Scuba Bonaire: Wakaya II, July 15th

From Bloodlet, we’d planned on diving the adjacent Rappel. But the mooring looked awfully close to the cliff for comfort, so the group decided to take a much longer trip around the northwest corner of the island and into the national park. We had hoped to pick up our batteries that afternoon (a longer story), but figured that we wouldn’t hit this famous site without going on a boat, and so what’s another night without a working toilet. (Or fans.) Adventure awaits!

The dive was not as pretty as the surroundings; the coral was not as healthy as in many places.

But we did see some cool things. Coolest of all? Andrew snapped a picture of “a weird plant” to look up later, and didn’t think it was interesting enough to show anybody. Turns out that the bright leafy thing was a yellow-lined flatworm.

Some less unusual, but still cool, sightings included a Jazzfish, queen angelfish, and these banded coral shrimp.

And then there was a huge barracuda, just chilling out and ignoring us completely.

We also found some cool pillar structures. Here’s a big school of schoolmasters hiding between them. And bottom-right, a flounder just chilling out and watching the scene.

Here’s another Jazzfish spotting, and a school of goatfish.

And here are some assorted grouper shots. It’s hard to see, but too cool to omit: the blurry grouper has a cleaner shrimp crawling into his mouth. It will shortly emerge out his gills. Cleaning stations are awesome.

As we approached the boat, we looked out over the flat shelf towards shore. It’s basically all like this: little outcroppings of fire coral interspersed with small brain corals, all in a mix of sand and coral rubble. This is a really famous snorkel site, and that seems odd. There are tiny critters that live among the rubble, but it’s hard to see them twenty feet down from the surface.

After the dive, we detoured over to Boka Slagbai, to enjoy the view, watch the locals jump off a small cliff, and for a couple people to sneak in an extra snorkel.

Then it was a several-hour motor to get back to the mooring field. DR was kind enough to let us rinse our gear on their boat, since we had no running water. And Jazz and I went into shore to visit the gym, not for a workout but just for a shower, before picking up some takeout at the local pan-Asian-fusion noodle place, Bon Wokkie.

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