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Dive Review of Bruce Bowker's Carib Inn in

Bruce Bowker's Carib Inn: "Great trip!!", Sep, 2018,

by Joe Hamernick, MN, US (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 10708 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We've been to Bonaire many times and have always enjoyed it. We hadn't been back in 5 years and were pleasantly surprised. This was our first time at Bruce Bowker's Carib Inn. We rented the two houses which worked out great for our group. Bruce is a hands on guy and is always available if you need anything tended to. There is no central AC at most places on Bonaire. We had AC in the bedrooms and ceiling fans in all rooms which works out fine. Carib Inn has two boats, however one was down for maintenance while we were there. There were 7 in our group so we had the boat to ourselves. Two in our group are fairly new divers so they took a refresher course with Lucia. She did an incredible job getting them up to speed. They couldn't thank her enough. Our divemaster on the boat was Zack. He was fantastic. After our first dive he knew our skill level and let us do what we wanted. Since we had the boat we would do two tank dives so we didn't go back to the shop. We also did a number of shore dives. We had mostly calm to light chop water. One day we went north and the waves started picking up so we moved a 1/4 mile south and found smooth water. The visibility varied with different dive sights. We always had at least 50 feet but most of the time it was more in the 75 to 100 foot range. We all dived in skins except one person who used a 3 mil shorty because she gets cold very easy. We saw some things I had never seen in Bonaire. We encountered and swam into a bait ball with hundreds of thousands of mackerel Scad being chased by Jacks and Tuna. Truly amazing!! We also saw a baby squid no longer than a 1/2 inch long. We saw what we believe was a diamond back squid egg sack, and a flock of about 25 Flamingo's fly 20 feet right over our boat. That along with all the usual critters in Bonaire waters made it a great dive trip. There is a little red algae in places but nothing out of control. We saw very few Lion fish. They are being hunted in Bonaire. The island is very aware of coral conservation and is working to strengthen it's reefs. Bonaire is great for beginners and very good for advanced divers. If you want trilling advanced dives go to the east coast when the current is running. Bonaire is good Caribbean diving. It's not the Pacific but is a lot of fun. We were not disappointed and can't wait to go back.

Bruce runs an old school dive shop. He expects you to dive within your skill level and the divemasters don't hold your hand. The dive shop has great prices on equipment if you need anything. The boats are basic and small. You won't find boats with 25 people jammed on them. He doesn't load them up with fruit or cookies but his prices are great. About the only comment I have is I wish he put water on board. You have to bring your own which ends up with a lot of plastic water bottles all over the place. It would be easy and cheap to buy one big water cooler. Everyone is assigned a tank and if you need more for shore diving, just ask. All the staff were extremely nice and helpful. Bruce runs a great operation. We will definitely stay and dive at the Carib Inn again.

Bonaire has done a great job adding new restaurants. We found some great places to eat compared to just 5 years ago. Some places we loved included: Between 2 Buns for sandwiches, Joe's Grillhouse, Sebastians on the Beach, Pasa Bon Pizza, and Blue Garden Brazilian. There are also some food trucks right off the end of the runway. One serves Lion fish but she was closed while we were there. The other has great fresh caught fish sandwiches.

We've been going to Bonaire off and on for 28 years. We were happy to see the reefs in pretty good shape compared to some places in the Caribbean.
Websites Bruce Bowker's Carib Inn   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Fiji, Palau, Truk, Australia, all the main Hawaiian islands, Florida Keys, all over the Caribbean...all three Cayman islands, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Bonaire, Roatan.....
Closest Airport Bonaire Flamingo Airport Getting There Some in our party took American Airlines MIA to BON. Others took Delta from ATL to BON.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 82-°F / 28-°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions We were treated like adults and expected to dive accordingly.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The boats at Carib Inn have no rinse tank on them. But, most of the time after one dive you go back to the dock where you can rinse things off. Besides, when you shore dive in Bonaire you have no rinse facilities until you get back to where you started from so that really wasn't a problem. There is also no designated camera table.
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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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