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Thread: One I forgot to post......

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Default One I forgot to post......

    So, I was suffering some serious PBD and decided to browse some old trip reports. I found this one, from our last trip in Spetember of 2012. I had forgotten to post it. I figure, what the heck, let's post it now.....

    Enjoy, but be warned: I didn't do a overly good job of proofreading this right now. Just posting it out of sheer desire to be on the island.

    One Last Proclamation……. Day 14

    We had just left Sanddollar and were heading south through the traffic circle. I could feel Leslie staring at me. I wanted to believe that her gaze had something to do with some incredible animal magnetism that had mysteriously been bestowed upon me sometime during the night.

    I had my doubts.

    Finally, I looked over at her. Her eyebrows were scrunched into a frown and her mouth was turned down at the ends.

    “What?” I asked.

    “You smell,” she said, forcing a gag for emphasis.

    “I’ve been telling you that for three days.” I turned onto a side road that would take us done the ocean front street in Kralendijk, one of our favorite routes.

    “Well, now I believe you.”

    On a two week scuba trip, I cycle through five or six pairs of swim trunks. Some nights, I forget to rinse them out for the next day, and as the trip nears its end, those rinse days seem to become farther and farther apart.

    It’s no wonder, being our final day of diving, that my outfit would have a definite “presence” to it. At this point, I didn’t really care. All my thoughts were on the fact that this was our final dive day. The day that would mark the end of a great two weeks of diving. The day that we would prepare to leave Bonaire.

    Smack as in tow as we pulled into a parking spot just south of Yellow Submarine. We planned to enter the water at a little beach across the street from a new park. Rumor had it that the manta ray frequented the downtown area every morning. We were ready to prove or disprove this rumor, and if we had our choice, we would be proving it.

    This was the first time we had done this dive. We have dived Something Special, but that is a good distance north of this location. Lots of hard corals and marine activity, plus some old anchor chains and such, made this a nice dive. But, alas, no manta ray. However, I’m not surprised -- we didn’t “proclaim” it…… maybe next trip.

    Later, Double L and I trekked down to Margate Bay to meet Susan and Lisa for a dive. As I’ve said, Margate Bay is a wonderful dive, and doing it with Susan and Lisa makes it that much more special. We saw three turtles, two greens and a hawksbill, and participated in the slaying of two lionfish.

    After some chatting and good-byes with Susan and Lisa, Les and I were off to Bari for our final dive of the trip. We respect the “24 hours from dive till fly” rule, so we didn’t have a lot of time for this dive, probably only about 30 minutes after a minimal surface interval.

    There’s always the question of whether it’s worth all the effort for a 30 minute dive. Everyone has their opinions, but I can’t take the chance of waking up tomorrow and thinking to myself, “Boy, I sure wish I had made that last dive yesterday.” The problem is, I know that when tomorrow comes, I’m going to wish I could dive anyway, and I need to know that I did everything possible to sneak in one more dive…… even if it is the last one of the trip.

    To be honest, I don’t remember seeing anything on that dive. We did see a nice sized hawksbill turtle, but other then that, my mind was swimming with the inevitability of packing to go home. I returned to the pier in 31 minutes, while Leslie lingered a few additional minutes in three feet of water around the stairs, snapping shots at gobies, crabs, and whatever was available. Her resistance to leave the water is admirable, but even she knows the inevitable closure of the trip. She surfaced, handed me the camera, and walked up the stairs, her diving finished for this trip.

    I stood under the shower on the dock while our gear soaked in the grimy rinse tanks (I always do a thorough gear cleaning when we get home). For me, the vacation was over. Yes, we had one more night on Bonaire; one more sunset; a few more Brights to drink; a few more laughs in paradise. However, with no more diving to look forward to, I would’ve preferred to just get on the plane right then and head for home.

    Eventually, after gazing at the ocean and over at Klien for a while, we slowly gathered our gear and began the long walk up the concrete ramp towards the parking lot. I heard Leslie sniff a little.

    “Don’t look back,” I said. “It’ll just make it worse.” I know this for a fact. Because I looked back. And it made it worse.

