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Bonaire underwater maps?

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

  1. Soloist

    Soloist Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina
    I highly recommend dropping down and swimming along the sand upon entering the water and return in the same fashion. If you do surface swims to and from the reef you will miss out on some of the most interesting and fun aspects of shore diving Bonaire.

    Read #9 on Bonaire - the questions not asked or thought about?
    uncfnp, Kharon, gbf and 3 others like this.
  2. gypsyjim

    gypsyjim I have an alibi ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: capital region of New York
    Amen. There is a LOT going on in the shallows on top of the Bonaire reef.
    Kharon and Soloist like this.
  3. Kharon

    Kharon Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Upstate NY
    Agreed! On swims out and back you are so shallow that you really are not saving much gas by doing a surface swim. After numerous deep dives on Bonaire I find that I now average about 30' and seldom go below 60'. More gas, more time, and (since I'm most interested in marine life that moves) more to see.
    ScubaGypsy, Perryed, uncfnp and 3 others like this.
  4. gypsyjim

    gypsyjim I have an alibi ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: capital region of New York
    Diving the top of the reef on Bonaire is similar to diving at Blue Heron Bridge in FL, in that you use very, very little gas just poking along slowly in the shallows. 2+ hours on an 80 ci Al tank is pretty easy to accomplish in less than 20ft of water if you are not racing.
    Soloist and Kharon like this.
  5. morty343

    morty343 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Minneapolis, MN
    At Invisibles Reef, the buoy at the reef edge is over 450 feet from shore. I decided it was much more prudent to swim to the buoy on the surface to help maintain my orientation (roughly a 10 min swim, which at my SAC would use up 6 of the 66 available cf just getting to the reef edge). In my case, I wanted to get to the reef and not slowly poke along in the shallows like in W. Palm. I managed to enjoy the shallows on my way back in. On other dive sites I dropped down early on garden eels etc. that I spotted while snorkeling out.

    I was simply pointing out that I think its a good idea to equip a snorkel when shore diving (for many reasons), among them a means of conserving air on the way to the reef. Many boat divers abandon their snorkels and don't consider using them when going shore diving. I think most divers "get" that there's lots of life to find everywhere, incl. the sand shallows if they want to spend time there.
  6. epolice

    epolice Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Boston, MA
    One thing I forgot to ask! - I heard you should not bring your phone in your car with you as it could get stolen. How do you navigate/drive to the different sites and places on the island? Are there road maps with dive sties I can pick up?
  7. Soloist

    Soloist Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina
    You can get maps as you pass through customs and at the car rental office. Here is a PDF of a map for reference.

    Attached Files:

    Trailboss123 likes this.
  8. Mike Walker

    Mike Walker Nassau Grouper

    My rental company had a standard tourist fold up map they gave out that had all the sites that I was more than happy to leave in an unlocked vehicle while my book stayed in the room. None of them are that hard to get to - you're basically following one road along the coast and slowing down as needed to try and read the yellow rocks.

    I didn't bring my phone - plenty of traffic if you get a breakdown or similar. Do bring lots of water just in case.

    Also - the little inukshuks/rock piles are the easy entry points. The trouble is picking out the legit ones from the decorative ones setup by what I'll politely refer to as 'idiots'. Entry conditions change minute to minute - what was easy going in may be harder going out or vice-versa.

    Count me in the camp of people who think there is a lot to see in the sand on the way both in and out. Several sea horses, interesting turtle interactions, flounders and very interesting/inquisitive squid on several dives. It's also much easier to find a safe/easy exit from under water.
  9. Jersey

    Jersey Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SE PA/ Southern NJ
    Good luck getting really lost on Bonaire. Yes, there are multiple maps with sites and landmarks spelled out for you. Don't overthink - the whole island is about 111 miles, at its widest about 7 miles and about 24 miles long. There are two major towns - Kralendjik in the South and Rincon in the North. Most signage says either Rincon or Kralendjik. If there is a cruise ship in port, you can see it from the other side of Kranlendjik and use it like a beacon to get to the waterfront. If you can't find your way back, someone will give you directions, but really getting misdirected is half the fun of travel! Don't take your phone on dives, leave it safe somewhere. If you need assistance, flag someone down. They'll probably let you use their phone give you a lift whatever you need.
    diveallthetime likes this.
  10. azstinger11

    azstinger11 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Diego, CA
    The dive books I mentioned have decent maps, also your rental car will likely give you a paper map. However after a few days you don't really need it. Just kind of pick the direction you want to go and pick some land marks then look for the yellow rocks.

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