This is a continuation or "retro-inuation" of the first part of my Bonaire blog, depending on how you look at it. Using DiveBuddy’s calender and by putting out a query for interested divers to go to Bonaire in the forum section, I was able to find no fewer than four other trips headed to Bonaire within October and November 2008.
I found all who I contacted for more details about their trips to be very responsive and helpful which made the task of choosing a trip actually more difficult. Ultimately, circumstances of air travel availability from Bogota and a considerable price difference in travel costs dictated that I choose Mark Fischer’s trip in the first week of November. Mark owns/operates Hydrosports in Salem, Oregon. Mark was very helpful and responsive to my requests and he was able to get me lodging for my day-early arrival. I found out about Mark’s trip from another DiveBuddy member who saw my open query in the forum section. I put Mark’s trip on the calender in case anyone else might be interested. It looks like including me, there will be four of us diving and sharing a condo at the Eden Beach resort. Eden Beach Resort was appealing because it is located on its own white-sand beach. We will be sharing a rental truck and unlimited tanks for shore diving. My trip looks like it will be about a total of about $1300. The only thing left to purchase will be food for lunch and dinner. And I believe we will be buying and preparing some of our own food, so I would anticipate the grand total to be about $1500 for a full week of diving. Just over $200/day isn’t too bad especially considering the weak dollar and the high cost of jet fuel these days.
I found that of the four trips headed to Bonaire, all were very close in cost. Any differences were accounted for in what was included. There were usually trade-offs too. Some included boat dives, others included a daily breakfast.
I found the official Bonaire web site, Infobonaire.com to be loaded with great, practical information about the island. Through a web link at this site, I ordered a book from Caribbean Stuff LLC about shore diving Bonaire, which was written by a lady who lives on the island. I will be reviewing the dive sites to narrow down what looks appealing as a dive. There appears to be about 100 dive sites in the book, so I have some reading to do.
With the airfare, lodging, and trip set up, now all I have to do now is wait in anticipation of the travel day. I usually start a list of things to bring and start packing a week in advance. That much time might seem like a lot, but while I am thinking and anticipating the trip, I usually think of things to bring or come up with ideas on how best to set up my equipment for the anticipated dive conditions. I’ll note things on my list over time. The brain is a curious thing, like a muscle, if you exercise it and then give it a rest, you can find solutions or ideas to problems that may not occur to one if you try to do everything (i.e. pack and plan the trip) the night before travel. You can’t expect a muscle to develop overnight.
I hope my next blog addition on this topic will be about the actual travel to Bonaire, followed by actual dive experience. Por fin!