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Dive Review of Tropical DIvers/Bellvue Condos in

December, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Sue Manning, NY, US (1 report)
Report Number 5913
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
51-100 dives
Where else diving
Key Largo, Northern California
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy  
Water Temp
82   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
  to    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
None!  Shore diving.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
2 stars   
5 stars    
[This trip report is not inclusive, but addresses only a couple of the
lesser known high points.]

Shortly before Christmas, my buddy Steve Edgar and I visited Bonaire for
the 4th time. The high point of our trip was a day of guided dives on the
East Side with the legendary Bas Tol. With the amount of experience Bas has
on Bonaire I expected him to be WAY older than he actually is. The guy has
over 3000 dives on the East side. Turns out, 1) he's been doing it since
childhood, and 2) I think he must look pretty darn young for his age!

Access to remoter parts of the island was problematic during our trip
because of the rain the island had been getting.  A lot of the dirt roads
were under water or otherwise damaged.  With Bas directing, however, we
were able to access Boka Onima and Boka Spelonk.  Bas Tol is working
through VIP divers these days (, along with Bas Noij, Derk,
and I think perhaps some other guides.

Both dives were amazing. At Boka Onima, the 15' giant stride was a blast!
Great to see all those huge healthy corals. Bas showed us a family of 8 big
Spiny Lobsters, a couple of Queen Triggers, a Mutton Hamlet and in the
shallows he found some really cool Blennies, love the Longhorn Blenny! The
exit was lovely and gentle onto a sand beach in the boka itself. By the
time we got to Boka Spelonk the wind had picked up a little bit. Both entry
and exit looked tricky but turned out to be fun and exciting. There is no
way in the world we could have done this dive without Bas. He knew the
exact spot to enter, the exact rock to hug until the exact moment when he
called out to let go and the swell carried us safely out. I'm a very slight
woman and the gear is heavy for me, but with the coaching I was able to
accomplish the entry and exit comfortably.  We decended along a steep drop
off where we found a very nice coral reef and a large cavern we swam into.
At the end of the cavern we went up a little bit and looked out over the
reef through a 'window'. Pretty neat little cave. Beautiful colors and many
small fish on the ceiling.  Bas decided that swimming against the current
was too much work and turned the dive into a driftdive. Very cool to just
sit and glide by the steep walls and different gardens of coral reef. Saw
some really big barrel sponges. Also here we saw quite a few big Lobsters.
We exited at a ledge which required hoisting our gear out with a rope and
again waiting for the right wave (not too low or we couldn't reach the
ledge and not too large it would wash us over it) to lift us up to sitting
on the ledge. 'It's just like climbing out the swimming pool without the
ladder but here you have a wave to help you' he said. Looked intimidating
at first but turned out to be very easy.

On both dives, Bas killed Lion Fish. Five at Boka Onima. At Spelonk however
it seemed to be teeming with them. There even was one in the cavern. Too
many to get in one dive. It was Bas' first dive there in a few months
because of all the rain. I guess we were lucky to be able to dive Spelonk
that day. Tells me you can really make a difference in the LF population on
a reef if you hunt it regularly. He checked with us in advance, but we are
very concerned about the problem and encouraged him to do so.  It's quite
fascinating to watch -- not as easy as you might think! I strongly
recommend a trip to Bonaire and a guided dive (or two or three) with Bas

The dive operator we used, Tropical Divers, is a German owned and operated
shop which we consider to be of the very highest quality.  It is very well
run, clean, the equipment and facilities are immaculate.  They provide
STEEL tanks which I very definitely prefer, and they use DIN valves.  Their
rental equipment is definitely above average!

//Sue Manning
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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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