Day 93, Year 1: We Love Bonaire
Date and Time: Wednesday, January 18, 2006, 2030 AST
Weather: Beautiful
Air and Water Temperature: 82 degrees F Current
Location: Kralendijk, Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles

It is currently 2000 here and we just got home from an all day trek about Bonaire.
We started our day with an early morning snorkel around the boat. We discovered that we have our own little troupe of Sergeant Majors that hang out around our boat and there are blue chromis, banded butterfly fish, different varieties of parrot fish, trumpet fish, ocean surgeon fish, and even a few queen angelfish that are helping to keep us company here. As we were preparing to jump in the water, Lionel, our neighbor on Sea Whisper, called over and invited us to tour the island with them in a rental car today. We were delighted with that invite and quickly surveyed the area around the boat and then got ready to explore on land.

I mentioned in yesterday’s log that Lionel and Laurie are from Vancouver Island in Canada. They are heading east as we head west, and we are finding it great fun to share information about where we have been. They have just come from the Curacao, Aruba, and the San Blas Islands and that is where we are headed. They are headed to Trinidad for Carnival Week in early February and will then tour the Windwards where they have been. They learned in Aruba and Curacao that they can take advantage of time share offers to get great freebies. They spend 90 minutes touring a time share offer and in return they get free dinners at great restaurants and free 24 hour car rentals. They estimate that for each 90 minutes spent listening to the time share deals they get about $250 or more in free gifts. Not a bad deal. So today’s car rental was a freebie they were given for their Bonaire time share visitation.

We first headed north through what is known as Bonaire’s wild-west desert landscape. We drove along the coast through an area known as Devil’s Mouth with strangely sculpted cliffs, jagged rocks, caves, and arches. We snorkeled in that area and saw many fish of the same varieties that we had seen earlier in morning around our boat swimming among the gorgonian coral. As we continued our northern tour we came into the land of cactus and had lunch in a little town called Rincon. We then headed to the south end of the island to see the salt flats. We had hoped to snorkel off the southwest coast of the island, but the surf was just too rough. So instead we saw salt flats, slave huts, flamingoes, donkeys, windsurfers, and windmills. I will spend more time explaining these things in future logs as it is late this evening and we plan to start out tomorrow with another drive down the southwest coast to try for a snorkel before Lionel and Laurie have to turn in the rental car (jeep).

This island is so very different from the islands in the Windwards. There is a real grocery store here, the first we have seen since Rodney Bay, St. Lucia, and everything here is very clean and well kept. It seems that every place we go we think it is the best place we have ever been. How does one ever know when they have truly found paradise?

060118 Day 93 Caribbean, Bonaire–Island Trek