Dive Report: Bonaire Island, 12/3-12/11, 1016

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Posted by J. Reeb on December 12, 2016 at 04:37:33:

Just finished a week of diving in Bonaire. This was my fifth dive destination in the Caribbean, and I found the diving there to be very good and the Dutch influenced culture to be quite seductive.

We stayed at the Carib Inn which I selected for its modest pricing and low key small resort nature. It sits ocean side south of the main town of Bonaire, which was a fifteen minute walk away. The house reef which begins just off the dive dock was one of our more popular dives, especially as a night dive.

Bonaire is known for its accessible shore diving and the dive industry is built around that. Boat based diving is popular also, and is the best choice to reach Klein Bonaire, the uninhabited island which sits just off the main island (highly recommended).

We found a good diving combination was to do boat based in the morning and shore based in the afternoons.

The reef structure is pretty consistent throughout the area. From a rocky shore a gentle sand slope leads to a steep sloping wall from 30'-130'. We generally cruised the wall at about 60', kicking into a slight current until we reached 1500psi and then rising up to 40' for an easy kick back to the starting point. Although I do not routinely carry a snorkel while scuba diving, I used one here for the swim out as it allowed me to check out the marine life en route to the pre-placed mooring buoy, which designates the drop down point.

Marine life is abundant; sponges, gorgonians, hard corals and numerous small fish. We did not see many large fish (sharks, groupers, rays) but were thoroughly entertained by big Tarpon on our night dives.

We selected sites based on local recommendations, the Bonaire Shore Diving Made Easy guidebook and an internet list of the "Seven Must Dive Sites of Bonaire". To this list of seven I would add Nukove, reached by a 20 minute drive on a dirt road North of the petroleum storage facility.

Our party of four averaged (16) dives over seven days, with one day cut short by stormy weather. Visibility was consistently between 80'-100+', with water temp 80F-82F.

We found the self-sufficient nature of the diving to be a good fit for us. Instead of having your daily schedule determined by a dive operator, we chose when and where we would dive.

See photos and videos here:

J. Reeb
Dark-Thirty Divers

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