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Dive Review of Bonaire Dive and Adventure/Den Laman in
Bonaire

March, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Bob Barada, CA, USA
Contributor   (13 reports)
Report Number 4695
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Cayman Brac, Cozumel, Belize, Fiji, Bora Bora, Hawaii
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, windy  
Seas
calm  
Water Temp
79   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
1
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
no  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Boat Dives were limited in length of dive.  Shore dives were dive your
computer.  
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
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
N/A  
Large Pelagics
  N/A
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
N/A  
Boat Facilities
N/A
Overall rating for UWP's  
N/A  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
[None]
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
5 stars
Food
5 stars
Service and Attitude
2 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
2 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  
Snorkeling
5 stars  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
Beginners
4 stars   
Advanced
3 stars    
Comments  
Our first trip to Bonaire.  Large group of 20 (18 divers) were from very
experienced instructors and dive masters to one young woman with only 15
dives.

Den Laman has very comfortable condos with large rooms, good furniture,
good air conditioning, with some rooms having balconies overlooking the
water.  Very good value.  The restaurant had good food, but very poor
service.

Bonaire Dive and Adventure (BDA) is just plain lazy.  Most dive masters
responded to direct questions asked, but not really helpful.  Our package
included 6 boat dives and the most anyone did was 5, with most only doing
4.  You were required to follow the dive leader and were very limited on
the time of the dive.  Most of us were diving Nitrox, but were limited to
20 minutes at the Hilma Hooker wreck dive, and 60 minutes for shallower
dives.  Small boats, with much jostling going on while hooking up your own
gear.  One dive on Klein Bonaire had such a ripping current that even the
strong, experienced divers could barely swim against it.  Two divers were
swept away and had to be recovered after eveyone surfaced.  The dive
masters should have checked the current before hand and located another
site.

The shore diving was outstanding.  The package included unlimited tanks,
including Nitrox.  Each room had a 4 door mini truck.  Just throw your gear
in the back of the truck and drive to one of the marked sites along the
island.  Very short swim to the reef, do your dive and return to the truck.
 Very calm on the lee side of the island with easy entries and exit.  We
would usually do 2 dives in the morning, return to the condo for lunch, and
many would do 2 dives in the afternoon.  Top it off with a night dive on
Bari reef in front of the condos and you could get in 5 dives a day!

Very good reef system, once you got deeper than about 30 feet.  The
shallower reefs were hit by Omar late last year.  Very good fish life, with
small fish abundant.  Very few larger fish.  A few turtles, occasional frog
fish and sea horses were the things to search for.  No rays, a few eels.

Water clarity was less than the Cayman Islands or Cozumel, but still good. 
Water was about 80 degrees, so some used 3 mil or even 5 mil wetsuits.  I
was comfortable in a 0.5 mil unless I did 5 dives a day.
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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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