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Bonaire in August - Thoughts & Advice

Discussion in 'Bonaire' started by SafetyStopBait, May 7, 2007.

  1. SafetyStopBait

    SafetyStopBait Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
    65
    1
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    hey all,

    is bonaire a good location for a mid-august trip? I'd likely be a solo diver and my thought was that there should be enough diving on the island so that I could find a buddy through whatever dive operation i use. Agree/disagree? Any recommendations on operators?

    Thanks all,

    SSB
     
  2. herman

    herman Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh,North Carolina
    9,629
    2,349
    113
    Yes it is.
    You should be able to find a group to join up with, try asking on the Bonaire board. I see people looking for buddies there all the time. www.boniaretalk.com.

    You can use any dive op but I find using the one that your resort uses to be the easiest. I don't know of a bad op on the island but my 2 choices are Buddy Dive and Wannadiveboniare. Both have great staffs.
     
  3. ScubaJW

    ScubaJW Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: GA
    856
    0
    16
    I went to Bonaire in August of last year. The weather is perfect for me, but a little too hot for my dive buddy since he is from the north.

    You can find a buddy when you park at any dive site, there will be people there getting ready to dive - you can ask them to tag along. That will be another good option for you if you chose to go without dive operation.

    I have never used any dive operation when I was on Bonaire - but I have met Wannadive and Yellow Submarine - they both are so friendly and helpful.

    I am going back to Bonaire this summer - Whoo Hoo! :)
     
  4. Drewpy

    Drewpy Orca

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: No. California
    6,567
    3,703
    113
    Ill be there the last week in August..your welcome to join up with us (group of 3) for a dive or three if our shcedules coincide..?


    Drew
     
  5. undercbon

    undercbon Nassau Grouper

    89
    0
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    Bonaire in August gives you a bit of the normal trades and also possibilities to dive the east side when the winds die. A great time to be here.

    I use Photo Tours/Dive Friends (across from the airport - south) and Buddy Dive (north) but it would be hard to go wrong with any of the dive operators. For me it is more a matter of convenience.

    You won't have any problem finding folks to buddy up with. Bonaire is a very friendly place.:14:
     
  6. SafetyStopBait

    SafetyStopBait Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
    65
    1
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    what about for prices and accomodations? I'm looking to basically just dive. I wouldn't want to have to rent a car. I would like to rent a scooter possibly for a day to explore the island but otherwise nothing. I'd also like modest accomodations - just the bare necessities: bed, fridge.

    which is the best one-stop shop? I see four dive operators that also have associated accomodations. These four:

    Dive Inn
    Buddy Dive
    Carib Inn
    Photo Tours

    thanks

    SSB
     
  7. reefdiva

    reefdiva Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New England
    273
    0
    0
    You might want to re-think your decision not to rent a vehicle for diving. Bonaire's shore diving is fabulous and sites are varied from the north to the south. (see www.bsdme.info) Having a vehicle would allow you to try more than a "house reef" or boat dives. It might also give you some flexibility in looking for dive buddies. Also, if you have not checked out www.infobonaire.com you should do so for detailed info on dive shops and accommodations as there are many more than those you have listed.
     
  8. flatwood

    flatwood Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Monticello, Ms
    146
    0
    16
    If you're not going to rent a truck, the best house diving is at Buddys from what I've seen so far. The last dive we made a couple of weeks ago, I think we saw eight eels and banded shrimp before it was time to surface for our last dive of the trip. But please, you're going to miss the beauty of Bonaire if you don't rent a truck and visit the many wonderful shore dives that the island has to offer. Many of them are very near town but you still need a truck to get to them. I hope that you enjoy your trip and if I can help in any way, just pm me. Cheers, Bob
     
  9. spectrum

    spectrum Dive Bum Wannabe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Atlantic Northeast (Maine)
    11,383
    820
    113
    We just got back from Buddy's and it has it all.

    With 4 dive boats you can be a dive boat junkie if you book the right package. Some of the boat dives will get you to the most popular shore dive sites as well as some dive boat only sites on the main island as well as Klein Bonaire. I heard that some divers booked unlimited boat diving. That's all great if you are a dive boat junkie.

    The beauty of Bonaire is the self paced shore diving and the very short swim to the edge of the reef. A Buddy dive package will come with a pick-up truck and when you combine that with the drive through 2 lane cylinder pick-up station it's shore diving heaven. With the resort located midway in the prime western shore you can easily make pairs of morning and afternoon dives without stress or rushing. They also have all you need for making dives on the reef at the resort which is very handy for a daybreak or night dive.

    Speaking with a local that we dove with one afternoon come August and September you will be getting into the doldrums when the winds die off. That will make the heat very apparent. The upside is the the still surface water will be peachy for skin-diving and the surf will be even less on the entry points. If you're good at adapting to heat then have at it.

    We booked with Caradonna travel. I'm sure they can put together whatever you want. If you can connect with a roommate you will save the most. Also watch the market place forum for that region.

    Pete
     
  10. diversteve

    diversteve always tired Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location:
    26,281
    5,854
    113
    Everybody has an affiliated dive shop. So it comes down to what you're looking to spend. Without a car moving your gear is going to be more difficult so you might want to stay on the water. But that's pricier.

    You'll do better finding buddies at the larger resorts. A lot of them will be on a drive/dive package so you can possibly shoredive with them in their vehicle. Most of the dive vehicles on Bonaire are four-door small pickups - everyone rents them. However it's more expensive to stay on the water. If you stay off water, I'd rent a vehicle. Especially in August, it's going to be hot. Might even pay a little extra for A/C.

    Some of the on-water accommodations to the North are:

    Resort/Dive op(if different)

    Buddy Dive - Buddy's has airport pickup. Not sure if the others do.
    Capt' Don's Habitat
    Sand Dollar Condos/Bonaire Dive & Adventure
    Den Laman Condos/Bonaire Dive & Adventure (smaller property adjacent to Sand Dollar)
    Eden Beach Condos/Wannadive

    Off water accommodation in that area:

    Golden Reef Inn (dvrliz1 here)/Wannadive? (probably your most reasonable $$ option)
    GRI will pick you up at the airport during the day.
    There's another one, I can look it up if you want. Just up the hill from Hato caves.

    In/near town there's Sun Oceanfront Apts. They're reasonably priced but there's no diving in town. Except Town Pier at night with a DM escort. And Tropicana Apts. just north of downtown. They're really reasonable but a walk to most things.

    Walking distance south of town there's:

    Divi Flamingo
    Carib Inn (might be a more reasonable option but small so less likely to find buddies)

    Farther south:

    Plaza Resort/Toucan Dive
    They have rooms and condos

    Still farther south:

    Port Bonaire Condos/Photo Tours
    BelMar Condos/Buddy Dive

    One of the least expensive places is Lagoen Hills, but it's a couple miles inland so would require renting a vehicle. There's also some sort of hostel but it's not near the water either.

    To go from the south to the north will require having a vehicle. Or lots of cab rides. Also dive sites not directly in front of a resort are a mile or more to the north or south of town. So if you plan to shoredive, you'd want a car. We actually dove the various house reefs one day from Sanddollar south by driving in and out of the resorts. They run concurrently in the north, the southern ones are more spreadout.

    If you plan to buy food, the markets are in town or to the east of town. There's also a small market just south of the north dive sites. You could probably walk there from Habitat or Sand$$.

    Links to most of these places are at www.infobonaire.com. Also the previously mentioned bonairetalk.com has lots of useful tips.

    If you do google earth, I can send you a map. PM your real e-mail address.
     

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