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Dive Review of Photo Tours/Hamlet Oasis in
Bonaire

Photo Tours/Hamlet Oasis, Oct, 2003,

by Bob & Carolyn Smith, MA, USA . Report 837.

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
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
UW Photo 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
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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