Monday, October 20, 2014

Seahorse Spotting

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We finally spotted the elusive seahorse. This male has got a fat belly full of babies. Supposedly Mrs. Seahorse is near by, as they mate for life, but we couldn’t find her. You gotta wonder how they know that seahorses mate for life – check the seahorse divorce court records?

bonaireDSCN1297  We spotted some other interesting and odd stuff. The sponge on the right (the darker circle) is spewing millions of baby sponges into the water – the fuzzy stream in the center. This is apparently a rare site to see.

bonaireDSCN1225 Speaking of rare sites to see – Chris hi-fiving (or maybe it is low-fiving).

bonaireDSCN1298 A happy worm living on a coral head

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If you look close, you can see a tan with white spots eel (center right between the rocks) trying to get away from a Chris attack.

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This angel fish might look grumpy, but he’s actually having a good feed. On the left hand side of the pic is some left over brown baguette bread. You aren’t supposed to feed these guys, but what are you going to do with rock hard baguette?

bonaireDSCN1304 Its not all play on the boat. I regularly start working on something and drop a tool overboard. This is a set of Allen keys that I’m grabbing in about 19 feet of water. That was a lot easier than the splicing tool I had to go get in 28 feet a few days before. But at least I can see them here.

bonaireDSCN1181 I know selfies are the In thing. So I figured I’d get with it and show off my new prescription dive mask I picked up in Bonaire. US$135 for the mask, lenses and an exam to pick out the right lenses at the local eye doc at Buena Vista Optics in downtown Kralendijk.

bonaireIMG_5938   Not a selfie, so I guess it is just showing off. Our new Standup Paddle boards (SUP). Its not surfing, but its decent exercise- especially if you’ve got a head wind.

Paul

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Slave Museum

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Before we left Curacao we took a walk across the floating bridge to the north side, Otrabanda. The Kura Hulanda Slave Museum (www.kurahulanda.com) is here, located in a former slave yard and slave merchant’s home. The 18-19th century buildings have been restored for a 3 or 4 block area of the old town. The museum is large, much bigger than I expected and covers a huge range of history from tribal Africa to the Babylonian times, some Egyptian artifacts and, of course, much on the slave trade itself, and its after effects up to the 20th century. It was much more interesting than I had expected and well worth a visit if you find yourself in Curacao.

 curacaoIMG_5849 This sign showed a timeline of slavery. It was tucked behind a large bush, so it was hard to see the whole thing. The interesting part to me was the note at the end showing abolition of slavery in the USA. Its date is set as 1863 to 1964. It took us a long time to actually commit. (The dates shown above it are from the Dutch point-of-view).

curacaoIMG_5858I come from the niggeryard of yesterday, leaping from the oppressors hate and the scorn of myself…”   Martin Carter

The leg and arm shackles make an impressive display.

curacaoIMG_5859  A sea chest full of hundreds of shackles.

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This is a model of the area below decks on a slave transport ship showing the few foot high area where 5 or 6 slaves would be shackled and kept for all most the entire passage across the Atlantic  -- weeks on end. Even though this took place hundreds of years ago, the merchants were very advanced for their time. You can see the security camera they setup in the upper right to keep an eye on their cargo.

curacaoIMG_5861 The legal end of slavery was clearly not the end of oppression. These are genuine US of A  Ku Klux Klan (KKK) robes.

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Along the restored narrow streets around the museum is a really nice hotel. The rooms each have separate entrances along the alley.

curacaoIMG_5867  There’s a few restaurants and cafes. I stopped to read my paper and talk about local politics with a dapper local.

curacaoIMG_5874 I was completely minding my own business when these two floozies tried desperately to pick me up. (“Trouble ahead, a lady in red, take my advice you’d be better off dead” as Jerry Garcia advises, although I’m pretty sure he was talking about drugs at the time.)

curacaoIMG_5878 Do you think this balcony on this old store front could hold one more air-conditioner? It was already drooping with the current cooling load.

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Walkers on the Willemstad, Curacao floating bridge at night.

Paul

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Octopus Spotting

bonaireDSCN1143 Isn’t she beautiful? These guys and gals change color to match their background seemingly almost instantaneously. She’s white in this picture because of the white light from my underwater flash.

bonaire_2_DSCN1143 She was a little shaky this morning with the eye-makeup, but overall looking ready for the day.

bonaireDSCN1153 Chris heading into the deep to check out an old anchor.

Paul