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August 2018    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 44, No. 8   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Shore Diving Is Not for Everyone

from the August, 2018 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

After our plane landed, I overheard some misconceptions about Bonaire's diving at baggage claim . One woman told a gentleman there are no currents in Bonaire . In another conversation, the divers seemed to think the shoreline was all gently sloping sand . In truth, there are currents, so dives must be planned accordingly . Also, most of the marked sites are not at sandy beaches . The majority of Bonaire's coast is jagged limestone, called "ironshore ." And as I witnessed several times, it can make for tough shore entries .

Because it's a nice break from the typical wall dives, the reef at Angel City is a favorite with Bonaire divers . But it's a devil of a dive at the beginning . The shore, however, has a few levels of sharp rocks to step over to get into and out of the water . I saw some divers crawling on hands and knees to get out and others got knocked down by waves and couldn't get up . They were wearing shorties, so I know their legs had to have been cut up from the rough limestone rocks . On another occasion, I saw a group who got separated during their dive; they were popping up all over the place . A couple of them had very long swims to get back to their exit point . Two women in the group made it to the beach, but got so tossed around, they could not get up . They had to get out of the BCs and leave them for someone else to carry .

So pack some thick-soled dive booties for your Bonaire trip --- they're a must for ensuring the island's shore entries don't leave you on your hands and knees, begging for mercy .

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