A Day in the Life of a Scuba Diver

Where in the world has Jessie been? Three weeks and nary a peep! As I wrote earlier, I knew I would be busy this summer with the registered dietitian exam, working on my Master’s research … and, swimming with the fishes!

You may remember last year’s post about our trip to one of my favorite places in the world: Bonaire. This Dutch island in the southern Caribbean has beautiful swaying palm trees and turquoise water – but, Bonaire is even more gorgeous UNDERΒ the water:

Intrigued?

Rewind three weeks. I was scrambling to finish the rough draft of my Master’s literature review, while Peter was studying for the Bar. In the midst of reading papers about fatty acids, visions of gliding sea turtles and undulating schools of fish kept appearing in my mind (VERY distracting, I tell you). A few days later, we arrived to this:

Definitely worth waiting for.

If you travel to Bonaire, you are not looking to lie on the beach and sip mai tais – oh, no. You are looking to strap a tank of compressed air on your back and explore the underwater world – and what a world it is.

After last year’s post about Bonaire, I had a few reader questions about what exactly we DO on a scuba diving vacation. In this post, I’ll give a brief overview of what our days were like without slipping into “this is what I did on my vacation” mode. Scroll through the albums below for a quick look at what we saw – and what we ate!

Most days, we would get moving sometime between 6 am and 8 am (Hey, it’s vacation!Β  Consistent schedules are for workdays).Β  Breakfast (and often lunch) consisted of Dutch cheeses and fresh-baked bread, local eggs, fruit from the Venezuelan fruit sellers in town, yogurt, and copious amount of hazelnootpasta – a.k.a. the Dutch version of Nutella.

Sometimes, we picked up fresh pastries from one of the local supermarkets, Cultimara:

Kersenflap – cherry-filled pastry:

Most days, Peter and I would dive two or three times. We split our dives between shore dives and boat dives (a boat brings you to locations that may not be accessible from shore). Bonaire is famous for its easy shore diving, allowing you to dive where you want, when you want. And, when I say “easy” diving, I mean, as easy as “struggling into the water with many pounds of scuba gear on your back and with waves crashing into you while avoiding ankle-twisting holes in the surf” can be –

KIDDING! I have Peter carry my tank sometimes … πŸ˜‰

Peter and I breathe enriched air nitrox while scuba diving, a compressed air mixture with a lower percentage of nitrogen that reduces the risk of getting the bends. Using nitrox means we get to use this handy dandy tool to test oxygen percentages:

How do I use this thing again??

We wear 5mm-thick wetsuits, which earn us a few guffaws from fellow divers in their skimpy swimsuits (women AND men). Even though the water is 82-84 degrees F this time of year, I get cold, yo. Our dives usually last about an hour, depending on how deep we go (usually 60-80 feet) and how fast we breathe. I’m working on slowing the rate of my breathing so that I can spend longer underwater.

And, what do we see underwater? A sampling (Peter took most of the pictures. I took a few, but I haven’t a clue which ones – probably not the one of myself):

[flagallery gid=2 name=”Gallery”]

Here is a short video of highlights from underwater:

(Music: Treasure Bay by Govi)

(Just for kicks, check out my other Bonaire video here.)

I have, like, 2.5 hours of footage and only edited though about an hour before giving up. Underwater Bonaire, Part II perhaps?

I spent plenty of time photographing beautiful Bonaire – check out some highlights in the album below:

[flagallery gid=4 name=”Gallery”]

Finally, what did we eat for dinner? Plenty! Check it:

[flagallery gid=3 name=”Gallery”]

Needless to say, I love our scuba diving vacations in Bonaire.

See you all in a few weeks!

Q: Have you ever tried scuba diving? What’s your favorite kind of vacation?

31 Comments

  1. I have NEVER scuba dived! Actually I almost took a class for scuba diving my senior year of high school, but I ended up not doing it. I don’t know why…. I think I would love it, especially in an amazing place like Bonaire! I’m glad you both had a great time, and get to eat some delicious food (I love your picture display!).

  2. Wow, you have some amazing pictures!! I’ve been snorkelling before but never scuba diving. I’d be a bit worried about the water pressure if I plunge too deep…I’m kinda prone to headaches from changes in pressure like that.

