Diving Bon Bini Na Kas Reef in Bonaire
by Lizzie Perez on Apr 16, 2023
Lizzie’s Dive Log: 6.12.19
Bon Bini Na Kas was first reef I had the privilege of diving with my new SeaLife camera. After messing around on Spiegal Grove the previous winter, I was eager for the vibrant colors that only a reef dive can provide. What better place to start than the beautiful island of Bonaire? Located in the sunny south Caribbean, Bonaire is a champion of reef preservation and dive tourism. Their national park system, STINAPA, has done an incredible job of preserving their underwater environments since the late seventies.
New to the world of underwater photography and REEF Foundation surveys, I set out to record my adventure in a new way. While some moments can never be captured on film, underwater photography opens new doors to appreciate the dive. In my quest to take an amazing picture, I found myself going smaller and smaller. Before, I was only noticing the fish listed on my REEF survey sheets as I would scramble to identify them. Now, I was more concerned with the enchanting patterns of the coral colonies and the strange creatures that called them home. I encountered clusters of Christmas tree worms; which, predictably, look like tiny colorful Christmas trees. I often found myself twisting all sorts of ways to capture the glass gobies that rest on top of coral heads.
Bon Bini Na Kas teemed with fish and other sea creatures. As a wall reef, sea fans swayed gently in the shallower top of the reef, with hard corals growing abundantly in the deeper sections. The waters in Bonaire are dangerously clear, allowing you to stray deeper and deeper without realizing it. While this can prove dangerous for SCUBA diving, it doesn’t make the reefs any less alluring. With the reef on one side and endless blue on the other, the wall reefs of Bonaire now hold a special place in my heart.
Even afterwards, as I plugged in my camera to review the pictures, each image filled me with almost as much exhilaration as I had while taking it. The memories attached to them came rushing back like the bubbles from my regulator, and I almost felt like I was underwater again. The camera also afforded a valuable opportunity to snap photos of unknown fish for later identification on my REEF Foundation survey.