Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bon Bini in Bonaire

"Bon Bini" means welcome in Papiamentu, the language of the ABCs. Its a mix of Spanish, Dutch and South American Indian languages. And we did feel very welcome on our return to Bonaire in September.

What would a blog posting about Bonaire be without a flamingo picture? They are commonly seen wading in the salt ponds, but the coolest is when they are flying overhead with their long necks and legs stretched out fore and aft, looking like an arrow with the feathers in the middle.

We saw many more parrots on Bonaire this year than last. They fly around in small flocks, screeching raucously as they invade one tree after another then quckly move on. They seem like a boistrous bunch of teenagers, trying to stir something up.

Bonaire is a dry island with cactus forests dominating the northern part.

And in the south, the dominant feature is salt. Mountains of it. The pink water in the foreground is caused by brine shrimp, which also give the flamingoes their colour.

Idyll Island was moored in front of a beach that was used for swimming lessons. Here is a group of little ones who have just swum between our hulls. They got a real kick out of this and it became a daily event.

All dressed up and out on the town with "High States" to celebrate Randy's birthday. Food and service was very good, and prices in a restaurant like this were about what we would pay at home. Therefore, we only eat in places like this on very special and rare occasions!

The ladies looking good and smiling at the thought of the free rum punch Happy Hour at RumRunners. Even the iguana in the bouganvillia behind them is smiling!

And Captain Don is smilng too! He is a bit of a legend in Bonaire and in scuba diving circles, as he was the driving force behind establishing Bonaire as an marine park and preserving its underwater treasures.

A seahorse. He's only in about 4' of water right in front of the town, hangin' out in a clump of old wires and pipes. Not a very picturesque location, but he was the first seahorse Cathy had ever seen in the wild. Every time we jumped in the water in Bonaire, we saw something cool.

Like this beautiful sharptail eel. These guys swim along the bottom and stick their noses into every little crevice and hole they can find, looking for tasty bites. They are often followed by several other species of fish hovering just above them in the hope that something might get flushed out and provide easier pickins than finding it on their own.