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Dive Review of Dive Friends Bonaire/Bellafonte Chateau de la Mer in
Bonaire

April, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Kimberly Krebs, MD, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports)
Report Number 5036
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
St.Thomas, Key Largo, Belize, Turks & Caicos, Little Cayman
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, dry  
Seas
calm, no currents  
Water Temp
79   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
1
Water Visibility
60   to 130    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Depth limits of 100 feet on the first dive, 80 feet on the second dive. 
Time limit of one hour.  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  N/A
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
Comments
There were two rinse tanks on the boat for cameras.  Dive masters did not
particularly assist with cameras at all.  Otherwise, there were no other
accomodations for UWP.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
4 stars
Food
N/A
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
Beginners
4 stars   
Advanced
3 stars    
Comments  
We found Dive Friends to be adequate.  We joined them for 3 two-tank
morning dives to Klein Bonaire, as well as one night dive to Klein Bonaire.
 We considered them to be transportation to Klein and that was it.  As
experienced divers, we were allowed to make our own dive profile, and often
did.  Dive Masters moved quickly across the reef and gave little time for
seeing small things.  Few creatures were pointed out.  The boat was small
and crowded, and there were a lot of newer divers.  Our biggest problem was
that all divers had to remain on the surface until all divers were in the
water and this sometimes took far too long (10-15 minutes).  

For shore diving, we had a great time, but many of the tanks that were
available were leaking or damaged.  Check your tanks carefully and recheck
the PSI before getting in the water.  The dive shop offered free nitrox,
but supposedly had a limit of 3 Nitrox tanks/day.  One employee told us
that this wasn't enforced, we often took more than 3 Nitrox tanks.

The night dive on Klein was wonderful and I recommend it, especially since
Town Pier was not available for a night dive in the spring of 2009.

The Bellafonte was a terrific place to stay.  We found it worth the price
and the perfect mix between a hotel and a condo/timeshare.  We had lots of
space and a full kitchen, washer/dryer, living room, and still had daily
maid service.  We had breakfast on the balcony each morning, and saved
money on food by staying there.  Everyone was friendly and a dive locker
was available for storing gear.  The house reef was very nice.  We were in
a Senior Suite and it was worth the upgrade.
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Diving Guide to Bonaire
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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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