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Dive Review of Buddy Dive in
Bonaire

June, 2002, an Instant Reader Report by Gary DeBarba, CT, USA
Report Number 136
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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 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
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  
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  
 
 

Overall Rating

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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