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May 2003 Vol. 18, No. 5   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Wild Side Diving in Bonaire

from the May, 2003 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Undercurrent correspondents Jerry Kaelin and Frances Langdon have been to Bonaire nine times, staying at Bruce Bowker's Carib Inn for all but one of those times. While many people tire of Bonaire because the diving gets too tame, they found a new operator who can put the thrill back in.

"Larry's Wild Side Diving goes to the eastern, windward side where no one else regularly dives. On days it's just too rough for even the hardy, he'll take you to the far north or the far south, areas accessible by long trips in resort boats or jeeps.

"Larry Baille has 28 years in the diving business, with more than 8,000 dives, and he is a gregarious raconteur. His 25-foot Grady White has two 150hp Yamahas that make for a fast, smooth, and powerful ride; comfortable seating; a custom-built ladder for easy exit; and iced water, drinks, and lunch. Our meal included fabulous smoked fish sandwiches from Will & Sue at Harbor Lights Cafe, one of the hottest restaurants in town. The boat holds a maximum of seven, and, frankly, Larry confides he wants to keep the trips even smaller than that so he can continue to provide maximum flexibility and top quality attention.

"Safety always comes first for this former Royal Canadian Seal. He has that difficult-to-replicate quality of making every level of diver feel safe, so he's an ideal sort to challenge the occasionally rough wind and seas on the other side. His plans for the future include adding a military type rigid-hull inflatable. All of us could imagine ourselves readily taking orders from a barrel-chested guy who still maintains his buzz cut.

"As an accompaniment to the typical, couldn't-be-easier diving for which Bonaire (and Bruce Bowker's Carib Inn) is famous, Larry's Wild Side Diving certainly adds adventure, the possibility of big stuff, and the personalized service that a high-end charter affords. Walks (or dives) on the wild side do not come cheap, though. Our day with Larry was $100/person, but we're certainly adding a day with Larry to our next Bonaire trip." Contact him at 011/599-790-9156 (cell), or visit his website at

- Jerry Kaelin and Frances Langdon
Chicago, IL

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