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Dive Review of Buddy Dive in
Bonaire

May, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Marsha Stout, TX, USA
Report Number 1053
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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 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
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  
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  
 
 

Overall Rating

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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