A small Caribbean island. An underwater explorer turned father. Can he rediscover Bonaire through the curious eyes of a child?
Gem-clear water, warm tropical trade breezes, and graceful sea turtles soaring through a brilliant theater of kaleidoscopic coral. It’s the place that avid scuba diver and famed Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton described as “a world of riotous, outrageous color” during his visit here decades earlier. This is Bonaire, and with its protected nearshore reef system and sweeping conservation efforts, the small Caribbean island has earned the title it boasts on its license plates: Diver’s Paradise.
Drawn to Bonaire in his twenties, Andrew Jalbert transformed a passion for travel, scuba diving and the natural world into a career as a writer and underwater photographer. But when he was unexpectedly gifted with fatherhood at age forty-three, he faced the challenge of merging two seemingly incompatible lives. Determined to pass on his appreciation for this tropical paradise, Andrew annually took his son to the place he’d come to love. And over the course of their week-long excursion when the boy was five, the doting dad found the isle’s magic renewed by an insatiably curious child.
Told in lyrical prose, Jalbert recounts both his early days exploring Bonaire’s underwater treasures and the wonders of his kindergartner’s fascination. Along the way, he relates the island’s natural and cultural history, illuminates the critical need for conservation, and realizes life seen through the eyes of the young is among the greatest visions imaginable.
If you like evocative descriptions, exploration, wisdom conveyed with humor, and educational asides, then you’ll adore this expertly woven travel memoir.
Buy Back on Bonaire and discover the book Indie Reader calls a “wise and witty travelogue”.