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Dive Review of Divi Divers/Divi Flamingo in
Bonaire

June, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by James A Heimer, Texas, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (10 reports)
Report Number 4870
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Hawaii, Tahiti, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, California, Mexico, Texas
Gulf of Mexico, Bahamas, Honduras Bay Islands, Belize, US Virgin Islands,
Cayman Islands, Aruba, Bonaire, Norway
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, windy  
Seas
calm, choppy, no currents  
Water Temp
78   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
50   to 70    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
no  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Dives were limited to 45 minutes and depth specified as 70 feet on the
first dive, 50 to 60 on the second to meet the Digital Shootout schedule.  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
1 or 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
Comments
Each boat had a multi level camera shelf, which provided adequate storage
for travel to and from the dive sites.  Each boat also had two camera rinse
tanks, one of which was provided especially for the digital shootout due to
the large number of photographers on board.

Additional camera rinse tanks had been set up in the gear rinse area on the
dive dock.  The only place to put cameras while gearing up or after rinsing
was on the dock or on benches in the locker area.  The covered tank storage
bins that were previously available, have not been rebuilt after the
hurricane.  In the past, cameras could be stored on top of these bins.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
4 stars
Food
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
Beginners
4 stars   
Advanced
4 stars    
Comments  
We were in the 700 series of rooms, which are time-share units adjacent to
the dive shop facing the pool.  These rooms are in the process of being
renovated and updated as part of the hurricane recovery work.  We were in
an updated room, which had a small, well-furnished kitchenette (coffee
maker  but no coffee is provided - blender, bar refrigerator, microwave
and cooktop, plus dishes and utensils) and a shower-only bathroom.  The
showers have both fixed and hand-held showerheads and a six head spray bar.
 An excellent selection of soap and shampoo was provided. The sleeping /
living area was spacious, reasonably well lit, with plenty of desk and
table space to set up photographic equipment.  Each room had a screened in
porch (ground floor) or balcony (second floor).  The AC kept the room cool,
and the rooms were serviced every day.  The room was a notable improvement
over the unrenovated room we had in 2008.

Our 12-dive package included two meals a day, a buffet breakfast and buffet
lunch at the outdoor Calabas restaurant.  The food was adequate for a
one-week stay.  The breakfasts offered a variety of pastries, breads, eggs
cooked to order, precooked French toast and pancakes that could be heated
in the toaster, a good variety of fruit and cereals, and cold-cuts and
cheese.  Some persons did not like the lunch, which usually consisted of a
fish dish, pasta or a stir fry, steamed vegetables, and hamburgers.  We ate
several meals at the more upscale Chibi Chibi restaurant at the resort,
and they were good.  There are several restaurants a short walk outside the
gate to the resort  Richards on the water away from town and La Luna,
Bambu, Casablanca, Unbelievable, and Donna & Giorgio's toward town. 
All are pretty pricey, but very good to excellent in quality.

Our group of 60 divers participating in the shootout was divided among four
boats.  We had the Sunshine, a boat-hulled flat top vessel with a small
storage compartment for dry gear on the bow.  Two of the others were more
conventional shapes with enclosed cabins forward of the dive deck; the
fourth was flat-decked with an awning.

We dove two morning dives, with the afternoons reserved for seminars,
workshops, and downloading and working with digital images and videos.  You
loaded your gear on board in the morning and hooked up your own equipment,
geared up in place and walked to the stern to do a giant stride entry.  The
crew handed down cameras, and one accompanied and conducted each dive.  We
had two dive masters, Luis and Geertja.  The former was on the timekeeper
side, while the latter was more helpful in finding the featured creature
(seahorse, frogfish, juvenile drum or trunkfish, etc.) at each site.

Although large sea life (except one eagle ray, apparently resident at
Captain Dons Reef on Klein Bonaire) was absent, the reefs were in
excellent condition and there was a great variety of the usual tropicals,
including turtles and reef squid.  The shootout crowd is a little different
from the random group of divers you might encounter  most were very
experienced and considerate divers, but there was a definitely a spirit of
competition to get the best shots during the dive.

Besides the boat diving, we dove the house reef (Calabas Reef) several
times.  We did not pursue other shore diving opportunities during the
shootout, but others rented trucks and did.
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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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