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Thread: March 2014 - Bonaire! First time, woohoo!

  1. #11
    Shark snagel's Avatar
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    I'm actually heading to Bonaire in 3 weeks for my 3rd trip. This time we are staying at the Sand Dollar. We stayed there for our 1st trip and the Den Lamon for our 2nd trip. Both times we used Bonaire Dive and Adventure for our tank rental. We really liked them, but this time we are using Dive Friends since they have a shop on the Sand Dollar site. I understand that there is a little conflict now with the Sand Dollar and the others and those using Sand Dollar / Dive Friends cannot use the pier. We'll see how all that works out. But, Dive Friends has 5 shops around the island where we can get tanks from.

    The dive sites in the South have a little better sandy beaches to enter, but the swells get bigger as the day goes on. Best to try and dive them earlier in the day. The sites North tend to have more cliffs to deal with. Entry can be a little difficult at any of the sites due to the swells, but if you time your entry and count the swells as you enter not too bad. The sites with the piers like Bari Reef are easy...jump off the pier and you're ready to go. Our Diva Divers (wives) don't like to hassle with the swells; so, well see how all that goes. Some do boat dives, but we have never because we like the flexibility of the shore diving. If entry is an issue, might consider doing the boat dives that can take you to Klien and pretty much any site.

    Best sites? Really I like them all. Oil Slick and Karpata seem to be my favorite, but difficult entry's. Oil Slick is actually a cliff you can jump in or climb down the ladder. Red Slave I like only because this is where we see the Eagle Rays. My favorite of all time is Bari Reef, but only because it has been our house reef and easy entry. Windsock is the beach area and real easy entry. I actually really like this one also. 1000 steps is another beach entry, but you have them steps to deal with. If you can muster up the energy to do the steps the beach area and dive is awesome.

    Keys? We clip the key to the inside of our BCD pocket and leave the truck unlocked with nothing inside. Never have had any issues, but I know many who have. It's a shame that their way of dealing with crime is to tell you to leave the truck unlocked and windows down.

    Take some time to explore the island and drive around. It's one of the most relaxing things I've ever done. We stop on the wild side of the island (no diving) and just watch the huge waves as they come crashing into the cliffs. Almost scary to get too close, but you can feel the raw energy of the waves.

    There is a little current. Find out which way it is going and start your dives into the current so when you turn around you are going with the current. Not much current, but if you are trying to swim against it coming back you will know it. Make sure you take a mental note of your get out points because you can float right by it and then have to swim back. I know sometimes the reef all looks the same, but look for unique things.

    Sea Life? In our past trips we have seen an awesome show of sea life and that is one of the reasons we love Bonaire. We even took the class with Jerry at Bonaire Dive and Adventures on Fish ID. He will give you all the information on identifying different fish. Highly recommend. One of our forum members just returned from the island and was reporting a dramatic decline in the sea life...possibly due to the lion fish invasion. We'll have to see what is going on when we are down there.

    Best advice I can give....relax! My BOL and I go to dive and doing 4-5 dives a day is what we seek. However, our wives like to dive, but they are not the Rambo diving type. 1-2 dives a day with a day off here and there is what they want. "If the wife isn't happy, life isn't happy" Everybody needs to understand and the trip will be awesome. We have learned that if we push the wives into more diving than they want, it's not a good thing. They have learned to raise there hand and say they are sitting this one out and everybody is fine with it.

    Snagel

  2. #12
    Grouper
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    Happy wife = Happy life, that's how I learned it.
    Slowly exhale, relax, your brain will kick in...and if you can breath and think calmly, there's not too much you can't figure out, in any part of life.

  3. #13
    Grouper
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    Anything north of Oil Slick (including oil slick) IMO. Best dives are Candyland and the one right next to it. They are not offical and are only marked by homemade markers. Very few people go there because guide books say they are advanced but they are no different than any other dive site. Current can be a little tough but Coz is tougher. You will see more marine life and the reef is in great shape.

  4. #14
    Shark Zeagle Eagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rayaa3 View Post
    Well - I wouldn't put it past Walmart. The internet doesn't always express sarcasm clearly.

    That happen to me the last time I was in Austin for work. Grumble Grumble $300 in damage, $0 in stolen items.

    I have to hand it to the thieves - you see divers go in the water, you know you've got a little time to work. Certainly more than the 120 seconds it takes to break a window grab and go.
    I have gotten in trouble a few times because of my inept ability to translate my scintillating wit and exquisite prose into the same on the other end.

    I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant...or something like that????
    --Zeagle Eagle

  5. #15
    Shark
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    my thoughts exactly....

    be smart be safe and be careful

    take your key with you...

    leave nothing in the truck

    and leave the window open.... it gets stinking hot in the truck if the windows are closed
    God is good, no matter what!!

  6. #16
    Shark
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    we took a small insulated soft side lunch box with us we froze water bottles and packed them in the lunch box with a few small snacks and put it behind the seat in the truck by the time we got out of the water the ice was melting and we had plenty to drink. i can't remember if we had to buy bottled water or not... hubby says yes and I think not.... I'm too tired to look in my journal....
    God is good, no matter what!!

  7. #17
    Shark snagel's Avatar
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    We do the same thing with the soft-sided cooler. We collect our water bottles and refill them each night. The water is Bonaire is fine to drink. We also bring along some of those one-shot drink powders to add to the water. Throw a couple in the freezer and rest in the frig at night and pack a small drink cooler for the day. Never had an issue with anybody stealing this, but if they do not out too much.

  8. #18
    Grouper
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    Quote Originally Posted by snagel View Post
    We do the same thing with the soft-sided cooler. We collect our water bottles and refill them each night. The water is Bonaire is fine to drink. We also bring along some of those one-shot drink powders to add to the water. Throw a couple in the freezer and rest in the frig at night and pack a small drink cooler for the day. Never had an issue with anybody stealing this, but if they do not out too much.

    all great stuff, thanks everyone!
    Slowly exhale, relax, your brain will kick in...and if you can breath and think calmly, there's not too much you can't figure out, in any part of life.

  9. #19
    Grouper
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    Well, had to cancel Bonaire...the airline changed the flight times on me, and they were no longer compatible with the personal life. However, since they goofed the times, full refund.

    On the plus side, I'm going to Roatan instead, and paid for that with miles...woohoo! That work trip to India this year paid off for me in airline miles

    Looks like I'm going to FIBR...been twice, liked it both times...got a good deal, I'm headed back!
    Slowly exhale, relax, your brain will kick in...and if you can breath and think calmly, there's not too much you can't figure out, in any part of life.

  10. #20
    Shark snagel's Avatar
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    Roatan is also a great place.....have fun. Sounds like everything worked out. I wouldn't be disappointment going to either.

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