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Dive Review of Bonaire Dive & Adventure/Sand Dollar in
Bonaire

Bonaire Dive & Adventure/Sand Dollar, Jul, 2004,

by Jacki Briggs, PA, USA . Report 1188.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 26-50 dives
Where else diving Guanacaste, Costa Rica, Cabo San Luca, Mexico, Crystal River, FL
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 80 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions All Shore Diving on your own.....
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments Bonaire Dive & Adventure had 2 seperate rinse tanks for cameras - one on the dock, the other by the drive up air fill station. IF you did a Shore dive on your own - it was up to you what to do - we brough bottled water and used it to rinse our cameras once we got out, and off gassed for the next dive.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 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 7/28 – 8/4/2004 Air Jamaica flight originally scheduled for 8:20 AM – took off at 12:20 PM. Eventually the 6 made it to Bonaire on Thursday 7/29 at 2:30 PM. Group consisted of – me & my husband, my mom & dad, and my Brother and his girlfriend, and my aunt & uncle from FL. Our 3 bedroom unit at the Sand Dollar was perfect – unit D-18. Nice & roomy and clean. Bonaire Dive & Adventure’s Michael & Office help Joan– did the basic orientation as we arrived on Thursday, after much pleading (we were itching to get in the water).

We saved our checkout dive for Friday morning. After our buffet breakfast at 7 am at house restaurant Mango’s – we headed to the Pier – grabbed our weights and jumped into the Bari Reef for our checkout dive. Ahhhh – that was perfect, everything you itch for – when sitting in Pennsylvania reading bonairetalk from your cubicle. LOL.

That first real day 7/30 we 2 total dives. We did Bari Reef from the Bonier Dive & Adventure Pier – the Giant Stride is so easy, tanks are right there – along with 3 rinse tanks, and a ladder to climb out. We also did 1000 steps by 2 PM Boat – very nice. I must say – the Boat that Bonaire Dive & Adventure used was not very diver friendly this by far was the most uncomfortable boat I have been on. We were squished tight (13 + DM & Captain), leaving null room for gear assembly & water entry/exit.

7/31/2004 – We did a 9 am Boat Dive on Captain Don’s Reef at Klein Bonaire – we hoped to find the legendary old Lagerback as big as a VW Bug – no such luck. Tons of macro life – very nice. That late morning we did Oil Slick by shore - lovely dive. Giant stride off the cliff, Early afternoon - Andrea II by shore as well – a little tricky entry because of rocks on shoreline. Finally that day – we had scheduled a Night Dive on the Pier with the shop for our group – 6 of use wanted to go. We booked through Joan in the office the day before – had to give her our passports, get a divemaster for every 4 persons + pay $20 pp. Fine with us. We get to the shop at 6:30 PM as requested – it seems that we get a “lazy” divemaster. He learns that we have never done a night dive and refuses to take us – our entire group. This reduces me to tears, as I had my heart set on this night dive for the past 3 years. Mr. Wizza (pronounced Pizza with a “w”), sends us away. His reasoning – that you should do at least 1 night dive before the pier. Someone – like the office help could have told us this the day before, when we had to submit our passports, I would have gladly did a night dive the day before. There was no other opportunities to night dive the pier before we left on Wednesday. Well what else was there to do - We did the Bari Reef at night as a group- saw an octopus – very cool. I must say that after doing that 1 night dive on Bari, I felt not any more competent than I was earlier that day. Because of this disappointing incident, I would not dive with Bonaire Dive & Adventure again – would try someplace different. Don’t get me wrong – every other incident we had was pleasant – except for the Night Dive at Town Pier.

8/1/2004 – Drove into Washington Slagbaai at 8:30 am You must snorkel at Wayaka II –, as there are 2 very friendly angel fish. Yes – they want to be fed. The crusts from our Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches did the trick. They were right off the shoreline to your left if you are facing the water in 2 feet of water. We watched and played with them for a good hour. Great spot to relax – lovely beach with shade provided by the cliff overhang.
We ended up home at 3:30 PM ish – several of us (not me) went out on an Afternoon dive on Bari Reef – they LOVED this 4 PM Dive – I don’t know if it had to do with the Moon phase (Full Moon – actually a Blue Moon), but there was tons of activity on the reef that afternoon.
8/2/2004 – Tori’s Reef & Pink Beach in AM – Pink Beach had a stingray. Bari Reef in the Afternoon – tons of spotted Moray’s, some seemed to be mating. 2 of our group did a night dive on Bari again and saw the tarpon eating.

8/3/2004 – AM Front Porch (TugBoat New York) & Andrea I – Turtle sighting. Great way to end the week of diving. In the late afternoon we drove to Lac Bay for pictures

8/4/2004 – We headed home without incident, no delays, and no glitches.

Must say – the encounter with each of our service providers was very nice. Telerin rental was great (we had 2 trucks reserved with our package). Bonaire Dive & Adventure has a nice setup – with lots of construction going on next door (new apartment bldg & new location for their shop). They have a gear room that remains open from 8:30 am until 10:30 PM. Everyone upon check in gets assigned a diver # & corresponding hook in the gear room IF you want to do early morning or late night dives - take your gear to your room or lock it in a locker – which line the walkway to the shop’s Pier. Let me know if I was unclear on anything. Email us at briggsjr@comcast.net

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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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