Trip Report Bonaire: Den Laman and Dive Friends, October 20-November 3, 2021

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rmorgan

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Trailboss123

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Excellent and very thorough report Craig. Thanks for taking the time! I love all the great pics, especially the Frogfish!
 
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scubadada

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I wonder if the huge piles of sand in the photo I posted earlier are actually for the "beach"?

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My wife and I took all our Bari Reef dives to the north from the Sand Dollar/Den Laman pier, except for one. We did one dive to the south on Front Porch. We went out at 60-70 feet and, with the exception of one prominent sand chute, thought it looked like previous years. However, on the way back at around 30 feet, it appeared more desolate than we remember. We wondered at the time if it was a result of the construction, we can only wonder.
 

Soloist

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Double rainbow at Pink Beach, but sadly we didn’t see any unicorns.

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Soloist

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Great trip report and pictures! We found one of the resident frogfish at 35 feet on Monday, but didn’t realize it was actually one of the smaller fish until someone pointed out a large female (close by at roughly 48 feet) this morning. We spent 40 minutes swimming with a bait ball at Pink Beach, ran across a juvenile eagle ray in the shallows of The Lake and Lisa found a nice sized seahorse at Vista Blue.

The behemoth under construction at Bari is truly disturbing. Progress? We have never seen Bonaire this busy before. Every time we drive by Salt Pier it looks like one the Atlanta International Airport parking lots!

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cjibber

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Great trip report and pictures! We found one of the resident frogfish at 35 feet on Monday, but didn’t realize it was actually one of the smaller fish until someone pointed out a large female (close by at roughly 48 feet) this morning.
We were there for three weeks and saw the frogfish most days we were there. Only once were they posing nicely together, usually they were a few feet apart.

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We have never seen Bonaire this busy before. Every time we drive by Salt Pier it looks like one the Atlanta International Airport parking lots!
It was visit number 11 for us and we had never seen it so busy. There were always a lot of cars at Salt Pier but it did not affect the dive site too much. There seemed to be a higher percentage of non-divers on the island than usual so there were always a lot of snorkelers there.

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It was one of our favourite sites - we dived it a lot and there was only once when it was really bad underwater. There had been a ship there for three days. The day after the ship left, the pier was closed to divers until about 2pm. At that point, half the divers on the island seemed to get in the water and it was all a bit chaotic down there. Most of the time it was obvious there were more divers around but it was easy enough to still find quiet parts of the site.
 

Lorenzoid

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Every time we drive by Salt Pier it looks like one the Atlanta International Airport parking lot.
I noticed that on my summer Bonaire trip. For years there was this myth or at least an unenforced policy that you needed a guide to dive Salt Pier. Salt Pier was Bonaire's best kept "secret." Also, there just wasn't that much buzz about Salt Pier; it was a known dive, but I think many people didn't really know how to dive it or what to look for, so they didn't bother. Thanks to social media, I suspect dive traffic at Salt Pier has steadily increased for the past maybe 10 years. Just look how much it gets discussed on SB. And the present travel surge can only be adding to that.
 

Soloist

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I noticed that on my summer Bonaire trip. For years there was this myth or at least an unenforced policy that you needed a guide to dive Salt Pier. Salt Pier was Bonaire's best kept "secret." Also, there just wasn't that much buzz about Salt Pier; it was a known dive, but I think many people didn't really know how to dive it or what to look for, so they didn't bother. Thanks to social media, I suspect dive traffic at Salt Pier has steadily increased for the past maybe 10 years. Just look how much it gets discussed on SB. And the present travel surge can only be adding to that.

We find Salt Pier somewhat entertaining at night. Especially the last time we were there due to two young guys (divers) staggering around like blind drunks repeatedly falling down on the loose iron shore. Guess I shouldn’t laugh, but I couldn’t believe what I was watching! Following the eels and rays on the hunt is almost as interesting.
 
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