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

December, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Laura Austin, VA, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (9 reports)
Report Number 3809
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Roatan, Cayman Brac, Cozumel, Belize, Florida Keys
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, windy  
Seas
 
Water Temp
0   to 0    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
0   to 0    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
1 or 2 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
Comments
BDA's boats are small--they only go a short distance, of course.
Photographers stow their equipment in the cabin. DMs hand equipment to
divers. There is a rinse tank on shore marked "cameras only" but
sometimes people miss the sign. 
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
4 stars
Food
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
We actually say the manta ray while at the dock--waiting for the boat to
take us to Klein Bonaire. By the time we had jumped in, the manta was long
gone. But I didn't imagine it--all the crew and guests saw it and there was
great excitement! 

This is our 2nd trip to Bonaire--same time of year. We all agreed that the
visibility was not as good as before; I understand they had received a
great deal of rain in the previous weeks, so that might have been a
contributing factor. It was also windier than we remembered from before,
and there was some surf, so getting in and out of some of the sites was a
challenge for clumsy me--I pretty much had to crawl my way out of Ol' Blue,
thank God nobody was there to see! Took the "shortcut" home from
Ol' Blue, btw, and that was quite an adventure, too.  

We had six boat dives, mostly on Klein. We did go to see the Hilma Hooker.
I'm afraid this wreck just doesn't do much for me. We managed 19 shore
dives this time around:
     Ol' Blue, Oil Slick Leap, 1000 Steps, Andrea II, Cliff, Invisibles,
Angel City, Something Special, Front Porch, and, of course, the house reef,
Bari. 

Bari and the next-door Front Porch were frequent repeats; easy access, of
course. Neither is exactly a pretty reef, but they are both loaded with
eels and fish and critters. Never managed to find the frogfish at Bari, but
did see a great octopus. Lots of turtles this time around. 

Our condo at the Sand Dollar was very comfortable with a great view. The
resort is a bit spread out, but the tennis courts are in good shape (used
them once). The pool is an afterthought, but they do have one. Breakfast
could be better and a little more variety would be nice. All in all, we
prefer Buddy's, particularly for their dive operation. 

We had no break-ins and nobody stole anything from our truck. We kept the
windows opened and the doors unlocked, as advised, and we took anything
with value with us or left it back in the safe at the condo. 

Since we were there over the holidays, there was a cruise ship or two in
town nearly every day. Didn't feel the impact too much, as we are not
people who shop. The town was very crowded one night (ship hadn't left yet)
and Lac Bay (windsurfing and snorkeling) was full of them on New Year's
Day. New Year's Eve, btw, was very quiet--after the fireworks were finally
finished. We couldn't even find a place open to eat in town. 

Wil's is without question the best restaurant in town. Fantastic food. But
our favorite is still Casablanca. Salad, potatoes, and plenty of meat at a
reasonable price with good service. We had enough leftovers for lunch the
next day, which meant one less trip to the supermarket and more time to
dive! 

It's hard to beat Bonaire--particularly when you are traveling at this time
of the year. I've found that other places in the Caribbean are not so
realiable weather-wise for divers. But shore diving is the best reason to
visit Bonaire. I like boat dives, but there is something so wonderful about
diving when you want and where you want, particularly if, like me, you
really love the afternoon rush hour dives. 

  

  

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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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