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Dive Review of Capt. Don's Habitat/Happy Holiday Homes Bungalows in
Bonaire

Capt. Don's Habitat/Happy Holiday Homes Bungalows, Jul, 2005,

by Dave Bridenbaugh, Ohio, USA . Report 1872.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving All over the Caribbean and Florida as well as midwestern quarries.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas noCurrents
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions none
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments [Bonaire has a reputation for being the shore dive capital of the world and for good reason. However getting there these days is a challenge with few Airlines actually serving the island on a daily basis. We arrived in Bonaire for trip number five via American Air on 7/1 and had booked bungalows at Happy Holiday Homes along with a pickup truck. We usually stay at a resort and thought wed try a budget trip this time. Louise at Happy Holiday info@happyholidayhomes.com is a great host and will take care of booking a truck and a dive package for you if youd like even getting some groceries ahead of time if you want. We decided to get our own shore dive pkg. at Capt. Dons Habitat since we were familiar with them. After the usual orientation next morning we stowed our gear in their lockers which are 20 ft. from a nice pier where you can giant step into 10 feet of water and swim about 75 ft. to the reef. Water temp. 82 degrees. Weather hot and mostly sunny with the Trade Winds making life great on the island. No great scenery. It looks like Arizona outback areas. Since the HHH bungalows have stove and fridge we bought groceries and got organized. We made two dives that afternoon on Habitat and saw the usual reef suspects. Next day our routine began. Breakfast big or small in the bungalow, pack snacks, water, and lunch. Drive to Habitat and pick up 4 tanks each. The folks at Habitat are gracious and helpful. Boat diving can be booked along with the unlimited shore diving package or as in our case we pay by the boat dive since most of our dives are shore dives. We dove up and down the easily accessible coast, which features more than 80 dive sights. A yellow painted boulder in front of it marks each. For the next 13 days we logged up 47 dives. Bonaire is total dive freedom. We did two dives in the morning then lunch followed by two dives in the afternoon. Most sights are close to easy parking and in some cases you are no more than 30 ft. from the water. Many sights are 50 yards or closer from shore to the edge of the reef. Many of the rubble and sand areas on the way out have a lot to see. We saw Yellowheaded Jawfish, Garden Eels, Squid, Octopus, and even some Rays and Turtles in these areas. The reefs are in good shape; however, the visibility was not so hot while we were there. The locals blame the storms. Im not sure, but if that is the case the best time to visit Bonaire might be before July and after Sept. A couple of dive sights that are must dives are Karpata, Oil Slick Leap, and Ole Blue to the North with Red Slave and its beautiful soft corals to the South. Others that are nice are Wind Sock, Alice in Wonderland, and a wreck called Hilma Hooker at about 100 ft. Average dives will be about 50 to 80 feet along the reef going and 40 or so feet on the return. Most sights are easy to navigate since the island is surrounded by a perimeter reef system. We usually ate supper at one of the many great restaurants and sometime sneaked over to Lovers Ice Cream Parlor for the nightcap. We saw everything we wanted to see except sharks. You might try the Eastside for an occasional shark however weather conditions have to be right to dive over there. There are a couple of dive operations that go there, Bruce Bowker at Carib Inn will be a good choice. We saw spotted Eagle Rays, Turtles, many Eels, my wife found a once in a blue moon find a yellow Sea Horse without the aid of a local dive leader, Octopus, I found a baby one hiding in a coral head. He was about 3 inches and cute. Barracuda, and the juveniles baby pea TrunkFish, little ribbon baby Drums, all plentiful to the trained eye. We however despite our best efforts did not find a Frogfish this trip.
Bring a 3 or 5 mil suit because you will be diving so much you will drop a degree or two in body temp.Remember to slow down and enjoy the "layed back attitude" because it is the Caribbean.
E-mail me for pics and more info.
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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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