Blue Light Night Dive – Aug. 29, 2012

Tonight I’m blogging from the end of the dock of Dive & Adventure Bonaire.  This is the fourth dive shop that I’ve registered with, as I like to hunt for bargains and check out the various operations.  It is a full moon tonight, with calm seas and a gentle breeze.  In a word, perfect!

 Photos here

Today at work I was able to meet withBrandon, and we had some further discussions about getting our issues addressed on the software we are using for the twrbonaire.com website.

Brandon asked me if we should go ahead and launch with it not having all the features and functionality that I would like to see.  I said that I would prefer to address certain issues first – and then launch.  I originally expected to launch before this Friday, but this now seems unlikely.  The launch may be delayed for a week or two.  I am a bit frustrated by these delays, but I guess that’s ministry!  Please pray that God will give me patience, that He will work out the details and remove obstacles, and allow us to launch soon!

During the morning, I kept busy sorting the photos.  Then I took Donna, the lady who takes care of the finances, out for lunch to my new favourite restaurant, Between 2 Buns.  While there, Captain Don’s wife walked in, who Donna knew quite well.  Apparently they own a kunucu somewhere near the donkey sanctuary.  I had always envisioned Captain Don living on the seashore all his life, but apparently that is no longer the case.

After lunch, Brad came in, and we spent the majority of the afternoon going through probably a couple thousand different pictures, and he was able to identify a great many of the people in them.  We also came across a 2007 reunion where many of the former missionaries which my parents and I knew were pictured.  For Brad, it was a bit of an exercise in reminiscing, and I think he rather enjoyed it.  Brad is an easy-going guy to work with, and it made for an enjoyable afternoon.

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After work, I tried to locate some more flea treatment for the yard, but was not able to find it.  I then had supper at a small Chinese restaurant in the downtown, which has been there for over 25 years.  Then it was time to pack up my gear and head for Dive Adventure Bonaire, which is just to the right of Eden Beach.

Dive: Barrie’s Reef

The dive master was a Canadian by the name of Sean from Calgary, who was a very likable fellow, and an excellent dive master.

The science behind blue light night diving is that coral lives in a symbiotic relationship with algae, which usually includes some type of natural phosphorescence.  The naked eye cannot perceive these wavelengths, and so we wear a set of yellow goggles in front of our scuba mask.  Our dive lights are actually blue lights, and so, in a way, you’re diving in the dark, similar to using black light.  The result is that about half the corals light up like a Christmas tree when you shine the blue light on them.  The predominant colour I see was bright yellow, but there was also a brown coral that has bright orange dots, almost like gold dust, all over it.  We found a sea serpent that looked to be glowing white and yellow.  Some of the sponges had a rich red glow, almost like they had an internal heat source.

On the way out, we encountered a few anemones, which were just spectacular in the blue light.  I had forgotten to bring an extra cover for my camera, and so didn’t get a picture of these.  Later in the dive, I decided to try it anyway, and but they turned out mostly blue.

We only went to about 15 or 18 metres, and cruised along.  For some strange reason, my sinuses were bothering me, and the first half of the dive wasn’t entirely comfortable.  Sean said this may have been due to the extra strap we were wearing for the goggles, as he had the same problem.

Before diving, I had mentioned to Sean about the Touch the Sea book I am just finishing reading, and he said he is quite happy to handle eels.  We did see several eels, as they are out of their holes and swimming around at night.  The first one was a sea serpent of some type, and he grabbed it, but it slithered away rather quickly.  Later on he tried to touch an eel, but the eel didn’t want to play.  While it looks amazing, I don’t think I’m ready to pet an eel just yet!!

As Sean had predicted, we were accompanied for a good part of the dive by a tarpon.  This is the large predator, about four to five feet long, that tries to hunt by our dive lights.  However, in this case, the blue light didn’t seem to immobilize the fish around us, and so he ended up being a disappointed hunter.  I didn’t notice him towards the second half of the dive.

On the way out, I also noticed three other night divers up in shallower waters.  We had also met two night divers coming in as we were heading out.  This is one of the new things on Bonaire that I have noticed.  You quite often meet other divers under water, which hardly ever occurred when I was a kid.

I also saw a couple of sea cucumbers on the way back, which are an 18” long by 5” wide caterpillar-shaped creatures, that move almost imperceptibly across the bottom.

Just as we were exiting, a little needle fish got extremely excited and attracted to Sean’s light, and came right up and started poking at it.  He actually jumped out of the water in pursuit of Sean’s light.  I’ve never seen anything quite like it!

After we had rinsed our gear, Sean said he couldn’t locate the extra visor that he had loaned me for my camera.  In the confusion, I’m not sure where I left it, but Sean said they will sort that out in the morning.  I guess there were too many new things going on tonight.  Nonetheless, this was a spectacular new adventure that I hope I can share with my sister.  However, I would recommend that people get comfortable first with night diving with the regular white light before they attempt blue light night diving.

So, another day, another new experience.  A dive is the best way to end any day, in my books!

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