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Dive Review of Tropical DIvers/Bellvue Condos in

Tropical DIvers/Bellvue Condos, Dec, 2010,

by Sue Manning, NY, US ( 1 report). Report 5913.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments [This trip report is not inclusive, but addresses only a couple of the lesser known high points.]

Shortly before Christmas, my buddy Steve Edgar and I visited Bonaire for the 4th time. The high point of our trip was a day of guided dives on the East Side with the legendary Bas Tol. With the amount of experience Bas has on Bonaire I expected him to be WAY older than he actually is. The guy has over 3000 dives on the East side. Turns out, 1) he's been doing it since childhood, and 2) I think he must look pretty darn young for his age!

Access to remoter parts of the island was problematic during our trip because of the rain the island had been getting. A lot of the dirt roads were under water or otherwise damaged. With Bas directing, however, we were able to access Boka Onima and Boka Spelonk. Bas Tol is working through VIP divers these days (, along with Bas Noij, Derk, and I think perhaps some other guides.

Both dives were amazing. At Boka Onima, the 15' giant stride was a blast! Great to see all those huge healthy corals. Bas showed us a family of 8 big Spiny Lobsters, a couple of Queen Triggers, a Mutton Hamlet and in the shallows he found some really cool Blennies, love the Longhorn Blenny! The exit was lovely and gentle onto a sand beach in the boka itself. By the time we got to Boka Spelonk the wind had picked up a little bit. Both entry and exit looked tricky but turned out to be fun and exciting. There is no way in the world we could have done this dive without Bas. He knew the exact spot to enter, the exact rock to hug until the exact moment when he called out to let go and the swell carried us safely out. I'm a very slight woman and the gear is heavy for me, but with the coaching I was able to accomplish the entry and exit comfortably. We decended along a steep drop off where we found a very nice coral reef and a large cavern we swam into. At the end of the cavern we went up a little bit and looked out over the reef through a 'window'. Pretty neat little cave. Beautiful colors and many small fish on the ceiling. Bas decided that swimming against the current was too much work and turned the dive into a driftdive. Very cool to just sit and glide by the steep walls and different gardens of coral reef. Saw some really big barrel sponges. Also here we saw quite a few big Lobsters. We exited at a ledge which required hoisting our gear out with a rope and again waiting for the right wave (not too low or we couldn't reach the ledge and not too large it would wash us over it) to lift us up to sitting on the ledge. 'It's just like climbing out the swimming pool without the ladder but here you have a wave to help you' he said. Looked intimidating at first but turned out to be very easy.

On both dives, Bas killed Lion Fish. Five at Boka Onima. At Spelonk however it seemed to be teeming with them. There even was one in the cavern. Too many to get in one dive. It was Bas' first dive there in a few months because of all the rain. I guess we were lucky to be able to dive Spelonk that day. Tells me you can really make a difference in the LF population on a reef if you hunt it regularly. He checked with us in advance, but we are very concerned about the problem and encouraged him to do so. It's quite fascinating to watch -- not as easy as you might think! I strongly recommend a trip to Bonaire and a guided dive (or two or three) with Bas Tol!

The dive operator we used, Tropical Divers, is a German owned and operated shop which we consider to be of the very highest quality. It is very well run, clean, the equipment and facilities are immaculate. They provide STEEL tanks which I very definitely prefer, and they use DIN valves. Their rental equipment is definitely above average!

//Sue Manning
Websites Tropical DIvers   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Key Largo, Northern California
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy Seas surge
Water Temp 82-83°F / 28-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility - Ft/ - M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None! Shore diving.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 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 [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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