Bonaire – best diving in the world?

Bonaire

When arriving in Bonaire after pretty much exactly 5 days we thought that the Bonaire regatta was going to end the day before. But of course this was not correct. When getting closer to town we saw a lot of boats coming out for some sailing competitions. The problem with this is they only have 40 moorings that you have to take if you don’t want to get in to the expensive marina. There is no anchoring at all in Bonaire. Some people have had problem with not getting a mooring and having to leave or go in to the marina. But we were lucky despite of the regatta and got one of the 2 last moorings.

So I headed off finding the customs office and after some looking around for a while I find it only to be told that I needed the whole crew with me when checking in. So back to the boat and getting Anders and Hanna and our spear gun that we needed to leave with them as well. The check in then went very easily and we went off paying the mooring in the marina. In the marina we also found Lotte, who sailed with us up in the northern Carribean, on her boat. So we said hello and got treated with some coffee. She then gave us a ride back to the dinghy before heading off to work. We then ended up in the middle of a giant floating party in the middle of town. We sat at the bar where we had parked the dinghy and the water in front were full off boats and people floating around on floating toys drinking talking and playing a lot of loud music. It was pretty cool but we were still tired after sailing so after a couple of beers at the bar we dinghied back to the boat and rested for a bit. Later on we headed back in to town and spent the evening with all the festivities due to the regatta. We also met a couple we knew from Grenada so we hanged with them for a while.

Bonaire is famous for its diving. You can pretty much get a decent reef dive of any point of the island. We dove from the boat on its mooring and got an ok wall dive right there. They also have a lot of moorings all around the island that you ca use to dive from. So just tie up with the sailboat and dive. It was really nice and we should probably have been diving more then we did. But we got our first night dive and a nice wreck dive and some more so we were more then happy.

Otherwise we spent the days chilling doing some small shores and got driven around by Lotte showing us the island. We helped Lotte and Alejandro on their boat trying out their new mainsail and got some afternoon sailing in the bay and it worked out fine. We also had a few nights together with them when they showed us the town and the local foods.

We had 2  little bit bigger problem in Bonaire. I was gonna finish service the windass since I started without the service kit in Grenada. Anders brought a kit from europe and also a new piece that was cracked. But of course the new piece did not fit properly. It is always nice having to take to the angle grinder the first thing you do when buying new spares :). But that part worked out good and the windlass is serviced just to find out we need a new part again. This time it is the dog clutch that got bent. Probably me who did not put it back correctly in Grenada. But that one is only used for manual operation of the windlass.

Our watermaker also stopped producing water, which is never a fun thing to discover. So after some troubleshooting I manged to find that the problem was in the pump. So ripped the pump apart to see what could be wrong only to find a nice troubleshooting manual. The manual then says first, “do not remove the cir-clip in the bottom of the pump”, of course i had started with removing the cir-clip. But with the pump completely disassembled the problem was the magnetic drive to the pump that had slipped on the pump shaft. Apparently a fairly common problem. So talked to spectra about a new piece but they had stopped selling those and wanted to sell a whole pump for 760 us dollar instead. So we molded the old piece with epoxy and it now works like new again.

It was a really pleasant couple of weeks and Bonaire was a nice place with awesome diving and a relaxed atmosphere.

//Ante

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