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Dive Review of Captain Don's Habitat in
Bonaire

Captain Don's Habitat, Mar, 2010,

by Roberto Labrador, NY, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 5407.

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
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
UW Photo 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
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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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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