It's Hard to Complain in Paradise

 

Kristen and I have officially been here long enough to have created a routine and frankly, it's the best.

  • 7:15 AM: Wake up.
  • 7:23 AM: I stumble to the kitchen, make french press coffee and turn off the AC ($$$).
  • 7:45 AM: Kris makes pancakes and we eat breakfast while enjoying the morning breeze. 
  • 8:15 AM: We edit some photos, read a bit, and do a lesson with Rosetta Stone.
  • 10:00 AM: I start prepping our camera gear while Kris makes us a sack lunch of PB & honey.
  • 11:15 AM: We throw our gear in the truck and let her (aka Suki) warm up. She's a classic and needs a little time to feel awake enough to drive.
  • 11:18 AM: I stall Suki because I'm too impatient. 
  • 11:30 AM: We arrive at our first dive spot and do our thing.
  • 1:00 PM: We hop back in Suki to escape the sun and feast.
  • 2:00 PM: We drive to another dive spot and do our thing.
  • 3:45 PM: We arrive back home and immediately rinse off all our gear with fresh water.
  • 4:15 PM: We soak ourselves in fresh water in the pool.
  • 4:30 PM: We jump in Suki and go to a dive shop to get more air and to the grocery store(s) to get dinner.
  • 6:00 PM: Kris downloads photos.
  • 6:30 PM: We walk 1 minute to the ocean for a sunset swim.
  • 7:15 PM: Kris cooks dinner while I watch over her shoulder (she hates it so much).
  • 8:00 PM: I do the dishes.
  • 8:30 PM: We watch a movie / Seinfeld, read, play cards, all while enjoying the first cool (all a matter of perspective in the Caribbean) breeze since breakfast.
  • 10:15 PM: AC goes on, we snooze.

We have also been here long enough to understand that island life is so much slower than we're used to. For instance, let's say that you were interested in going to a grocery store to buy fresh milk, some apples, and vanilla extract. A random assortment, sure, but not far-fetched. In this example, you would be going to three separate stores. 

 

 

 

Our main grocery store. Has AC, lots of name-brand stuff, and fresh mile (like we were looking for, remember?). 

Plus it has some of Kristen's favorite things...

 

 

 

 

 

...Cap'n Crunch...

 

 

 

 

 

 

...Sperziebonen...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...Bloedworst.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, you would head across the street to this place. Awesome fruit selection but that's about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, you would head downtown for Cultimara, a grocery store that features hardly any Western brands that we are familiar with. Surprisingly, we were able to find vanilla extract there... But there you have it. The trio of a successful grocery outing.

 

 

 

Anyway, enough about food. Let's head to the ocean!

We bought ourselves a couple of tanks and made a deal with a nearby dive shop for cheap refills. They loved the idea of someone coming for months and diving multiple times every day. Because of this deal and the fact that we own all our own gear, we're diving for about $5 each time - which is absolute insanity. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There's been a nice lull in the action of the Caribbean lately which has created fish bowl clarity. We have big strobes for our cameras but we've decided to just get comfortable with shooting since we can right now before we start lugging the lights along.

 

 

 

 

 

 

These little guys are called nudibranchs, a type of sea slug. They vary greatly in different parts of the ocean but I really like their pattern in Bonaire. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The amount of life just in a shallow 20-25 ft of water is incredible.

Above is a trumpetfish. Their coloring varies greatly and they aren't really fans of having a camera thrust in their faces. 

 

 

Kristen's favorite fish so far. They are called trunkfish and they patrol the sand flats between reefs. The models of the fish world, they seem to be fairly vain and will pose in a variety of positions.

 

 

 

We've spotted turtles on many dives already, but this particular guy let us swim along for quite a distance. I should admit that while he was casually soaring across the sand, we were huffing and puffing...

Below is the Indo Pacific Lionfish - emphasis on the "Indo Pacific". It is NOT supposed to be in the waters surrounding Bonaire. In fact, all the dive shops here ask for divers to report lionfish sightings so that they can be hunted later and removed from the reefs. They were accidentally introduced and are a major threat to the ecosystem and are fairly venomous to divers. Beautiful either way... 

 

 

 

 

I'm sure I will be mocked for this later, but I have no idea what this is. Not a clue. It reminds me of the Michael Crichton novel, Sphere. For those familiar with that reference, I did not touch it or try to enter the metal ball...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With every dive we're learning new tricks and techniques. It is a serious blessing to wake up every morning knowing that the day will bring exciting new discoveries. 

God is good.