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Dive Review of Captain Don's Habitat in
Bonaire

Captain Don's Habitat, Apr, 2003,

by Karin & Glenn Butler, IL, USA . Report 461.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Fiji, Tonga, Belize, Roatan, Bequia, Saba, Turks & Caicos, Caymans.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas choppy
Water Temp 80 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 50 to 80 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
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Nowhere are the fish friendlier than in Bonaire. Bring a closeup lens, because that's where they will be!!

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 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 5 stars
Comments The good: Just about everything. The people are friendly, the dive operation is run very efficiently, boats are clean, well cared for and leave on time; tanks are always available, and the reef right out the front door (La Machaca) has to be one of the best dive sites on Bonaire, period. Some people with package deals only used up 2 or 4 of the boat dives they had already paid for and spent almost all of their time on the "home reef"!
This was our first visit after "the storm" and some destruction from the hurricanes' wind and surge is still evident, both above and below water. The best, i.e. least damaged, dive sites we saw were North of Capt. Don's. Almost everywhere anything above 20-30 feet is mostly rubble, although gorgonians have re-established themselves and there are plenty of little critters to watch. We also missed the large barrel and vase sponges we saw 10 years ago. But the fish life was still as we remembered: prolific, unafraid, actually downright friendly!
The bad: If you are flying American through San Juan, PR, make sure you have essentials for the first day or two in your carry-on as your bag may not make it to Bonaire. The problem has become so common that Capt. Don's has an established procedure for renting dive gear at the expense of the AA for people whose luggage arrives late. And don't depend on AA's staff on Bonaire to deliver your bags -- go and get them. We couldn't even get AA Bonaire to answer their phone most of the time.
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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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