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Dive Review of Captain Don's Habitat/Same in
Bonaire

March, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Nancy Collins, NM, USA
Reviewer   (5 reports)
Report Number 3961
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Andros, Bimini, San Salvador & Exuma, Bahamas; Bonaire once before;
Guanaja, Honduras; Maui, Hawaii; Florida; Salt Cay, Turks & Caicos
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, dry  
Seas
calm, surge  
Water Temp
77   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
75   to 100    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Only thing really enforced was a 500psi return limit.  Divemasters
recommended depths, but allowed you to do what you wanted.  You could
follow them or not, your choice, but you were more likely to see
interesting critters if you at least followed them at the beginning of
dives.  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
1 or 2 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 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
Not a photographer, but boats had a separate camera bucket for cameras
only, no mask rinsing or anything else allowed.  Divemasters were great
about handing cameras down to divers once they were in the water, and
taking them back from them when the divers surfaced, and placing the
cameras directly in the buckets.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
4 stars
Food
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 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  
We took the Continental flight that leaves Houston at 11:30pm and arrives
about 6:00am.  Flight left on time and we had no problems with gear
arriving even though we had a 4 hour layover in Houston, or procuring our
rental truck through Budget at the airport.  Our room at Capt. Don's was
not ready, but they allowed us to place our bags in their office.  The
overall dive operation was fantastic.  Capt. Don's motto is "Diving
Freedom", and they mean it.  The first day you get a 30 minute
briefing at 9:00am explaining their set-up, where the lockers are for your
gear, how to sign up for the boats and how they operate, how to pick up
tanks for shore diving, and the use of their "baby dock".  They
then require you to do a "check-out dive" off their baby
dock-which in essence is an unattended shore dive where you follow their
rope out from the dock to the reef and dial in your weights, etc.  Not a
big deal, and the reef off the resort is great in both directions, so it
was a good orientation dive.  I've been diving for a long time and my
boyfriend was certified in February, 2008.  Capt. Don's will provide you as
much assistance or as little assistance as you want.  All you have to do is
let the divemasters know.  Lutty, Netto, Jinny and Max are very eager to
please and very helpful.  They all went above and beyond the call and were
very chatty and friendly.  A couple of the other divemasters were a little
less so, but would give assistance and answer questions when asked.  We
dove the town pier with Netto one night - he is a great divemaster who
pointed out two seahorses on the way from our entry and lots of other cool
things.  Lutty, Netto and Max all found neat critters on other dives-we saw
two other seahorses and frogfish on two dives that we never would have seen
without the divemaster's knowledge.  Capt. Don's is nice because their
first boat doesn't leave til 8:30, and you don't even have to take that
one.  They have one that leaves at 11:15 and one that leaves at 2:00, so if
you are late sleepers like we are, you could sleep til 10:00 and still
catch 2 boat dives each day.  We bought a 12-dive package and they will let
you use the dives any way you want to.  3 dives one day, 1 dive the next
day, whatever combination until you reach your 12, and if you want to do
more, they will charge you by the dive.  We had a Deluxe Ocean View room in
buildings which have units upstairs and down - we had a downstairs unit and
were initially disappointed with that, but changed our minds and were happy
after we had schlepped gear back and forth a couple of times.  All rooms
had clothes lines outside on the patio to hang wet gear.  Our unit had air
conditioning that worked very well.  All rooms have a digital room safe
that was big enough to hold my laptop computer, camera, wallets, etc. with
room left over.  Our room had a little fridge, so we hit the grocery store
and bought bread, soda and lunch meats to have for lunch, because there was
only about 45 minutes between boats if you did the 11:15 and 2:00 dives,
which wasn't really enough time to order something at RumRunners
restaurant, plus eating lunches on our patio saved us some money.  The
rooms show some wear, tiles are chipped, bathtub fixtures are rusting, but
it IS the Caribbean and the salt air just wreaks havoc on things in a very
short time.  We had daily maid service and clean towels every day if we
wanted them.  The front desk supplies one beach towel per person that can
be traded for fresh ones every day there.  We had very nice patio furniture
that we took our share of naps on.  The hotel has free WiFi but I was only
able to get a signal while sitting by the pool.  

Food on Bonaire is a little more expensive than stateside.  Dinners
averaged $50 for two.  We ate one night at Richard's Waterfront restaurant,
and one night at It Rains Fishes.  Both meals were outstanding.  I would
highly recommend both venues.  We also ate one night at Cactus Blue, which
I will probably never return to.  The food was mediocre at best, and
expensive for what you got.  RumRunners restaurant at Capt. Don's has some
of the best thin crust pizza I've ever had, and it was nice to not have to
leave the grounds to have dinner if you didn't want to.  Several nights we
ate there and then went down to the baby dock and did a night dive - even
at 10:30pm.  There is a Subway & a KFC on the island if you crave
American junk food. Our package at Capt. Don's included breakfast daily. 
The buffet was ok - they did make omelettes to order, had cereal and fruit,
but it was your typical breakfast buffet.  

There are ATMs but we only found one that dispensed dollars and that would
take our credit union ATM card, so be sure to either bring enough cash or
be prepared to charge things.  All places charged US dollars on our cards.


We did one day shore dive at Invisibles.  The rest of our shore dives were
night dives at Capt. Don's.  


All over Bonaire, the coral is beautiful, lots of smaller fish and big
tarpon on our night dives.  In summary, Bonaire is a fantastic dive
destination and we will be returning!  

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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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