Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: January 2015 Trip Report and Photos

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    35

    Default January 2015 Trip Report and Photos

    Our second time to Bonaire and it just gets better. Two weeks was great but more would not be bad either.
    The United flight from Houston had a new 737 and it was wonderful. Stayed at Sand Dollar for the first time and really liked it. Used Avis rental for a truck and dove BDA for convenience to Sand Dollar and Bari. While the bldgs. at Sand Dollar are not new and perhaps even tired, for the average diver they are fine. It was the people staying and serving there that made it great.

    The front desk people were wonderful. For example, one day we went to the office to use the phone for making a dinner reservation. We were late and they were closed but the woman from the office was in her car and saw us. She got out, re-opened the office, called the restaurant for us and was just so kind and polite. Not so many staff members would do that for you.
    The people staying at Sand Dollar made it special. Most people we saw were over 40 and lots of them over 50. There was a 6:00 sunset party just about every night. Talking at the party, you could find out who saw what and where. Sand Dollar has people staying for many weeks, sometimes months, so information about diving gets passed on to those only there a week. I learned where there were seahorse, frog fish, and several varieties of blenny. I just love taking pics of those so the help was great.

    Dove Karpata several times and stayed mostly north diving this trip with one great exception – the rock. Also did some Klein diving and really liked it. The highlight dive for me was the Rock. Went with a new dive buddy, Keith, while the wives went shopping. We were in search of Sailfish Blenny. First time I went for a dive with the goal being a single photo. The entire dive was in 35ft or less and never went out to the reef, staying in the coral rubble for over an hour. In search of sailfin blenny, Keith found some quickly and I was not far behind. I was after a particular shot, with the fish out and the sail in full display. If you have not seen it, the male will pop out of the hole and do a little dance. He flairs his sail up and his pectoral fins out then all back in, then out, then all back in, for about 3-5 seconds then he is back in the hole. The goal being to get close enough for a good photo but not so close to intimidate him too much for the dance. In that 3-5 sec, you have to focus and get your shot(s). Pre-focus did not really work as you never know exactly where he will be when he comes out and depth of field is slight. Here is what I got for working 39 minutes to get ‘the shot’.

    http://www.shiningseastudio.com/Unde...0370&k=BQckRLc

    There was a very large school of Southern Sennet cruising around the rubble but they were very shy. If you so much as looked at them, much less tried an approach, they would turn away even when over 50 ft from them. While I was focusing on watching/photoing a blenny on a little rock/coral formation in the rubble, they must have come over to me. When I looked up, they were circling me. Sadly, no way to switch from the 105 micro to a 10-17 for the circle photo. I could take Sennet eye photos if I was quick enough. Once I started looking at them, they started to back off but I did take this one as they circled away.

    http://www.shiningseastudio.com/Unde...7299&k=xPGbVpQ

    It interesting watching an arrow crab in the anemone while the shrimp could only watch.
    http://www.shiningseastudio.com/Unde...4652&k=QqT7NhX

    Creole Wrasse coming to get cleaned, they all went vertically down for the cleaning.
    http://www.shiningseastudio.com/Unde...3157&k=kgm93Cp
    http://www.shiningseastudio.com/Unde...1984&k=6Z4vx5V

    Took this photo of a longjaw cardinalfish and never saw the crab or legs until I reviewed the photos back home.
    http://www.shiningseastudio.com/Unde...9828&k=F4R8jbv

    My first time photoing a tasselated blenny. Wish he would come out of the hole for me but never did. OF course, he did for my dive partner when he was taking photo's.
    http://www.shiningseastudio.com/Unde...4706&k=jRqC7Sd

    Another highlight was a fireworm. This one reached the end of the coral he was on and stretched out to see the world, it seemed. He did this for long enough for me to get some interesting photo’s. These are my favorites of him. You can see why they are called ‘bearded’ worms. The dude has a wild hairdo to go with the beard.

    http://www.shiningseastudio.com/Unde...9302&k=MnpNMwd
    http://www.shiningseastudio.com/Unde...8235&k=PbSKVQR

    At Karparta, found this turtle sleeping in the exact same place 2 days in a row in the aftn. I thought maybe he was was not alive when we saw him the second day in the same place but then he blinked at me.
    http://www.shiningseastudio.com/Unde...4843&k=cpkgwT9
    http://www.shiningseastudio.com/Unde...6467&k=FB8fj4G

    Overall, a great 2 weeks of diving. Thanks to Glen and Doris from WI and Keith and Linda from CO for making my diving weeks so special. They were great dive partners.

    Here is a link to the overall photo set. I post lots of pics so the extended family can enjoy them.

    http://www.shiningseastudio.com/Unde...3562&k=Z52G7wQ

    Hope you find a few you like.

    Diver Dave
    Last edited by diver dave1; 02-15-2015 at 01:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Posts
    108

    Default

    Nice photos. Hope to get back down there someday soon, but life has started to intervene . . .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Wake Forest NC
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Very nice photos.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    2,174

    Default

    Most excellent fishey pictures.
    And Jerry said, Keep it light, Keep it friendly. Post Like Jerry.

  5. #5
    smits is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    590

    Default

    Impressive pictures!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    agawam, ma.
    Posts
    98

    Default

    Great report, Dave, and even greater pictures. It is also a pleasure to hear wonderful things about SD and especially the staff as they are truly special people. Can't wait to return to Bonaire in 27 days and counting. For now, I'll have to just gloat on your pictures and dream about the warm waters and sun after being buried in over four feet of snow here in New England.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Godfrey, IL
    Posts
    385

    Default

    Thanks for the report, great pictures, hopping life will slow down so we can make it back to Bonaire sometime this year.
    There's no place like Bonaire

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Quincy, MA
    Posts
    158

    Default

    Great pictures and report Dave! We have stayed at Den Laman, and Bari Reef is one of our favorites (I snorkel - hubby dives and snorkels). We will be in Bonaire for our third time this coming Saturday! We will be getting out of the 4-5 feet of snow we have right now and the frigid temps! Can't wait!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Washington DC
    Posts
    45

    Default

    Great pics Dave! Thanks for sharing. 17 days and counting...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •