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Dive Review of Captain Don's Habitat/Same in

Captain Don's Habitat/Same, Mar, 2008,

by Nancy Collins, NM, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports). Report 3961.

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 N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We took the Continental flight that leaves Houston at 11:30pm and arrives about 6:00am. Flight left on time and we had no problems with gear arriving even though we had a 4 hour layover in Houston, or procuring our rental truck through Budget at the airport. Our room at Capt. Don's was not ready, but they allowed us to place our bags in their office. The overall dive operation was fantastic. Capt. Don's motto is "Diving Freedom", and they mean it. The first day you get a 30 minute briefing at 9:00am explaining their set-up, where the lockers are for your gear, how to sign up for the boats and how they operate, how to pick up tanks for shore diving, and the use of their "baby dock". They then require you to do a "check-out dive" off their baby dock-which in essence is an unattended shore dive where you follow their rope out from the dock to the reef and dial in your weights, etc. Not a big deal, and the reef off the resort is great in both directions, so it was a good orientation dive. I've been diving for a long time and my boyfriend was certified in February, 2008. Capt. Don's will provide you as much assistance or as little assistance as you want. All you have to do is let the divemasters know. Lutty, Netto, Jinny and Max are very eager to please and very helpful. They all went above and beyond the call and were very chatty and friendly. A couple of the other divemasters were a little less so, but would give assistance and answer questions when asked. We dove the town pier with Netto one night - he is a great divemaster who pointed out two seahorses on the way from our entry and lots of other cool things. Lutty, Netto and Max all found neat critters on other dives-we saw two other seahorses and frogfish on two dives that we never would have seen without the divemaster's knowledge. Capt. Don's is nice because their first boat doesn't leave til 8:30, and you don't even have to take that one. They have one that leaves at 11:15 and one that leaves at 2:00, so if you are late sleepers like we are, you could sleep til 10:00 and still catch 2 boat dives each day. We bought a 12-dive package and they will let you use the dives any way you want to. 3 dives one day, 1 dive the next day, whatever combination until you reach your 12, and if you want to do more, they will charge you by the dive. We had a Deluxe Ocean View room in buildings which have units upstairs and down - we had a downstairs unit and were initially disappointed with that, but changed our minds and were happy after we had schlepped gear back and forth a couple of times. All rooms had clothes lines outside on the patio to hang wet gear. Our unit had air conditioning that worked very well. All rooms have a digital room safe that was big enough to hold my laptop computer, camera, wallets, etc. with room left over. Our room had a little fridge, so we hit the grocery store and bought bread, soda and lunch meats to have for lunch, because there was only about 45 minutes between boats if you did the 11:15 and 2:00 dives, which wasn't really enough time to order something at RumRunners restaurant, plus eating lunches on our patio saved us some money. The rooms show some wear, tiles are chipped, bathtub fixtures are rusting, but it IS the Caribbean and the salt air just wreaks havoc on things in a very short time. We had daily maid service and clean towels every day if we wanted them. The front desk supplies one beach towel per person that can be traded for fresh ones every day there. We had very nice patio furniture that we took our share of naps on. The hotel has free WiFi but I was only able to get a signal while sitting by the pool.

Food on Bonaire is a little more expensive than stateside. Dinners averaged $50 for two. We ate one night at Richard's Waterfront restaurant, and one night at It Rains Fishes. Both meals were outstanding. I would highly recommend both venues. We also ate one night at Cactus Blue, which I will probably never return to. The food was mediocre at best, and expensive for what you got. RumRunners restaurant at Capt. Don's has some of the best thin crust pizza I've ever had, and it was nice to not have to leave the grounds to have dinner if you didn't want to. Several nights we ate there and then went down to the baby dock and did a night dive - even at 10:30pm. There is a Subway & a KFC on the island if you crave American junk food. Our package at Capt. Don's included breakfast daily. The buffet was ok - they did make omelettes to order, had cereal and fruit, but it was your typical breakfast buffet.

There are ATMs but we only found one that dispensed dollars and that would take our credit union ATM card, so be sure to either bring enough cash or be prepared to charge things. All places charged US dollars on our cards.

We did one day shore dive at Invisibles. The rest of our shore dives were night dives at Capt. Don's.

All over Bonaire, the coral is beautiful, lots of smaller fish and big tarpon on our night dives. In summary, Bonaire is a fantastic dive destination and we will be returning!

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Andros, Bimini, San Salvador & Exuma, Bahamas; Bonaire once before; Guanaja, Honduras; Maui, Hawaii; Florida; Salt Cay, Turks & Caicos
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, surge
Water Temp 77-79°F / 25-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 75-100 Ft/ 23-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Only thing really enforced was a 500psi return limit. Divemasters recommended depths, but allowed you to do what you wanted. You could follow them or not, your choice, but you were more likely to see interesting critters if you at least followed them at the beginning of dives.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 1 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 Not a photographer, but boats had a separate camera bucket for cameras only, no mask rinsing or anything else allowed. Divemasters were great about handing cameras down to divers once they were in the water, and taking them back from them when the divers surfaced, and placing the cameras directly in the buckets.
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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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