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Dive Review of Plaza Resort Bonaire in
Bonaire

Plaza Resort Bonaire: "Adventures in Bonaire", Apr, 2015,

by Carmen Thomas, ID, US ( 1 report). Report 8782.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments April 2015 was our first trip to Bonaire. Plaza Resort rooms are spacious and clean. If you're there when it is not hosting a musical event, the accomodations should be nice. If you're there when they host an event, like we were, don't plan on getting any sleep in the afternoon or evening, at least until the party ends each day. And then prepare for the trashy aftermath - complete with bottles and cups throughout and a few bent/broken light poles. Diving was very good. Gentle currents, good fish and invertebrate diversity and healthy corals. We will return, but we will not use the on-site dive services of Plaza Resort (called Toucan Divers when we were there). The first day we arrived, we waited for an afternoon briefing which was thorough and included the usual waiver signing and instructions on where lockers were, etc. The first day out was uneventful, delightful diving. Our adventure began on day two. On that day, 11 divers and our gear were loaded onto the Green Flash. We headed out with a captain/dive master and what we were told was a second dive master to dive Klein. It was a windy day with waves about 2-3 feet. The "dive master" failed to secure the bow line when we left the dock and it trailed alongside the boat (unnoticed by all aboard) until we reached the mooring line. When the captain spun the boat around to capture the mooring line, the stern line wrapped around the boat and fouled the propeller, instantly killing the engine. The mooring line was about 100’ off-shore in shallow water. After 3 attempts to restart the engine, the captain yelled to the "DM" to check the propeller. By the time he did, the boat pushed by wind and waves towards shore started bumping the coral bottom until she wedged bow first on two coral heads and waves began sloshing over the stern into the boat and cabin. By the time the captain and "DM" realized they could not free the prop and restart the engine, we were ankle deep in water which had flooded the forward and engine compartment. The captain ordered us off the boat - he directed us to jump the incoming waves over the stern into open water and swim around the island to the west, look for a sandy beach, and go ashore there. One of the passengers who had 15 years' experience diving Bonaire told us about a wicked current off the west side, and said there was no way she was swimming around that side of the island. When we began gathering our gear to prepare for our swim, the captain repeatedly ordered us off the ship - with only masks and fins. When we tried to explain that we wanted our BCDs to go for a swim, the captain would not listen. Much to the captain's consternation, the gal with 15 years' experience jumped off the boat and swam to the east, followed by her partner. She and her partner made it to shore about 100 m from the beached boat. The rest of us followed the captain's orders, jumping off the boat and reluctantly swimming toward the west. We all made it over the coral reef and ashore, with a few suffering some scratches and nicks along the way. The captain radioed for help before abandoning ship; Divi Flamingo came to our rescue after about 30 minutes. Plaza Resort could not because it only had one other functional boat and that boat had divers underwater. When Divi’s boat deposited us back at the dock, we were told to go have lunch, our gear would be delivered to the dive shop shortly and probably before the afternoon dive. We were initially told we would be compensated for one dive. When a number of us reminded them, repeatedly, that we missed two dives, not one, the dive shop grudgingly said we might be provided two dives that afternoon … if a substitute dive master could be found. (We later learned that a local dive master volunteered to dive with us that morning upon learning the dive shop was short-handed.) We got two dives in that afternoon with Ebby, a great guide. Everyone’s gear but mine was delivered to the dive shop by the time we left for the afternoon dive. Mine remained missing. I asked about my missing gear before and after every dive, anxious to retrieve my two-dive old ScubaPro BCD. I was told a different story about its whereabouts each time. After two days, my gear was found, in 15’ of water, near where the boat beached. It spent 48 hours, underwater, getting thrashed on the coral. The Green Flash (re-christened by our group as the Green Crash) was hauled off the reef then towed by a large tug into town for repairs. Thankfully, the fuel tanks were not ruptured in the marine sanctuary. We dove the rest of the week with Ebby, who is a free-lance DM and an excellent guide. The “DM” who wasn’t really a DM was not seen again that week. Our adventure wasn’t over, however. At the end of the week, at departure, we rose at an unpleasantly early hour to be told at the front desk that our plane was delayed, but that we had to go to the airport anyway. We did, and stood in line at the airport for more than an hour before United informed us that our plane would not be leaving that morning, and we were to return to our lodging. We met the in-bound pilot in the airport two days later, when we were finally told we had a “rescue” flight to take us back stateside. The pilot told us the plane had yawed so badly when he landed it that he refused to fly it until it was evaluated and cleared by maintenance. Maintenance, however, could not find anything wrong with the plane, and United did not send a replacement plane until the pilot called and asked them to. We showered the pilot with thanks and appreciation, both for refusing to fly a plane that almost landed upside down, and for asking for a replacement plane. We have never been so glad to arrive at U.S. customs as we were that trip.
Websites Plaza Resort Bonaire   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Throughout the carribean
Closest Airport Bonaire Getting There BOI to HOU to BON. With new direct flight between BOI and HOU, no overnight required.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 79-81°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50-80 Ft/ 15-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Depth limits issued during pre-dive brief, divers allowed to dive to 1,000 psi
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 2 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 [None]
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By BRADLEY CONDOin CO, US at Dec 20, 2015 10:22 EST  
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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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