    I was just in Tobermory which is the most popular scuba diving spot in Canada. You should try going there sometime. It doesn’t have the aquatic life of Bonaire, but it has a lot of shipwrecks and some really cool underwater geology.

    1. That sounds great, Samantha – I’ll look it up!

  3. Jessie these pics are so pretty πŸ™‚ All of them! I love the image of the brain-like plant the most though, I think. And the sunset. πŸ™‚ I barely recognise any of the foodstuff, but those pastry fingers in a glass with some red sauce in it have piqued my interest. What’s that?

    The sea is a great place to relax and de-stress, whether you’re in it, next to it or just looking at it from afar. I love the sea because my home is so close to it, but I have never dived. To be honest, I think the air tank is heavier than me and I’m sure I would struggle. I prefer swimming or just sunbathing (wearing sunBLOCK of course). πŸ˜€

    Glad you enjoyed your holidays Jess! Best of luck with your Master’s degree. A good litterature review will save you a lot of time and trouble later on so work hard on it and you will be rewarded!! πŸ™‚

    1. I put captions on the pictures, but they didn’t show up – oh, well πŸ™‚ The pastry fingers are “Walking Sticks” – cream cheese and bacon with a fried pastry shell (I don’t think you would like them very much because they are a little heavy). They’re good for an occasional treat!

      The air tank IS pretty heavy, but I think my muscles are stronger! Thanks for the good luck wishes with the Master’s degree, Christa! xoxo

      1. Fried *and* with bacon! You’re right I find bacon heavy at the best of times (without the fried pastry around it that is). But I liked the presentation of the dish πŸ™‚

  4. Wow!! Looks amazing! I’ve never been scuba diving before. I’ve always wanted to. Even snorkeling would be awesome!!
    Thanks for sharing Jessie!

  5. Wowza! What a magical adventure! The underwater world really seems like a whole different planet to me – so colourful and vibrant and mysterious! I’m too scared to go scuba diving though.

    Thank you for sharing your photos and video! They’re so stylish and professional looking!

    Glad to hear you had such a wonderful vacation! Enjoy the rest of the summer Jessie πŸ™‚

  6. J,

    Awesome adventure. Glad to see you back posting. Fantastic photos of the scenery and the food.

    Be well

  7. OMG!!!! Jessie, how lucky you are!!!! I’ve never ever been scuba-diving…snorkeling doesn’t count!! I can’t believe how gorgeously the underwater pics turned out. This was quite a brilliant chronicling of your adventures…thanks for giving me a ride along!

  8. Hi Jessie. I found your blog by your response on mine. It’s totally random but I’ve actually seen your blog before when looking for Bonaire blogs online. Your pictures are all so beautful. We had the walking sticks, too, just haven’t gotten them up on the blog yet. Glad you had such a great trip. Tell your husband good luck with the bar for me. I just took it myself a couple of years ago so I know the pain he’s going through.

  9. I am green with envy!! What a trip! And to go 2 years in a row πŸ™‚ You deserve it – RD, wha wha!! πŸ™‚

  10. What a vacation, Jessie! Your photos are gorgeous…I especially love the second one with those silver-like clouds. I’ve never been scuba diving but it sounds like so much fun!

  11. What a beautiful trip!!! I’ve never been scuba diving. Maybe one day… My favorite vacation combines a fair amount of activity (swimming, hiking, etc) with time to do nothing. πŸ™‚

  12. Awesome! Looks beautiful and amazing. I am considered the scuba thing in the future. I snorkel. I also have a 5mm wetsuit, but mostly because the Atlantic ocean in December is darn cold and I needed to be warm but still able to move around. I figure I would still use 5 mm for warm water too. Especially if you go further down, like to scuba. Sounds like an awesome trip, I wanna go!

  13. SURREAL!!!! Love those pics and love the mini recap. Makes me wish i could go snorkeling somewhere crystal clear. I’ve NEVER scuba dived because I guess I’ve always been kinda scared of equipment malfunctioning and…er…sharks. hahaha I feel like i’m missing out on so much!!

    I have a ton of different favorite vacations! Including lying by the beach in cancun and drinking pina coladas. Exploring a new city with loved one. Eating out at ethnic restaurants! etc etc…wow i think i need a vacation.

