannot laugh at our underwater photography attempts.. we’re but mere amateurs!)

We found this guy on our first day there…actually snorkelling, not diving. While we were taking our 4-day PADI course – we snorkelled during those days, since we, of course, couldn’t dive quite yet. Funny thing, our instructor wouldn’t let us take our camera down during those open water dives of our course… she wanted us to actually pay attention to her, or something. Pfft.

This sea turtle was found on “Andrea I” at about 10ft:

Sea Turtle

These are two shots of a Moray Eel we found at “Bari Reef” – he was weaving his way in and out up the coral reef at about 60ft. These pictures hardly do him justice – he was just amazing!

Moray Eel

Moray eel 2

This is a random shot of me that Chris took at “Bari Reef” – – we spent most of our time at Bari. That is the reef we took our course on – so we were most comfortable there. I found it impossible to get bored just by staying on one reef the whole time – because every single time we went down, we found new things. It was like a different reef every time! Though, we did one boat dive out to Klein Bonaire… the name of the dive site escapes me at the moment. The water was kinda rough out there.. so much so that I couldn’t really enjoy myself too much – I was worried about the current and obsessing with keeping near the boat too much. I guess that will come with experience and time.

Me, Diver.  You, Flickr.

To say that the reefs on Bonaire are immaculate and perfect would be the understatement of the year! There is a reason why Bonaire is considered one of the premiere dive sites in the Caribbean. This is a shot of some of the beautiful coral we found there.

Beautiful Coral

At about 100ft at Bari Reef – we found a wreck and Chris got this shot of me next to it. It’s a tugboat wreck.

Wreck Dive

Here’s a shot of it at a different angle:

Wreck Dive

This is a Sea Cucumber:

Sea Cucumber

Not something you really want to toss into your salad, eh?

Here’s another turtle. Found this guy along the sandy bottom at Bari Reef during a night dive at about 30ft.

Sea Turtle Bonaire

A nice, calm puffer fish just kind of hanging out there on his own:

Puffer Fish - Bonaire

Update: I forgot to tell you about Charlie the Tarpon at Bari Reef! Now you may, or may not believe this – – to some it may sound like a ‘fish story’ – but! We took a night dive at Bari Reef and didn’t go very deep at all. Seeing as how it was our very first night dive.. we wanted to stay shallow and close to the pier. We stayed around 30-40 feet and were following this turtle around (he’s pictured above.. the one on the sandy bottom). As we’re swimming around with our lights – – I see this shadow out of the corner of my eye. Thinking it was just the shadows.. I went right on following the turtle.

THEN! From behind me.. DIRECTLY over my right shoulder came Charlie! He swam not TWO INCHES from my face… and swam into the line of my light so he could feed on the little fishes he found there. What I’ve failed to mention so far is that Charlie is BIG.

How BIG is Charlie? 8. Feet. Long.

He slowly swam from behind me… 2 inches past my face…. and down in front of me into my light beam. And he stayed with us the whole time we were down there, swimming in and out of our light beams.

It was so cool – – and to say it was a little freaky at first is an understatment. I think I almost spit out my regulator when he swam up from behind me! Of course, not ever seeing an 8 foot Tarpon up close before, you know exactly what my first thought was right?


But, he was harmless. Friendly and just looking for a few bites to eat.


That is all for now – – these were the ones taken with our digital SeaLife ReefMaster. We also used a very old underwater camera (cannot recall the make/model at the moment) that required film and we’re waiting for those to be developed.. should have them soon!

7 thoughts on “Bonaire Diving”

  1. Pingback: Just A Girl » Blog Archive » Bonaire - Above The Sea

  2. Wow. What great pictures! More, more!!!

    I know Charlie well: our first encounter was exactly like yours. He was like a torpedo wrapped in tinfoil.

    Is that wreck the one just behind Bongos, near the traffic circle…the one with the reefcam on it?

  3. Hi Balbi,

    No its the wreck at the bottom of the bari reef. I think 95ft down. Stinger said 99.. I should have laid down and gotten 100 on the damn thing.

  4. Pingback: Happy, Happy — Lisa Sabin-Wilson

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