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Dive Review of Captain Don's Habitat in

Captain Don's Habitat, Nov, 2012,

by Patricia A. Sinclair, LA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 31 reports with 10 Helpful votes). Report 7412.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 2 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Bonaire Sept 29 to Oct 07

I got to Captain Don's Habitat in Bonaire at 9:30PM on 9/29. It was a little dicey finding my room in the dark, as it was down a dark path with very little light. I finally found it and the thing was palatial! Huge bathroom livingroom, kitchen, large bedroom. Very, very nice - but too much room for one person, this would have easily held 4 people! I unpacked and met one member of the group who had also arrived earlier than the rest, Charlie. We had a drink, he told me what the orientation would go over, so I went ahead and signed up for two dives on the 30th.

9/30 After the 9:00 AM orientation I went to my room and got my gear, put it into a locker and talked with Charlie. We took the 11AM dive and did a 1 hour and 5 minute dive. Then I went and got cleaned up for lunch, and met Charlie at the restaurant. I sat down, waited for the waitress and waited and waited. She walked to other tables, and I tried to signal her but she acted as if she did not even see me. So, I get up, go to the cash register and ask for a glass of water and said I needed a menu. Got told they would bring the menu to the table, then was given my water. I walked back to the table and Charlie, who was eating what appeared to be a NICE hamburger (and I was hungry). Still no waitress! Finally the waitress comes over, takes Charlie's, by now, empty plate and asks if he needs anything ele and never once looks at me, as if she still did not see me. It is now 20 minutes until the 2:30PM dive, and I decide it is too late for me to order and eat anything. A bit later she comes back with Charlie's bill and bows to him as she gives him his bill, then backs away, turns around, still ignoring me. Charlie did not leave her the best tip, btw. Now in my lifetime, I have never been invisable to anyone. I am not exactly considered to be small or insignificant, or even quiet and therefore not easily overlooked,
My daily routine consisted of morning into the office to check emails and FB. After last dive (and after cleaned up) to the office to post on FB about the dives and send email to family to let them know I was still alive and well.
Now on to the diving. All dives were NITROX, first day's diving is without camera to concentrate on buoyancy, etc.

Day 1: Dive 1 Rappel, Klein Bonaire, 54 ft, 1 hour 5 minutes, 83 degree water, in 3000 psi, out 1300 psi. Saw most all of the usual Caribbean fishes, but no Creole Wrasse. There was a BIG Puffer fish at beginning of dive, found spotted moray, spotted drum fish, butter hamlets, spotted moray, brown chromis, butter hamlets,. I also saw Shy Hamlets, which true to their name, won't hold still for a photo! I also saw yellowtail Hamlets several Blue Hamlets, as well as all the other usual Caribbean suspects except creole wrasse.
Dive 2 Knife, Klein Bonaire, 56 ft, 1 hour 5 minutes, 85 degree water, in 3000 psi, out 1400 psi. White spotted filefish in orange phase, lots of trumpetfish, yellow snapper followed me entire dive. Lots of stoplight parrotfish, and other parrotfish, especially Princess Parrot fish. At end of dive I found a little octopus crawling around on the contracted itself, then went in a crack in the coral, so I waited until it came out again, it flared changed colours, swam to another coral, then hunkered down. I decided to do the squid thing that I do to it, thinking “how pretty you are, etc. “ it just sat there until the DM and Charlie came over, then it ran into crack in coral and we had to wait for 5 minutes for it to come back out. Finally Charlie and the DM indicated it was time to go back up to the boat.
Once back on land, I cleaned and put up all my gear, went to my room to clean myself up and dress for dinner and meeting the rest of the group, who would be there at 6:30PM.

