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Bonaire underwater maps?

Discussion in 'Bonaire' started by epolice, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. epolice

    epolice Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Boston, MA
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    I'm heading to Bonaire and I've read all the must go to sites and stuff like that but what I haven't seen is any in-depth information on diving the sites.

    What I mean by that is how far out do I need to swim for each site? Do I go straight out or to the left or right? How far in either direction?

    Are there any underwater maps of the sites or do you just show up, dive down and figure out your own path?

    Thanks,
    Adam
     
  2. diversteve

    diversteve tech admin

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    You generally go left or right. We often swam out past the ball b4 dropping - around 60' Watch for a minute to see the mild current direction and start into it - it helps on the return.

    The south sites are mostly flat with bushes so where we could we parked the truck behind the entry point, from water level it all looks the same.

    You can't always as areas of some sites are dry protected "wet" lands, it's covered in the BMP orientation.

    Straight just gets deeper and sandy in most places. Unless the site is the Hooker or Salt Pier.

    Bonaire Shore Diving Made Easy Might have some site maps Bonaire Shore Diving Made Easy, BSDME, Author Susan Porter

    Some sites south are back to back. From some you can see 2-3 more sites in either direction. At many of those the name is the differentiation, the diving is similar. There's a parallel reef in front of about a dozen of them.

    The north is hillier.

    Go as far as you want to walk back with your gear. People drift between the northern dive resorts regularly so you can leave gear on shore and arrange a ride. For all the theft you read about, my buddy left his $150 fins in a rinse tank - an hour later they were still there.

    IDK if you read this but once you leave town/resorts, you're not going to find any facilities.

    So maybe a waterproof case for your phone? might save a long walk - unless you want the kid that will go thru the truck while you're diving to have it. They're often watching and smarter than you about hiding places.
     
  3. diversteve

    diversteve tech admin

    26,120
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  4. NDL_Diver

    NDL_Diver Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Wichita
    252
    133
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    Read this thread and get this book. Best underwater maps (only) available.

    New Dive Guide for Bonaire Just Published


    I bought the kindel version to check it out since it was cheep and purchased the book also.

    Much better than those mentioned here.

    Al
     
    KathyV likes this.
  5. azstinger11

    azstinger11 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Diego, CA
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    We purchased all 3 of the recommended dive guide books.

    Dive Guide Bonaire , Bonaire Shore Diving Made Easy, and Reef Smart Guides Bonaire.

    First Place: By a huge margin Reef Smart Guides Bonaire. Phenomenal maps, great descriptions, absolutely superb book. Great recommended dive profile/path/tours. Most dive sites have photos of the parking/entry area then a generated reef map. We found that the generated reef map to be incredibly accurate and a great aid for dive planning and orientation while underwater (provided we had studied it in advance).

    Second Place: Dive Guide Bonaire. While the maps weren't as good as Reef Smart I did like they had more points on a given map about where to find critters (so gave a slightly better idea of where on a site/what depths to find stuff at).

    5th Place: Bonaire Shore Diving Made Easy. (3rd Place = Weather Forecast, 4th Place = my microwave oven owner's manual). I have no idea why this book keeps being recommended. The descriptions are short and not overly helpful, no dive site maps, no index for animal locations, the best part about it is that it's small and makes a great drink coaster. I'm sure at one point and time (seeing as how this is the 7th edition) this was the best guide available but that's really just not the case anymore. Much like a computer is now superior to a typewriter.
     
    Cherrynyc and ScubaGypsy like this.
  6. gypsyjim

    gypsyjim I have an alibi ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: capital region of New York
    33,137
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    Bonaire is unique.
    I drop to @ 20', check the current, and go the opposite way for a half hour or so, and then gradually return to my starting point. Current shifts might alter the plan, as might very interesting marine life, but it is a plan perfectly adapted to Bonaire's reef system.
    A map could help I guess with the entry and exit points, but after @ 15 straight years of diving there, I see no reason to over-complicate the equation that has been so effective.
     
    Lorenzoid likes this.
  7. morty343

    morty343 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Minneapolis, MN
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    +1 (x10!) for the Reef Smart Guide: Bonaire book. It does have well-rendered underwater maps for most of the sites. The same publisher also makes waterproof map cards for a few sites, like these

    I bought several of the cards, but the ones that helped me out most during dives were the ones for Angel City (it helped me know where I was in relation to the reef bridges across the sand areas) and Karpata (knowing which sand channel I was crossing helped orient me).

    That said, you really don't need a map at any site because it's just so easy to swim out, follow the reef into the (often light or nonexistent) current, then turn around and exit where you went in. What I did discover, is that it's very worth it to wear a snorkel (esp in south sites) because the reef itself may not start until a few hundred feet from shore at several sites. I didn't want to waste tank air, so I surface swam out (usually to the site buoy) and dropped down from there.
     
  8. epolice

    epolice Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Boston, MA
    17
    7
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    Hey all, this has been a huge help. Thank you all!
     
  9. Kharon

    Kharon Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Upstate NY
    3,735
    3,033
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  10. NDL_Diver

    NDL_Diver Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Wichita
    252
    133
    43

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