Scuba Bonaire: Something Special, August 15th

We had decided to leave and picked a date, but we wanted to get in one last dive, so we geared up on our boat and jumped in the water. We had expected to dive Something Special all the time, what with it being an easy jump off our own transom. But we ended up having such great opportunities to go elsewhere that we kept saving it for a later that would never come. We did dive it one time, but we had been focused on looking for coral spawning and we missed a lot of the reef. This time, we paid more attention and were rewarded with lots of special somethings. First, though, we have to talk about the fact that it’s essentially the town mooring field and entry-point for the fishing fleet: there is a good bit more human-generated debris here. Also, still lots of lionfish.

With that out of the way, let’s get to the cool stuff. We saw a mantis shrimp! At least we’re reasonably sure that’s what this little guy was. Right, a creole wrasse in a rare resting position – maybe it’s at a cleaning station?

Here’s a small fire worm, and an unusually large spotted moray. They always seem to make the best faces.

Left, a school of blackbar soldierfish. We’ve been on some islands where squirrelfish like these are more common, but in Bonaire there’s usually just one or two hiding under a rock. Right, some crevalle jacks.

The sponges on this dive are just fantastic. Tubes, elephant ears, and encrusting sponges.

There was also the biggest group of bubble algaes we’ve ever seen. Right, an anemone with pedersen cleaner shrimp.

And, of course, there were fish, like these transitional angels:

Or this honeycomb cowfish and greater soapfish.

Or this yellowfin mojarra, and this school of french grunts.

But some of the biggest schools of fish were directly below our boat (you can see the bottom of Villa in the first and last photos). We like to think that they were our farewell party, a kind of honor guard from the ocean to see us off.