Day 2:
Dive 1 Jeff Davis, 63 fsw, 68 minutes, camera, 75+ viz, 83f bottom temp. 2750 psi in , 1100 psi out. Charlie did not go on the dive with me, so I buddied up (kind of, STSO) with the DM. As we pulled away from the dock, I still kept wondering what I had forgotten, just that odd feeling you get. As I put the final check on my gear/station , I found I had forgotten my weight pockets and weights So, the DM and I found the correct amount of weights, and put them into my BCD pockets. I played with strobe settings and the pink filter on anemone and sponge shots. Saw an Eagle ray on this dive, but it was so far away, and it never came in close enough to us to get a good shot.
Dive 2- Nearest Point (Klein Bonaire) 66 fsw, 61 minutes, camera, 75+ viz, 84 f bottom temp, 3000 psi in, 1250 psi out. Remembered to bring my weight pockets on this dive! Found a very pretty pink anemone , lots of Trumpetfish everywhere and several spotted morays. There was a lot of surge in the 20 ft range on this dive, probably the reason I used so much air. This was my last dive by myself as from this point on I would be diving with the entire group.
Dive 3-Sampler (Klein Bonaire), 56 fsw, 71 minutes, camera, 75+ viz, 85 f bottom temp, 2900 psi in and 1100 psi out. Pics of people in group, smooth trunkfish, white spotted filefish, spotted moray eel and a nice golden eel. We had a total of 22 divers on the boat and it was CROWDED! Prior to going into the water, the group leader gave a lecture on photography rules that we would all abide by. Even so, it was a major cluster when someone found a nice subject for a photo, everyone kind of dived in. I stayed back and was the last to take a shot, if the poor creature was still around by that time.

Day 3: Dive 1- Knife, 68 fsw, 1 hour 12 minutes, in 2750 psi, out 900 psi, 83f bottom temp. Saw 3 brown seahorses on this dive. On this dive I decided to attempt some wide-angle shots, so I brought the lens which can be taken on and off under water. Bonaire seems to have bright orange sponges EVERYWHERE!!!
Dive 2 Andrea 1, 72 fsw, 1 hour 15 minutes, in 2900 psi and out 800 psi, 84F bottom temp. Another brown seahorse was found and I found some lettuce leaf sea slugs and XMAS tree worms to try and do macro work with. I also found a chain moray eel, but he was shy and did not want to come our enough for a good shot. Also seen: golden moray eel and all the usual Caribbean fish.
Dive 3 Small Wall, 52 fsw, 1 hour 15 minutes in and 2750 psi, out 800 psi, 85f bottom temp. Quite a bit of current on this dive, for Bonaire anyway. We saw a nice little red-orange frogfish! Tried to do some shots of boat - did not work out at all.
After this dive, the only eels I haven't found yet are green and sharp-tail.

Day 4: Dive 1 Bonadventure Reef, 66 fsw, 1 hour 18 minutes, in 2750 psi, out 1000 psi. Nice little dive, found a really camouflaged flounder, lots of sponges showing brown rings around them, which were crumbling, so I think this is some kind of a disease for these sponges. Seen mostly on the long purple tube sponges.
Dive 2 Jeff Davis, 60 fsw, 1 hour 18 minutes, in 2750 psi, out 1000 psi. Lots of surge at 20 ft. Shots of group leader, left pink lense cover on, the effect, with her pink suit and red hair was kinda cool! Found a nice lizardfish and a secretary blenny.
Dive 3 House Reef, and my first shore dive EVER. No Camera! 56 fsw, 1 hour 6 minutes, in 2800 psi, out 1300 psi. Lot of surge down to 20 ft. Saw a really nice sized spotted moray as well as lots of lettuce leaf sea slugs, filefish and at the end of the dive I saw several Ocean Triggerfish. Lots of big tarpon seen on and off throughout this dive.

Dive 4 - 2nd shore dive, House Reef, No Camera, night fluorescence dive (used blue lights on dive) 40 fsw, 56 minutes, in 3000 psi, out 2000 psi. Interesting how different things look, found an octopus, good sized, kept getting buzzed by some very large tarpon, found a blue/yellow colored eel, which I found out later was a sharp-tail eel. The really big deal on this dive was we came across a large group/family of sharp-tail eels out on the sand area between coral heads. They were writhing around, when one broke away from the group and came directly at my face/eyes/mask. I pushed it (not too gently) away with the dive light. I got the feeling that we were intruding upon some kind or orgy of sharp-tail eels. After the dive the DM said he rarely sees such a grouping of these eels, and he has never seen one do what that one did to me! He also verified my feeling that this was indeed a mating we had witnessed. Concerning the attack on me - guess there is a time for everything, isn't there?

