When it comes to physical activities, I am a slow learner. I need lots of practice to get adequate at most sports. On the plus side, I am game to try most anything and willing to practice. I am at least adequate at skiing, paddleboarding, cycling and more than adequate at a few other sports, but it all took work! This is a post about my most recent failure, but don’t worry. I won’t be depressing, because I agree with the genius quoted below.
Regular readers of this blog know I am used to failure. Whoops. I did it again. Here’s my story about how trying to be a freediver was my most recent failure.
I love to scuba dive. I love the water. In fact, I used to be a pretty good swimmer but it’s so much easier with fins and a snorkel that I don’t swim without them much anymore. When I was in Utila I first noted the availability of freediving classes for the public. And that sport is growing, at least from what we’ve seen in the Caribbean. In Bonaire, you can take freediving classes from one of the world champions, and he is the real deal. In September, Brian and I signed up for the class.
The Freediving Course
We took the AIDA2 freediving course and it is amazing!
I loved the breathing exercises and worked my way from a static breath-hold of 1:20 to over 2 minutes. Once we got moving in the water, it was even more rewarding. Using the long fins made me feel so powerful and aided my 40 meter dynamic swim in the shallows! The technique wasn’t easy or natural for me, but I picked it up after a few tries and thought I was golden.
Scuba is a main driver of Bonaire’s tourism for a good reason. The reef is everywhere, the fish are plentiful, and access is easy. During our three months in Bonaire, we dove a few times a week for pleasure, and about once a week for reef renewal. Here’s why Bonaire is a diver’s paradise.
Bonaire is a Caribbean island best known for scuba diving. If you aren’t a diver, you can always go snorkeling, they say. That’s not all! There are other outdoor activities you can enjoy in Bonaire, and one of the places to try watersports is Lac Bay. Here’s all you need to know about Lac Bay Bonaire windsurfing and more.
Windsurfing in Bonaire
Bonaire is one of the best places in the world to windsurf, mainly because of the consistency of the wind. The wind generally comes from the east, day after day. This is why you hear about people sailing to Bonaire from Antigua and not the opposite direction. The reliability of the wind, plus good weather, makes the island ideal for windsurfing and kiteboarding. As a result, many locals and vacationers participate in these sports, and Bonaire is known for creating champion windsurfers, who train in Lac Bay.
Bonaire is known as “A Diver’s Paradise” but we’re not just diving here. There are a lot of adventure sports in Bonaire and we want to try them all! When we explored the east end of the island, we drove past what looked like a go-cart track but the vehicles had sails on them. Intrigued, we investigated and then we had to go blokarting in Bonaire. Here’s what it was like to try this adventure sport.
When we drove by Bonaire Landsailing Adventures, we were right to liken it to go-karting. They even call the sport “Blokarting!” because it’s using the wind for power. Get it? The business owners are originally from New Zealand where these vehicles originate. Yes, they shipped the carts all the way from New Zealand so people could go blokarting in Bonaire. It’s a new extreme adventure sport and we like to try them all!
Since we’ll be in Bonaire for a while, we want to give back while we are here. I researched volunteer opportunities and found a way to help revitalize the reefs. I especially liked that it combined scuba diving and volunteering! We enrolled in a course and are now volunteering in coral reef renewal in Bonaire.
why coral reef renewal
Around the world, the reefs are in peril due to a multitude of causes like pollution, bleaching, hurricanes and diseases. Coral reefs are very important not only to the 4,000 species of fish who live there, but to humans by providing multiple medicines, and, for tourism. In Bonaire the reefs are the main source of tourism, with the protected marine preserve a lure for divers around the globe.
The good news is marine biologists have developed a way to regenerate the reefs. It requires constant maintenance and volunteers to help with it. We learned all about it last week in our course on coral reef renewal. The 2 day course included classroom lectures, videos and 3 dives.
In the class, we learned about building and caring for coral nurseries. Bonaire has several of these nurseries and now that we’ve passed the course, Brian and I can help maintain and nurture the reef nurseries.
We loved Dominica the first time we visited. Since Season 2 is about expanded exploration, we had to return. Our second visit to “The Nature Island” allowed us to snorkel, dive and visit more sites we missed the first time. We found so much more to do in Dominica.
This town is much cuter and more interesting than I knew! We were warned off from spending much time here on the trip down, but we spent three nights in Roseau and found a lot to like. We enjoyed walking around, shopping in the stores and eating and drinking at an eclectic range of spots. In town, High Rise Beach Bar is popular with locals for the views of the port, cheap Kubulis and decent lunch specials. It is not in a high rise nor on the beach.
The cruise ship travelers were all at Ruins Rock Café, a bar built in the ruins of an old building near the port. It’s also a cool place, well decorated, with good wifi and lots of oddly flavored bush rums. We found out later that these two places are connected.
We spent 3 weeks exploring St. Lucia this November. It’s a modern island with lots of amenities, from shopping to restaurants and tons of outdoor activities. Three weeks may seem like a long time, but we had a lot to do and enjoyed our time there. This post details our St. Lucia favorites so you have an idea of what you should do when you go.
Glad We Visited St. Lucia
As cruisers, we have a few resources and guides designed just for us. Brian likes an app where people review anchorages, and everybody has a guide book that can be “biased” by advertisers. We’ve learned to take the advice of other cruisers we know over any other source and St. Lucia exemplifies why.
When we were in Martinique last spring, we debated where to go next. Because of some bad reviews in Active Captain about crime and aggressive boat boys, we were thisclose to skipping St. Lucia outright. Then I saw a fellow cruiser’s very positive instagram post from Marigot Bay and we changed our plans, for the better.
Grenada is a naturally beautiful island with friendly people and fun culture. We’ve been exploring since our arrival on the Spice Island. Here are our Grenada highlights of nature and the great outdoors.
Underwater art installations in the ocean near St. George’s create beautiful artificial reefs and one of the island’s most popular destinations for snorkeling or scuba diving.
The Moliniere underwater sculpture park attracts fish and people to this unique site on Grenada’s west coast. I think this park is a must visit, for the beautiful otherworldly pieces by artist Jason deCaires Taylor and the plentiful ocean life. Taylor is an environmentalist and artist with work is in Bahamas and around the world. The award winning Grenada site includes more than 65 sculptures, notably a ring of children, “The Lost Correspondent” of a man at a desk, and “Nutmeg Princess” fitting for Grenada as a nutmeg producer.