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Scuba Diving Bonaire

Diving Bonaire articles, reviews, and reports from Undercurrent

Diving Bonaire Overview

To many visitors, Bonaire's attraction is shore diving, not only in front of their hotels, but via rental car to one of a score of marked sites - but keep nothing in those cars as many get broken into while divers are underwater. Still, Bonaire is a diver's island par excellence, with diving that's especially well suited for easy divers and those who want to concentrate on photography.

Bonaire Seasonal Dive Planner

Bonaire is a desert island, with a terrain and climate something like southern Arizona. Air temperatures are in the low to mid 70s at night, and the high 80s or low 90s during the day. But with the trade winds and moderate humidity, it rarely feels as hot as it is.

Rainfall is usually scant, consisting of a few brief showers in the early morning, except during November and December, when occasionally it is overcast and rainy for a day or more. Total annual rainfall is about 20 inches, but every eight to ten years there's a peak year, with total rainfall of two to three times the normal amount. 1988 was one such peak year, with the highest accumulations known since accurate record-keeping started over 200 years ago.

Bonaire's protected western coast offers almost ideal conditions 365 days a year - calm, warm, and clear water with gentle currents. The sky is usually dotted with puffy fair weather clouds that give a welcome respite from a tropical sun which can get quite intense, especially in May, June, and September. Winds are always from the east at a brisk 15-20 mph from January through August. They slow the last four months of the year, with occasional calm days that permit diving on the island's exposed eastern coast. This is an experience not to be missed if the rare opportunity presents itself to see the huge sponges, gorgonia, coral heads and fish of the northern and eastern coasts.

The water temperature in Bonaire ranges from 78 to 81 degrees. About three years out of every five, upwellings of cold, nutrient-rich water from the deep Atlantic spill into the Caribbean over the relatively shallow shelf that connects Trinidad with the Grenadines, and then it circulates westward to Bonaire. When this happens - usually during July - water temperature can drop into the low 70s and visibility everywhere can fall to 30' or less. These conditions can last from one or two days to a week or more.

Sometimes this cold upwelling water doesn't come all the way to the surface but is only encountered at depth as a murky thermocline.

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Diving Bonaire Feature Articles and Reader Reports

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Bonaire Dive Reviews

from our Instant Reader Reports
Dive Operation Resort Name Area Reporter Dive Date
Bonaire Dive and Adventure Review Den Laman Condos Kradllink Rodney Sheppard 2016/10
Captain Don's Habitat Review [same] [N/A] Irina Zeylikman 2016/08
Buddy Dive Resort Review [same] [N/A] David Bader 2016/10
Captain Don's Habitat Review [same] [N/A] Jeanette Hartshorn 2016/08
Captain Don's Habitat Review [same] [N/A] Frank Hall 2016/09
All Reader Reports on Scuba Diving Bonaire
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Diving Bonaire Articles - Land Based

Mozambique, Mexico, Philippines . . ., more on the Thorfinn, and another Bonaire warning, 10/15
Florida, Maui, Palau . . ., good and bad Bahamas dive shops; the best week to dive Bonaire, 10/14
Goodbye, Capn Don, 6/14
Key Largo, Maui, New Zealand . . ., maiden voyage kinks in Thailand, a rude photo pro in Bonaire, 5/13
Bonaire, Cozumel, St. Vincent, legendary guide retires, dive shop disputes, and more, 1/13

Available to the Public
An Insiders Tips on Bonaire, 8/12
Bonaire, Maui, Phuket, Francis Coppolas five-star resort, a clueless Cozumel divemaster, 6/12
Bonaire, Caymans, China. . ., a dangerous Baja dive shop, and what, no octopus for your buddy?, 1/12
Saipan, Statia, Lake Malawi, Key Largo..., reports from the back of beyond from undercover readers, 7/10
Buddy Dive Resort, Bonaire, freedom for solo diving photographers, 5/10
Bahamas, Canada, Caymans, Indonesia, planning your next dive trip? Here are readers suggestions, 7/08
Bruce Bowkers Carib Inn, Bonaire, hard to book, but heaven for hardcore divers, 10/07
Cuba, Bonaire, Belize... , and a clever thief in Curacao, 1/07
Holbox Whale Sharks, Bonaire Wild Side, destinations to keep in mind, 2/06
Thumbs Down: Plaza Resort Bonaire, 9/04
Reports From Readers: Part I, Cozumels adult dive operators, Bonaire bummers, 8/04
More on Theft in Bonaire, 4/04
S.E. Aruba Fly n Dive, the Dutch Caribbean, dive in Bonaire, sleep in Aruba, 2/04
Wild Side Diving in Bonaire, 5/03
Thumbs Down, 10/02
Missed Connections, 10/01
Klein Bonaire Rescued from Developers, 2/00
Bonaire, A Shore Diver's Mecca, the Carib Inn, deep diving, private guides, 1/00
The Trouble with Going to Bonaire and Curaao, getting there is the hardest part, 7/99
Captain Don's Habitat, 7/94

