Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Junk in Klein Bonaire

Our day on Bonaire continued to be busy. We headed out in a Chinese junk which was to transport us to a small crescent shaped, uninhabited and protected island called Klein (small) Bonaire. It is purported to have the best snorkeling and diving opportunities in the Caribbean.

As we approached Klein Bonaire, snorkelers were sent off toward the dive site in zodiacs.

The water was pristine and the beach unspoiled. The island is uninhabited, has no dwellings and no facilities of any description.

I opted to remain on the junk, relax, take photos and enjoy the peace and solitude of the almost deserted boat. I wasn't alone for long as the teen son of the captain arrived, by zodiac, after his day at school. He was a most polite young man named Urs who loved to talk and proudly share all his knowledge of Bonaire. "I just came from gym class," he said with a chuckle. "We went swimming."

  He was intelligent, well mannered and clearly well educated. I enjoyed listening to his stories and soon heard about his enjoyment of outdoor life. He told about his Swiss heritage and his Dutch education at a Bonaire private school. When I asked, why the private school, he told me that he needed to learn Dutch rather than the Bonaire slang language Papiamentu which is spoken in public schools. And yes, he knew how to speak Papiamentu as well as Dutch, English, French and Swiss...five languages! I learned about Bonaire history, culture and politics while waiting for the rest of the passengers to return to the boat. Time well spent.

I practiced using the camera timer as I ran to various parts of the boat to be in the photos. I missed the mark on this one (me on the left) but found a surprise when I got home and viewed the enlarged picture on the computer. The captain was obviously peeking to see what all the thumping on deck was about. Embarassing.

On our return sail, we saw landmarks and lizards.

It was a terrific second half of the day. Bonaire is truly historic, fascinating and fabulous for those who love ecology and the outdoors, the sun, the sea, the sand, sailing and snorkeling.

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