BONAIRE: Caribbean Diving Paradise

Posted by on Jan 3, 2018 in Uncategorized | No Comments

I begin my fourth year of travel in Bonaire, an island in the Dutch Antilles best known for its world class scuba diving. It will be nice to hang out with my chums under the sea for a couple of weeks.

I think more than a few of my friends have wondered if I had the minerals to stay the course on my five year adventure. It seems now that I am six months past the halfway mark, and barring any calamity, that I will complete my journey and possibly continue further into the years ahead. I think year five will involve longer visits in my chosen destinations to get a better feel of what it might be like to live there.

Then again, I have found that moving about really feels good. I’ve come to enjoy the life of an international vagabond. Nothing ever gets tired or stale. There may come a time when I grow weary of my transitory existence, but until then I’ll just keep on keepin’ on.

THE DIVE HUT – Economy dive accommodation with many conveniences including air-conditioning, television, a refrigerator and there is even a gear room with rinse tanks for your equipment.

Although reasonable at $65/night, the accommodations are roomy and spotless. Then the criminal in the photo below invaded the space between my ears yet again.

“SHORTFINGER” – New Bond Villain who threatens the existence of mankind through the use of Twitter. In his secret bunker at Mar-a-Lago thirty feet under the 18th hole, his Big Macs are delivered by a gold-plated golf cart. There he sits on a golden toilet and plots the annihilation of civilization. He furiously punches invective with great stability into his genius phone with his stubby little thumbs.

Who loves goooooold, has bizarre hair and is one McDonalds order away from a heart attack? I hold my white brothers and sisters responsible for the victimization of the country by the sick bastard currently in charge. I have never been so embarrassed being white and American.

Over 50% of educated white women voted for him, and something like two-thirds of white men followed suit. His resplendent stupidity and moral depravity is a symptom of the mental rot in our society, but the people who put him there share in his disgrace. I just can’t hang out with these people any longer.

My friends in Europe are completely incredulous. The Germans are finally feeling less guilty about the whole Hitler thing now that America has embraced a neo-fascist, dictator. “Tweetler” is a new authoritarian in the age of social media and Reality TV governance. The United States is now a Reality Show starring Trump.

I have two more years of international vagabonding, but I will continue past that until he is out of office. On the off chance, Trump is re-elected, it will signal that the country is beyond redemption. At this point, I doubt I will ever maintain a residence in the States. I was heading in that direction anyway after eight years of “W”, but this is a level of suck that I never thought possible.

Every minute this buffoon occupies the White House our country unravels around us. Climate change worsens unabated, freedoms are lost and the world becomes a more dangerous place in which to live. This fool’s insecurities have pushed us closer to the precipice of nuclear war than any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis. At that time we had Kennedy and Khrushchev in charge, not two whack jobs with daddy issues and bad haircuts.

Why would I soil this blog with musings on the horrors that manifest themselves back in Washington D.C.? It is awfully hard to maintain the level of denial required to forget the elephant in the living room. The Republicans can’t seem to grasp the import of wresting control of our country from the raging toddler-in-chief.

I have the advantage of an array of incredible experiences to distract me from our tuppenny tyrant back home. However, I do not possess the cognitive dissonance required to turn a blind eye to the orange supernova of sick oozing from the deteriorating democracy I once called home.

We’ll see if America can right this wrong, and cure this stage 4 cancer consuming its once proud halls of governance. Unfortunately, it’s possible we’re too far gone, and the only radiation treatment we can hope for will come as the result of a twitter storm with Kim Jong Un.

This t-shirt should save me a lot of explaining as I travel the world this year.


Now, back to our previously scheduled adventure…

The good news is that forty-five minutes underwater is all it took to flush the orange bilge out of my system and return me to a state of mind worthy of an international vagabond. I will endeavor to maintain this blog as a Trump free zone in the year to come. If I need to vent, I’ll head for Facebook. My French divemaster, Pauline was exceptional and managed to find us a particularly large seahorse. I spotted a nice large octopus who was camouflaging himself nicely on a rock surface.

DIVE FRIENDS DIVE CENTER – A mere two and a half minute leisurely stroll from my hotel, all I have to do is throw on my dive skin and booties and head on over with my gear bag. The folks here at Dive Friends are friendly and helpful making sure your experience is enjoyable and easygoing. This is where I stepped into the water on my first shore dive of the year thus cleansing me of Shortfinger’s evil mind games.

Diving is such a sublime activity. I get more peaceful feelings of well being from a forty-five minute dive than I could ever manage out of a whole week’s worth of meditation. With diving you have the same regulated breathing that is the main element of meditation, but when you factor in being surrounded by so much color and beauty, it leaves meditative darkness in the dust.

This is the dock where the boat dives depart. Seven minutes further down the coast by bicycle one arrives at the town of Kralendijk where the cruise ships dock, and many of the island’s shops and restaurants can be found. Last Fall the Caribbean was besieged by serious hurricanes which severely damaged many of the islands visited by cruise ships. As a result, many cruises have been diverted to Bonaire to take up the slack. This has been good for business overall, but it seems to wear on the locals at times.

JULIAN’S CAFÉ – Best value on the island at a charming family run restaurant that won’t cut into your diving budget.

FULL LUNCH – $12   FULL DINNER – $15  With Soft Drink & Dessert

The restaurant included a view like this.

MAIN STREET – Fairly basic shops with relatively mediocre wares. Food and diving are your best bets here on Bonaire.

GIO’S – Top rate, smooth and delicious, European style gelato.

Interesting Flavors, Good Interpretations and Great Variety served with a smile.

I spend my days here either diving, riding my bike, foraging for food, watching Netflix, surfing the internet and indulging in a daily nap. It’s the life of Reilly here in the Dutch Antilles. I’m sure it will much of the same during my twelve days in Curaçao. Although not as much of a dive destination, I’m sure there will be some decent snorkeling to be had.

Truth be told, I found the diving here to be relatively mediocre compared to many of my previous experiences. The reefs here in Bonaire are showing signs of deterioration which was a bit of a surprise given the island’s reputation as a world-class dive destination. In fact, much of the coral is dead or dying in this once celebrated dive Mecca.










MY ELECTRONIC TOYS – In between diving and eating, I spent a fair amount of time in my air-conditioned room napping, travel planning and watching “Elementary” on Netflix. “Elementary” is an intelligent crime drama with a latter day Sherlock Holmes who is coping with former drug addiction with the assistance of Watson, played by Lucy Liu. If you like this sort of thing and enjoyed “House” do give it a try.

In the foreground, you can see my new Bose Micro Bluetooth speaker. It is truly a state of the art, compact travel speaker and in my opinion the quintessential nexus of quality and sound in a small package. The only thing people seem to be bitching about is the $110 price tag which didn’t hurt so much given my daughter Dina’s Christmas contribution. Thanks, Dina, this bitchin’ little number is even waterproof and has a hidden strap to affix it to my backpack straps and bicycle handlebars. Best gift ever for the world traveler in your life.

Underneath my iPad is my Mac Air laptop which has served me well and has acted as mission control for my blog and travel needs these past three years. Rounding out the collection is my iPhone and iWatch. Needless to say, I have plenty to keep me entertained in between adventures.

TORTUGA ART STUDIO AND GALLERY – Reasonable nature oriented, textured, clay and silver jewelry.

Many of the designs incorporate the surface textures of a variety of marine corals found around the island. No coral is harmed in the manufacture of these pieces. I picked up a few of these unique items for family and friends.

Here I am wearing my neutral brain coral pendant.


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