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Dive Review of Photo Tours/Hamlet Oasis in
Bonaire

October, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Bob & Carolyn Smith, MA, USA
Report Number 837
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
New England, Bahamas, Red Sea, Florida 
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, cloudy  
Seas
calm, noCurrents  
Water Temp
84   to 88    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
0
Water Visibility
70   to 90    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Stay within recreational limits, start back at 1500 psi, surface with no
less than 500 psi.  No gloves, don't touch anything on the reef.  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
None 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
N/A
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
Comments
[None]
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
4 stars
Food
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
4 stars    
Comments  
This was our fifth trip to Bonaire, and it was delightful, as usual. The
diving was superb. We made 25 dives over 8 days.  We spoke to some marine
biologists who are studying the status of corals throughout the Caribbean. 
They claim Bonaire is by far the healthiest reef in this part of the world.
  We did not see any turtles, green moray eels or eagle rays on this trip,
although others did.

We stayed at Hamlet Oasis in a 2-bedroom villa, which is actually a
one-bedroom apartment with an adjoining studio.  It is clean and quiet,
with a pool on site.  The bedrooms are air-conditioned, and the buildings
are situated so the breeze moves straight through the living room. 
Management was friendly and accommodating.  The kitchen lacks an oven,
which we did not expect, but we managed to cook meals planned for the oven
on top of the stove.

We always dive with Photo Tours, and are never disappointed.  The rates are
reasonable, the service always friendly.  They have a shop next to Hamlet
Oasis, one downtown, and one close to the airport at Caribbean Court.  They
also operate the Pink Bus, which is a real asset to those diving the south
part of the island (the bus is located at one particular dive site each
day, and offers refreshments, items for basic repairs, and a place to store
things if needed).

As usual, we had to be careful regarding petty theft while diving.  While
shore diving, we brought nothing with us that we would not want stolen, and
left the windows down.  Thievery is a real problem on the island, and
although the dive operators are up in arms about it, the police are not
cooperative.  There was a suspicious, obviously local, car and driver
parked partially concealed near divers at the Hilma Hooker site.  One
member of our party marched over to it and took down the license plate
number on a dive slate.  The car was gone when we surfaced from the dive. 
We became friendly with a woman who had gas siphoned from her truck every
night, since she was the only one in the neighborhood without a locking gas
cap.
Although the theft problem is disturbing, we cannot stay away from
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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