Published: February 12th 2010June 16th 2009
After some cereal at the hotel, Nick was very excited to do Bonaire's most dived wreck, The Hilma Hooker. No, the ship did not sink because it was overloaded with hookers. It did, however, have 25,000 pounds of marajuana stashed on it. You can read a more detailed history of it here
The ship lies on her starboard side in about 100 feet of seawater. The water temperature was a beautiful 82 degrees. We saw huge tarpon hanging out in the shadows of the ship. The shadow made photography conditions bad...I wish I had underwater housing for my Nikon.
This is me at the stern of the Hilma Hooker (with horrible trim). You can see the prop.
This is me, again with horrible trim, at the bow of the ship.
Those huge tarpon:
Our next dive site was a little challenging due to some current. White Slave is named after the white slave huts located there (there is a Red Slave too). Believe it or not an entire family fit into that thing. The slaves were brought over to Bonaire by the Dutch to help with the salt mining. I actually considered moving into one, but I don't think that would be ok with the people of Bonaire.
This is Nick setting up his gear on the back of the pickup.
The dive was nice but we did fight the current a little. We saw a lot of sea life, including these Christmas Tree Worms.
We also had a surface swim on the way back in. It made me hungry.
After those two dives we were starving so we ate the lunch that we packed: PB&J, dutch cookies, and apples. Then we we headed to Angel City just a few dive sites away. Angel City is pretty cool site, it has a double reef. We headed towards the second reef. Inbetween the two reefs is a sandy stretch about 15 meters wide. Nick was rushing past this seemingly boring and uneventful sandy bottom that he missed the 20 or so garden eels that were just hanging out. By the time Mary got his attention, they had hid back into their holes. This was also the first dive we decided to do without any wetsuits. Although the 3mm feels like you're not wearing any exposure suit, when you truly are without an exposure suit it feels so freeing. If I did multiple dives without a wetsuit I would get cold, but with water temps in the 80s, I felt just fine.
We headed back to the hotel for a little rest. We spent some time looking in our dive site guide book, and decided upon Bari Reef. This was easier said than done. The book said it was the house reef for the Sanddollar, so we headed over there to see if we could find the yellow stones that mark each dive site. No such luck. In fact there was a sign that said snorkeling only
. So we drove around, searching for something that appeared to be a dive site. We never did find those yellow rocks, but we found an area that matched the description of where Bari Reef should be, so I'm going to go ahead and call this the Bari Reef site. The past few dives had been pretty void of any cool creatures like eels, turtles, sharks, ect. Bari Reef was the same with the exception of a very fiesty lobster. He tried to attack the camera.
We headed back to the hotel and got cleaned up for dinner. We ate at Divi Flamingo, it was very nice. The restuarant was right on the water and they illuminated the water with blue lighting. It was a nice evening but we called it an early night because we were so tired. Plus we had to rest up, we were going to Washington Slagbaai National Park the next morning.