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Dive Review of Buddy Dive in
Bonaire

Buddy Dive, Jun, 2002,

by Gary DeBarba, CT, USA . Report 136.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Curacao, Bahamas, Cayman, Bermuda, Hawaii, St. Thomas, Turks & Caicos
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 78 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 60 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Deepest dive first; 130 ft. max
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 4 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments Boats had rinse tanks and there was a rinse tank on shore, but no photo developing or repair services on site.

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 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Our only problem of the trip was getting to Bonaire. Although I had used Maduro Dive Travel successfully before, they were initially unwilling to book us on any airline other than Air Jamaica. After I called Bonaire Tourism, Maduro was willing to book our flights on American Airlines with a Dutch Caribbean Airlines connection between Curacao and Bonaire. Our group was split between Connecticut and Chicago and the Chicago contingent was booked on flights with only a 45-minute plane change in Miami. Although AA knew that members of our party were in the Miami Terminal on their way to our gate, they were unwilling to hold the plane. The Chicago group missed the flight by less than 10 minutes. American chose to put them up in Miami overnight and fly them to Bonaire on their own flight the next day rather than on another airline the same day. This resulted in the loss of one day of diving for all four people.

Buddy Dive resort was clean and modern and the staff was very friendly and accommodating. We rented a 3-bedroom, 3-bath condo which was very clean and comfortable, with working a/c and plenty of hot water. Breakfasts were good eggs, pancakes, French toast, bacon, omelets, cereal, juices and fruits every day. The lunches were very good, with a wide selection of salads, burgers and sandwiches. We did not eat at Buddy for dinner, due to the large number of great restaurants on the island. (Dont miss Richards we went twice, and it is superb.)

The diving was very good. There was not as much hurricane damage as we expected. The dive boats would try to accommodate divers requests for dive sites, but for the most part they tried to stay around Klein Bonaire. I frequently requested sights around Karpata or 1,000 Steps, but was usually told it was too rough or other boats were already there. I was never totally disappointed, as some of the Klein sites were outstanding. We booked for 11 boat dives with the idea of taking the morning 2-tank boat. This boat ran only 2 of the 6 days we were there. The other days it either didnt run or was booked by a private group. We were still able to take the two separate single-dive boats each day, leaving time for shore diving in the afternoon. The beach diving was standard Bonaire diving easy access and most spots were very good with little hurricane damage.

The dive staff was very friendly and accommodating. They were even able to fill our requests for turtles, seahorses and a frog fish. The tipping situation was very low-key, and the staff was very happy to receive even contributions of beer and wine!

Our entire group had a great time and we look forward to returning to Buddy Dive in the future.




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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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