Scuba Bonaire: Candyland, August 10th

Candyland was one of the most highly-rated dives on the island, but we’d held off on going with Carcycle because the book warned pretty severely about the roads. So we went on a Rust Bucket day, and we found the roads to be pretty tolerable. Drew and Patricia came along in the Bucket, Sally met us up there, and we all climbed down the rocky shore into the water. We found some nice coral and lots of fish, but we didn’t feel it quite lived up to the hype. Maybe it was just because visibility wasn’t great that day.

Still, we were treated to the full complement of critters. Drum, butterfly, and of course, plenty of lionfish, always skulking in caves and recesses that defy direct illumination.

There was a sharptail eel, always exciting, and a whole lot of spotted spiny lobsters. Like the lionfish, they like to hang out in dark crevicies, but we’re including this bigfoot-quality photo because we were so happy to spot them.

In fact, we were so happy to see them that Jazz stuck her head in a hole looking at one and was shocked out of her skin to find her face about a foot from a giant green moray. No picture of that because we were a little distracted. Jazz blew through a lot of air right then as her heart rate worked its way back down to normal.

Speaking of giants. Every dive in Bonaire has lots of parrotfish, so we often forget to shoot them even though they’re really pretty. But every once in a while you see a really giant one, like the monster rainbow parrotfish on the right. (The left is a stoplight.)

We also see plenty of damselfish, but they’re just so feisty and photogenic that we snap them anyway. On the right, a redlipped blenny, and a recent-looking urchin shell.