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Dive Review of Captain Don's Habitat in
Bonaire

March, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Roberto Labrador, NY, US
Reviewer   (3 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 5407
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
you name it...
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
currents, no currents  
Water Temp
78   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Not really  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
yes 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
1 or 2 
Dolphins
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
1 or 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  1 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  N/A
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 stars  
Comments
Heres a great one, try and beat this; all the camera rinse buckets look
the same.  They are all the same, about 18 to 24 deep and 4 in diameter.
 There is one of these marked,camera buckets on each of the two dive boats
(no other on-board rinse buckets are provided) and two ashore.  I came in
after a shore dive at the house reef in the afternoon and saw one of these
black buckets on the dock.  I had just placed my camera system in the
bucket when I noticed that my camera had disappeared completely under the
water  I heard shouts from the dive staff to pull out my rig: it seemed
that the maintenance crew working on one of the boats engines the previous
night had filled the tub with engine de-greaser!  Whats more amazing is
that it was still there the next afternoon, in the middle of the dock with
no sign or indication of any kind Just waiting for me to come along I
guess.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
2 stars
Food
N/A
Service and Attitude
1 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
1 stars  
Shore Diving  
N/A  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars    
Beginners
2 stars   
Advanced
3 stars    
Comments  
Captain Dons Habitat                                March 2010
This was my second time on Bonaire and to tell the truth, the dive
operation I went with the first time was a lot better.  This was to be a
seven day dive trip with a new dive buddy. I had been told about Captain
Dons and how it has been around for about a thousand years with the very
same Captain at the helm.  Well someone ought to tell about the leaky boat
hes running.  Firstly I must say that the only reason I stayed at Captain
Dons was because the place I wanted to say and dive with was booked solid.
 That would be Buddys Dive Center right next door.  The difference between
the two operations, as I was to discover, is like night and day.  Had I
known that I could have bought a dive package with Buddy dive and stayed
anywhere else, I would have done so rather than stay and dive with The
Captain.
Let me state my observations; Room: (second floor) A little moldy but nice,
cozy with a great terrace.  What wasnt so good was the service; I had to
ask five different people over the course of four days just to get the
shampoo and soap dispenser refilled Not a big deal I agree, but that was
indicative of the attitude I found here.  Dive Ops; Things only get going
when the Big Boss (Capt Don was nowhere to be found during my entire
stay) gets there in the morning.  The boss is a seemingly unapproachable
and rather unpleasant woman who had a perpetual scowl on her face; not once
did she have a friendly gesture towards me.  Please dont think that Im
doing a hatchet-job due to some altercation, I had no cross words with
anyone my entire week stay here.  More than once the Boss, whose name I did
not get was late getting to the shop in the morning forcing everything to
be put on hold till her arrival and her subsequent unlocking of the gear
room, office, dive shop and the cage where the Nitrox is kept (which is
locked at 5:00 pm).  For an 8:30 am dive we were kept waiting until 9:40 to
get off the dock.  At that time without a word we were told that the boat
was ready to go.  So of course, the time between the first dive and the
next was squeezed (all boat dives are one tank dives) due to, and I quote a
member of the dive staff I dont want to work all day, so we are leaving.
Rinse tanks; large concrete dunk tanks all with the same greenish scummy
water and scale buildup on the walls. The water had not been changed in
those tanks for quite a while it seemed to us.  I must admit to finding the
drain valve and late one night I drained all the tanks.  The next morning I
passed by a divemaster scrubbing the tank walls and muttering expletives. 
There was a nice film floating on the top the camera rinse buckets.  Heres
a great one, try and beat this; all the camera rinse buckets look the same.
 They are all the same, about 18 to 24 deep and 4 in diameter.  There is
one of these camera buckets on each of the two dive boats (no other
on-board rinse buckets are provided) and two ashore.  I came in after a
shore dive at the house reef in the afternoon and saw one of these black
buckets on the dock.  I had just placed my camera system in the bucket when
I noticed that my camera had disappeared completely under the water  I
heard shouts from the dive staff to pull out my rig: it seemed that the
maintenance crew working on one of the boats engines the previous night
had filled the tub with engine de-greaser!  Whats more amazing is that it
was still there the next afternoon, in the middle of the dock with no sign
or indication of any kind Just waiting for me to come along I guess.  
My buddy took the Advanced Open Water course and complained about the
instructor being curt and unfriendly. She also had a bad experience
choosing her 3 specialty dives. She was interested in the night diving
specialty but was told that the staff was not paid overtime so the
instructor wouldnt be too excited about teaching the night dive course.
She is afraid of diving at night and doing it under supervision would have
helped her overcome this fear but the opportunity for this was lost since
she had to choose a specialty that was covered during regular hours to
accommodate the divemasters schedule.
I close with this; I found the staff for the most part to be surly with the
exception of Divemasters Leo, Netto and Max.  They were very helpful and
friendly.  The rest of them wouldnt rate a days pay with me.
In all fairness, the food in the restaurant was great and the servers were
the friendliest staff in the place. The House Reef is very pretty with
lots of life.  However, I would not stay or dive here again.
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