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Dive Review of Captain Don's Habitat in
Bonaire

Captain Don's Habitat: "Relaxed Diving for Grownups", Nov, 2017,

by Edward Svitil, GA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 10021 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Captain Don's Habitat does a great job (a testament to him as he just about founded diving in Bonaire and finally passed in 2014). Staff is excellent, and most just lead you into the current and turn around at 30 mins. Alex, Marco and Kitty are the exceptions and go out of their way to be sure you're kitted up properly and point out the odd critter (although I'm convinced the big seahorse is made of rubber and/or a plant, kind of like the Japanese ceramics that the guides hide on the wrecks in Truk and bring out for photos). This is grownup diving - you are totally free to do just about whatever you want as long as you're back at the boat in an hour. Boats leave at 8:30, 11:00 and 2:00PM. Don't try to do the 11 and 2 boats if you want to eat - the service/kitchen in the restaurant (not affiliated with Don's) is glacial, although the waiters and bartenders are unfailingly nice. The pizza and burgers are OK and we're not on a dive vacation to eat gourmet food. Ignore the Heineken and Amstel and go with the Bonaire Blond beer - not really local but is pretty good. It would be super-great if they installed ceiling fans in the restaurant (all tables outside); at times it got really hot and the bugs found you). You can go into town via taxi and eat there but wasn't for us. I suggest you dive the 8:30/11 or the 8:30/2pm boats if you want lunch. If you can stash stuff in the fridge, that works too. If you have more than 3 in your party try to get the bungalows - plenty of space and the aircon, fans work great (although fans on the porch would be nice to keep the noseeums away if you want to sit outside). Diving - many, many hard corals and tube sponges in great condition. Being a marine park helps (BTW, bring $25 cash p/p to pay the fee). Little current over 18 dives, only one wreck they go to (which we missed because it wasn't announced until late, and the dive shop manager (a very grumpy Dutch guy named Jason, I think) loudly announced when we asked if he would go again "NO! We only go once a week!!!). Many small fish and beaucoup parrot fish. Only 4 turtles all week, 1 sting ray, couple of barracuda, some huge tarpons circle the dock looking for handouts, some bait balls formed (very cool) and were nibbled at by small barracuda. One/two scorpion fish. Mostly small to medium reef fish. Overall, a good dive operation which we would use again if returning to Bonaire. Suggest you bring padlocks for the smallish gear lockers and clothespins to hang suits, boots on the conveniently installed dry line outside your room. The touted "unlimited shore diving" at the resort is good for simple out and back, a couple of urchins and an octopus 30' from pier. Some kind of small work boat sunk in 35' with stuff growing on it is OK for a destination. Again, diving for grownups - pick up a tank, jump in the water, do your thing. Dive shop did not recommend east side of island diving as winds/current pretty strong. If by "shore diving" they mean, rent a truck, hump tanks to the site, dive, hump tanks back to truck, return to resort, hump tanks back to shop...not for us. As Billy Crystal says in City Slickers "I'm On Vacation!!" Diving on the whole Carrib good and we booked the trip through Delta Vacations which worked out great - airfare/room/transfers all in. I never thought to use them before but will do so again (Amy G. was our contact and couldn't have been more helpful with a couple of changes to travel plans). We were headed to Little Cayman again but with the hurricane damage to a bunch of islands all the flights to Cayman were booked solid. Worked out OK for us!
Websites Captain Don's Habitat   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Palau, PNG, Maldives, Truk, GBR, Curacao, St. Lucia, Saipan, Yap, Phuket, Malaysia, Sipadan, Pohnpei, Kosrae, Phils, Little Cayman, etc
Closest Airport Flamingo Getting There Direct from EWR and ATL

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 80-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50-75 Ft/ 15-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Suggested (!) keep to 60' - 30 mins out, 30 mins back. You are free to do as you like and dive your own profile. Diving for grownups - no hand holding, sign in and the dive guide counts heads back on the boat. If you go off to another location deeper by yourself, OK with them.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Since it seems everyone has switched to these annoying go pros on sticks, the skill required for u/w photography has gone to zilch. Always one in every group - you know, the one who HAS to stay on the subject for 10-15 minutes while preventing others from seeing it. One woman on our boat was so obvious that the dive guide grabbed her by the reg and pulled her away - she could care less. Otherwise, most are OK and understand they get their shot and move on. Since these little stick cameras don't need anything other than a milk container to sit in, the boats and shore all still had buckets for cameras only. The days of Nikons in huge housings with dual strobes are gone forever in this era of "selfies". One couple told us that they've been there 8 times and when they see something they like they go to a local in town photog shop and get a real image to hang on the wall. Being from the Velvia age the way these gopro things proliferate grates a bit, but hey, that's me. If you can do your thing and let other divers have a look too, you will be appreciated. Thanks!
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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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