1998 Feb 26   13° 39' 15" North
18:16:23 UT   67° 27' 30" West

3. Water Sports

Tuesday saw us in Bonaire, the diver's paradise. We are not scuba trained so we just did a little snorkeling. Bonaire's reef is a little deep for snorkeling (slopes off rapidly to about 4 meters then gradually down much deeper) but it was very enjoyable nevertheless. We swam under the dock right next to the ship. Very cool. Like being in an eerie underwater cathedral with the light streaming in from the sides and columns that reached down almost to infinity (the bottom about 10 meters down was juse barely visible). Everything was completely encrusted with reef animals (including corals, urchins, anemones, and some impressive tube sponges we hadn't seen in previous snorkeling adventures); far more impressive than the usual cathedral decor :-) We also unpacked our well-traveled "two-man" inflatable boat and rowed it underneath the dock and the Radisson Diamond.

Wednesday we were in Curacao. In the morning we took a little boat trip to a dive site a few miles south of the port. Nice snorkeling around a sunken tug boat. After lunch, Joan went ashore to do some exploring; I sat thru the astronomy lectures. She got lost and found by the police; I nearly fell asleep. Maybe our brains were still not yet at 100%. Despite covering ourselves with sunblock, we both managed to get mildly sunburned. Not enough to cause any real pain and besides what would a tropical vacation be without that warm reminder?

I asked the capitan at one point whether those officers normally required to be below in the engine room would be allowed to leave their posts for a few minutes during totality. He said (parapharasing), "No. They chose their careers and they have to accept the consequences." But, IMHO, rules are meant to be broken in cases like this. I wonder if it was really a case of "don't ask, don't tell"?

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Bill Arnett; last updated: 1998 Mar 13