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Bonaire is one of the ABC islands that form the Netherlands Antilles in the Caribbean along with Aruba and Curacao. Deservedly it is known for the best shore diving in the world. Klein Bonaire, a tiny island next to the main island, is also surrounded by healthy coral reef communities. The water is amazing there. Sparkling, turquoise, crystalline... none of those adjectives do it justice. The water literally glowed in the sunlight. I've never seen anything like it before.
We stayed at Buddy Dive Resort and dove 19 times. That is about 19 hours underwater in 6 days. We saw a lot of remarkable animals and fish behavior.
A special treat was the presence of Ned and Anna DeLoach. Ned is the coauthor of the Reef series of identification books for global marine species. Ned gave a mesmerizing slide show on Sunday. The topic was Fish Behavior. We subsequently saw many of the behaviors he showed to us on the reefs in Bonaire! For example:
|Here's a Tang Gang in an algae feeding frenzy on a powerless little damselfish's "farm".|
Tuesday Ned and Anna taught a Fish ID class (free!) where we learned the tricks of recognizing 21 fish species. Then they dove with us to find all 21 fish on the reef.
Friday night Ned and Anna were available for book signing. I already had the Reef Creatures guide, and bought the Fish Behavior guide earlier in the week. Ned and Anna graciously signed both books.
Ned and Anna are the founders of Reef.org, an educational resource and open database for fish populations all over the world. Membership is free, and any member can begin to add their fish sightings to the database. This information is valuable as used by scientists and fishery managers. Of course I joined Reef.org as soon as we got home.