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Dive Review of Belmar Diving/Belmar Apartments in
Bonaire

September, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Gary Petty, CA, USA
Report Number 2984
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Grand Cayman, Tobago, Belize, Roatan, Thialand, So. Cal.
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, windy  
Seas
calm  
Water Temp
82   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
0
Water Visibility
50   to 70    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
We were 9 experienced divers, with two PADI Instructors and three Dive
Masters, so were allowed to dive on our own after orientation.  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
1 or 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
N/A
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
Comments
There was no separate wash tank for camera gear, but the primary tank was
kept very clean. Our photographers rinsed in the apartment bath tubs and
worked on the dining room table.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
5 stars
Food
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
3 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
This 8-day, 7-night trip was all good.  Belmar apartments is a great place
for families or groups large and small if you don't want the cattle boat
experience. Huge ocean-view apartments on the water and a great staff. The
nine of us took two 3-bedroom apartments on the second floor, with a full
kitchen two baths and a huge covered patio over the sea. Two 4-door rental
pickup trucks (a part of the package) and 60 & 80 cu.ft. tanks (Nitrox,
too) available 24/7 made it an experienced shore divers paradise.  Not
recommended for beginners, as the shore entries can be a bit tricky with
rocks, sharp coral, a bit of surf, and swims of up to 300 yards to the
reef, at least at the south end of the island. On the northern half, you
can practically fall onto the reef from shore. Boat dives are available
through an affiliation with Buddy Dive Resort, but nearly everything you
would want is available from shore.

The entire reef around Bonaire is a Marine Preserve and it shows - with a
very healthy reef system and a huge variety of marine life. We identified
dozens of tropical fish, saw spotted eagle rays, stingrays, sea turtles,
cuttlefish, jumbo (!) seacucumbers, barracuda, large tarpon, a variety of
eels, a few anemones, many shrimp, and an eye-popping number of amazing
fish of all sizes and colors! Huge gorgonian fans, hard & soft corals,
and sponges of all colors abound.

The people of Bonaire are warm and friendly - the atmosphere is
"small-town", laid back, and carefree, but with enough weekend
nightlife for the young at heart. The weather was warm, 85-90F, but a
steady breeze made it comfortable all day and night.

The only down side was that the Great Escape Restaurant across the street
from Belmar no longer serves lunch and dinner, so we bought groceries and
ate in or went to town (about 3 miles) and dined at an international
assortment of restaurants.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.


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