Bonaire Dive Trip September 4 - 11, 2010
Our much awaited trip to Bonaire finally happened! We flew via Insel Air directly to Flamingo airport in Bonaire in just 2 ½ hours. We had a great week of diving and snorkeling via boat, shore dives or just jumping in from our resort, Sand Dollar and then diving our own Bari reef as much as possible all week. Bari reef has had as many as 375 different species of fish identified there from REEF surveys, making it the most diversified reef in the entire world for fish species.
We dove with Bonaire Dive and Adventures on this trip. They were only operating one boat this week, since September is a slow month by Bonaire standards. We made 6 one tank boat dives during the course of the week, three on the reefs of Klein Bonairewhich is a large uninhabited island about 1 mile off the western shore of Bonaire. The sites we hit off of Klein Bonaire were named Carl’s Hill, Keep Sake, and Hands Off. The other three dives off of the Bonaire western coast were on the Hilma Hooker, a wreck off of the southern end of the Island; Small Wall, a beautiful and healthy wall dive, and a popular shore dive site which is easier done by boat named 1000 steps. All boat dive destinations were only about a 15 minute ride from our resort.
Shore diving in Bonaire is a must. There are about 80 + sites which you can get to via a truck. Since we had unlimited air and nitro tanks available to us all week, we soon became acquainted with many of the locations. We dove and snorkeled on such colorfully named sites as Aquarius, Lake City, Angel City, Batchelors Beach, and others. Entries into the beautiful shades of blue were sometimes tricky to say the least, especially wearing scuba gear, carrying fins and a camera! But once in on the reefs, the diving, colors, and diversification of species made it all worthwhile.
Water temperatures were in the low to mid 80s all week. The viz was good, ranging from 70 - 80 feet most of the time. We wore skins all week for diving and these were fine. As all of the waters of Bonaire are protected as a marine sanctuary, no gloves were permitted, since they wanted no touching of any of the undersea corals. The health of these reefs was utterly amazing.
Above the water line, we also toured the island from the salt ponds and slave shacks in the South to the cactus covered hills and elevations of the North. Donkey and goat herds roaming free throughout the island was another experience we discovered. We even had the pleasure of having a donkey put his head in our truck window looking for a handout. On Tuesday night we had a nasty storm and lightning hit one of the islands oil storage tanks, it burned for 3 days and nightsa real amazing site to see from anywhere on the island.
Last, but not least, we enjoyed many fine dining establishments throughout Bonaire. We enjoyed breakfast daily at our own Eddy’s at the Sand Dollar. We also ate at Paradise Moon, a restaurant owned by one of our boat captains from Bonaire Dive and Adventure, Carlwho, by the way is also the gourmet chef, and his menu was outstanding. In town we ate at City Grill on the waterfront, at a fine restaurant in the business district named Mona Lisa, and also at the Chibi-Chibi restaurant of the Divi Flamingo Resort on the harbor. One other meal was at the Bon Pasa Pizza restaurant…great pizza but it was hot inside the open air restaurant…better maybe to order take out here in the future for us!
And don’t put off taking your own trip to Bonaire in the near future. I know I’ll be going back!