Bonaire, Full Moon and Ostracods!

Nov 4 – Nov 8, 2017

Full Moon Boat Tour

Mark made it to Friday night at Kanti Awa(local bar in front of the mooring field).  Angie was down and out with an ear infection.  (Go figure, the one time we didn’t put diluted vinegar in our ears after snorkeling up at Slagbaai, she gets an inner ear infection!)  It was also time to celebrate the Full Moon.  This is something new to us.  At most places where there are a group of cruisers, there usually is a Full Moon party planned.  We have not made it to any yet.  We usually go to bed shortly after sunset and read for a bit.  However, THIS Full Moon, a few of the sailing school boats adorned their rigging with Christmas lights and did an evening sail up and down the mooring field.  Angie heard kids chatting really close to Uno Mas.  Upon investigating, she was graced with a nice show of colors rounding the boat.

Four to five days after the full moon, the Ostracods put on a light show over the reefs.  We decided to see what we could find off the back of Uno Mas.  45 minutes after sunset, the show will start and last for about 20 minutes, until the moon rise.  Ostracods look like sparks lighting up the coral.  Then, when two release and meet up, they float towards the surface, in a glob of  bioluminescence.  Sometimes large groups will meet up and create quite the spectacle.  This of course, needs to happen in complete darkness.  No dive lights, hanging out in about 30 feet of water.

In the dark.  Angie was a bit apprehensive at first, not wanting to get separated from Mark  while under water.  However, our eyes adjusted well and we were able to communicate with hand signals up close while Angie held onto Mark’s BC.  All of a sudden, we started seeing the sparks happening on the coral.  It was a really amazing thing to witness, and we saw a few of the little Ostras pair up.  Then, people moored next to us showed up with dive lights turned on, and pretty much killed the show.  It looked like they were swimming under a boat.

Angie turned on her dive light so the people and the boat operator would know that we were down there, hanging out in the dark.  We decided to swim away from the group and boat and try to see more of the Ostracod show, further down the reef, with our lights off again.  We saw a few more pairings, but missed the majority of the spectacle. ((Insert pilfered photo from the internet some time in the future))

 

Night dive Banded Coral Shrimp

We decided to finish the evening with a night dive then with our lights on, due to it being well after the 20 minutes and the moon had risen.  We got a few underwater camera photos, but seeing the Ostracods and the amazing bioluminescence in the water from all of our hand and fin movement was the highlight of the evening.  Angie is thinking of trying to do a dinghy night dive on the next Ostracod night, far away from the city.  The water will really be dark then, and hopefully no one will show up with their lights on!

Night dive Christmas Worms

 

Bonaire, Off the Back of Uno Mas, Daytime Dive, Nov 4, 2017 Slideshow

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Bonaire, Off the Back of Uno Mas, Night Dive, Nov 8, 2017 Slides

 

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