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Dive Review of Capt. Don's Habitat/Happy Holiday Homes Bungalows in
Bonaire

July, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Dave Bridenbaugh, Ohio, USA
Report Number 1872
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
All over the Caribbean and Florida as well as midwestern quarries. 
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
noCurrents  
Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
50   to 75    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
none  
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
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 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
[None]
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
5 stars
Food
5 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
[Bonaire has a reputation for being the shore dive capital of the world
and for good reason. However getting there these days is a challenge with
few Airlines actually serving the island on a daily basis. We arrived in
Bonaire for trip number five via American Air on 7/1 and had booked
bungalows at Happy Holiday Homes along with a pickup truck. We usually stay
at a resort and thought wed try a budget trip this time. Louise at Happy
Holiday info@happyholidayhomes.com is a great host and will take care of
booking a truck and a dive package for you if youd like even getting some
groceries ahead of time if you want. We decided to get our own shore dive
pkg. at Capt. Dons Habitat since we were familiar with them. After the
usual orientation next morning we stowed our gear in their lockers which
are 20 ft. from a nice pier where you can giant step into 10 feet of water
and swim about 75 ft. to the reef.  Water temp. 82 degrees. Weather hot and
mostly sunny with the Trade Winds making life great on the island. No great
scenery. It looks like Arizona outback areas. Since the HHH bungalows have
stove and fridge we bought groceries and got organized. We made two dives
that afternoon on Habitat and saw the usual reef suspects. Next day our
routine began. Breakfast big or small in the bungalow, pack snacks, water,
and lunch. Drive to Habitat and pick up 4 tanks each. The folks at Habitat
are gracious and helpful. Boat diving can be booked along with the
unlimited shore diving package or as in our case we pay by the boat dive
since most of our dives are shore dives. We dove up and down the easily
accessible coast, which features more than 80 dive sights. A yellow painted
boulder in front of it marks each. For the next 13 days we logged up 47
dives. Bonaire is total dive freedom. We did two dives in the morning then
lunch followed by two dives in the afternoon. Most sights are close to easy
parking and in some cases you are no more than 30 ft. from the water. Many
sights are 50 yards or closer from shore to the edge of the reef. Many of
the rubble and sand areas on the way out have a lot to see. We saw
Yellowheaded Jawfish, Garden Eels, Squid, Octopus, and even some Rays and
Turtles in these areas. The reefs are in good shape; however, the
visibility was not so hot while we were there. The locals blame the storms.
Im not sure, but if that is the case the best time to visit Bonaire might
be before July and after Sept. A couple of dive sights that are must dives
are Karpata, Oil Slick Leap, and Ole Blue to the North with Red Slave and
its beautiful soft corals to the South. Others that are nice are Wind Sock,
Alice in Wonderland, and a wreck called Hilma Hooker at about 100 ft.
Average dives will be about 50 to 80 feet along the reef going and 40 or so
feet on the return.  Most sights are easy to navigate since the island is
surrounded by a perimeter reef system.   We usually ate supper at one of
the many great restaurants and sometime sneaked over to Lovers Ice Cream
Parlor for the nightcap. We saw everything we wanted to see except sharks.
You might try the Eastside for an occasional shark however weather
conditions have to be right to dive over there. There are a couple of dive
operations that go there, Bruce Bowker at Carib Inn will be a good choice.
We saw spotted Eagle Rays, Turtles, many Eels, my wife found a once in a
blue moon find a yellow Sea Horse without the aid of a local dive leader,
Octopus, I found a baby one hiding in a coral head. He was about 3 inches
and cute. Barracuda, and the juveniles baby pea TrunkFish, little ribbon
baby Drums, all plentiful to the trained eye. We however despite our best
efforts did not find a Frogfish this trip. 
Bring a 3 or 5 mil suit because you will be diving so much you will drop a
degree or two in body temp.Remember to slow down and enjoy the "layed
back attitude" because it is the Caribbean.
E-mail me for pics and more info.   
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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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