Scuba Bonaire: Small Wall, June 6th

For our next dive, we took Dinkus (our dinghy) about a mile north along the coast, with two other boats in train. Small Wall gets its name from a small underwater cliff, which features a cave that often hosts sleeping nurse sharks. Allegedly; we were not so blessed.

We heard “cave” and Jazz brought a flashlight, so we have a couple of shots with a mix of light source. Blue light makes it through water better than red, so the deeper you get, the more things fade to monochrome. We can correct this a little with a lens filter, and a little more in Darktable, so things get a little closer to normal. But a flashlight beam with pure white light makes everything it hits look much redder by comparison. This looks weird, but it does have the advantage that you can see the whole lionfish, for example. These guys like to hide in holes where they’re basically invisible to the GoPro. They’re really cool looking, but also really bad for the reef, so it’s always a mixed feeling when we spot them.

This dive also begins our obsession with Damselfish (left), which despite the name are not at all ladylike. These 3″ beauties like to hover over a patch of coral and guard it against all comers, and I think they’re a little confused when they zip towards us and we don’t immediately retreat. Also common here are several kinds of boxfish, like this honeycomb cowfish (right). They’re just super silly looking, especially since they mostly swim with their pectoral fins madly flapping, like little misshapen butterflies.