Friday, 31 May 2013

The Dive Bus does Bonaire - Day -1: Mark + Suzy arrive and warn the locals...

As per usual, the annual Dive Bus does Bonaire trip began with 48-hour-days and 8-day-weeks in the lead up. But it's always worth it!

As per usual, whilst I poured over the computer trying to get everything finished, Mark poured over approximately 200 lbs of dive equipment and random stuff, trying to get everything into bags made to carry 70 lbs...

And as per usual, Mark not only managed to achieve this somehow AND managed to get away without paying for (severely!) overweight luggage at the airport. Turns out there are benefits of living on an island where everyone knows everyone - thanks Divi Divi (and Mark!)

The 20 min flights to and from Bonaire are absolutely the low-lights of my entire year. I would much prefer to sit on a bouncy boat for several hours than a tiny bouncy airplane, which seats a total of 8 pax - INCLUDING the pilot. Whilst Mark instantly falls asleep to the sound of the twin engines, I count every second of the flight. Mark says it's inappropriate for me to hug and kiss the pilot on our safe landing as a show of gratitude. Whatever.

But as usual, we arrived safe and sound at Buddy Dive, literally 1.5 hours after leaving home, which is very cool indeed. First order of duty is always to go say 'hi' to the great members of staff who have become old friends by now and really help us take care of our group. 

Down at the dive shop, we checked in with the crew and dispatched much requested Dive Bus t-shirts, then onto John and Susie at the photo shop, where we picked up the  beautiful driftwood signs that Susie makes for our divers each Bonaire trip. (Now available in our dive shop too, by popular request!)

From there, it was on to shop, shop, shopping for supplies for the divers for the week, and a visit to our dive equipment suppliers to say 'hi' to friends new and old and dribble over new dive equipment with a cold beer or 2.

Next stop was a new experience for us - swinging by Dive Friends @ Yellow Sub to pick up copies of the beautiful new Bonaire Diving book, as gifts for our incoming divers. It was a terrible inconvenience to both of us to be forced, I'm telling you, FORCED into staying for Happy Hour and meeting heaps of cool new folks over several cold beers. It's a dirty, job, this life of ours, I'm telling you... (Many thanks to all for the wonderful, friendly hospitality). This may have been the first time we met some of these good folks, but it was not to be the last.

A takeout pizza from the should-be-world-famous Pasa Bon Pizza was the perfect end to a pretty great day, and we both gratefully took advantage of our last early night for the forseeable week. Because the next day, the DIVERS would arrive...