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Dive Review of Bonaire Dive & Adventure/Sand Dollar in

Bonaire Dive & Adventure/Sand Dollar, Dec, 2007,

by Laura Austin, VA, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports). Report 3809.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We actually say the manta ray while at the dock--waiting for the boat to take us to Klein Bonaire. By the time we had jumped in, the manta was long gone. But I didn't imagine it--all the crew and guests saw it and there was great excitement!

This is our 2nd trip to Bonaire--same time of year. We all agreed that the visibility was not as good as before; I understand they had received a great deal of rain in the previous weeks, so that might have been a contributing factor. It was also windier than we remembered from before, and there was some surf, so getting in and out of some of the sites was a challenge for clumsy me--I pretty much had to crawl my way out of Ol' Blue, thank God nobody was there to see! Took the "shortcut" home from Ol' Blue, btw, and that was quite an adventure, too.

We had six boat dives, mostly on Klein. We did go to see the Hilma Hooker. I'm afraid this wreck just doesn't do much for me. We managed 19 shore dives this time around:
Ol' Blue, Oil Slick Leap, 1000 Steps, Andrea II, Cliff, Invisibles, Angel City, Something Special, Front Porch, and, of course, the house reef, Bari.

Bari and the next-door Front Porch were frequent repeats; easy access, of course. Neither is exactly a pretty reef, but they are both loaded with eels and fish and critters. Never managed to find the frogfish at Bari, but did see a great octopus. Lots of turtles this time around.

Our condo at the Sand Dollar was very comfortable with a great view. The resort is a bit spread out, but the tennis courts are in good shape (used them once). The pool is an afterthought, but they do have one. Breakfast could be better and a little more variety would be nice. All in all, we prefer Buddy's, particularly for their dive operation.

We had no break-ins and nobody stole anything from our truck. We kept the windows opened and the doors unlocked, as advised, and we took anything with value with us or left it back in the safe at the condo.

Since we were there over the holidays, there was a cruise ship or two in town nearly every day. Didn't feel the impact too much, as we are not people who shop. The town was very crowded one night (ship hadn't left yet) and Lac Bay (windsurfing and snorkeling) was full of them on New Year's Day. New Year's Eve, btw, was very quiet--after the fireworks were finally finished. We couldn't even find a place open to eat in town.

Wil's is without question the best restaurant in town. Fantastic food. But our favorite is still Casablanca. Salad, potatoes, and plenty of meat at a reasonable price with good service. We had enough leftovers for lunch the next day, which meant one less trip to the supermarket and more time to dive!

It's hard to beat Bonaire--particularly when you are traveling at this time of the year. I've found that other places in the Caribbean are not so realiable weather-wise for divers. But shore diving is the best reason to visit Bonaire. I like boat dives, but there is something so wonderful about diving when you want and where you want, particularly if, like me, you really love the afternoon rush hour dives.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Roatan, Cayman Brac, Cozumel, Belize, Florida Keys
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas
Water Temp 0-0°F / -18--18°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 0-0 Ft/ 0-0 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments BDA's boats are small--they only go a short distance, of course. Photographers stow their equipment in the cabin. DMs hand equipment to divers. There is a rinse tank on shore marked "cameras only" but sometimes people miss the sign.
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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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