Waiting Around

The corals that live beneath the sea
Their days are marked by celibacy.
Excepting one night
When the moon is just right,
They engage in a million-strong orgy.
But for them to secure the prize,
Corals must be ever-wise,
For there is a catch:
In order to dispatch
Their orgasms must be synchronised.
-Dr. Marah J Hardt, Sex in the Sea

We are an hour away from going for our second night dive – in two days. I’ve been thinking about it all day. I even discovered Dr Marah J Hardt. Her book Sex in the Sea is so good! The build-up to the dive has been intense. Especially after seeing a bit of the coral spawning last night, and Lars saying that tonight would be the big ‘show’. It’s been producing the waiting-around feeling.

Perhaps it’s not just us though. Today, the boat a few pontoons down from us came out of quarantine. They did the same thing we did: wait for 14 days, plus the number of days travelling here. Then they spoke to the health authority to make sure they weren’t sick. No test required. Just a phone call. Now it’s done, they’re out. They can walk around.

Another boat opposite us are also in quarantine. Only halfway through as they arrived at the beginning of last week. They’re an American family and have four – count them, four smallish children and two large dogs. With everyone else moving around freely and the children looking around longingly – particularly in the direction of the marina’s small swimming pool, you want to skulk right past.

We have tried to help a bit by walking one of their dogs, a boxer called Daisy.

This morning though, Daisy the boxer didn’t want to go. In fact, she didn’t jump off her catamaran until their other dog, a dark brown lab called Flash, did. Then she was quite happy to come. Normally, their people, Jeremy and Brandy say Flash isn’t too bothered about walking. He has a deformed paw from birth and is usually just happy to swim. The perfect boat dog then!

Not today. When Flash saw Daisy hesitate, it was like he thought, I know how to get this dog off the boat. And when Flash jumped off onto the pontoon, Daisy was happy to go as well.

They walked really nicely together. Jack and I took them a little north of the marina, to what could only loosely be described as a park. It’s a field of dirt with patches of thorny grass. It has a nice children’s playground though and an amazing mural on the side of a building. There’s a bench where you can sit and take in the huge mural – of the coral reef. Of course. This is Bonaire!

And with that, it’s time. The sky is black and the stars are out. Deep breath. On this big night in September, we’re going to see what the corals get up to.

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