Diving Bonaire Articles - Liveaboards

Belize, Bonaire, Florida, Philippines . . ., and a Cozumel dive shop with a great refund policy, 7/15

Available to the Public
Bonaire, Fiji, Galapagos, Roatan, great examples of customer service - - and one resort to avoid, 9/11

Bonaire Dive Reviews

from our Travelin' Divers' Chapbooks

Land Based Dive Resorts in Bonaire

For Members 2016 2015 2014 2013          
For Public 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996  

Bonaire Liveaboards

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Contact Information for Dive Resorts and Liveaboards Worldwide
All Bonaire Diving Reviews -- Instant Reader Reports

Editor's Book Picks for Scuba Diving Bonaire

The books below are my favorites about diving in this part of the world All books are available at a significant discount from; just follow the links. -- BD

Reef Life: A Must Have Guide to Tropical Marine Life Reef Life: A Must Have Guide to Tropical Marine Life
by Brandon Cole and Scott Michael

What? Another fish ID book when you thought Paul Humanns and Ned Deloachs were enough? Yes indeed, and while I rarely say this, Reef Life: A Guide to Tropical Marine Life is a must-have for the library of every traveling diver. And if you only want one ID book, this is it.

Click here to order through Undercurrent and you’ll get Amazon’s best price -- and our profits will go to save coral reefs.

Travel Edition of Reef Fish Identification: Caribbean, Bahamas,
South Florida. Travel Edition of Reef Fish Identification: Caribbean, Bahamas, South Florida
by Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach

Today's airline weight restrictions not only limit the amount of dive gear and cameras you can pack for overseas trips, but also those valuable prized marine life identification books. And with spotty Internet access overseas, it's not like you can look a critter of or fish up easily online. For the divers who still want a book in their hands post-dive to look up the fishes they encounter, Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach are offering "Travel Edition of Reef Fish Identification: Caribbean, Bahamas, South Florida." It's lightweight enough to thrown in your carry-on but rugged enough to withstand frequent saltwater washings on board.

Click here to buy it at Amazon via our website -- our profits go to save the reefs.

Reef Fish ID Reef Creature ID Reef Coral ID

The Reef Set: Reef Fish, Reef Creature and Reef Coral (3 Volumes):
Paul Humann ID Books
by Paul Humann, Ned Deloach

The three set fish, creature and coral ID books by Paul Humann are the unparalleled sources for information on Caribbean sea life and identification. Paul and his partner Ned Deloach recently released updated and expanded editions of each, with scores of new critters, even better photos, and information unavailable anywhere else. Why, the Reef Fish Identification book, at more than 500 pages, is 20 percent larger than the previous volume, which came out in 1994. Whenever I travel to the Caribbean, I tote all three books and spend my down hours figuring out what I saw and where to look to find rare creatures. Paul's splendid Reef Creature book (420 pages), covers sponges, nudibranchs, octopus, crustaceans, Christmas tree worms and plenty more. His Reef Coral ID book (276 pages) helps you identify all the hard and soft corals, spawning, and even the growth on top of corals, as well as algae and other plant life. Beginners may want to ID only fish, but I'd recommend that all three books be part of every diver's library. And, if you have an old set, by all means replace it. You'll be delighted at the additions and improvements. Each book normally retails for $40, but are discounted when you order here. And the boxed 3-volume set is available now at a bigger discount, up to 30%. You'll get the best prices has to offer, speedy delivery, and the knowledge that a large hunk of our profit will go to preserve coral reefs.

* Reef Fish Identification: Florida Caribbean Bahamas,
* Reef Creature Identification: Florida Caribbean Bahamas, and
* Reef Coral Identification: Florida Caribbean Bahamas
* The Boxed Set of all three (you can save up to 30%)

You might find some other books of interest in our Editor's Book Picks section.

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