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Dive Review of Captain Don's Habitat in
Bonaire

Captain Don's Habitat, May, 2006,

by Joel Snyder, AZ, USA (Contributor Contributor 14 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 2472.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Greater Caribbean; Asia; Hawaii; Mexico; Central America
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 40 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions At the "Home of Total Diving Freedom," the only restrictions they had were NO gloves and if you stay down longer than 90 minutes, you'll be buying drinks for the rest of the people on the boat.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Considerable deference given to UWP, along with some very friendly advice on-boat and off about how to get good photos with the new generation of digital cameras. Overall a very accommodating and helpful team on that end.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This is our 5th trip to Bonaire in 15 years and we've always stayed at Don's. Compared to previous years, the resort itself is about the same, a little more run-down. The diving operation is basically the same: top notch. Docks and boats are in perfect condition, best we've ween them, while equipment is suffering a bit from wear-and-tear. Check your tank before you leave the dock! There's less a "wild west" feel to it than in the old days, but the operation both at the resort and across the island is still part of the best diving experience you can imagine. Diving should be this easy everywhere else.

Some quick advice: get a villa---Villa 7 is probably the best they have in inventory right now (some of the better ones, like 10 and 12 have gone private); the cottages are not as pleasant.

While Rum Runners (the restaurant there) is nourishing and always available, there are so many other very good restaurants on the island. For quick pizza, Pasa Bon is excellent friendly (and a bit pricey); don't forget the molten chocolate cake which probably IS one of the best in the world (from Last Bite Bakery). Bistro de Paris, another new one, was also good, if not quite true to the Parisian bistro style. We tried both Croccantino and Capriccio, Italian restaurants run by Italans, and both were very well done. Rib Factory not so hot for ribs, but try BobbieJan's BBQ (Fri/Sat/Sun only) which is truly laid-back and very good. Casablanca (the Argentine place) also outstanding. In Rincon, La Rosa was true to style and pleasant. The famous Ice Cream place in Rincon is closed permanently, alas.

We paid an extra $35/diver to hire a boat from Don's and go to Playa Funchi and Slaagbai (in the national park), a 2-tank dive. We hoped for pelagics (not commonly seen in the normal spots), but didn't get any so it turned out to be a bit of a waste, although the dives were normal Bonaire quality.

Divemasters were all friendly and accommodating (as usual); dive management was dour and put-upon (as usual), but fair and helpful when needed. Some of our divers had CCRs which Walt handled without a hitch, prepping up pure O2 and other supplies without blinking.

We'll be back in a few years; you just can't get diving any more compatible and friendly than this outside of a liveaboard.
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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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