Today was a lazy day for the most part. The boys slept in a bit and Riley and I relaxed on the deck, reading and watching the birds. I set up my camera and put out a shallow bowl with sugar to attract the sugarbirds and soon a small bright yellow and black bird hopped on the rim. The trees in the yard house several birds I’ve never seen before. One in particular is about the size of a cardinal but is bright orange and black. Chandler was able to get a couple great shots with the Canon but I don’t have a card reader for the compact flash card to upload it here.
Later in the morning we went to Sorobon Beach Resort in Lac Bay. The water is as warm as a bath, clear, shallow and brilliant shades of blue in every direction. We waded out for at least 200 yards from the beach with the water never getting deeper than 4′ or so. Windsurfers filled the opposite side of the bay from the windsurfing school located next door. I was a bit surprised that neither Chandler or Matt wanted to give it a try. It definitely looked easier than wave surfing but it’s probably harder than it looks. We had a leisurely lunch at Sorobon and decided to go downtown to check out the shops in downtown Kralendijk that were closed on Sunday.
Chandler found a nice present for Taylor, whose birthday is today (Happy Birthday, Taylor!) in spite of the slim pickings. It is apparent that several of the souvenir shops have a significant problem with shoplifting. As soon as we walked in the first store two employees followed us around, watching us and standing at both exits to the room as if they were preparing to tackle us should we grab something and dash out into the street. It immediately made me feel very uncomfortable. I wouldn’t have purchased anything from that store no matter how much I wanted it. The ridiculous thing is that there was nothing in that store worth more than maybe $5. We left without buying anything and continued on to more friendly establishments.
We stopped for a cold drink and enjoyed the view and breeze at Karel’s Beach Bar on the waterfront and then went back to the house to rest up for dinner. I noticed tree near the parking lot loaded with green fruit shaped similar to a mango but rounder like an orange. We couldn’t tell what it was just by looking so Matt put all those years of gymnastics training to use and took a running leap and picked one for closer examination. Verdict: it’s breadfruit!
Dinner was delicious at It’s Raining Fish. Riley and I shared a chicken dish that was served in a carved out pineapple and Matt and Chandler tried the seafood platter, which would be more aptly named a seafood “plate”. As soon as Matt saw it I’m sure he regretted suggesting sharing an entrée with Chandler. It takes a lot of food to fuel that jumping machine! The bread and appetizer helped fill the void for a while.
After dinner we went back to the house and prepared for an evening of snorkeling.
Renee, our nighttime snorkel excursion guide picked us up at the house at 7:30, which is almost full dark in Bonaire this time of year. She offers both night and day trips and we thought we would try the nighttime trip just to see what sea creatures were out and about at night. Renee took us to the oldest hotel on the island which she said was originally built to house prisoners of war during WWII. She said due to the heavy oil production in the area, there were a lot of U-boats patrolling the waters off shore during the war. Renee lead us to a short set of steps and gave us a short talk on what to look for and what not to do. She said anytime we heard her “yoo hoo” we should come look at what she wants us to see. Outfitted with underwater flashlights and snorkel gear we climbed down the steps into the dark water. The water was surprisingly warm without the heat from the sun and was crystal clear through the light of our flashlights. Not really knowing what to expect, we headed off in a line parallel to the shore. Soon we were seeing the glowing eyes of shrimp and lobsters. I lost count of how many lobsters we saw as they were easily spotted and made little effort to hide from us. We even saw a rare Spanish lobster which is really not very attractive however interesting to look at. Seems almost prehistoric. Renee had warned us about poking our fingers at any eels we may see as their teeth slant backwards which makes it very difficult to extract anything they have bitten. Within minutes she “yoo hoo’d” and pointed out a spotted eel. It was not very big but it opened its jaws wide just to make a good impression. That turned out to be just one of about 5 we saw during the night. Turns out Parrot fish wrap themselves in a coating of slime and play dead at night. Renee showed us other fish that she said “put on pajamas” at night by adopting a series of stripes which they do not have during the day. We snorkeled a good distance along the waterfront and climbed out about an hour or so later. We arrived back home around 10 PM, said goodnight to Renee and agreed to meet again at 9:00 tomorrow morning for another excursion.
We were all tired and mostly ready for bed, deciding that the blog update could wait for tomorrow.