A Window

Jack and I went diving at 7am – across the channel at the little island, Klein Bonaire. Ahh. I want to enjoy this. This is because we may have been in Bonaire for more months than my expired visa wants to count, but early morning diving and Klein Bonaire diving is not as common as I’d like them to be.

Jack and I came up from our dive at 8:26am. The sun was hazy and still low in the East. Like a low voltage bulb. We’d just seen a green moray eel slink around the reef wall. It had eventually curled up into a coral cave and stared at us in surprise.

‘What are you doing here so early?’

I stared back at the moray. Good question.

I said, ‘Well, the thing is that we could get here. Instead of doing school early in the morning like most of the mornings since we’ve been in the Caribbean. One of our kids now has exams since she’s close to the end of her school. She doesn’t need to start the exams at 5am either, because I requested the teachers change her upload times. And because they’re really nice teachers and lovely people, they did change them.

Moray or not, I wanted to keep going. Talking to a large green eel was cathartic. ‘Our other kid sets two alarms to wake up before 8am on the Easter holidays. I know – it’s anyone’s guess why. And yet for some strange reason, she now wakes up late since she has actual school. She doesn’t like to do the lessons live much. Luckily, this morning she doesn’t have maths until after 9. That’s another one reason we’re diving early, so we can go back and help her.’

The moray looked confused. I couldn’t blame it. Why this dive site though? No one has spent much time on the little nature island, Klein Bonaire since the pandemic started. There certainly isn’t the hordes of dive boats here – as there once were. And we can only get here in our dinghy when the wind is quiet.

‘Yes,’ I replied, ‘dive boats are all still tied up on their buoys outside the dive resorts. It’s almost like they’ve given up. Still, tomorrow there’ll be news about the lockdown easing. Even though you don’t have digits Green Eel, please cross them. Maybe cross your tail. It’ll be nice if just the shops could open again.

In the meantime, you haven’t seen a large hammerhead shark around here – have you? That’s the other reason we’re here. We saw the amazing video of a hammerhead at this dive site a couple of days ago. Swimming around in 12 metres of water? You haven’t seen it – have you?’

‘There is a striped Goliath grouper with the large, fleshy tail. You seen that?’

I nodded. ‘We followed it for a while at 20 metres. It was lovely. Well, we better go now. Gotta get back to Edna. You take care now, Green Eel.’

Green eel kept staring at us. It kept gulping.

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