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Dive Review of Buddy Dive/Buddy Dive Resort in

Buddy Dive/Buddy Dive Resort, Nov, 2007,

by Karen Gordon, Alaska, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports). Report 4427.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments OK, so I learned a lesson on this trip, finding out I just wasn't as smart as I thought. Somehow, in my mind I had the idea that Bonaire diving wasn't all it was cracked up to be, you know, lots of hype but not much life or corals, sort of like Hawaii diving. I've dived in a lot of really cool places, and became just a bit of a snob, so I wasn't expecting to be surprised. And in my darkened cloud of conceit, or maybe I just had my own head where the sun don't shine, I did my giant stride off the boat the first day in Bonaire into the best diving I've seen in the Caribbean - EVER.

The colors were amazing, with long tube sponges longer than I am tall in a glorious daylight violet that shone a brilliant red at night. Turtles were spotted on every dive, and the health and variety of the corals were an unsuspected surprise. In addition there were plenty of fish to go around, namely that often sought after, and very elusive, frogfish. Quite common as well were seahorses.

The shore dive at Buddy Dive Resort is one of the best shore dives I've done this side of Dickie Doyle's place in the Witu Islands in Papua New Guinea. Pretty much what Bonaire has to serve up can be found right there at the resort. And while there was no need to drive all over the island to find good diving because of the righteous quality of the house reef, that option was available quite easily because a compact truck came with each room to haul tanks to whatever site our hearts fancied.

It is no exaggeration to consider Bonaire a shore diving haven, what with the yellow rocks identifying each site along the coastal road, and the guidebook to let you know what riches lie beneath the briny blue that makes each site special.

We chose to do the night dive at the town pier. It was very scheduled and arrangements had to be made well ahead of time so the authorities could check us out for potential security risks before we were given permission to dive there. While it was a great dive, at least from my photographer's perspective, it was too "herded" and limited in time. It was almost an underwater forced march having to keep up with the divemaster, and woe on us if we fell behind, which I did repeatedly because I'd find a good photo subject and just get some decent shots when I realized I couldn't see my group. My sister, who is not a diver, snorkeled the site at the same time I was diving it, and loved it.

Other adventures await onshore for apres dive fun or for those who are not divers. A drive around the south side and west side of the island to see the salt piles and the slave huts is mandatory. My sister, the non-diver, went with her husband on a mangrove kayaking adventure and not only had a fantastic time, but they learned a lot about mangrove habitat and ecology as well, and came back with wagging tongues, so pleased at their day's adventures.

The manager of the dive shop, Augusto Montbrun, is a wonderfully funny and organized fellow, ever helpful, and always patient and informative. His drive-thru tank shop made it exquisitely easy to grab some air and head off to a shore dive down the coast. And diving the house reef has to be one of the easiest shore dives anywhere, and with plenty to see to boot. At Buddy Dive you can pretty much have unlimited diving, and it is darned easy too!

The divemasters were easy going, very knowledgable, and a blast to be with. They, of course, were quick to point out special creatures, and looked hard for denizen of camouflage, the frogfish. Luckily we were not aced, but saw at least 3 of the little oddly shaped critters.

A simple but filling buffet breakfast came with our dive package, and we generally ate lunch at the resort as well. Dinner, however, usually found us heading off to restaurants closer to town. Great pizza and great steak, quality treats I didn't expect to find on Bonaire, were a delightful repast after a day of satisfying diving.

Alas, the downside of the trip was the room itself. Not without its needful creature comforts, and rationally decorated, it was stiflingly hot all the time, making it difficult to be inside. The air conditioner only cooled the bedroom, so having guests to our room, or even hanging out in it, was quite uncomfortable. Not all rooms are like ours was. Others have two air conditioners in their rooms, one to cool the bedroom and one to cool the living area. Some rooms also have great views. Ours did not.

I had to, in the end, pull my head of the dark, and was so very happy to gloat that my choice in going to Bonaire, finally, after all my years of diving, was a really good one. I couldn't have been more pleased to have been wrong about Bonaire. It so pleased my senses that I'm going back again next fall. I can't wait.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Australia, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Fiji, Chuuk, Belize, Caymans, Turks and Caicos, Cozumel, Thailand, Honduras, Alaska, Kosrae, Pohnpei, Rota...
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

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

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Boat dives were limited to the "average" profile. Divers weren't allowed to dive their entire tank while on boat dives even if they had more air so the boat could stay on schedule. Otherwise, there was essentially unlimited diving.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
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 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments My strobe had a problem and John the photo pro loaned me his at no cost. He and his wife couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. I've never had such consideration and generosity shown by a photo pro anywhere. These guys were just GREAT !!!
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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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