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Dive Review of Buddy Dive in
Bonaire

Buddy Dive, May, 2004,

by Marsha Stout, TX, USA . Report 1053.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 0-25 dives
Where else diving Flower Gardens, Cozumel, Belize, Florida Keys
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 81 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 75 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions During boat dives only - DM specified maximum depth and 1 hour max time; Shore - unlimited
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments As Bonaire is well-known for, there are lots of opportunities for macro photography. Several of the divers I was with saw octopuses, turtles and seahorses. The current was never strong but the surge occasionally was. It definitely made some shots a challenge.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Overall, the resort is very nice. As a group of nineteen, we stayed in several three-bedroom "apartments". All of the bedrooms are on separate A/C controls and you could set your room temperature to just how you liked it. The kitchen and living room were not air-conditioned, but you could open the french doors for a nice breeze. Since it was windy the entire week, fresh air was never a problem. The oven didn't work and refrigerator froze all of the liquids we put in there, but they would thaw on the way to the dive site. The two upstairs bedrooms both had small refrigerators, but it seems that each apartment may or may not include those. Same with TV's.

There was an onsite restaurant that was pretty good and you could charge anything you bought on the premises to your room. The Lions Den was just next door and Captain Don's was on the other side of that, so if you wanted to try a different restaurant it wasn't far to walk. We drove into town the first day to visit the local supermarket and got some drinks and snacks. They accept american dollars but will give you florin in return. Most places have both florin and american dollars listed in their price list. They have KFC and Subway, which I was surprised to see. They would not qualify as fast food in american standards but they served food during the afternoon when all of the other restaurants were closed. Sodas are expensive there (about $1.85).

The diving was great. We used our boat trips for Klein Bonaire and boat-accessible only spots like Karpata. They have three boats and the boards that mark planned boat trips are very convenient. Just sign your name to the list and it goes if there are enough people. They also have a board indicating the divability of the two piers. The Town Pier is only by arrangement but you can dive Salt Pier on your own. They have the rinse tanks split up into three sections: cameras, regulators and everything else. They have an area to hang all of your gear and they lock it at night. Most of the staff at Buddy Dive were very friendly although several people in our group did not like one of our dive masters. The bartender also offended several people. Apparently she was trying to do some business on the side to make extra money but was hostile when we didn't take her up on the offer. She wasn't local and was trying to keep her visa.

Dutch Carribean really lives up to its reputation. Although nothing serious happened, they were an hour late to Bonaire on our trip home. Also, they didn't seem to have any custom forms in english, so we all got to fill out the spanish version. Continental only allowed two fifty-pound checked bags and one forty-pound carry-on. That was difficult for some of the travellers in our group to meet and they paid extra for it. Take rechargable batteries to keep the weight down. Electrical current is very close to the US standard and I didn't have any problems with either of my recharger units.

We didn't experience any of the theft that is so often reported although one group that was leaving Salt Pier when we arrived mentioned that some things were missing out of their truck. One person in our group had some DVD's stolen out of his suitcase after leaving the Miami airport en route to Curacao so you may want to keep those items in your carry-on.

Lots of wild donkeys, goats, dogs, cats and flamingos. Good vacation - I definitely want to go back. There are too many dive sites to hit in a one-week trip.
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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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