Expedition update: Bonaire

The winds have picked up and are blowing at over 25 knots from the east, luckily we still managed to get to survey our sites which are located on the lee of the island. Today, we began near the capital of Kralendijk. Despite the fact that all of the reefs around Bonaire are part of a marine park, we still saw some rubbish on the reef, such as tyres, steel beams and even boat props. The area is much cleaner than neighbouring Curacao though. The highlight of the day was being able to survey sites around Karpata, north of the capital, where there is very little coastal development. At this location, the reefs were simply stunning with the highest percentage of hard corals we have seen in Bonaire. There was a high diversity of hard corals in the shallows; giant colonies Montastrea annularis and Montastrea faveolata stood out amongst the brain corals along the reef slope and all appeared to be in a healthy state. There was a high abundance of reef fish, as well as half a dozen juvenile green turtles swimming along the reef.