Jul 20 - Aug 3, 2011... Bonaire Update

Wow - have we really been here 3 weeks already?  Thought we’d update the blog.  We remembered to take the camera to town and got some photos.  The yellow buildings are government offices.  We did manage to get ourselves trapped behind a gate and had to call an annoyed civil servant to get us out -- just too adventurous for our own good.

It is pretty hot and extremely dusty here -- especially when the wind blows (which it does 90% of the time) so being in the water & snorkeling is great.  We are seeing more fish that we hadn’t seen before, like lionfish.  These fish are not native to the Caribbean -- they were introduced from Asia via Florida and are spreading and taking over habitat very quickly.  Here in Bonaire, there is organized ‘lion hunting’.  If you take a class, they will arm you with a small spear so that you can take out the lions.  Interesting, as spearfishing and spearguns are illegal here.  We’ve heard most of the lions (like the one in the photo) are really tiny.

We are seeing the biggest parrotfish ever, including the rainbow parrotfish which must be over 2 feet and really chunky.  One day a midnight parrotfish swam right next to Patti -- it was half her size and almost scared her out of the water. (The fish ended up being more surprised and swam very quickly for a rock tunnel.)

Today for the first time we saw eels -- three of them!  One got its head stuck in a rock and thrashed and thrashed until it freed itself.  Guess that is a stupid eel trick.  Another tried to look menacing as it stared us down from its crevice.

Our latest photo catch at Klein Bonaire was terrific.  Patti was drifting along carried by current down the reef and spotted this little floating blue thing -- not even 1/2 inch long.  Looking closer, saw fins!  John got the camera out, pointed and shot.  He never even saw it in the viewfinder, but managed to get it in the frame.  Looking at it later, we found that it is a baby trunkfish -- also called a boston bean.  Here is the original, and John enlarged it a couple of times so that we could see it better.

We had our first ‘brush with death’ yesterday.  Well, not really, but it felt like it at the time.  Swimming back to the dinghy we passed through an area with millions of tiny jellyfish.  We didn’t see them at first, but we both started feeling stings, then more and more, until our faces felt sore, our legs bitten, and then we saw them EVERYWHERE.  We felt like Dory in Finding Nemo.  Eventually the stinging sensations let up once we were out of the water.  Even so, we continue to be awestruck by the colors and shapes of coral and fish.  Here are more of our pictures, hope you like them.


  1. Hi Patti and John,

    Thanks for sharing your adventures! Your underwater shots are amazing; great depth and clarity of colour. Can you share what type of camera equipment you are using? Also, are you doing any post processing to enhance them? I'd like to do an upgrade to my camera and it's wonderful to see such good results.


  2. Thanks for reading our blog. We use a canon D10 digital camera for the underwater pictures. It is waterproof to 30 m and shock resistant. We process the pictures in Photoshop CS5. We have had the camera for about 18 months and use it heavily. We are very please with the results.

  3. Hi guys ..... how funny are you! Dedicating the bird photos to us!! We actually have been kayaking around (yep, we finally bought some) spying on all the amazing eagles up here in Martha's Vineyard and Long Island. We also took a photo of a wild turkey too ... see, you have definitely had an influence on us! Hahahaa. Getting a little chilly here, we will start heading south again in about a month or so. Glad to see you are having a great time and look forward to catching up back in the Caribbean early next year. Love Mv and Shane