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Dive Review of Buddy Dive in
Bonaire

August, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Jesse Scott, NC, USA
Reviewer   (4 reports)
Report Number 4272
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Bahamas, Bermuda, Florida, NC Coast, Cozumel, Honduras, CA coast, Lk
Michigan, NC, VA Quarries, FL Caves, USVI, BVI
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, dry  
Seas
calm, surge  
Water Temp
81   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
0
Water Visibility
100   to 150    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
As per BMP rules  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
N/A  
Boat Facilities
N/A
Overall rating for UWP's  
N/A  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
 
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
5 stars
Food
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 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
5 stars    
Comments  
My partner and I had a chance to spend more than a week in Bonaire and
jumped on it. It was my second time there, her first. We wanted to just
dive like crazy, shore only, with few other activities unrelated.

Highlights and Logistics:
Buddy Dive Resort - first time there and I was quite impressed. Read good
reviews here and Undercurrent and Chapbook. Everything was quite smooth in
the operation. Nice room with a view on the water near the dive shop. The
drive threw tank service is so simple to use for rapid turnaround. It was
the low season and there were always plenty of tanks (Nitrox 32). Included
breakfast at the Lion's Den allowed us to load up on protein for the day.
Room was well laid out and comfortable with fridge, cooking supplies, etc.
They were at the airport waiting for us even thought he flight was
incredibly late getting in (see my slam on AA below). We did not use any of
the Activity Center services or boat rides since we did all shore diving.
Bought our Park Pass and did the 'required' in briefing check out dive
although no one really checks to see if you really did or not. You could go
just start diving if you already know the drill.
Rental truck was included in price and was perfect for carrying tanks and
equipment. Be sure you know how to drive a stick. Free room safe and towels
upon request. You can by internet time for fairly cheap if you need it but
they only have one computer for guests to use. I dinged them for letting a
little mold grow in the shower and not cleaning out the AC filters. We are
definitely repeat customers with them in the future.  All the staff we
encountered were very friendly and smiling and quite courteous.  

American Airlines:
A terrible experience. Went for the cheap fair and got really crappy
service. Raleigh to Miami to San Juan to Bonaire. Only the Raleigh to Miami
was on time. Miami to San Juan was over two hours late leaving causing us
to miss our connection in San Juan to Bonaire (which left exactly on time
for once). Since that is the only AA flight we had to spend an entire day
in Puerto Rico waiting for the next one. AA put us up in the airport hotel
(very small room) with meal vouchers that barely covered the food. Bad
thing is though you have an entire day to kill. Made the best of it by
going on a cave exploration trip and sight seeing. Next day, of course, the
Bonaire flight is two hours late leaving San Juan. Coming back was even
worse. The flight was over 1 hour late leaving due to late arrival night
before and crew rest requirements. Because you have to do customs and
re-check bags in PR we missed that flight to Miami. And because most of the
later day flights are full had to sit in PR for hours again waiting. That
means we miss the Raleigh flight and even more hours in crowded Miami
waiting. The losses: an entire day of diving lost going in. 7.5 hours late
getting home in the middle of the night.

AA, shame on you for such horrific service and stress to travelers. You
guaranteed to drive me to an alternative carrier such as Delta or
Continental.

The diving was of course all great. 41 dives in 7 diving days. Everything
from Playa Funchi and others in the Park down to the Lighthouse on one of
the few calm days you can dive it. Saw an amazing amount of sea critters in
those few dives. Night dives at Oil Slick, Witches Hut, The Lake, Hilma H
were great. Didn't do any Wildside (except for the Lighthouse). We are
saving that for next time.  We encountered enormous numbers of fishes and
coral life.  This is the place to go if you want to see unspoiled marine
life and locations.

Eating out was only on a few occasions and was all great food. The little
ice cream place (who knows why) beside the small supermarket near Buddy
Dive has Belgian beer for the fans of that.

Toured the Park and I recommend it especially for the down day prior to
going home. Didn't do any hiking to the peak, saving that for next time.

Theft:
Did the usual and left car unlocked and carried little of value. The only
theft we had was right in the Buddy Dive parking lot (less than 100 feet
from the entry guard shack). It was just two pair of cheap sunglasses left
in the vehicle. I can't even imagine what value these could have even had.
Its a sad state of affairs when thieves are so bold and desperate for a
fix. The guard is simply a figure head and serves no real purpose. The only
things we left outside at night were wetsuits to dry. During dives I would
purposely lay out dry clothes and towels but never saw any sign of
ransacking even at night and near Karpata.

Summary: Highly recommend BD based on my experience. Definitely would
choose another carrier before AA even if it cost a hundred or so extra. As
always, definitely will return to BA for more in another year.  
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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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