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Thread: Priceless…….. Day 10/11

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default Priceless…….. Day 10/11

    Les and I both had 500 PSI. We had been burning off the remainder of our air in the shallows around the buoy line at Tori’s Reef. It was time to head back in.

    On a typical day, I can make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. Also, I am more than capable of getting from the Tori Reef buoy line to shore in about 125 PSI. However, Double L and I like to have extra air while traversing the “white desert” in case we come across a spotted eagle ray we want to watch for a while.

    I checked my compass and positioned us on the 120 degree radial, knowing this course would take me straight to the inlet where we had put in some 65 minutes ago. There was virtually no current and the visibility at Tori’s yesterday was outstanding. We were hoping for the best.

    Les nodded as I signaled towards shore and then she pointed to the surface. I looked up and saw raindrops as they speckled the top of water. I knew what this meant. I knew the conversation that would ensue upon surfacing. Leslie had left the window down on her side of the truck, basically because of the answer I gave to a question she had asked.

    We slowly slid above the sand towards the inlet, searching from side to side for any inkling of an eagle ray. Unfortunately, it was not to be. I’m no Magellan, but with no current, Bonaire navigation is pretty easy. The 120 degree course took us straight to the inlet.

    Not wanting to engage in the pending conversation, I played in the shallows for a few minutes until I was aware that Leslie was ready to egress.

    “You said it wasn’t going to rain,” she said as soon as she had removed her full face mask.

    “No,” I said. “I never said that.”

    “I asked you if you thought it would rain and you said ‘no’”.

    “I said ‘I didn’t think it would rain’. I never said it wouldn’t rain.”

    “Now my seat’s wet.”

    “Honey, it’s been wet for 11 days.”

    “But now it’s soaked!”

    “Wet; soaked; what’s the difference?” I thought. “I’m sorry,” I said.

    When in doubt, put the windows up. Lesson learned. My seat was soaked too…..

    This is the first vacation that Leslie and I have ever taken without friends or family joining us for some portion of the trip. Usually, our friends Doug & Nadine or Frank & Marsha join us for at least one of the two weeks. My brother Geoff and his fiancé, Gretchen, are also common travel companions.

    And, last trip, we had the privilege of being on the island with John “Smack” Anderson. I have to say, Smack is a lot of fun and we enjoyed his company. Although he did mention that Tom was more fun to dive with, but that Leslie and I smelled better.

    As it goes, none of our schedules crossed in such a way that any of these folks could join us. Not to say that we wouldn’t want any of these individuals with us for this trip, but it is nice to spend all this time with Les, something we’ve never done before. She’s a trooper for putting up with my “humor” for an entire two weeks.

    Our other two dives yesterday were at Soft Coral Gardens and Bari. The visibility at Soft Coral Gardens was not too good and the current was pretty intense. It was still a good dive, even though we surfaced some 100 yards from the truck. Like I said, I’m no Magellan, but I usually do better than that. And since we couldn’t see the truck from the water, I wasn’t sure whether we were north or south of our entry. So we stumbled to shore, saw the truck, and trekked our way south. I’ll blame it on the current rather than my poor navigation.

    Bari, as usual, was fantastic.

    As is common for our Bonaire trips, a lot has happened and we are always amazed at how much excitement we continually experience on this island. Shortly after arriving, we received our 15 year medals. That was wonderful.

    Then, last Sunday, I was witness to the joy and sense of accomplishment Leslie felt as she did her first ever back roll entry off a boat. That was spectacular.

    But I have to say, the following is priceless…..

    So….. as we stepped out of the water onto the rocky shore at Pink Beach this morning, some other divers strolled up, pointed to the water, and yelled “Dolphins!”

    Les and I turned, and sure enough, dolphins were swimming by in the shallows -- exactly where we had been less than three minutes ago.

    Double L let out an explicit phrase and I just stared in amazement. If only we had been three minutes slower…..

    These guys were weren’t in any hurry -- they were just meandering down the reef. I knew that they’d be well past us by the time we got back in the water and snorkeled out to them.

    Les and I looked at each other, and at almost the same instant, we both said “Let’s go!”

    We scrambled to the truck, dropped our gear in the back, and peeled dead coral as we torn out of the parking area towards the south. We could out run them in the truck, but could we really get in the water in front of them?

    We pulled off at Hidden Beach, right before Red Slave. We grabbed our snorkel gear, jumped in the water, and made our way out to the reef’s edge. Then we waited, just floating on the surface.

    Five minutes later, a dorsal finned breached in front of us, and low and behold, “there be dolphin, captain.”

    We got lucky. We were positioned just right, as the pod split, half going around us to our right and half to our left. We didn’t know which way to look -- we were surrounded by dolphins, probably 30 in all, including a baby.

    We were within 15 feet of most of them, close enough that I could see scares on some of their bodies. They just slid by, on their way south. They paid no attention to us, other than to swim around. To them, we were just an obstacle floating in the water that they needed to avoid.

    But to us, they were an amazement; an exhilaration; a once in a life time encounter.

    A reason for staying a second week….

    Dive on Friends.

    Dave & Leslie.

  2. #2
    smits is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
    Join Date
    May 2011


    I thoroughly enjoy reading your stories.
    What a great encounter with the dolphins…..
    I’m not jealous :-(

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Eindhoven, Netherlands

    Default dolphins

    Ooh, you lucky basterd.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011


    Oh wow! amazing ..... would love to see Dolfins (only ever seen them from the boat) ; a truly unforgettable experience !!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010


    Dave I do not believe you can outrun those big Corellian ships maybe a bulk carrier or two.

    Great report as always.
    and Joe said, Far from the things of Man.

  6. #6
    JimMc's Avatar
    JimMc is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
    Join Date
    May 2011
    People's Republic of Pennsylvania


    Another great day on Bonaire. So happy you got to see them. I sent them an email, and obviously they opened it.
    Pachi Jim

  7. #7
    Rog Karen's Avatar
    Rog Karen is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Pinon Pines (Frazier Park), CA


    Dave and Leslie, that is soooo cool (dolphins)! Glad you were able to catch up with them!

    So glad to be able to read and be part of your adventures on our favorite island.

    Make sure you and Leslie get on one of the webcams today...probably the last time

    Rog & Karen

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire and "VINIBU" on Bonaire


    Swimming/snorkeling with a pod of dolphins is SO amazing. Glad you were both able to experience it! Like other things in life, you'll never forget your first time!
    "Life is good, And on Bonaire, It's even better!"

    Owner of VINIBU

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011


    Dave, Double L, very cool!!! Glad it happened to you!

    I'd dive with you 2 any day of the week and 4 times on Sunday(spiritual saturation). Next year I will be making a trip for sure. Hope we can hook up again.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Hamburg, NY


    Dave, I am really enjoying your trip reports! I am so thrilled (and jealous) that you and Leslie were graced with the presence of dolphins!
    Lori Mulhisen

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