Amado and Sue – Sept. 5, 2012

As I am dictating this blog from the dock at the Divi Flamingo, I am watching a jet approaching from the direction of Curaçao.

 Photos here

I had to apply some more bug spray to get rid of the mosquitoes, but this time I am determined to stay outdoors and listen to the crash of the waves behind me. With only a week-and-a-half left in this little piece of paradise, I’m already thinking about how much I’ll miss the ocean.

As I was saying to Joanna this afternoon while we floated in the warm sea water, there is just something magical about the ocean that I will sorely miss when back in land-locked Ontario.

This morning, Joanna was able to get a few photos of a hummingbird, as well as some other birds, while we were having breakfast on our front porch. Joanna is a great help with photography and photo editing, although I don’t think blogging is her thing.

She was once again able to call home, using my Skype line, and seems to enjoy being able to keep in touch.

I am trying to adjust my schedule to Joanna’s desire to not have our calendar overly scheduled. She would much rather just relax and take it a day at a time, so that is what I am trying to do as much as possible. However, today we are to meet Sue and Amado Felix at 9:30 at their office.

First, however, Joanna drove her scooter ahead of me to the studio where she was able to settle up her account with Donna, the TWR financial lady, for the rent of the guest house.

Amado’s business is located on the road towards Nikiboko. He operates several businesses, including school bus, tour bus, moving business, a storage business, tourist guide business, as well as an importing business, and property management. Sue and Amado have been fixtures on the island ever since we were here in the 1970s. Amado is Bonairian, of Lebanese ancestry, while Sue is an American from Pennsylvania.

I was amazed how much time they were able to give us. We chatted for over an hour-and-a-half in Amado’s office. Of all the people who we have interviewed on Bonaire, Sue and Amado gave us the most enlightening information.

The burning question on our minds was, Have the political changes over the past few years been a positive or negative thing for Bonaire?

His answer was that the jury is still out. After five years, in 2015, there will be another referendum to see whether Bonaire remains a special municipality of Holland. Their prediction is that the referendum will maintain this new nation, which is part of the BES Islands. BES stands for Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba.

Joanna wanted to try some windsurfing today, so we had to tear ourselves away after a tour of their facility, and further tourist information from Sue. We have made a dinner engagement with them for Sunday after church.

While Joanna went off to Lac Bay to windsurf, I returned to the studio to finish up with Donna. As she had stepped out, I decided to do a bit of work on the computer on some personal business. It appears my iPad is not capable of doing everything I need online.

Brandon also was able to send an inquiry to the U.S. Tech Support Team to inquire on the status of our website requests.

As I’m sitting here on the dock, I can see some lights under the surface as a couple of divers enjoy a night dive. Joanna said she wants to hold off on a night dive until she becomes more comfortable, likely next week.

After a quick lunch at the Divi Flamingo, Joanna and I headed out to Bachelor’s Beach for an afternoon dive. This time we double-checked to make sure we had full tanks!

Dive: Bachelor’s Beach

The entry was down a steel stair case, but was not too difficult.

One of the first things we noticed was three file fish, which seemed to be in some kind of a dance. One of them kept raising the file-like fin on his forehead, which is a threatening gesture. I have let Joanna run the camera most of the time now while we are diving, and she has managed to get some good photos. However, today, some are fuzzy, and we’re not sure why.

We also saw a spotted moray eel, as well as a very unusual worm sticking out from under a rock ledge. Apparently it is called a Tiger Tail Sea Cucumber. I’ve seen this type of worm on several occasions, and Jay described it as a type of vacuum cleaner, with a mouth on one end, and an exhaust port on the other!  The strange thing is, I’ve never seen the entire worm out from under a coral, but have only seen the eating end extending some two or three feet out from under the coral. This time, I decided to see what it felt like. It was like very soft rubber. It immediately started to shrink and retract back under the rock.

Joanna is taking several pictures in order to identify them later from the book that she has been studying on reef life. She then labels them during breakfast on my photo gallery:

                             www.picasaweb.google.com/sirjohnamcdonald

This has been an immense help, as I have not previously had time to add captions to my online photo gallery.

Joanna also discovered a fairly large clam about six inches across. When I got too close, it clammed up!

Toward the end of the dive, we saw a puffer fish, which was about a foot-and-a-half long. They have large, docile-looking eyes, but seem to be rather shy.

We also spotted a peacock flounder, and a cow fish. There were also about three dozen dark blue surgeon fish in a schooling formation, vigorously feeding on something we couldn’t spot. They looked like a flock of starlings–lighting in a location, feeding feverishly, and then moving on to repeat it again.

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After the dive, I asked Joanna if she would like to go for a drive around the south end, rather than going straight home, to which she readily agreed.

When we drove past the salt pier, there was a large ship that had just docked, and was preparing to load. The strange thing was that it had three very large cranes on its deck, so this must have been more than just a salt freighter.

We were also able to spot several flamingos near the roadway.

The next stop was the kite surfing beach, which is just south of the Red Slave Huts. I was wondering if Joanna would prefer kite surfing over wind surfing, but Joanna said she could only concentrate on one thing at a time. Nonetheless, we stood on the shore and watched their acrobatic manoeuvres, and then were able to interview a few of the teachers. Apparently you need about three days of three-hour classes at about $600 before you can do hardly anything. Although he claims it is safer than wind surfing, it requires supervision for safety. In the end, both Joanna and I decided that it was beyond us at this point.

After we had showered and changed, we decided to head over to the Hilltop Restaurant back up on the north road for supper. The strange thing was that the resort seemed almost abandoned, and we were the only people in the restaurant. There was also a cute little kitten that came begging for some fish. Don’t tell the waitress, but I happened to drop a couple pieces!

And so, a pleasant ending to a pleasant day. I sure wish I was already retired, and that I could stay here permanently!

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