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Dive Review of Buddy Dive in

January, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Joel Solomon, New York, USA (2 reports)
Report Number 4627
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
51-100 dives
Where else diving
Florida Keys, Fort Lauderdale, Bahamas, Belize, Cozumel, Dominican
Republic, Turks and Caicos, 
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
80   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
100', 60 minutes maximum  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Each boat had at least one camera only rinse bucket.  The dive op had 2
camera only rinse tanks at the pier.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
2 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
5 stars   
5 stars    
     Bonaire is possibly the best overall diving that I have ever done. 
The reefs are the healthiest that I have ever seen.  The fish life, with
the exception of large fish, is excellent.  The house reef at Buddy Dive
was my favorite overall dive of the trip, with excellent corals and sea
life.  Bonaire is well known for it's shore diving.  What may not be as
well known is that the entry and exits for these dives is over fields of
broken dead coral and slippery algae covered rocks.  After a particularly
challenging shore dive, we stuck to boat dives,  Buddy's reef  and shore
dives where there was a ladder or some similar access to the water.  The
Buddy Dive op was great.  The boats ran very punctually and were
professionally staffed.  The DMs were a bit more casual than in some other
places that I have been.  This may be because the divers were a more
competent group than I have observed anywhere else.  One of our DMs, Murph,
showed me my first frogfish.  It was a highlight of my trip.  All of the
boat dives had deep swims out and shallow (30ish feet) swims back, allowing
for long bottom times.  Nitrox was available at no extra charge.  If you
stay onsite, the dives work out to about $25 each.  To me this was worth
not having to drive and drag your kit over the broken coral.  We started
out with one boat dive per day in our package, but wound up adding a second
boat dive and then would do an easy shore dive or two in the afternoon.
     Although I loved the Buddy Dive dive op, I was a bit disappointed by
the accommodations.  Our one bedroom unit was tired, to say the least. 
There was no air conditioning and an inadequate fan in the living room,
rendering it uninhabitable.  The bedroom air-conditioning worked well.  The
bathroom was the size of a phone booth and the shower had no shower
curtain.  It was impossible to use the bathroom without making a mess. 
Even though we only spent a couple of hours a day in our unit, aside from
sleeping, it was an unpleasant place to hang around in.  The balcony was
nice, though, and saved us from a total hotel disaster.  Our package came
with a breakfast buffet.  The food was adequate.  Because many people ate
breakfast in a relatively short period of time, it was a bit crowded.  This
was a surmountable problem.
     We rented a truck, which was really fun.  Aside from shore diving, we
were able to check out restaurants.  I can highly recommend Patagonia, an
Argentine steakhouse and Papaya Moon, a Tex Mex influenced restaurant.  We
also checked out the donkey sanctuary and observed some flamingos.
     Overall, the trip was great.  I am not sure whether or not I would
stay at Buddy Dive again. It seems as if many of the people that stay there
buy food and cook their meals onsite, which makes the kitchen facilities
important.  Apparently there are units that have been renovated.  There are
also units that have a/c in the living room.  If I went back, I would make
sure that I had a renovated, fully air conditioned unit.  The dive op and
house reef are so good that it's a tough call.  We checked out Divi
Flamingo and found the facilities to be in much better shape, with air
conditioning and spacious modern bathrooms.  They are more like regular
hotel or motel rooms.  I would give Divi Flamingo serious consideration.  I
would also think about staying near Buddy Dive and using their dive
facilities.  The Sand Dollar and Harbor House are two nicer seeming places
to stay that are nearby.
   One way or another, I will definitely be diving Bonaire again.
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