    We hung our gear in the condo, rinsed some cloths out (they still stunk), and grabbed a quick shower. We met Smack at Paradise Moon right before sunset. Unfortunately, the sunset was a bit cloudy, but I’ll take a poor sunset on Bonaire any day over a spectacular sunset at home. But that’s just me.

    After some good chow, an appearance by Ruth, and a few more Brights, we ended up at what I would call the Biker Bar on Bonaire. This was absolutely awesome. Maybe one of the best nights out I’ve ever had on Bonaire, other than at Jan & Ruth’s house of course.

    Apparently, there’s a biker club on Bonaire called the Iron Order. They are an international club and actually have chapters in 48 U.S. States. They rent a spot on Kaya Bonaire behind Paradise Moon, directly across from Little Havana.

    The members had on their leather vests with the club insignia along with names like “Dive Captain,” and “Bogey.” Jack, the manager at Habitat, is the clubs president and a super nice guy. They were all overly friendly and a lot of fun. I was in heaven hanging around a bunch of motorcycle guys and drinking Polars while The Allman Bothers and Marshal Tucker Band blared from the stereo.

    In contrast, Little Havana, across the street, was incredibly subdued. Most folks were just sitting at tables having a drink, with lots of them glancing across the street, wondering what was happening at the Biker Bar every time a new tune came over the speakers or someone let out a yell of some kind. People would walk down the street, look at what was going on, and then keep walking. You could see the wheels turning in their heads whether they venture in or just keep walking. Most decided to keep walking. Their loss.

    This was a fantastic way to spend our last night on Bonaire. The mix of personalities was remarkable. As Ruth said, “You can’t make this stuff up.” And she was right. This was real-life and I was very happy to have experienced it.

    Don’t be afraid or shy. If you get a chance, I highly recommend a visit. These guys will treat you like a friend and welcome you in. And you’ll have a good time.

    Eventually, after more Polars than should be legal, Les and I wondered back to our truck for the drive back to Sanddollar. One more night in the condo.

    As we pulled into the parking lot, I was thinking about the array of people and personalities that we had just been a part of. I decided that one more proclamation needed to be made, and I felt it fitting to do it now.

    As many of you know, I have had a novel in the works for quite some time now. The main book has been completed for several years, but I haven’t gone back and done the massive amount of editing that needs to be done to make it presentable. I’ve titled it “Diver’s Paradise” and it’s about a retired detective from the U.S., living on Bonaire, who gets caught up in a murder investigation.

    I pulled up to the condo and turned off the truck. “I proclaim to finish “Diver’s Paradise” by Labor Day of 2013,” I said as I starred out the front window, not really looking at anything.

    Not sure why I chose that very minute to decree a deadline. Maybe it was the sentimentality of this being our last night on Bonaire or maybe it was the good time we had just experienced with the members and friends of Iron order. More than likely it was all those Polars.

    But whatever the reason, it has been made, and now I have to abide by it.

    “Will you sign a copy for me?” Leslie asked.

    “The very first one,” I said.

    Dive on Friends,

    Dave & Leslie.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    I said "stuff"? lol...must be those good writing/editing skills kicking in.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Dave, you should be more punctual with your reports, and thanks for the PBD. THANKS A TON!!! NUTS!

  4. #4
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    I'm with you Smack, great read but just make the PBD worse.
    And Jerry said, Keep it light, Keep it friendly. Post Like Jerry.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2012
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    Always enjoy reading your trip reports, even late ones!!
    Judging from your many trip reports, the book will be great.

  6. #6
    gbf is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    I really appreciate it, Dave.

    I wasn't even going to think about this year's bon trip until after my eldest daughter's wedding in May, but...

    After reading your report I've done the budget and will be booking plane tickets and Beachcomber in the next little bit.

    Thanks a lot.

    brad
    Brad Ford

  7. #7
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    May 2011
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    Thanks Dave, that was very special to read. I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE BOOK!!! I would also like a signed copy, sometime in September.

  8. #8
    JimMc's Avatar
    JimMc is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Brilliant.
    Pachi Jim

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