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Dive Review of Bon Binis in
Bonaire

Bon Binis, Jan, 2004,

by Mort Rolleston, VA, US . Report 1505.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Key Largo, NC, New Providence Bahamas, 1000 Islands in St Lawrence River Canada
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 80 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 60 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Overall impressions of Bonaire:

Plusses:
· Convenience (can basically roll out your condo door into the ocean and swim 30 yards to great diving or drive a truck within 15 minutes and swim 100 yards out or take a dive boat and get to numerous great sites (including Klein Bonaire) within 15 minutes. Very easy to get 4-5 dives a day in.
· The coral and macro life is really top notch. Swimming over the very thick and healthy layers of corals (with endless holes and gaps and compartments), you can watch countless critters very actively living their lives under the cover of the coral (like a whole new dimension you cannot see above the coral). The hard coral on Klein Bonaire looked like something out of Tolkien.
· The gang of tarpons at night right off the dive resort (a group of three tarpon use your diving lights to hunt - they'll lurk behind you and then will unexpectedly fly past you literally inches from your head and go chasing after something just beyond your light range and then circle back behind you to wait for the next opportunity. Having 3 to 5 foot tarpon flying by your head like that out of the darkness is really cool...)

Minuses:
· Very little to nothing in the way of pelagics or large schooling fish (or much life of any kind) above the corals in the open water (in nearly 20 dives the entire week, I think all I saw other than the tarpons at night, was a handful of barracuda over the wreck, an eagle ray, and a turtle). As someone who is really into the school fish and large critters - that was disappointing. The only partial exception was the Salt Pier and piers right off the airport runway, which attracted some schooling fish.
· Virtually every dive site was identical up and down the whole island (except the double reef system around Alice in Wonderland - which was pretty cool - especially the outer reef). While nice, diving what could have been the same site nearly 20 times in a week started getting a little old. Virtually every site was shallow sand going out 30-100 yards that dropped from 30 to 100 or more feet with a coral reef along the slope to a sandy bottom.

My favorite dives were: Alice in Wonderland, the reef right outside Bon Binis/Captain Don's, Windsock, and basically all sites on Klein Bonaire - a small island off Bonaire.

However, I had a great time and was obviously glad I went. Bon Bini Divers and their condos were fine and (supposedly) the best restaurant on the island was on the premises (and it was really good!). The island was very laid back with no big hotels/nightlife, etc. - but yet had enough civilization so you weren't totally roughing it. Small town feel.
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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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