  14. Jessie…my little adventurer…what a wonderful time in Bonaire you had. Your last vacation paradise sounds amazing. I’m a little envious…I’ve always wanted to swim with the underworld…alas, my very sensitive ears have withheld me from such pleasure. At least, I know that another deserving gal gets to do such fun experiences πŸ˜‰

    Keep enjoying your summer Jessie…I totally get that you have so much more going on than keeping in touch at all times ;o) The blog needs breaks once and a while.

    This was a great visit…loved the underword galeria.

    Ciao for now and flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

  15. Hi Jessie! That looks like a great trip and definitely deserved for you and Pete. Hope you two are doing well. Drop us a line if you are going to be in VT in the fall. We would love to see you!

  16. What a gorgeous vacation…and these photos are amazing! I have never tried scuba diving, may need a few Mai Tia’s fist πŸ™‚
    Hope your having a great week…

  17. Jessie!

    I’ve missed ya girlie! My Internet has been on and off for the past few days so I haven’t been blogging at all. Won’t be able to get it fixed till Tiesday so when I do get good signal I blog read in bursts. Lol.

    Lookie lookie at you lucky duckies! Now THAT my friend, is a dream vacation! You took such gorgeous photos. I’m in love with everything about the beaches and ocean. How jealous am I right now! I’m not a very good swimmer so I’ve never been scuba diving or even snorkeling. That’s definitely something I’m adding to my life list. What an adventure you’ve shared with us, and thank you so much for doing so. Usually I’m fixated on the food when I blog read, but definitely not this post. Haha. Although you did have some pretty dishes. I’ll have to come back again to really look at all your photos and watch your video. I’m on my phone right now and everything is super small. Lol. You guys definitely know how to work hard and play harder. I’m liking your style! Oh and the part about you not knowing which pictures you took, probably not the ones of yourself made me laugh out loud. You’re too cute, Weiner! I don’t know how far Bonaire is from you but I hope you’re not suffering from jet lag. Get some good rest! Thank you again for allowing me to live life vicariously through you. Take care, my dear! Big big LeeQola hugSSSSSS!

  18. First of all, Jesse! Congratulations in your incredible accomplishment! When Lauren (my daughter) received her official Occupational Therapy accreditation, she was ecstatic, so I can imagine how you felt. An incredible tribute to your tenacity. You and Peter are definitely filling your life with wonder.
    This post was so rich with intrigue and life and curiosity. It is clear you both share a zest for the quest of life and are working to take in all that it offers. Your photography is gorgeous.
    Wonderful to spend some time with you here, this morning.
    πŸ™‚
    Valerie

  19. Love the pictures, Jessie! You have a very cool hobbie! I must visit this island, it looks really beautiful!
    Have a great weekend! Take care!

  20. Lindsay von says:

    I stumbled on your blog via google reader recommendations this morning.

    It’s funny, I got back from Bonaire a little over a week ago and I’ve been missing the turtles and water ever since, and the pictures of the turltes and sea life this morning did not help my jonesing! It’s my second trip there (my husbands seventh) and we are trying to figure out if we can swing a trip down again the next 6 months or so. For what it’s worth I typically dive in a 3mm, I realized on this trip though I’m going to need a 5mm for anything deeper then 50-60, we ended up not doing the Hilma Hooker because I just wasn’t interested in freezing my rear off to see it. My husband on the other hand dives in nothing but his trunks, although I think that might change since he got a fire coral burn on our last dive out at Black Forest.

    Sorry I’m rambling just missing the warm water today…oh and love the rest of the blog too!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I know what you mean about missing underwater Bonaire – I can’t wait until I can get in the water there again. We dove the Hilma Hooker in 5mm this year and I was STILL cold, although I know I get cold easily πŸ™‚ I hope you husband recovers from his burn – I got a fire coral graze when we were there and it’s still a little annoying!

      Thanks for your kind words! Hope all is well and happy diving!

  21. Beuatiful post Jessie, and a great rundown of “a day in the life of…”
    Thanks for sharing this with us! i am intrigued by your website, gonna have to look a little closer πŸ™‚
    say hi to Peter for us as well!
    -happy bubble blowing~
    Annie O.

    1. Thanks, Annie! Say hi to Travis for us!

  22. Pingback: The Scuba Diaries

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