Dive day 5:, Dive 1 Hilma hooker, 68 fsw, 1 hour 12 minutes, 75 ft iz, in 2900 psi, out 1100 psi. Some nice flounder shots. Also got some shots of egg nests of Sargent Majors...not sure how those turned out until I get them on the pc at home
Dive 2 Petra's Pillar, 64 fsw, 1 hour 13 minutes, 75 ft viz, in 2800 psi, out 1100 psi. Some scrawled filefish, smooth trunkfish and scorpionfish shots. Nice easy and relaxing dive. Found more of the sponges with the strange crumbly brown rings on them. Took shots to send to Fred Riger to see if he knows what this might be. The DMs did not.
Dive 3 House Reef, 35 fsw, 1 hour 15 minutes, 30 to 49 ft viz, in 2800 psi, out 1300 psi. Sponges were spawning...looked like smoke stacks underwater. No no proof. Since this was a shore dive and you jump off the dock, I did not want to risk going in holding the camera and damaging it. Lots of red lipped blennies, large saucer-eyes and many schools of horse-eyed jacks. Lots of surge the entire dive. ID of spawning sponges was Black Ball Sponge.

Dive day 6:
Dive 1 Keepsake Reef, , 55 fsw, 1 hour 10 minutes, in 2800 psi, out 1200 psi. Lots of the usual Caribbean fishes, swarms/waterfalls of creole wrasse! I love to see them sort of "flowing down" the reef like waterfalls of purple-blue.
Dive 2 Lenora's, 61 fsw, 1 hour 15 minutes, in 2850 psi, out 1250 psi. Yellow frogfish, green sea turtle. Some nice trumpetfish face shots. Lettuce leaf sea slugs that were an iridescent blue! There was a turtle at the surface, the entire group went after that poor turtle. While we saw turtles on many occasions, I got no nice shots because these people chased after them and nearly ran into people in their attempts to get shots. Poor creatures.
Dive 3 House reef, shore dive, 38 fsw, 1 hour 8 minutes, in 2900 psi, out 1650 psi. I had one of the DMs hand my camera down to me, once I entered the water. Found some more Ocean triggerfish shot and pompano shots.
Dive 4 sunset to night dive, No camera, House reef, shore dive. 42 fsw, 1 hour 2 minutes, in 2800 psi, out 1750 psi. Large tarpon and 3 sharp-tail eels hunting. Several spotted eels. Did not need to use a light until over 35 minutes into the dive, there was a lot of good light. Saw people doing a fluorescent dive from Buddy's resort those blue lights are quite visible at night!

Day 7, Oct 6:
Dive 1 Keepsake, 41 fsw, 75+ viz, 1 hour 22 minutes, in 2750 psi, out 1000 psi. Found 3 frogfish on this dine, 1 small yellow one, 1 very large dark green, and 1 large yellow. 2 seahorses, 1 red and the other was brown. A very nice and relaxing dive. Would have loved to stay down until I got to 750, but the DM was down to 500. Oh, did I mention, this turned out to be a private boat dive?

Dive 2 Small Wall, 44 fsw, 75 + viz, in 2800 psi, out 1400 psi, 1 hour 13 minutes. Another private dive, no one but the DM and myself. We found another sea horse. I watched as a Spanish hogfish pulled a sea urchin out of a coral hole, along with a bunch of algae attached to it. He then got rid of the algae from the urchin. Then he commenced to banging the urchin on a coral head. He then saw me, and I finally decided to take a shot as he sped off with his urchin prize.
On this trip I got in almost 25 hours bottom time in 21 dives. Hopefully have a couple of keeper pics.
Websites Captain Don's Habitat   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas calm, surge
Water Temp 82-86°F / 28-30°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions stick with DM
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 3 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments ots of small subjects to photograph
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