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Last Day - A Few Observations

Discussion in 'Bonaire' started by undrwtr1, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. undrwtr1

    undrwtr1 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Long Island, NY
    108
    79
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    As I sit on my balcony overlooking Klein Bonaire eating breakfast on my last day here, I had a few observations. I could never post the quality reports like trailboss and DrRich so I will just hit a list of things.
    1. Print your stinapa tag on waterproof laser paper and clip it to your bc, it doesn’t rip and held up well over 2 weeks. I even kept waterproof copies of our passports and drivers licenses in my BC pocket. Buy it here:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076JLJ4WC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    2. Last time I was here only one cruise ship was in port one day. Over the past two weeks we have seen one or two ships every day!
    3. Those ships drop off thousands who embark on tours of the island via scooter, golf carts, segways and electric tandems - slowing traffic way down. Also, these cruisers clog up some of the notable sights up north to the point where getting down the stairs at 1000 steps or Karpata can be like a traffic jam. I understand the island needs the tourist revenue, but it was sad.
    4. The greatest part of diving freedom is also a problem - I saw MANY divers, unsupervised, bashing the reef. I guess this goes with the territory, but if there were true “checkout dives” where your buoyancy skills were evaluated perhaps the damage could be limited.
    5. The Asian restaurant next to Bali Bamboo - Carrefour - was excellent and inexpensive and the young ladies working there were very sweet.
    6. 2019 model year vehicle from AB was worth the added expense. Perfect.
    7. Whoever designed the open showers in DenLaman should be beaten. The shower is open and literally sprays right onto the bathroom floor requiring a mop up after each shower.
    8. Climbing the tallest peak in the national park is fun, but not in sandals! The view is amazing and as an avid hiker, I always enjoy wandering the park
    9. Construction dust at Den Laman - everywhere. Mix it with water and what do you get? A mess on our patio. I brought a mat for changing while diving, but ended up putting it at the patio door because of the mud and foot prints from all the dust. Not horrible, but a pain nonetheless.
    10. Keys in the plastic egg case worked fine and I kept an old iPhone in an otter box on every dive - not a drop. Waze even has almost every dive site listed and works all over the island.
    11. Old towels and wash cloths will stay here when we leave, but came in very handy.
    12. Shore diving is the best way to learn a new camera. I kept both hands free with a couple of clips like shown here Shore Diving with a dSLR. And we also used a clip for fins so we could get in /out with both hands free. Really worked great. Some of my shots are in posts 48 and 50 in this thread. New TG-6 Setup

    This trip was outstanding and we saw things we have not seen before, multiple frogfish, octopi, bait ball, tons of eels and just an over abundance of marine life. Even swam with three turtles in the shallows at salt pier for 20 minutes while they munched away. Dive Friends staff were very helpful in telling us where to see the latest finds at various sites around the island. Nitrox usually at 31%.

    I will definitely be back, and just wanted to contribute some of my own tips. Love Bonaire - only wish the flights were cheaper!

    Gerry
     
    Gray Diver, Redfoot, txgoose and 10 others like this.
  2. ontdiver

    ontdiver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ottawa, Ontario
    543
    340
    63
    Great report. Thanks.
     
  3. Craig F

    Craig F Photographer

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Oahu
    27
    1
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    Thanks for that. I’m curious why you would copy the stinapa tag as opposed to just wearing it? The copies of ID to carry is a good idea.
     
    markmud likes this.
  4. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives.

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
    1,409
    1,684
    113
    Hi undrwtr1,

    I liked the format. It was an easy read. I feel I got the highlights and can now ask about specifics.

    1. What airline did you fly? I have been trying to find "reasonably" priced tickets for next December. Did you get a reasonable deal on flights?
    2. Is Denlaman the resort being built on the southeast end of the island?
    3. Your TG6. What housing are you using and what light/flash setup do you have? I visited the link and saw your pictures.
    4. Did you do any boat diving?
    cheers,
    mark
     
    MargaritaMike likes this.
  5. undrwtr1

    undrwtr1 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Long Island, NY
    108
    79
    28
    Den Laman is just north of Kralendijk - at the circle by the radio station.

    Flew United out of Newark - tiniest seat I have ever had on any plane. R/T about $750 each if I recall.

    TG6 with PT059 housing and dual sea & sea YS03 TTL only strobes.

    No boat diving.

    BTW, in response to a comment above, I printed Stinapa tag because they no longer give out real tags - purchase and print online. Printing on waterproof paper enables you to punch a hole in it and clip to BC

    Gerry
     
    MargaritaMike and markmud like this.
  6. undrwtr1

    undrwtr1 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Long Island, NY
    108
    79
    28
  7. KDAD

    KDAD Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Northern New Jersey
    675
    355
    63
    I haven't yet been there, but unsupervised divers bashing the reef is something that I always suspected about Bonaire. Surely not every diver that goes there is an expert like all of us here on SB.

    Cruise ship part is sad
     
  8. Craig F

    Craig F Photographer

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Oahu
    27
    1
    3
    Re the tags: good idea then if there are no more solid plastic ones. It’s been a couple years for me.
     
  9. NDL_Diver

    NDL_Diver Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Wichita
    421
    257
    63
    Great report!

    No need to carry in the water. I just fold it up and put in glove box and keep a spare in room. STINAPA is not in water, they roll up in there truck. If you don't have it with you they look you up in there database. Easy.

    On a sadder note, this week I did notice the beginning of Stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) on some dives (only a few heads on some dives). I inquired yesterday and was told yes they are aware it has just started to appear and is "on the island". It has spread throughout the Caribbean i am afraid.

    One DM I spoke with said it came from divers who did not disinfect their grear. I think it comes from bilge and ballest water.
     
    Craig F likes this.
  10. darook

    darook Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northwestern Wisconsin
    806
    470
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    It has to come from divers who are only several months between trips to various islands vs. large ships who frequent several ports a week and ingest and discharge massive amounts of water all of the time. It's so obvious...:rolleyes:
     

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