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The ruin of an old "mangazina" on Bonaire.
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  6.  » Back on Bonaire, by Andrew Jalbert

Synopsis of Back on Bonaire.

“I shouldn’t have put the snake I’d captured into the pocket of my Toughskins blue jeans.”

From the first line of his book, Back on Bonaire: Rediscovering Diver’s Paradise as a Father, author Andrew Jalbert paints a picture of chasing adventure, even as a child. He writes, “As is so often the case with the dreams we had when we were young, most are slowly eroded away by time, circumstance, or reason until their remnants are so faint, we don’t seriously consider chasing after them anymore.” Not so for Jalbert, who – still itching for adventure as a young adult – decided to study archaeology and begin scuba training.

It was his involvement in scuba diving that led him to Bonaire. With the island’s protected nearshore reef system, gem-clear seas, and sweeping conservation efforts, Bonaire has earned the title it boasts on its license plates: Diver’s Paradise. For Jalbert, who first visited in the early 1990s, there was a draw to the island that was hard to shake. He returned regularly over the next twenty-five years in a variety of capacities: as a scuba instructor, a dive guide, a sun-starved vacationer, and a writer/photographer. What he hadn’t expected at 43 years old, however, was to return as a new father.

Back on Bonaire: Rediscovering Diver’s Paradise as a Father is an entertaining gem full of frank, confessional – and often hilarious – revelations. It’s a tour guide for Bonaire, topside and underwater, with added history, profiles of local notables, and a healthy dose of environmental awareness spawned by the sheer love for the island, its people, its waters, and its creatures. It’s also the story of stitching together two very different lives: one of airports, scuba tanks, article assignments, and underwater cameras; the other of car seats, kindergarten, skinned knees, and the boundless curiosity of a child.

Back on Bonaire's cover plate.

The book appeals to a wide audience: divers, travelers, and parents, people who care about the environment, and families who relish an adventurous trip or an unadventurous afternoon by the pool.

Testimonials about Back on Bonaire.

“Part biography, part guide to Bonaire, and part insight into fatherhood, Jalbert expertly weaves together historical facts, family anecdotes, underwater exploration, and a good dose of humor. The book isn’t just for divers, or fathers, or travelers. It’s for people who enjoy learning about the experiences of others, and seeing the world through their eyes. By the time you’ve finished Back on Bonaire: Rediscovering Divers Paradise as a Father there’s a good chance you’ll have booked a flight, packed a bag, and already ordered a pizza at Captain Don’s. One thing is for sure, you would have thoroughly enjoyed Andrew Jalbert’s story and will be eager to write your own.”

Russell Clark

DIVER Magazine

“Not only is Back on Bonaire: Rediscovering Diver’s Paradise as a Father a gem of frank, confessional – and often hilarious – revelations, it’s a tour guide for Bonaire, topside and underwater, with added history, profiles of local notables and a healthy dose of environmental awareness spawned by sheer love of the island, its people, its waters and its creatures. More importantly, it’s a book we can relate to. It’s a story about real love: for family, shared experiences and special places.”

Renée Duncan

Managing editor, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Journal

“Jalbert uses the same words all the rest of us do, but he puts them together in entertaining (and even painlessly educational) ways.  Give yourself some time when you begin his book because once you read the first line you won’t want to put it down.”

Dee Scarr

Women Divers Hall of Fame member and conservation author

Where to buy Back on Bonaire.

Back on Bonaire is available in paperback (Amazon) as well as in e-book formats (Kindle plus all others).  Buy it now at the following stores:

Amazon Kindle
Barnes & Noble's Nook
Apple Books
Rakuten Kobo
Angus & Robertson

Back on Bonaire: Accompanying Photo Guide

For those readers who have yet to explore the wonders of Bonaire, author and photographer Andrew Jalbert has published a photo guide to accompany his book, Back on Bonaire.

The photo guide is available on Kindle for $1.99 and makes a great visual addition to the book.

Amazon Kindle

About Andrew Jalbert.

Andrew Jalbert is an award-winning photographer, writer, and doting father. Throughout his twenty-five years as an archaeologist, scuba instructor, and dive guide, he has traveled extensively, publishing work on prehistoric sites, shipwrecks, travel, dive safety, and marine conservation. He first discovered Bonaire in the early 1990s and has been returning regularly since. Jalbert lives in Monona, Wisconsin with his wife, Becky, and their son, Luc.

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Andrew Jalbert’s Back to Bonaire:  Rediscovering Diver’s Paradise as a Father

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