ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Diving in Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles - Part 2

Updated on April 27, 2010

Terraces, Buttresses, and Double Reefs

With 86 marked dive sites (including 26 on Klein), it's natural that some locales are topographical clones of others. When you arrive on Bonaire, get a handy map of the island's sites at any dive shop. For now, let's go underwater and take a look at three representative sites, keeping in mind that each shares biological similarities with a number of others.
South on the coastal road from Kralendijk, you'll find the Windsock Steep opposite the airport runway. Like other sites accessible from shore, it is marked by a small concrete pillar with its name. Windsock is typical of the approximately 20 terrace-slope sites near the center of the island, although it is far less commonly dived.

Enter from the beach and swim over a terrace covered with elkhorn, sponges, sea whips, and fans. Stands of staghorn coral mark the area where the terrace begins its slope into deeper water. Look seaward and you're likely to see four-foot-long barracuda, ocean triggerfish, and large tiger groupers along the reef's edge. Like other sloping shore reefs, the coral falls away into sheet corals shaped like miniature pagodas. Here you're likely to find rock hinds, and queen and French angels — including their brightly colored juvenile versions. Peek in the cavities between the living corals for the heads of moray eels, mouths endlessly opening and closing.
For a look at the buttresses that characterize some 12 sites, hop a dive boat to The Forest off the southwesterly tip of Klein Bonaire. Most boats drop divers just landward of the drop-off, so you simply descend to the reef crest and fin across mountainous star corals, which give way to a wall packed with giant brain coral, patches of yellow pencil coral, and club finger coral. The wall flares out into a series of buttresses separated by distinct valleys.

Noticing the Details

In terms of fauna, there is a lingering belief that sites more distant from the midsection of the island contain a more diverse selection of fish. It's not true. Veteran divers report identifying just as many kinds of fish mid-island as they do on the more remote sites. What you will find off the more heavily used mid-island are voracious yellowtail snappers the size of dinner plates. Protected by law and chummed into a Pavlovian frenzy by years of hand-feeding, these fish will nibble anything that looks remotely like food, including the hair on your head.
Beyond ecological soundness and accessibility, the other enduring charm of Bonaire is the sheer placid nature of its warm tropical waters. While currents swirl more ferociously at the north and south ends of the island, Klein and the middle island remain nearly always pond-calm. And because of the southerly latitude and balmy trade winds, winter chills seldom nudge the temperature too far away from the 82°F average. With little freshwater run-off, industry, or coastal development to cloud it, the water visibility frequently hits the triple digits. Wherever you submerge in this gentle Diver's Paradise, you'll find all the inhabitants still here — the jungle of hard and soft corals, the photogenic invertebrates, and the fish — doing what they did centuries ago when the Caiquetio Indians lived on a low and arid tropical island they called bajnaj.
Back to Start


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)