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Dive Review of Captain Don's Habitat in

Captain Don's Habitat, Jul, 2005,

by Mark Kimmey, NY, USA . Report 1930.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Planning this trip through the resort's North American reservations agent, Maduro Travel, Inc., was not without its problems. It took a flurry of email traffic over a period of days before we felt we had a reservation, and even then we were a little nervous of what we might find when we arrived. Simply, the agent kept screwing up the reservation: we would ask for something, he would price something close. Or he would forget to price something we asked for, or would misspell our names (it's email for crying out loud, so it's not like he had to decipher my writing), or the math on the invoice was off. We wouldn't have spotted the last if we hadn't grown leery of the operation toward the end and started checking everything more closely than we otherwise might have. By the time we arrived in Bonaire, we were apprehensive that Captain Don's might be as slipshod as their reservation agent. (We later found out that the guy handling our trip left Maduro shortly after our trip.)

Fortunately, Captain Don's met most of our expectations. Rooms were clean and accommodated diving (tile floors, clothes lines, etc.), though a bit under-cooled. The "habitat" cottage we stayed in had coolers in the two bedrooms, only: the common areas (kitchenette, sitting area and bath/shower) had no cooling. The resort's restaurant served good food at good prices, and the dive staff was proficient and friendly.

The only area of concern was maintenance of their rental gear. Since I'm a certified technician and once owned my own equipment servicing business, this has always been something on which I keep an eye: I believe it's indicative of the overall responsibility of a dive operation. During the week, my son was issued two BCs, the first of which leaked. More alarming, 9 of 10 tanks bled air, either from the tank valve o-ring, the tank neck o-ring, or in one disturbing case, from the bursting disk retaining plug. When taking tanks for shore dives about the island, it was not uncommon to find that tanks had bled 300-400 psi from the time we picked them up at the filling station to when we actually began a dive, sometimes after snorkeling out to the reef. We tagged the problem bottles, but attempts to report what seemed to be a systemic problem to the staff were met with polite indifference. In the case of the leaking bursting disk screw, we found the problem in the water during a boat dive and duly reported it to the divemaster upon exit: he looked at me like I was an idiot and simply put the problem bottle with all the others. What I should have done was pull the bad valve o-rings to force the fill operator to replace them. As it was, I checked tank pressure on every bottle we pulled from the "ready" pile before loading them into the truck, and only replaced the valve o-rings when it was obvious there was a problem. I would dive with Captain Don's again, but unless they get their maintenance act together, I'll resort to automatically replacing the o-rings on their tanks when I draw them.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving New York, Hawaii, Kwajalein, California, Florida Keys, Grenada
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather Seas calm
Water Temp 80-85°F / 27-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40-100 Ft/ 12-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
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 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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