As soon as you step off the plane onto the island of Bonaire, you’ll find the signs that the island is tailor-made for divers: red-and-white flags fluttering over dive shops; yellow stones along the roadside marking dive sites; license plates inscribed with the words “Divers Paradise.”
The nation’s first underwater dive memorial is officially open to the public. Located about 10 miles off Clearwater, Florida, the Circle of Heroes dive site pays respect to veterans and those who currently serve in the U.S. armed forces.
First certified at 21, after he returned home from the Vietnam War, Marv Tuttle had been out of the water for years when a 1998 motorcycle accident seemed to end his diving for good. But that was just the beginning. Tuttle, who is the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s first wheelchair-using volunteer diver, is participant coordinator for the aquarium’s Days of Discovery
There are a lot of big numbers associated with the tiny island of Bonaire — more than 450 different species of fish, 80 dive sites, dozens of species of corals, 24/7 diving, the No. 1 destination in the world for shore diving for 26 years and counting in Scuba Diving’s Readers Choice Awards.