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Thread: May2016

  1. #1
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    Default May2016

    This was our 14th visit to Bonaire in 11 years. Despite so many visits we continue to have plenty of new experiences every time.

    The highlight of our trip was an ostracod night dive. It is a bioluminescent light show put on by tiny mating crustaceans, a few days after a full moon. It’s difficult to accurately describe, but imagine a miniature underwater fireworks show. We will now try to coordinate our future trips with a full moon.

    We had an amazing encounter with a giant loggerhead at Invisibles. He was apparently looking for love, and I imagine was disappointed that we weren’t his type. He rushed towards us, stopping just a few feet away and seemed to check me out. He then turned and left just as quickly. I was so mesmerized I didn’t even try to take a photo. Luckily my husband, David, got a few great photos. Otherwise I doubt anyone would believe the size of that turtle. Someone with the Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire said there had been numerous sightings of this amorous turtle along the southern sites. Adding that he was one of the largest loggerheads they had seen.











    A sign is now posted at the Salt Pier stating that entry into the water is forbidden when a vessel is docked at the pier. The sign should end the debate on whether or not diving is allowed at the site. For many years we had already been diving there only when a ship was not docked. Only problem now is it seemed packed with divers everyday.

    For an out of water experience, we went to the Echo parrot conservation center with a friend who volunteers there each week. We spent a few hours helping to repot tree seedlings that will be planted in a project to restore the parrot’s natural habit. We enjoyed meeting a few of the volunteers, some who have just completed graduate programs and are spending several months at Echo. If you have a few hours to spare to volunteer or just want to take a tour check their website http://www.echobonaire.org

    We made another topside excursion to the Donkey Sanctuary. Their gift shop is a must for great buys on local art. If your taking the driving tour through the Donkey Sanctuary, buy several bags of carrots at the gift shop too. The donkeys will stand in front of the car to stop you and crowd around to get a carrot. Although they seem to surround a car aggressively, if you get out if the car they shy away. Some will cautiously allow petting. It was affirming to see that the donkeys are well fed and given great care. However it was heartbreaking to see so many orphaned babies at the sanctuary. Careless drivers had killed several of their mothers.

    Seems like every trip we have to visit Carb Inn for a repair. On our first dive day, Bruce fixed a regulator problem for David then later in the week mine had a problem. Although it could have been fixed, we decided to upgrade our aging system. We brought Scuba Pro and I doubt you could beat Carb Inn’s prices and certainly not their expertise.

    As usually we ate plenty of our favorite sausage pizza from Pasa Bon Pizza. We had wonderful dinners at Wil’s, At Sea, Mi Banana, El Mundo and the Hillside Apartments restaurant. Between 2 Buns is also a favorite for breakfast, carrot cake, raspberry tiramisu, egg salad and cappuccino. But of course not in one sitting, although… yum that raspberry tiramisu!
    Last edited by Melissa Phillip; 06-19-2016 at 10:08 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the report and the great pictures.

  3. #3
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    Great report and pictures Melissa. We were on island last week and saw two loggerheads swimming off the south side of Klein. Yes, a short report will be coming sometime. Thanks.

  4. #4
    smits is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Thank you for the great report and pictures

  5. #5
    tursiops's Avatar
    tursiops is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Actually, the pictures look like an Olive or Kemp's Ridley turtle, not a Loggerhead. The latter has two claws on the front flippers and none on the rear; your second picture shows one on the front, and 1-2 on the rear. See http://www.starfish.ch/reef/marine-turtles.html#ridley. The pix do not show the lateral or head scutes well enough to help with the ID.

    What do you estimate the size to be, other than "giant"?
    Mel Briscoe, Alexandria, Virginia

  6. #6
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    Melissa Philip, Please do post any other pics of this turtle that you have so that an ID can be made. Or let us know what you discover! Thanks for the report!

    Great ID resource, Mel! Thanks so much.
    Last edited by jimw; 06-21-2016 at 06:13 PM.

  7. #7
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    The two photos of the loggerhead turtle were taken just a few seconds apart. The first photo shows it looking towards me and the other was taken as it swam past David.

    Dr. Sue Willis, the project coordinator at Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire, identified it as a loggerhead and also posted the photo on their Facebook.
    (Here's a screenshot of the FB posting)


  8. #8
    tursiops's Avatar
    tursiops is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    I think she is guessing (or hoping); you can't ID the turtle from that picture (which doesn't seem to be on their FB page any more!), and your other picture tends to be negative re being a Loggerhead. That's why I was asking about the size....that would be one more clue. By the way, they seem to be a bit sloppy....explaining that 1m is 50 inches, for example. I really don't mean to denigrate the site or the project or the people, but I'd be more comfortable if they were a bit more scientific and careful.
    Mel Briscoe, Alexandria, Virginia

  9. #9
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    Yes it still posted on their FB page- just look down to May 19.
    I believe you just like to argue.
    You take all the fun out of sharing a trip report.
    I will not make that mistake again!

  10. #10
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    I see the FB post of May 19th. I had to wait a while for it to load though.

    Recently, I saw both Kemp's and Olive Ridley turtles in rehab at Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach, FL. I was struck by the size of the head of the Olive Ridley compared to body size--quite large! Virtually all the turtles I see around Bonaire are juvenile Green and Hawksbills, so an adult Olive Ridley would seem large by comparison. I can see that the pictured turtle has some age on it from barnacles, possible damage on the stern, etc. on it's carapace.

    No one should be offended or upset by any of this!

    We see mostly Loggerheads here in South Florida while diving, they are nestng now by the thousands up and down the coast. Greens and Hawksbills nest here too, but in much lower numbers. Leatherbacks nest here too in very small numbers, but I have never seen one in or out of the water.

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