The Seychelles segment of our trip was off to a rough start. An impressive lack of organization at the Colombo airport meant that even showing up four hours in advance was just enough to make our flight without one of us becoming truly unpleasant. Our flight was at 0200, landing in the Seychelles at around around 0500 local time. Which means not much sleep even in the best of cases, which was not my case as I’m still a nervous flier. The plane was filled with Sri Lankans going abroad for work, and they were intent on making the most of the free meals and beers on the plane. No doubt they were heading for extended austere/spartan conditions, so who could blame them?
Scuba diving the Red Sea had always seemed nearly impossible. It was faraway, expensive and, let’s be honest, seemed a little dicey. However, when opportunity knocks, you open the door, and when a friend called with a plan to charter an entire boat and dive the Red Sea, the D&C said yes. In the end we did not manage to fill up the whole boat, but it was close enough, and we got to meet some cool new people in the process. Win-win.
The motto emblazoned on their license plates isn’t overselling it, Bonaire really is a diver’s paradise, specifically, a shore diver’s paradise. First however, a little context.
Bonaire is the easternmost of the ABC islands and is essentially part of the Netherlands, expect wheels of gouda cheese (not kidding) to be found in the most surprising places. The upshot/downside (depending on your point of view), is the strong European influence and the presence of a very clean, large and rather well stocked super market, the Van Der Tweel, where on some days, you can find (in the parking lot, sold from the back of a modified Land Rover) a perhaps famous smoked chicken. I don’t know about famous, that’s a claim on the flyer, but I can tell you about delicious, have some if you have the chance.
Excuse the slightly juvenile double entendre, but it can’t always be arthurian lore and Jewish mysticism you know. BTW, guess what, we were in Bonaire…
Everything was perfect that day. It was my birthday, I was in the tropics rather than the frigid north (at that time in the grips of an ice storm), I had the best buddy divers with me and a pick-up truck (did you know they are called “utes” in Australia? Me neither). There really aren’t many ways to top that.
It’s the shortest day of the year, the day where night’s mantle spreads widest across our hemisphere. The flip side of this passage through Hades, this chthonic corridor as it were, be it literal or figurative, is that as of tomorrow, the days are getting longer. Not that you would know it by looking at the Canadian winter, but still. The minute the nadir is passed, the ascension begins. We will start looking to summer, after a fashion, and the full moon that will greet us on January First is certainly another auspicious sign; luminous silver to light our way in the coming year.