Friday, December 9, 2016

12-9-16  Bonaire (8am - 5:30pm) !

I was hoping to be able to take a water taxi over to the little island just off shore, Klein Bonaire, but the weather wasn't cooperating today.  It was suppose to rain heavily and storm all day. 
 So we rushed off the boat and took a short taxi ride to the nearby Eden Beach.  Our fare was only $7.50/person each way.  Not bad when you consider how much a HAL excursion costs.  We had gone here the last time we were on Bonaire, too, and knew that there was great snorkeling and that the water taxi also ran from here.  Being a resort, it also had a pool, bar, restaurant, restrooms, and lots of chairs for rent.  

 If I remember correctly, the chair fee was only about $5 and included access to the pool. 
 We managed to get there before the storm and were able to snorkel for about an hour.
Waiting for Ken.
 Entrance into the water.  Nice not having to walk over the rocks!
All the waters around Bonaire are a marine park.  Lots and lots of corals and fish.
a large snapper
Looking towards the pier at Eden Resort 
 a couple of 4 eye butterflyfish
a cowfish
 blue tang

another type of cowfish
 a little goby
more butterflyfish and soldier fish
typical topography near the rock ledge shoreline
These guys start out small and very blue with bright yellow spots on them.
 small blue headed wrasse
 spotlight parrotfish
 near the drop off---looks like they were trying to grow coral.
 another coral farm
 Coco beach near Eden Resort.  Looks like a good place to go for a sand beach.
 lizard fish

 a couple more butterflyfish. 
 schools of tiny fish
lots of big parrot fish, like this redlip parrot fish
 another kind of parrotfish
 one of the few eels we saw this trip.
another kind of parrotfish.  Love how many different colors they come in!
 Didn't take long for the clouds to start thickening.
 We were past Coco beach when it started raining. 
Then it started lightening and thundering and pouring!  So we beat it on back to Eden Resort.
 We sat at the outside bar for a bit and enjoyed a drink---diet Coke for Ken and a mango/passion fruit smoothie for me.
 Fun stuff we could have done if it wasn't storming
 a map of the snorkel area on Klein Bonaire.  Once the storm hit, the water taxis shut down for the day.  I think only 1 went out and many people who were on it got caught in the storm and complained.
 I was hoping to wait out the storm, but the water had gotten pretty murky by Eden beach from the run off, so Ken wouldn't stay.  There were people back in the water by the time we left.  Curses, foiled this time!
 Not many visitors today!
 The outside seating area of the restaurant.
Heading back to the ship we passed this little bar.
When we got close to the Koningsdam, traffic came to a dead stop.  It was because of this ship.   In 1984, the Church of Scientology's parent body, the Church of Scientology International (CSI), decided to obtain a ship on which to deliver high-level Scientology courses.  I understand they use it for retreats, too.  The road directly in front of it closed. Cars and pedestrians were routed up a couple blocks and around instead of allowed to continue next to the marina.  Traffic was so grid locked that we actually got out of the taxi and walked the last mile or so to the ship. 
I'm glad we did.  It was nice seeing a little bit of Bonaire by land.
 Even saw some Christmas decorations---something I was missing on the Koningsdam.  I expected it to be decorated for Christmas, but it wasn't.

 artistic wall along our walk.
 interesting painted building along our walk.
 interesting bird along our walk.
another interesting wall along our walk.
Back on the ship and looking over the town of Kralendijk.
looking to the right of the shops---nice looking boardwalk.
some of the colorful buildings around town----

Love the brilliant colors they use in the Caribbean

looking up the coast
looking down the coast.   This is where the huge sailing ship was docked and everyone was detoured away from it.  We were directed up a block and then to the right.
 Then back down the road by the blue building with the red roof.
 sailing away
 soccer field
 the people we rode back with in the taxi actually walked to Eden Beach/Resort.  Doable, but probably took them an hour or so.
Not how I had hoped our day on Bonaire would be, but at least we got to get in the water for a while.  I was looking forward to this port the most.  I'd love to take a land vacation here (or Curacao or Aruba).  Time to start planning a land vacation!

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