An Underwater Sound Not Soon Forgotten

Clunk. Clunk. Click clank. Clunk.

As scuba divers well know, sound travels about four times as fast underwater than it does in air, so it’s always fascinating to hear unfamiliar noise and reverberations while dawdling in a light current on a lazy afternoon dive.

Jeannie’s Glory is a dive site which is accessible from a simple shore entry just north of the Salt Pier on Bonaire, and from the shore it’s easy to spot two enormous mooring buoys floating on the surface, waiting to secure the occasional vessel which will moor here.

Ocean Buoy

Almost immediately upon submerging underwater, divers are greeted with a clunk, clunk. Click clank. Clunk. Current is usually mild-to-moderate here with decent visibility, although there is no visible sign of the sinister clunking sound initially. A 15 to 20-minute swim, depending on the tide, will eventually bring the sight of the first buoy bobbing gently on the surface, tethered to a giant chain that is fastened on the ocean floor.

Giant Buoy Underwater

The buoy does not appear very large on first approach, but within closer range it is amazing to see the mammoth chain as wide as your leg, swaying slightly with the current.

Clunk. Clunk. Click clank. Clunk.

The sound is so much louder within a few yards, and inspection reveals a few barnacles and critters that have made sections of the huge chain and the underside of the buoy their home.

Ocean Buoy Chain on Ocean Floor

Every time we dive here, I wonder what tales this buoy could tell about the many ships who have taken brief rest here, or how many seasons of change have been observed within the ebb and flow of these waters.

And the sound. Clunk. Clunk. Click clank. The sound is never forgotten.

 

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