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Dive Review of Divi Flamingo Beach in
Bonaire

Divi Flamingo Beach, Feb, 2009,

by Kenneth W Smith, FL, United States ( 1 report). Report 4647.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Jersey Wrecks, NC Wrecks, Truk, Palau, Yap, Cozumel, US Pacific, FL Keys, Dry Tortugas, Exuma, Nassau, Bimini, Cay Sal
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy, no currents
Water Temp 78 to 79 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 70 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Conservative depth limits (50 to 80 ft.), swim with the group and divemaster. They say you can "go on your own", but in practice that does not happen.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments I did not bring a camera, but those that did seemed OK with the facilities. There was a pro available to do DVD's and stills, if you want that service. I think it was $150 or $180 for a group DVD.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments Rooms were very comfortable, but not flashy. Ours was right on the road, away from the ocean. We enjoyed a nice view from our second story patio, but suffered from exposure to road noise and BARKING DOGS (not a problem late at night with the AC on.) Dive operation very polished and safety concious. Nice dock and steps from the pier into shallow water, with gentle drop to 100' a few kicks away, nice coral and small sea critters right there. Tanks, including three single tank sizes of Nitrox were right on the dock, and locker for gear storage overnight. Bring your own lock, or they have a nice combo lock for $5 (reasonable.) Boats left from the same dock, so logistics were excellent. The only negative was the EXTREME control imposed by the divemasters on most trips. Our group dove all week, and all of us were experienced, but the controls never let up. "I'll go down and check the current (there never was any), then we all go the same direction. Maximum depth 50 feet (a little deeper for the first dive of the morning). So we all herd along in scattered group in one direction, then back across the same stuff to get back to the boat. Good excercise, but no adrenaline. I always went 20 or 30 ft. deeper (divemaster waving me up, I waved back), just so I could sweep a different area on the way back. Kind of boring, after a week. In the last newsletter I read where someone was disappointed by lack of dive guide in FL Keys. To me, the real fun of diving is exploring on your own, which I did not get here. Perhaps Disney will be getting into the dive business, and we'll all move along in trams. My take is that Bonaire is great for new or less experienced divers. The shore diving can be more adventure, I suppose, but requires more logistical work, and you can't get to Klien Bonaire, where the reef is a LOT more intact. The main island sufferes from 20 to 40% die back, in my observation. We did dive the wreck Helma Hooker, by special request, "But don't go inside!!!"
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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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