Diving and Learning in Bonaire

Because I am a certified advanced scuba diver, I got to go on a morning dive as a safety diver to certify Avery this morning. We stayed at the same location in which everyone else had been certified: ChaChaCha Beach. This dive spot is pretty nice, and on every dive, I saw something new and amazing. The dive lasted about 68 minutes and was consistent with my previous dives with my brother. I found a spotted scorpionfish underwater during the dive. He was incredible and blended in perfectly with the rocks. We also saw a rock beauty anglefish, one of my absolute favorites. Every time I think about this fish I smile.

We did a second dive later that day. This was the dive that changed the way I thought about diving and proved to be a pivotal dive for me. When Chris was hovering above the water in a sitting position, I realized how incredible just the action of diving is. We are underwater with hoses and tanks, observing an almost completely different world. It’s really amazing to think about how everyone else is living their lives on land, while the fish and the corals are living separately in a different world underwater. The fish and other marine life that amaze us are just normal, daily life for everything that is living subaqueously.

After we de-kitted and put our dive equipment away, the small group of us met up with the rest of our service-learning group at Eden Beach, where everyone snorkeled and played in the water. Barbie, Olivia, and I hung back to snorkel and flip in the water. We saw a sharp-tail eel, honeycomb cowfish, and countless trumpetfish. We also stumbled across some coral tree farms where there were pieces of staghorn coral hanging on PVC pipes to promote growth. I’ve always heard about the coral farm, but I had never actually seen them before. It’s incredible to think that humans can do good and save a reef, but we can also be mind-blowingly destructive as well.

Later today after the sun went down, we went to a sea turtle presentation to learn about the dangers to local sea turtles. The presentation was very factual, and I learned a lot about the life of a sea turtle. I also learned how to better tell the species apart. I really hope that we can see a turtle. It would be amazing!

Arran is a boarding student from Bel Air Maryland, a prefect, and a member of the Student Activities Board.

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