Bonaire - Bad Back?

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utiladude

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I'm planning a trip to Bonaire next year, I have everything ready well almost. I have a bad back and cannot carry or haul gear very far (20 lb and very short dist.).
I read Bonaire is different and divers just walk to the beach to start diving.
Shall I tell my buddy to better move it to Cozumel? or is some Hotel or resort that will accommodate for my situation?
Thanks
 

drrich2

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For reference, what's your experience with boat diving? By the time you gear up with a weighted BCD & 80 cf aluminum tank or whatever? How much lead weight do you use?

Some people do more boat dives in Bonaire; I wouldn't know much about that, since like most I go for the shore diving. Somebody did post a Bonaire trip report doing nearly all boat dives once; I think he & his wife were getting on in years and shore diving wasn't their things. So it can be done.

Of the shore diving, it's mainly divided between north sites & southern sites. The northern end of Bonaire is much hillier, so you're apt to have to walk down a hill (ala 1,000 Steps, which has 60 something steps) or the like (the roughly 6 - 8' giant stride off Oil Slick Leap) to reach the water. I'm not sensing you'll be doing northerns sites, since it's more of a walk.

The southern end of Bonaire is flatter. You can park closer to shore, but even then, a 30' walk wouldn't be unusual, and that's to the water. Expect to walk aways out into the sea to get into about waist deep water before putting on your fins (there's rock near shore, so footing is too treacherous wearing fins), then do a swim out to the reef.

So I think if you shore dive Bonaire, you'll mostly be hitting southern sites. But it's still going to be a bit more work than boat diving (in calm, Caribbean waters, that is).

Richard.
 

tonka97

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Get your buddy to agree to carry your tank to the diving platform, and gear up there. Capt. Don's would be very easy. You merely stand up from the bench, and fall into marine paradise.

Often it will be easier to carry 2 tanks (symmetrical load) than 1 tank for your buddy anyway. If you have a really bad back, suggest you skip boat dives (they are silly in Bonaire IMO).
 

Jim Lapenta

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Divi Flamingo is the same way. Tanks on the dock. grab one, move it 4 feet, set up gear, sit down and put on at edge, fall into water. Top of reef is a 30-50 yd swim or so.
 

gsk3

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The boat rides in Bonaire are to the same sites as the shore dives, so aside from the additional cost (which is much cheaper than boat rides elsewhere since everything's so close), there doesn't seem to be much of a downside. Except scheduling; you'll be on the typical 2 dives in AM schedule that most boat diving destinations have. You'll want to stay in a hotel that is on the shore like Capt Don's, etc. because they're the ones who have docks that boats pull up to. They usually have their own dive shop and boats as well, so the tank hauling should be minimal.
 

ChrisBall

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The boat dives in Bonaire also take you out to the small island of Klien Bonaire, there are some great dive sites around Klien Bonaire, one of the good things about boat diving in Bonaire is that marine park rules dictate that only one boat can use a Bouy at time, so there are not lots of divers diving the site, unlike some other destinations I have been to.

Most of the large resorts will be able to provide boat diving and shore diving packages so it is worth shopping around.
 
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