August 23, 2011... Still Snorkeling!

If you are a reader of our blog and are getting bored by underwater photos, sorry... But here are some more.  It still flips us out to see such crazy stuff swimming just off our boat near the town seawall.  Of course we saw pufferfish.  But, the latest wacky fish was the spotted scorpionfish laying low here.  Later we found out these guys are poisonous to humans, so glad we didn’t make him mad.

Also, we are now seeing eels everyday.  One was a spotted moray with a lavender-shaded head and greenish fins.  Another was the goldspotted eel.  And finally, another spotted moray with a darker coloration.  This last guy was shooing lots of fish away from his new-found lair, and boy did they swim fast to get away from him.

Lastly, while Hurricane Irene was churning away in the northern Caribbean and Atlantic, here in the southern sea we had no wind and surf.  A perfect opportunity for more snorkeling at Klein Bonaire.  These photos are from there -- again -- beautiful coral, lots of fish -- including the juvenile slender filefish next to the purple pipe coral and the two whitespotted filefish chasing each other like dogs chasing their tails.  And others...enjoy!

August 16, 2011... Round-Bonaire Excursion

After being in Bonaire over a month it was time we rented a car to see the island.  Set out north in our pickup, taking the wild west coast road passing through residential areas and nature reserves.  One spot, thousand steps, is a noted dive site -- beautiful views of the sea from these cliffs above the water.

Continuing inland along Gotomeer, a large lake surrounded by hills with a flamingo sanctuary.  Saw only a few birds there and they were very far away.  Thankfully with our binoculars we could see them, but the camera didn’t capture any here.

Onward to Rincon, the oldest town on Bonaire.  Here we saw our first road-hog goats and some pretty churches.

Leaving Rincon, we headed south driving near the east coast, or windward side of the island.  Saw some large commercial wind towers -- glad Bonaire is trying to take advantage of its tradewinds.  We turned off the main road to visit Seru Largu, a high overlook in the middle of the island.  From there we could see both coasts, Kralendijk, the mooring field, and Klein Bonaire -- the small island to the west.  When you are at sea level all the time, even being 123 meters up is considered a spectacular view.

Continuing south, the island just opened up before us.  Completely flat.  The salt works cover about 2/3 of the south and they are really strange to see.  Some of the basins have a pink tinge, but the salt is very definitely white.

Along here are the slave huts built in the 19th century to house the salt workers.  Very tiny, very hot, but situated on the sea where cooling breezes come at night.  The obelisks were built to signal the salt cargo ships indicating where to go to load salt.  

Along the southern tip of the island, the lighthouse stands over an incredible amount of coral rubble thrown up on land by the sea.  Here we saw an osprey!  We still can’t get it out of our heads that ospreys live everywhere... we think of them as Chesapeake Bay birds coming south for a visit.  And of course we did see flamingoes in Pekelmeer, another flamingo sanctuary, but too far away for good photos.

We ended our exploration at  Lac Bay on the east coast.  Lunch at Jibe City and relaxing in the adirondack chairs in the water.  Two happy campers.

It wasn’t until we started back to Kralendijk that we saw flamingoes close enough to photograph.  Finally!

August 14, 2011... More Underwater Photos

Those keeping up with our blog know that we enjoy snorkeling, identifying and photographing the underwater creatures.  We continue to try new places around Bonaire to see different stuff.  One day down south of the airport we tied up to a mooring and found these baby cuttlefish just under the painter.  Cute, huh?  Their mom must have told them to stay put until she got back.

You don’t need to range too far to have a good snorkel experience.  The past few days we’ve been swimming off the boat towards the town wall.  There is a stone ledge just under the wall where hundreds of animals hide out.  In addition to the usual suspects, we saw 3 lionfish, a spotted moray eel, flounder (much prettier than the ones the Litmans used to fish out of Long Island Sound), the most adorable but shy porcupine fish, grouper, and others.  

We even saw an octopus in the rubble -- but he’s not cooperating with the photographer.  Can you find the octopus in this picture?