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Untitled-Scanned-01 Ruth and I vacationed in Bonaire in 1983.   The January 1984 swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated, featuring Kathy Ireland, was shot there shortly after we departed -- drat! [Wikipedia: Bonaire is an island in the Netherlands Antilles. Together with Aruba and Curaçao it forms a group referred to as the ABC islands of the Leeward Antilles, the southern island chain of the Lesser Antilles. Bonaire has a land area of 288 km² (111 sq. miles). The population was 14,006 inhabitants as of December, 2006.]  Bonaire is the smallest and easternmost of the ABC islands, all of which are near the Venezuelan coast.  The ABC's are very dry, semi-arid deserts.   Their landmasses are low outcroppings of seabed, and the ground is all rock, sand, and coral. Untitled-Scanned-02 The island's only town, Kralendijk. Untitled-Scanned-03 Our resort complex. Untitled-Scanned-04 The fisherman's market. Untitled-Scanned-05 Kralendijk Untitled-Scanned-06 Ruth's grandfather was a tugboat captain.  Tugs always fascinate her.  We were standing near one that was docked and discussing it and we were invited aboard, to go out and guide an oil tanker -- Shell, the Dutch company offloads supertankers in Bonaire to smaller tankers that can get through the Panama Canal.  This slide and several following ones were taken aboard the tug. Untitled-Scanned-07 Practically Bonaire's highest hill. Untitled-Scanned-08 A sister tug also approaches the tanker. Untitled-Scanned-09 The tanker's crew fastens one of our tug's lines. Untitled-Scanned-10 View over the forecastle. Untitled-Scanned-11 And a view from the fantail. Untitled-Scanned-12_Ruth_flyingfish A crewman shows Ruth a flying fish -- which land on deck from time to time and are quite good to fry and eat. Untitled-Scanned-13_Ruth_tugcrew Ruth and the tug's captain and crew. Untitled-Scanned-14 Storms are rare.  This squall missed the island, but had a nice rainbow. Untitled-Scanned-15 A peaceful sunset. Untitled-Scanned-16 Bonaire has a national park/nature preserve named Washington Park. Untitled-Scanned-17 Untitled-Scanned-18 Flamingoes abound, feeding on the algae in the shallow ponds. Untitled-Scanned-19 Untitled-Scanned-20 Untitled-Scanned-21 Untitled-Scanned-25 Untitled-Scanned-26 Untitled-Scanned-27 The north face of Bonaire shows the pushed-up seabed topography. Untitled-Scanned-28 Untitled-Scanned-31 And the land is all shells and coral and old seabed. Untitled-Scanned-32 Untitled-Scanned-33 Could this have been an ancient tree?  Probably it's a coral skeleton. Untitled-Scanned-34 Cacti of various types predominate. Untitled-Scanned-36 And lizards scurry about.  They're harmless, and will beg for scraps (or steal food) at picnics. Untitled-Scanned-37 Typical of the land. Untitled-Scanned-38
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