June 25, 2001
Although the Hilma Hooker Wreck can be reached from shore, it is a long swim. This wreck is so large it has three moorings where three boats can tie up at once. (Bonaire boats do not drop anchors.) The 236 long freighter sank in 1984 from not quite known reasons. The boat was having engine trouble and when the harbormaster inquired if they could provide assistance the captain said no and they would fix the problem while anchoring out at Klein Bonaire. Officials in Florida were in contact with the Bonaire harbor master and told them drugs were suspected. The boat was brought near the shores of the main island where no drugs were found. Not until the harbormaster began reviewing design blueprints. The drugs were brought ashore and destroyed. A couple of days later the boat sank. It rests on its side with the bow at 100 feet and the propeller at 65 feet. Coincidentally before the ship sank, divers in the area had made the remark it would make a great artificial reef. Under the bottom of the ship at about 115 feet reside several huge barracudas.
The Invisibles is a really neat dive sight. It has two reefs that parallel the shore. The reefs are huge pinnacles with only an expanse of sand and garden eels separating the two. When you are on the bottom of the sandy area, every direction you look are pinnacles as if you are in the middle of a crater. It is almost disorientating the way you feel incredible tiny gazing up the sheer walls. If you have good buoyancy, you can hover your way up or down the pinnacles and be able to view the tiny sea life such as the red-banded shrimp peeking out of the tube coral. They look so much like a spider. This is also when you realize a scene you are watching is a fish protecting it’s nest as it chases another one away when it gets too close. You also notice the small blemmies and gobies darting in and around the coral, the inch long nudibranchs, Christmas tree worms and lettuce sea slugs.
Groupers, jacks, spotted eels, trunkfish, filefish, and balloon fish are visible as well at these sites.
From journal Caribbean Paradise