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Dive Review of Buddy Dive Resort in
Bonaire

June, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Diane Kipp, FL, USA
Report Number 1818
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
51-100 dives
Where else diving
Florida, Bahamas, Grand Cayman
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, windy, dry  
Seas
calm, noCurrents  
Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
0
Water Visibility
80   to 100    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Mandatory orientation/checkout dive at Buddy Dive
on house reef.  We did not do any boat diving; only
shore diving without a dive instructor.  Must purchase U/W marine park tag
and wear on BC.    
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
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
Comments
Finding big pelagics to photo might be difficult.  Tons of
reef critters and nice corals. Not much current; great vis/clarity.
I used a Sea & Sea 5000G housed digital camera with a Y-25 strobe; my
first U/W digital.  I'm not a very experienced photographer, but I thought
the quality and variety of U/W life on Bonaire would please just about
anyone. Adequate rinse tanks, and electric for rechargers.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
3 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 $$
N/A    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
4 stars    
Comments  
Pack light, quick dry stuff, only a dive skin or .5mm (no sea lice
encountered).  Water shoes/booties a must for sharp coral.  Casual, laid
back.  Don't bring dressy stuff.  We took Amer.Air from Miami and a fast
connector from Curacao.  No problems with security, luggage or flights.  We
reserved 6 nts. at Buddy Dive in a 3 br. unit w/kitchen.
Only upstairs brs. are AC'd.  No AC in living room/kitchen which is
needed.  Ask for a fan if you're not cool.  3br. units don't face
ocean breezes;others do.  Rooms are adequate, clean, furnished kitchen. Not
a 4 star, but comfortable. Housekeeping service daily.  Front desk is
excellent as is dive operation and instructors.  Rental gear well
maintained and gear storage available (we have diving family of 5 from ages
12 to 55, beginners to adv.) We recommend rental truck which has AC; vans
do not.  Island is easy to drive and tour.  Food is expensive.  Water is
safe; when touring we brought water and our own snacks to avoid buying. (We
pack 1 large duffel bag of food items to bring over on plane).  We
recommend a kitchen unit and bring over easy/fast meals to make in-room.
Kids take note: pizza and hot dogs are harder to find.  There's only a
small refrig./no dishwasher.  The a.m. buffet is nice, relaxing w/view,
enough items to satisfy, but the same menu every day.  Try the Dutch
cheese! Buddy Dive food was ok.  Next door, Lions' Den is better but more
$$.
On-site dive shop well stocked and helpful.  Everything you need steps away
from rooms.  Views/sunsets gorgeous. Nicely landscaped grounds, small but
relaxing pool.  What Bonaire lacks in posh upscale
resorts/shopping/amenities is soon forgotten when you see it underwater!! 
Area restaurants are close by, good quality, but $$.
Recommend:  tour Slagbaii Natl. Park (by rental truck), allow min. half
day, more if you plan to dive.  Remote dive spots in Park are awesome &
easy to locate, but keep in mind safety, as you are far from the entrance
and help.  Unpaved, rough roads but worth the drive..bring your dive gear! 
Kids loved the surreal "old west" look, caves/bats, huge iguanas,
20 ft. cactus trees, ancient Indian carvings, wild pink flamingos, surreal
terrain.  The park is a
must see,especially for kids....pass on the touristy dive spots and tour
the natl. pk. Last dive in the Natl. Pk. must be done by 2p.m.
We made 8 dives in 6 days, wished we had done more.  Many divers we
met are "return-ees".  We'd love to go back.  No theft problems 
topside or at the resort.  In-room safe. Truck stayed unlocked.
We felt very safe; locals helpful.  No traveling/communication problems. 
Buddy's drive-thru is unique.  Dive 24/7 w/refills, air/nitrox avail., good
rinse tanks, staff helpful. Kids saw nearly every variety of reef fish and
coral in their ID books. No large sizes, no sharks, but saw turtles,
tarpon, barracuda, eels of every variety, squid, tons of reef fish, and a
scorpionfish.  Touring topside is interesting:  wild donkeys, goats, salt
mountains, wild cactus frontiers, colorful island houses, beautiful beaches
and a unique culture/history.  Great for families who don't mind roughing
it a little.  Our 12 yr. old, recently certified, made his first wreck dive
on the Helma Hooker. Watch your depth gauge...great vis.
makes going to deep depths quick and deceptively clear/easy.
Shore diving in Bonaire is the greatest..easy drive up, gear up,
walk in and enjoy!  Waters are relaxingly warm, great vis to 100',  full of
life in every direction.  A family experience of a lifetime!!
I highly recommend Bonaire if you don't need "uptown" and Buddy
Dive if you are used to the usual diving accommodations and fare. Since we
didn't utilize boat diving, only shore, can't comment on that, but others
seemed satisfied. Over 60 shore dive sites, all clearly marked with easy
access, so if boats aren't your thing, Bonaire is for you!  Check out
uninhabited Klein Bonaire which
you can see from your a.m. buffet breakfast table...10 min. boatride.
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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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