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Dive Review of Bonaire Dive & Adventure/Sand Dollar in
Bonaire

July, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Jacki Briggs, PA, USA
Report Number 1188
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
26-50 dives
Where else diving
Guanacaste, Costa Rica, Cabo San Luca, Mexico, Crystal River, FL
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
windy, dry  
Seas
calm  
Water Temp
80   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
30   to 100    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
All Shore Diving on your own.....  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
1 or 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
Comments
Bonaire Dive & Adventure had 2 seperate rinse tanks for cameras - one
on the dock, the other by the drive up air fill station. IF you did a Shore
dive on your own - it was up to you what to do - we brough bottled water
and used it to rinse our cameras once we got out, and off gassed for the
next dive.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
5 stars
Food
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
4 stars    
Comments  
7/28  8/4/2004 Air Jamaica flight originally scheduled for 8:20 AM  took
off at 12:20 PM. Eventually the 6 made it to Bonaire on Thursday 7/29 at
2:30 PM. Group consisted of   me & my husband, my mom & dad, and
my Brother and his girlfriend, and my aunt & uncle from FL. Our 3
bedroom unit at the Sand Dollar was perfect  unit D-18. Nice & roomy
and clean. Bonaire Dive & Adventures Michael  & Office help Joan
did the basic orientation as we arrived on Thursday, after much pleading
(we were itching to get in the water). 

We saved our checkout dive for Friday morning. After our buffet breakfast
at 7 am at house restaurant Mangos  we headed to the Pier  grabbed our
weights and jumped into the Bari Reef for our checkout dive. Ahhhh  that
was perfect, everything you itch for  when sitting in Pennsylvania reading
bonairetalk from your cubicle. LOL.

That first real day 7/30 we 2 total dives. We did Bari Reef from the Bonier
Dive & Adventure Pier  the Giant Stride is so easy, tanks are right
there  along with 3 rinse tanks, and a ladder to climb out. We also did
1000 steps by 2 PM Boat  very nice. I must say  the Boat that Bonaire
Dive & Adventure used was not very diver friendly this by far was the
most uncomfortable boat I have been on. We were squished tight (13 + DM
& Captain), leaving null room for gear assembly & water
entry/exit.

7/31/2004  We did a 9 am Boat Dive on Captain Dons Reef at Klein Bonaire
 we hoped to find the legendary old Lagerback as big as a VW Bug  no such
luck. Tons of macro life  very nice. That late morning we did Oil Slick by
shore  - lovely dive. Giant stride off the cliff, Early afternoon - Andrea
II by shore as well  a little tricky entry because of rocks on shoreline.
Finally that day  we had scheduled a Night Dive on the Pier with the shop
for our group  6 of use wanted to go. We booked through Joan in the office
the day before  had to give her our passports, get a divemaster for every
4 persons + pay $20 pp. Fine with us. We get to the shop at 6:30 PM as
requested  it seems that we get a lazy divemaster. He learns that we
have never done a night dive and refuses to take us  our entire group.
This reduces me to tears, as I had my heart set on this night dive for the
past 3 years. Mr. Wizza (pronounced Pizza with a w), sends us away. His
reasoning  that you should do at least 1 night dive before the pier.
Someone  like the office help could have told us this the day before, when
we had to submit our passports, I would have gladly did a night dive the
day before.  There was no other opportunities to night dive the pier before
we left on Wednesday. Well what else was there to do - We did the Bari Reef
at night as a group- saw an octopus  very cool. I must say that after
doing that 1 night dive on Bari, I felt not any more competent than I was
earlier that day. Because of this disappointing incident, I would not dive
with Bonaire Dive & Adventure again  would try someplace different.
Dont get me wrong  every other incident we had was pleasant  except for
the Night Dive at Town Pier.

8/1/2004  Drove into Washington Slagbaai at 8:30 am You must snorkel at
Wayaka II , as there are 2 very friendly angel fish. Yes  they want to be
fed. The crusts from our Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches did the
trick. They were right off the shoreline to your left if you are facing the
water in 2 feet of water. We watched and played with them for a good hour.
Great spot to relax  lovely beach with shade provided by the cliff
overhang. 
We ended up home at 3:30 PM ish  several of us (not me) went out on an
Afternoon dive on Bari Reef  they LOVED this 4 PM Dive  I dont know if
it had to do with the Moon phase (Full Moon  actually a Blue Moon), but
there was tons of activity on the reef that afternoon.
8/2/2004  Toris Reef & Pink Beach in AM  Pink Beach had a stingray.
Bari Reef in the Afternoon  tons of spotted Morays, some seemed to be
mating. 2 of our group did a night dive on Bari again and saw the tarpon
eating. 

8/3/2004  AM Front Porch (TugBoat New York) & Andrea I  Turtle
sighting. Great way to end the week of diving. In the late afternoon we
drove to Lac Bay for pictures

8/4/2004  We headed home without incident, no delays, and no glitches.

Must say  the encounter with each of our service providers was very nice.
Telerin rental was great (we had 2 trucks reserved with our package).
Bonaire Dive & Adventure has a nice setup  with lots of construction
going on next door (new apartment bldg & new location for their shop).
They have a gear room that remains open from 8:30 am until 10:30 PM. 
Everyone upon check in gets assigned a diver # & corresponding hook in
the gear room IF you want to do early morning or late night dives  - take
your gear to your room or lock it in a locker  which line the walkway to
the shops Pier. Let me know if I was unclear on anything. Email us at
briggsjr@comcast.net 
 
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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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