Bonaire - October 2017

The trip was booked through ‘Bonaire Fun Travel’, who we would highly recommend, answering all questions and sorting various issues as they arose. Bonaire is in the Southern Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela well away from the hurricane belt, getting there involved two flights Norwich/Schiphol and Schiphol/Bonaire Flamingo.

We stayed at the Buddy Dive Resort, which was very well equipped for divers with a good house reef, unlimited air/nitrox, and three boat dives available every day. Accommodation was excellent, we had two 3-bed apartments, based around two pools, with two on site bars/restaurants.

For shore diving we used two twin cab pickups, air is available on a drive through basis and your dive kit is kept in a locker, so pick up the tanks, pick up the kit and go. There are 63 marked shore dive sites mainly on the leeward west coast and we only dived 10 of them.

For boat diving, you simply put your name on a blackboard, tanks and nitrox analyser were on board and the group decided where to dive.  Mostly the boats went to Klein Bonaire, an uninhabited island opposite the Buddy resort, there are an additional 26 dive sites around Klein Bonaire and we only dived 4 of them.

Diving is possible on the windward east coast around Lac but the sea can be very rough so shore diving rarely possible. We organised one days diving with East Coast Divers from a RHIB, a very professional outfit and highly recommended. With only one channel from the mangrove-surrounded lagoon it is an ideal spot to watch fish and turtles going in and out to feed.

We had 91 dives in total, 32 hard boat, 8 RHIB and 51 shore dives (from Buddy house reef and pickups). The reef angle as you go north from Buddy dive gets steeper and as you go south the reef angle gets shallower and it eventually becomes two reefs separated by a sandy bottom around 30m deep.

All dives were great (Pink Beach had a bit of a current) and the most memorable being:

‘Keepsake’ on Klein Bonaire where we managed to spot a sea horse.

The wreck of the Hilma Hooker being the only wreck dive.

The ’Salt Pier’ a deep-water pier which we dived twice, very atmospheric with turtles, eagle rays and shoals of barracuda.

‘Lac white hole and turtle city’ on the east coast, tarpon, octopus, eagle rays and turtles.

Water temperature was 30 deg C so a suit was not really needed except for protection, there was a box jelly fish warning for night dives but we did not see any, air temperature was hot and humid at least 35 deg C which was unusually hot for this time of year.

The island itself is also worth spending some time on, the south is mainly salt pans, the area around Lac is mangrove, the centre main town is Kralendijk and the North has the town of Rincon and the Washington and Slagbaai National Park.

All in all a very enjoyable trip, good company and good diving, we hope you enjoy the attached photos and that they give you some idea of our trip to Bonaire.

I think we will be back ….

Photos from the trip

Thanks to Tony Ing and David Goulder for the photos