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Dive Review of Captain Don's Habitat in
Bonaire

Captain Don's Habitat, Dec, 2005,

by ken, ontario, canada (Contributor Contributor 13 reports with 9 Helpful votes). Report 2258.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Hawaii, png, many Caribbean, multiple liveaboards
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 0 to 0 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 90 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 500 psi back on boat, suggested to limit boats dives to "not much more than 1 hour" in consideration of other novice divers
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 1 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments separate rinse tanks on boat & on shore - boat tanks too small, shore tank left in sun all day and become VERY HOT - i used shower to rinse my housing after dives, onsite photo shop seems to be always closed.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 1 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments Typical Bonaire dive conditions - easy access to easy sites, short boat rides, nice diving, lots of little critters. Typical dive was 70 minutes, 60 feet max and 1500 psi left in tank. Bonaire is our first "goto" location when we want a relaxed week of low pressure diving. Our 5'th trip to Bonaire & second time staying at Habitat.
We noticed a lack of large fish - only saw 1 grouper all week - saw too many locals fishing in the park.
Generally did 2 morning boat dives and 1 afternoon or 1 night dive on the house reef each day.
The dive operation experience was underwhelming this time, especially the boat dives. Staff displayed minimal effort. Tank swap process performed by staff after each boat trip seemd to be a random process. All too often (EVERY DIVE!) we were provided an empty tank and often ended up having to locate and swap for a full tank ourselves while the dive staff lounged around.
Boat useage was also poor. 3 boats capable of up to 20 divers each were available. The number of boats going out & the fullness seemed unorganized. For example: 1 day, first morning dive used 1 boat with 6 divers & 1 other with 11 (this was great!), second dive of same day saw 20 divers crowded onto a single boat with 2 boats left at the dock (can you say cattle boat). Multiple times there were divers "left on the dock" with only a single boat going out, sometimes with a few snorklers instead of the divers.
Boat signup system is also a little odd. 2 morning, 1 afternoon single tank boat trips available. You signed up every afternoon for the next day of boat dives. Signup boards made available while the afternoon boat was out. Boat(s) filled up extremely fast. This generally meant that if you went out on an afternoon dive, you could not get back onto the (more popular) morning boat(s) for the next day as they (it) would already be full by the time you returned from your afternoon boat trip. So you needed to make sure you were hanging around the dive shop @ 3:00 if you wanted to choose which boat trips you were doing the next day. Prepaying for boat trips had no effect - most people ended up not being able to make as many boat trips as they paid for. This was not an over booking issue as most times only 1 of the 3 boats was sent out.
Maybe I have become spoiled by the live aboard experience.
The food on Bonaire can be world class as long as you know were to go: Bistro de Paris is real french food, Capriccio is real italian, the new Bambu (replacing Mahi Mahi) is real fusion, La Luna for European.
Habitat required use of rental truck in order to eat at these restaurants. Previous trip we stayed at Divi and were able to walk into town.
Will definitely return to Bonaire, not likely to Habitat.
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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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