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Thread: Everything Bonaire!

  1. #31
    Shark snagel's Avatar
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    So, what have we not talked about? Hmmmm, Do I need a wetsuit? This is a question I hear a lot. I guess the answer is it depends on how tolerable you are. The water in Bonaire is about 82 F. I personally wear a 2 mil shorty and am comfortable all week. Back at home in the cold water quarries, I'm typically cold in anything less than a 7 mil or drysuit. (to give some perspective) I have worn a 1 mil full suit in Bonaire and was fine. I kind of like the shorty better simply due to the ease of getting in and out on the surface or I can wear it comfortably between dive sites. I guess for me what I'm trying to say is I've never had any issues with getting cold in Bonaire except for jumping in at night and getting that first rush of water. The water temp is the same, but getting in the water at night does give me a initial chill.

    My wife wears a 3mil full suit and still is cold on anything longer than a 30 minute dive (I don't think Bonaire has much to do with that....she is like that everywhere). One concept that is talked about is that over a week long dive trip your core temp can drop a little from all the dives; so, toward the end of the week you start to feel the cold more. I do know divers that will start out the week in nothing or a 1 or 2 mil and later in the week transfer to a 3 or even 5 mil. I have also seen divers wearing hoods to help regulate the heat as well. Again, it all depends on how you adjust.

    What I would recommend for first timers is bring along 1 or 2 mil suit. If you have something thicker like a 3 mil and have room bring it just in case you do get colder later in the week. I don't know if you can rent a thicker wetsuit, I imagine you can, we just never have.

    I guess a quick note on gloves - they don't want you to wear gloves. The concern is you are more apt to touch things if you have gloves on. I have personally never seen anybody wearing gloves, but I think I did read somewhere that they are allowed when descending on a mooring cable, but not during the dive. Not sure where that is at in Bonaire. Anyway, you don't need gloves. I don't know if anybody would hassle you for wearing them, but I think technically they are not allowed.

    Snagel

  2. #32
    Shark snagel's Avatar
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    Here's another question I've heard, "Are there any sharks in Bonaire"? Probably. I have to admit that over the multiple trips I've made to Bonaire I have never seen a shark. The closest I've come is we were getting ready to gear up for a night dive at Bari Reef and a couple was getting out. As we chatted a few minutes they told us that there was a shark hanging out on the reef. They didn't know exactly what kind. I asked them if they possibly seen one of the large Tarpons that swim with divers during night dives and they were convinced what they seen was a shark and added that the Tarpon are there as well. We didn't see any shark on our dive; although, I have to admit descending into darkness thinking a unknown shark could be hanging around was a little intense. This was the closest I've come to a shark encounter in Bonaire.

    Speaking of Marine Life. Bonaire has some of the most diverse marine life anywhere. I think they hold the record for the amount of different fish life in the world. As far as "big" marine life, I have seen some awesome Eagle Rays in the sands down south by Red Slave. As mentioned earlier, I've seen the biggest Tarpon I've ever seen on Bari Reef. Think of a minnow measuring about 6 foot long. They love to hunt during the night when the divers are shining their lights and if you are not careful they have an tendency to swim right by you and give you a friendly nudge. I've seen some very large turtles. Mostly smaller ones around a foot or two, but I have seen some very large sea turtles as well. Eels, yes there are eels. I did hear several years back their eel population was threatened by some disease; so, many of the larger eels were gone, but over the last several years I've noticed the eel population improving. Grouper...yes there are some sizable grouper.

    Lion Fish? Sadly, yes. When we first started hearing about the Lion Fish issues Bonaire did a good of trying to control them. Initially, divers were given corks on a string to flag Lion Fish locations. So, if you seen one you were to mark the area with a cork float and tell the Park Rangers and they would go get it. During that trip we actually never seen any Lion Fish. Later trips we noticed the Lion Fish population increasing. So, are they there yes. Several of the natives do hunt them and make some terrific Lion Fish sandwiches (I'm told, I actually do not eat seafood).

    Snagel

  3. #33
    Grouper
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    For all the chatter by the islands about how horrible the lionfish invasion is I can't imagine why they don't allow hunting lionfish after training and with specific equipment. As it stands now, on Bonaire, you have to take a whole day course for $150 and then to hunt you have to pay for a guided dive ($75/hour with a 4 hour/day minimum) each time you want to hunt. If they were serious about getting lionfish under control (rather than using them as a profit center) you could do unlimited hunting on your own after training. I call bushwah!
    Abandon all hope ...

  4. #34
    Shark snagel's Avatar
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    I ran across this video blog about Bonaire..........Enjoy!!!!!!!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_1SVejEwjw

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