Another edition of Island Notes
If you head south of town, south of our fair capital of Kralendijk, you will eventually see a metal structure extending out into the sea. It resembles a dinosaur skeleton left behind. Or perhaps an enormous erector set discarded by a giant. It is, in fact, the salt loading pier of Cargill Salt, where freighters dock for days while machines feed a conveyor belt that crosses sky high over the coastal road, dumping solar dried salt directly into the holds of ships. Salt Pier is also a prized dive site, and the destination today of the BWDC, the Bonaire Weekend Dive Club.
The entire membership gathered this morning for the dive. That would be my dive buddy, Nat Miller, and uh, myself. Small, but mighty. The BWDC had heard that, due to security reasons, permission from the harbormaster and some other official might be needed, plus a dive master as a guide. Upon arriving, we saw no ship on the horizon. It is Karnival weekend so there is a possibility that the officials, and also probably a few dive masters, may be in costume, deep into their cups or both. After all, it is Karnival! The BWDC decided to game on.
What followed was an amazing dive. There were numerous barracuda. One, actually, was longer than myself. I gave ample distance to this toothy assassin. I spotted a grouper the size of my washing machine, a reclusive drum fish that played coy-darting in and out of the coral, and just a whole bunch of fish. Schools of blue tang, damselfish, grunts, and yellow snapper peppered the water between the pillars supporting the pier. We came upon angelfish of French and Queen varieties.
We were back on the beach by 11am. Just enough time to rinse gear, shower and join the pulsating Karnival crowd snaking down Kaya Grandi. What a Sunday, doin’ the rumba.
Post script… Nat took a bunch more that he will be posting on his blog when he gets around to it. These dive photos motivated him to get back to his page that he hasn’t updated since last year. He’s working on January now. When he gets to the Salt Pier photos, I’ll be sending a link so you can see more. Poco poco. The boy from Cincinnati is now definitely on island time.