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September 2018    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 33, No. 9   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Bonaire, Cozumel, Cuba, Fiji, Palau . . .

spear tossers, baggage restrictions and thieving crews

from the September, 2018 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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We live in an imperfect world, and when you're off diving in unfamiliar territory, those imperfections can catch you off guard. We publish selective comments from our readers that can help you anticipate problems before they arise, so your diving holiday can be worry-free.

At the same time, you shouldn't limit your diving explorations. Bonaire is one place where it makes sense to get off the beaten track . . .

Bonaire's East End. Rather than stick with the standard dive operators along the west side of Bonaire, Mary McCombie (New Haven, CT) drove over to the little-dived east side of Sorobon in June. "East Coast Diving operators Martijn and Bob are excellent naturalists, instructors and captains, and they are warm, pleasant, and easygoing. The boat is a rigid-bottomed inflatable with an ingenious feature: a section that can be deflated and removed so a ladder can be attached for divers to enter the boat after the dive. Funchi's Reef was lush with stony and soft corals, really stunning, and there were a number of large green turtles cruising around, but my favorite sight was eagle rays in singles and groups. Turtle City, just north of our first site, was lousy with green turtles, sleeping and cruising, and I stopped counting after 40. The reef was again lush and healthy, and near the end of the dive, we drifted to The Fingers, a site with massive dense ridges of stony corals. It was great to see after diving the west coast, where storm damage and runoff has had its predictable effects on the reef. We also saw a hogfish, a common sight in the northern Caribbean, but profoundly rare on Bonaire.

"It cost $120 for two tanks per person, plus tip, and was well worth the price. Nice operation, gorgeous reef and some big animals -- what is not to like? " (www.bonaireeastcoastdiving.com)

Concerns about Cozumel. Aldora has been a long-time favorite of Undercurrent readers, including Mark Magers (San Antonio, Jalisco, Mexico), but he had a few issues on his April trip there and hopes they'll make a few corrections. While they can't do much about the diminishing marine life, he didn't like that Aldora gave women smaller tanks than the men, without asking about air consumption. "The pairing of divers felt a bit haphazard -- one day we were matched with divers of similar experience to ours, another day with people who had much poorer dive skills. Once we had to wait almost 90 minutes for two new divers to arrive on a ferry from Tulum (offered as a "reason" why they were late -- as if that mattered?), which significantly delayed our departure. We dove with the two tardy divers, and they were terrible -- poor buoyancy control, dangling hoses and gear, banging into coral while swimming upside down to 'blow bubbles' and doing flips (!), actually grabbing coral and sponges. The divemaster never said a word to them. We aren't sure he noticed, because he rarely looked around to see what was happening. ...


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