On Island Trip Report Bonaire 20 Feb - 11 Mar

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OP
Adaveke

Adaveke

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Was the reef in better shape at depth? Usually you ARE completely alone up there, except for the occasional donkey! But an incredible drive and worth the effort to find.

No, the reef was pretty beat up everywhere. There where some patches with healthy coral. It makes for an interesting dive as you're swimming from patch to patch over rubble. At first I felt somewhat disappointed as I had expected something more in the line of Taylor Made, but afterwards I realized there was a lot to sea in the rubble. Especially small stuff.
 
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Adaveke

Adaveke

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9 MAR

Our first dive took us to Andrea I, which was a complete surprise to me. I hadn't expected anything special there, but we ended up spotting 3 turtles, 2 big midnight parrot fish, 3 octopus, 1 Tarpon, 1 ocean trigger fish and loads of other stuff.

After our dive we drove to Elle's for take away sandwiches which we used for lunch overlooking the sea at Larry's Lair.

We planned to do our second dive of the day there, but the wave action was a bit beyond my comfort level. We drove around hoping to finds some other spot, but there where either too much waves or too much people :)
We ended up at the Salt Peer, but also there we decided the wave action was too much for us. One thing of interest we noted was that there was no more sign saying that it is forbidden to dive there...

We drove back north and dove our second dive of the day on Oil Slick Leap. Always fun!
One problem we hadn't counted on was an abundance of jelly fish. After I was stung by them twice, i had it with diving. No third dive...

After our showers and Gin Tonics, we went over to The Hut where we met up with some friends who where having their last day. We ordered Pizza's from Pasa Bon Pizza and went back to BBB somewhere in the small hours...
 

Herk_Man

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I'm a Fish!
Hi Adaveke, I'm also here on the Island and my computer is always a few degrees colder.. but it has been reading 74 to 75 degrees on every dive since Sunday. I've started to wear my 3/5 hooded vest on my afternoon dives. I've never felt the temp this cold here.

Are your Gin and tonics better than mine? LOL!!

The colder the better. Need the water to cool down to help the coral past all the bleaching it is experiencing.

Any observations on coral bleaching, btw, Adeveke?
 

Herk_Man

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Adeveke - you have me thinking we must do Red Slave. A friend did it and said the current was ripping but dive was great... so we may try it one day since you had no current issues. Thanks! Keep the reports coming!

Red Slave was one of our favorite dives. Have to watch the current but even just getting in the water is cool because of the view of the southern tip of the island. It can be a bit intimidating watching that water roll around the bottom of the island and whip past the west side.

Underwater, lots of sea life and some of the biggest soft coral formations you'll find on the island. Really enjoyed it.
 

billmosel

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Rockaway NJ
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I did Red Slave today and the currents were stronger than ever!! (Coming from the north). Started out by the "Pyramid" to the north and 4 minutes later kicking TO the north, I found myself at the exit point… to the south. OUCH!! ABORT!! Oh well.
 
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Adaveke

Adaveke

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10 MAR

We did our last dive today :(
But what a dive it was!! Salt Pier is great, we absolutely loved it. And it was my 100th dive. The place has a special feeling to it. Lots of tarpons and again barracudas around.

After the dive we turned in our lead at Wannadive, and returned to BBB to rinse our gear thoroughly in order to get the salt out for the trip back to Belgium :(

Lunch was had at Rumrunners again. So good over there.
One of the iguanas became very frisky and climbed the chair next to me in order to score some lettuce :)

In the afternoon we visited the donkey sanctuary again to get our adoption papers. We were also planning on visiting the butterfly farm, but the people of the donkey sanctuary invited us to help with the feeding. It was loads of fun!

In the evening, it was time for the weekly Rum Punch and BBQ at the Hut, which was a hoot as always! :D
 

Herk_Man

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I saw the post that said the sign prohibiting diving at salt pier was no longer there. But would like to get some official confirmation from the authorities there that diving is again allowed without a permit. Would hate to be leading someone astray here and getting them in trouble just because of a missing sign.
 
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Adaveke

Adaveke

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Belgium
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I saw the post that said the sign prohibiting diving at salt pier was no longer there. But would like to get some official confirmation from the authorities there that diving is again allowed without a permit. Would hate to be leading someone astray here and getting them in trouble just because of a missing sign.

Apparently international harbor law still prohibits it.

My reasoning was: 'look yellow stones... No sign that we are not allowed to dive... It is mentioned as a dive site on the map... Eh what the hell, lets gear up... Nobody stopped us, so we had a wonderful dive. We were not the only people there.

But I do get your point. Apparently it is officially still prohibited...
 

billmosel

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Our dive shop said that it was OK to dive as long as there was not a ship at the pier. So… we did and was a beautiful dive. Do it!!!!
 

gert7to3

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Here's Salt Pier with a priority occupant in March 2009. At this time diving could only be done with a guide and after passport numbers were submitted.

When I was back to Bonaire later on in November, 2009, after tropical storm Omar (? I think) hit, Salt Pier was off limits. They were worried about damage from the storm. It was my understanding that the sea life on the columns was mostly stripped as well.

If the pier is open to diving again, without guides or registration, wonderful. You of course would not want to be any where near it with a ship docked.
 

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