Bonaire is an island in the Netherlands Antilles...history goes here. Description of land, culture, history and traditions
My trip to Bonaire was amazing. We stayed at Captain Don’s Habitat, a dive resort owned by Sea Rover Jack Chalk. Unlike most hotels on the island, divers staying at Captain Don's are allowed to dive 24 hours a day. The resort is thus appropriately nick-named "The Home of Diving Freedom." :) I had the chance to dive on many different reefs, each of which was abundant with tropical fish, gigantic sponges, coral, eels, worms and other invertebrates. The daytime was filled with diving and nightime was filled with fun. Dinner on the Habitat patio was accompanied by music, good spirits, and a show of dive lights that darted around. Their turqoise beams spotted the nighttime water, but neat as they were, they did not compare to the beauty of the environments I was exposed to on the island, both underwater and above.
On one dive, we dove down 97 feet to the wreck of the Hilma Hooker. A drug-packed vessel that anchored inside the reef, it mysteriously sank and was deserted just before the arrival of the Coast Guard. On another dive, I learned how fast starfish can move as I watched them scurry away from the beam of my light on a night dive. We saw a frogfish, a GIANT green eel, a sea turtle, and unexpectedly saw a pod of wild doplhins an and followed around many trunkfish and cowfish (who swim awkwardly but now are my favorite!) I got to ride on the back of Jack Chalk’s Harley across the island in an escort parade up to Rincon, Bonaire’s historic town and site of a huge three-day celebration of Queen’s Day. We went cave snorkeling, explored dry caves that had fossilized coral on the ceiling, saw flamingoes, pink salt flats, and slave huts, tried all different kinds of food, and ended the week at the Queen’s Day celebration. It was certainly a busy week. I learned about more things in Bonaire than I ever thought I would, but most important of all...
...IT WAS WICKED AWESOME!
Every year on April 30th Bonaire simultaneously celebrates the Queen's birthday and the Simidan Festival in the oldest town on the island, Rincon. Simidan, or the Harvest Festival, represents the work of the original local farmers who worked hard to support thier family and island through their trade. It commemorates a time where the whole island historically gathered to harvest the crops. Typically the celebration lasts a few days, the island practically shutting down preceeding and following the event. People come from surrounding islands such as Curaçao and Aruba to join in on the festivities. The prime minister and other dignitaries of the Netherlands Antilles also make an appearance. We were very lucky to be in Bonaire during this festival because we were able to learn about the history of the island through conversations with and preformances by the friendly locals.