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Dive Review of Dive Friends Bonaire/VRBO in

Dive Friends Bonaire/VRBO: "Great Dive Operator, Sparse Marine Life and a Healthy Crime Rate", Sep, 2015,

by Kent O. Bonde, FL, US ( 2 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 8380.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 1 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 2 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments We just spent a week diving in Bonaire and can't say enough about the very unique and convenient approach with which Dive Friends Bonaire has established to provide tank rentals to its customers, with multiple and conveniently located drop-off and pick up locations around the Island. We opted for the unlimited air and nitrox package, providing us six days of unlimited tank rentals at a very reasonable price of $175. The staff was super friendly and went out of its way to ensure that I had my own private stock of DIN-valve tanks for the duration of the trip. With regard to the quality of the diving, the corals appear to be healthy, but like many other Caribbean destinations of late, there is a noticeable absence of marine life, due in large part to unmitigated over-fishing and despite the establishment of marine reserve status. Gone are even the lobsters, which up until a couple of years ago were quite abundant, but according to local scuttlebutt, have been heavily harvested by locals to satisfy restaurant demand on the island. On the other hand, petty crime appears to be a healthy pastime of the island, as you are discouraged from leaving anything of value in your rental vehicle while diving or out to dinner. Most just leave cars unlocked and windows down to prevent damage to the vehicle. If diving, suggest carrying a small dry box to carry your car key, spare camera battery, credit card, etc., as these items will likely be gone when you get back to the car. We lost a pair of sandals, shorts and a tee-shirt. However, the crowning blow came when the house we were renting was burglarized while our group was out to dinner, resulting in $3,000 worth of lost computers and electronics. The home, which was rented through VRBO, was supposedly located in one of the safer neighborhoods on the island. If the quality of the diving continues to deteriorate as dramatically as it has since the last time we were here, so will go Bonaire's economy, while crime will continue to flourish unabated.
Websites Dive Friends Bonaire   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Australia, Mediterranean, Pacific, South Atlantic and the Caribbean
Closest Airport Flamingo Airport Bonaire Getting There Insel Air/Air Aruba from Miami via Aruba

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 82-83°F / 28-28°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 60-100 Ft/ 18-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions All diving we did was shore diving along the leeward side of the island. While drop-off profiles could bottom out as deep as 120+ feet, the more prolific coral and marine life was located between the 20-60 foot range.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Great macro opportunities on shore diving; but not convenient to carry spare batteries, SD cards and/or other spare equipment in rental vehicles between dives, due to the high frequency of thefts.
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Subscriber's Comments

By Robert S Kuhn in IL, US at Oct 02, 2015 11:13 EST  
Did you report the crime to the Police? If you can not control crime on an island with a small population and limited outside access, you have a real problem. Until the locals realize tourism is their #1 industry and get serious about stopping crime, the problems will continue.
By report author: Kent O. Bonde in FL, US at Oct 05, 2015 11:56 EST  
Yes, the police showed up promptly, took our report and went about investigating the scene. They also informed us that while we didn't hear it from them, that these kinds of occurances have become fairly common. It appears that enterprising criminals are casing known rental properties and monitoring the comings and goings of renters to plan their hits.
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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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