This an abstract from Sport Diver, April 2003. Article written by Ethan Gordon.
…We pulled off the road by Baby Beach, a strip of beach on the east side of Bonaire that i couldn’t distinguish from any other desolate strip of beach on the east side. Beach? I’m not sure you can call it that – a windswept, alien landscape of pulverized coral rubble is probably a more accurate description.
The east side of the island is a stark contrast from the inviting, lake-calm waters of the west side. The conditions on the east side had prevented me from diving there on any previous visit.
“It doesn’t look so bad today, does it?” asked Hagen in his slight British accent. “There’s not much wind”.
Hagen is the activities coordinator for Buddy Dive Resort. He probably had drawn the short straw, which is how he wound up with me for most of the week. I asked Hagen how many times had he dived the east side in his two years on Bonaire. It took him a few moments to calculate – based on monthly averages and how long he’s been on the island.
“Twice” was his answer.
We sat in the van for a few minutes, appraising the surf, and concluded that the conditions were reasonable for a shore entry. so we suited up and headed for the water.
“Just over there, do you see where the waves aren’t building so much?” Hagen pointed to a calm spot in the surf. “There’s a deeper channel right there. We get through about 60 feet of surf and we’ll be home free”.
The waves didn’t seem so bad at first, but halfway through the surf zone i felt my camera go limp. The pounding of the waves had separated the strobe from the arm. As if in slow motion I could see the connecting knob teetering, about to fall completely off. suddenly, i was in the shadow of a big wave. The next thing i knew, ass over teekettle i went. The knob was a complete goner and so was my mask. After a few tense minutes, Hagen and I manage to crawl back on shore. Like soldiers at the loosing end of a fast and furious battle, we regrouped, staring at the surf, I looked to hagen for advice.
“East Side, 1; Divers, 0″, was all he had to say.
©2012 Olivier Douvry/GlobeDivers