The Big Day day began with a beautiful sunny morning and a quiet, lazy, peaceful breakfast overlooking Klein Bonaire and an azure Caribbean ocean. This was the calm before the storm of incoming divers!
With last minute preparations and shopping done and a bit of time spare, we took a quick drive down the South end of Bonaire to see what, if anything had changed since last time. Thankfully there was only one changed that we noticed - a very good change indeed ... more about this later in the week.
From there to the airport, complete with the fully loaded, totally customised Dive Bus cooler, to meet our eager and thirsty divers, many of whose journeys were considerably longer (but surely less bouncy!) than ours.
Whilst the divers could take the air-conditioned shuttle bus
back to the hotel, for some reason (the cooler, perhaps? Or the
wonderful company?!) they always choose to cram themselves and most of
their luggage into our truck. This year was no exception, but with only 1
truck instead of our usual 2, man did
that make for an adventurous 7 minute drive! Nobody and no luggage was harmed or lost, but Nepture knows how!
This year, we had a pioneer snorkeler join Team DBDB - Anne, good buddy of Jamey and Lori. Poor Anne took all the madness and excitement in her stride with a smile, bless her! We also had 2 virgins: father / son team, Jim + Aaron, who in spite of diving with us several times in Curacao, still decided to join TDBDB. 'Nuff said. They were to arrive a little later, on the same scary flight as us.
As the divers got themselves all checked in, unpacked and in proper vacation mode, they levitated to Team DBDB HQ (our patio!) and the ever-popular, magically-replenising Dive Bus cooler, where the Team had important business to attend to.
First order of the meeting was to present Gene with some very important clothing... One of Gene's roles in the team is to distract the mosquitos from the rest of us, which he does extremely well. So well, in fact, that within an hour of arriving, he's already covered in large, itchy bites. Which is why it was so kind of Jamey and Lori to bring special 'Bonaire Pyjamas' for Gene... Perfect, and remarkably stylish, attractive and practical. Ish.
Next up was to plan the dive sites for the week. Usually Mark and Suzy choose the sites, but this year it was up to the divers to write their favourite North and South sites, plus any 'wanna-dive-sites', to submit to the Dive Site Lottery. Here's where their new dive books came in really useful, along with the good old BSDME divers bible.
And finally, with all that work done, and Jim and Aaron having safely
arrived, the team could no longer ignore the cry of the Pool Bar: "Come, come, come, divers!" And so we did.
Good food, good company, and a great way to start the 6th Dive Bus Does Bonaire trip led to an early night and lots of excitement for tomorrow's first day of divin'....