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

December, 2002, an Instant Reader Report by James and Kandace Heimer, TX, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (10 reports)
Report Number 311
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Bahamas, Great Barrier Reef/Coral Sea, Belize, Bay Islands, Hawaii,
California, Mexico, Indonesia, Malaysia, Tahiti, Aruba, Grand Cayman/Cayman
Brac
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
choppy  
Water Temp
79   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Marine Preserve restrictions, depth limits 100' from boats, 60 min time
limit, able to dive computer profile  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
None 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 stars  
Comments
The resort had no particular accomodations for photographers.  There was a
separate rinse tank on shore, but nothing on the boats.  The excellent
visibility and variety of marine life account for the high overall rating.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
4 stars
Food
1 stars
Service and Attitude
2 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
4 stars    
Comments  
Travel to the resort was extremely difficult -- Due to cancelation of our
Air Jamaica flight from Houston on early Saturday morning, we were rerouted
through Miami with much delay, spent the night in Montego Bay, and had to
go through Curacao, then to Bonaire.  We finally arrived Sunday at 4:30pm
and our luggage arrived five hours later.  The return trip got us home in
one day and was uneventful.  

The resort was clean and comfortable with a great view of the ocean.  Only
the bedrooms were air conditioned but the weather was pleasant and we left
the doors opened to the patio balcony for a nice breeze.  Housekeeping was
sufficient, however, needed to ask for more towels each day.  Since we were
in the townhouses, we were set apart from the dock and the dive operation. 
Wings A and B are closer to the activities.  Den Lamen Restaurant was okay
but food was expensive and not of good quality.  We did not eat at Mangos,
the on premises restaurant mainly because it was not on the beach.  In
between dives, there was no place to get snacks or drinks at the dock.  We
were told that we could not use Den Lamen's facilities if we had dive gear
and dive suits on.  We liked Rum Runners at Capt Don's and the Lion's Den
at the Lion's Dive Club, and we liked the facilities at Buddy's Dive Resort
because there was more activity and people there.

Bonaire Dive and Adventure was an excellent dive operation.  We received a
thorough Bonaire dive briefing and orientation of the island, which
includes shore diving.  The boats are small but well equipted for diving. 
I rented a BC, which was in excellent condition.  Also, it appeared that
the rest of their rental equipment was well maintained.  They have a large
storage room to accomodate dive equipment and a place to hang dive suits to
dry out.  There are several rinse tanks, camera rinse tank, and two showers
right on the dock.  For night shore diving, they have outside lockers, with
locks, to store your equipment, making it very convenient to do a night
dive off the dock. 

Divemasters were safety conscious, knowledgeable of marine life and helpful
on the dives.  We especially enjoyed diving with Jerry, on site naturalist,
and Dara.  Both of them pointed out numerous fish, seahorses and coral,
that we would never have found on our own.  After the dive, they explained
the characteristics and behaviour of the things we saw on the dive.

Bonaire's shore diving was excellent.  We purchased a book at the dive shop
which described each shore dive in great detail, including enter and exit
tips.  There are big, yellow rock signs to show you the direction to the
shore dives.

Despite the trouble getting there, we plan to go back in May, 2003 with Air
Jamaica.  However, we will probably stay at Buddy's or Capt. Don's.





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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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