Scuba Bonaire: Invisibles, June 11

Invisibles is a fantastic dive site, and yet it gets really mixed reviews from other divers here. Bonaire’s south coast features a number of “double reef” dive sites, where a sand channel parallel to shore cuts the reef in half. At Invisibles, the outer reef is further divided into a set of islands. This structure creates an amazing environment for attracting fish, but has the disadvantage of being rather disorienting, especially if you’re used to the “normal” sites here where the reef slopes gradually down perpendicular to shore. So, of course, we got turned around on our first dive, and disagreed on which way was Onward, and ended up missing one of the islands. Still, I think we saw every fish in the ocean.

The outer reef is the place to be, and it’s deep, which is likely the other common problem for divers here. Diving on air wouldn’t give you a lot of time to explore the best parts. Fortunately, we got nitrox certified back in Statia, and nitrox is amazingly easy to find here, as just about every dive shop seems to have an enrichment system.

Of course, nitrox doesn’t help you keep from getting turned around, and we ended up back in the back reef (the part closer to shore) a little sooner than we’d have liked. That was still full of critters, like the scrawled file fish on the left, white spotted file fish top right, and a number of big snappers.

Here’s a goat fish digging a hole, as they usually are, and on the right, a peacock flounder doing its best impression of sand. In the middle, just a closeup of some soft coral.

Even the back reef can sometimes teem, in this case with a big school of grunts below, and the omnipresent brown chromis above. And then suddenly they’re all gone again, like in the photo on the right with the lone blue-head wrasse.