I love the feeling. The cool water surging in through your wetsuit. This is because, up until this point, you’re hot. I definitely am.
It starts by getting a dinghy lift to Harbour Village from Quest in the middle of the day. Hauling dive gear and weight belts up onto their deck. Climb up, find a full dive tank and lift it over. Take my things out of dive bag: regulator, bcd jacket, wetsuit, fins and mask. Assemble.
Bonnie usually strolls out from the dive shop at this point. This is because she works here. Her gear is already assembled, ready to go. She is wearing one of her amazing cozzies. Sometimes a bikini top. Usually some kind of legging too.
I own two cozzies. One’s camouflage-green with white spots. I bought it in Marks and Spencer’s before we left. It was on the sale rack in Aberystwyth. I can’t think why. To say I’ve worn it thousands of times since wouldn’t be exaggerating.
But my family forced me to buy another cozzie. Again, can’t think why. They mostly attributed it to the smell. Despite the detergent, I relented. The only thing, we were in Barbados – and all they have in Barbados are sexy cozzies. When in Rome. I got one of those barely-there in the back cozzies. I liked the blue-and-white pattern. It’s ok though. I mostly wear it with shorts.
Anyhow. Wetsuit has usually been put on at this point. Starting to get warm. Pause to drink water. Plan coral cleaning dive with badass Bonusia. Which trees, anything else we need to do. With ten trees and not many of us, we got to be efficient.
At least the staghorn corals are growing well. The cooler sea temperatures seem to have livened them up. They look positively furry at the moment, hanging off the nursery trees.
Next, we sit and haul our gear on. Like turtles. We collect our brushes and scouring cloths, clip them on, stash them in our pockets. Bonnie has a whole bag of assortments. I go with a lite version – oh, except for gloves. A person needs gloves or goes all itchy hands afterwards. I’ve learnt the hard way.
We pick up the last things. Mask and fins. These we carry with our dive tanks on our backs down the little beach. It’s a fancy hotel beach. And it’s empty again. Almost everyone has gone home to Holland. Bonaire isn’t in lockdown – but it’s confusing. I think only essential flight passengers are allowed in at the moment.
We make our way down this beach. Ouch with the coral feet. Bonnie in contrast has on her winter wetsuit and boots now. I’m stil barefoot. At some point, she decides it’s enough, and wades into the water. I follow, grateful. Here comes the cool cool water. Ahh.
Wait. I gotta snap the pelican on the corner before we go. Our brown basket.