Bonaire is an island in the Dutch Caribbean, situated right above Venezuela, next to Aruba and Curacao. The water is warm (80 degrees Fahrenheit), calm and so beautiful! Front Porch and Bari Reef is literally right in front of the resort we are staying at. Bari’s reef has more documented fish species (a count of 317) than any other single reef in the entire of the Caribbean! It was fate we booked at the Eden Beach Resort because we had no idea until someone told us! These dive sites are used for all levels of diving. There is only a slight current moving southward which keeps the sponges and corals healthy.
Front Porch and Bari’s Reef is situated on the west side of the island just north of Kralendijk, the main town where most divers go to hang out. Eden Beach Dive Resort’s dive center is called Wannadive and they offer unlimited number of tanks for the day for just 30 dollars. We easily set up our gear and walked just twenty steps to the beach where we entered the Front Porch dive site. The water is perpetually calm and clear year-round on the west side because it is protected by the central ridgeback of the island. The visibility is always 150+ feet because little rain falls on the island. Bonaire is considered an arid but tropical island.
Front Porch dive site is dense with diversity. We saw a barracuda, tarpon, lionfish, angelfish, goldspot gobies, yellowhead jawfish, scorpion fish, and a juvenile hawksbill turtle (to name a few species). At times, eagle rays can also be seen here swimming by! Front Porch also has an old wreck called the New York tugboat lots of macro life and small fish like blennies and gobies.
We could also see many colorful blue and purple coral heads and orange sponges along the drop off. The staff working at Wannadive center rebuild the reef with coral restoration projects. Bonaire incorporates conservation of the marine life into their culture because it is their livelihood. The entire ocean surrounding Bonaire is a National Park called the Bonaire National Marine Park. In order to dive Bonaire, one must purchase a permit which is 45 US Dollars and it is good for the entire year.
Front Porch connects with Bari’s Reef when swimming north. A “Bari” is a barrel which refers to the many barrel sponges that can be seen. Tube sponges, elephant sponges, and vase sponges cover the area. Bari’s Reef is great for discovering little creatures like the frog fish and masked gobies and thousands upon thousands of tiny baby fish.
The Blue Chromis fish are the most visually striking because of their bright blue color. It is like they were glowing under the ocean. They swam in circles in sync with each other before my eyes, like they were dancing together happily.