One Thousand Steps – Sept. 12, 2012

This morning we decided to run some errands and do some shopping. My first order of business was to buy another 50-pound bag of dog food for the dogs, as well as some more flea powder.

Photos here

Then I drove over to Sue and Amado’s business, and asked her if she would be interested in marketing Mom’s colouring book about Bonaire. Just before my mother left Bonaire in 1984, she did pen and ink drawings, depicting life on Bonaire, targeted for young children who like to colour. Each page has captions in Papiamentu, Dutch, and English.

When I got there, Sue was very nice, but said that she knew nothing about that business, but could direct me to some good book stores who would know much better what to do. So after I left them with a bit of genuine Canadian maple syrup, I carried on to the studio to settle the bill for the dog food.

I drove up to Captain Don’s Habitat to see if they had any good shirts, but they were sold out. Interestingly enough, my sister happened to be there on her scooter at the same time, and practically drove past me without seeing me. I jumped in the Jeep, caught up with her, and we made plans for lunch. She wanted to try out a nice little restaurant around the corner from the Top Supermarket that Jay’s girlfriend, Sherna, had recommended. It was kind of a hole-in-the-wall place at the bottom of a large staircase to the second-floor business area, and it was called Lourdes. We agreed to meet half an hour later.

I parked the car and walked over to the first book store Sue had mentioned. It was called Addo’s Bookstore, and was run by a Dutch individual.

He had just returned from some errand, so I introduced myself when he walked in the front door, and handed him my mother’s colouring book. I said, “My mother is interested in selling these colouring books in your store, and I’m wondering if you would be interested.” And then I opened the book, and went from page to page, and showed him a bit about it. He handed his copy to the girl sitting behind the counter, and together we went through the remaining copy.

I explained that we needed to determine a selling price, and that was one of the things I was looking for assistance on. He mentioned that there was another colouring book, but then couldn’t put his hands on it, but he immediately said that my mother’s colouring book was far superior to that one.

He said he would definitely be interested in helping to sell these books, and so I gave him my business card. He then invited me back to his office, where we went into the books in detail. I mentioned that the address at the back was incorrect, as it was Mom’s former business address, and so there would be a reprint if for nothing else than that.

As we went through it, he noticed that some of the Dutch translations may not be entirely correct. We noted a few other things, and he remained very enthusiastic. He seemed very intent on assisting in any way possible, and volunteered to help with the Dutch translations and any other bit of editing that may be needed. I wrote my mother’s email down for him, and agreed to call him the next day. So it seems we may have a market for Mom’s unique colouring book!

By then, it was time to meet Joanna at the restaurant, so I walked back, but Dr. Jo was nowhere in sight. Nearby, I was able to purchase a card for my phone before returning again to the restaurant. Still too early. At another store, I found they offered haircuts at $18, so I said I would come back.

Then Joanna arrived, and we sat down to a delightful dinner. While the service was a bit slow, the food was extremely delicious, topped off with a drink of tamarind juice. (Years ago, my brother and sister and I built a tree house in a large tamarind tree in the mondi near our home.)

I went next door for the hair cut, and a second lady came out and seemed to fuss around the back room, and finally motioned me behind the counter, which I thought a bit strange. Apparently, there was a secondary barber shop in behind. The interesting thing was, as with the first lady, she spoke not a word of Dutch, English or Papiamentu, but only Spanish. Nonetheless, I managed to get a fairly decent haircut there.

Then I came home and emailed Mom the good news, and got ready for our afternoon dive.

As usual, Joanna was reading a book on her Kobo Reader, and I asked her where she wanted to go. She ended up deciding on the Thousand Steps.

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Dive: One Thousand Steps

We drove up the winding Tourist Road. I noticed that Jay had parked at Weber’s Joy. Apparently this was his day to service that sensor.

We walked down the 72 steps (not 1000, as named) to the beach. Joanna recommended that we take two trips to carry our gear down, which did make it easier.

As we got in, there was an Antillean couple swimming with their young children. Joanna noted how many more Bonairians are out enjoying the ocean compared to when we used to live here.

I still seemed to have trouble with my mask fogging up. I think this may be a combination of a sweaty face and a colder mask. I swam out on my back, getting my face wet, and rinsing off the mask a few times, and that seemed to work. Unfortunately Joanna’s mask was fogged for about half the dive, which she found rather annoying.

On this dive, I was determined to try to keep pace with my sister’s sipping of her scuba tank air, and we did, in fact, end up staying under for 81 minutes. We witnessed some cleaning stations where purple fish stood still, their mouths open wide, for the tiny fish to come in and groom them. It’s nearly impossible to get a good picture, as the whole transaction takes only a few seconds for these particular fish.

After the turn-around point, we had the good fortune of seeing a midnight parrotfish. This is a 30-pound parrotfish with navy blue and sapphire blue colours throughout. The sheer size was just massive. This is only the second time I have seen this impressive fish. When it chomps on the dead coral, you can really hear it chewing.

Overall, though, we found there was less fish life on this reef as compared to the one at Windsock, which seems a bit counter-intuitive. It was a very nice dive, but the workout of hauling things back up the multitude of steps did have me winded by the time we got to the top.

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By the side of the road, I grabbed an old milk bottle full of tap water and poured it over my head for a shower. This is a trick that I picked up from Jay Silverstein.

We drove back the opposite way on the Tourist Road, having to pull over a few times for oncoming traffic, as it is usually one lane wide most of the way.

At Wannadive, we dropped off our tanks, but this time, I didn’t pick up a new set of tanks, as tomorrow the dive boat supplies them.

After a shower, we drove downtown and had supper at Karl’s Restaurant, which is on a pier over the water in front of Zee Zicht’s Restaurant. It is owned by Zee Zicht’s, and they share the same kitchen. The waitresses have to walk across the road with your order, so hopefully there isn’t too much traffic.

As usual, we did a lot of chatting during supper, but this time, I tried to let Joanna do most of the talking, as I tend to talk too much.

I asked Joanna what her favourite hobby was, and, believe it or not, she said Blacksmithing!  I still get a kick out of my tiny little sister being a blacksmith, but in this day and age of modern tools, it is possible. (When we got home, she showed me some photos on her phone of some of the intricate work she has done in making hinges. She is actually an artist in metal.)

After the restaurant, we took a walk down the coastline northbound, and ended up sitting on one of the handy benches alongside the shore. We saw some needle fish jump clear out of the water, apparently being pursued by some predator.

And so ends another fine day on Bonaire. Only three more sleeps in divers’ paradise!

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