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Getting a bit bored with Bonaire.....

Discussion in 'Lesser Antilles' started by Grajan, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. timmyk

    timmyk Angel Fish

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    We went to Bonaire 3 years in a row but have switched to St. Croix and are heading back for our 3rd trip in 2 1/2 years. The Fredericksted Pier has phenominal little stuff...seahorses, batfish, frogfish, etc. You can start the dive in glass calm water in about 4 feet and go out to a max of 45 at the end of the 1/4 mile or so long pier. It's the only place I've ever seen 2 seahorses together on a piece of coral. Contact N2 The Blue dive shop (located 100 yards from the Pier), friend them on Facebook and get Divemaster Jenny' photos. They offer reasonably priced privately guided Pier dives or grab some tanks and go yourselves. If you have new or timid divers, all of N2's divemasters are excellent but Jenny will treat them like a mom treats her child. She is the best and has eyes like a hawk underwater. I could dive that Pier every day. Want some depth? Cane Bay on the north side has a big beautiful beach and a 3000 ft wall 200 yards or less offshore. They also offer reasonably priced private guided shore dives out to the wall. Last year 3 sharks shadowed the divemaster and I for about 15 minutes. Both places also offer boat dives for places not reachable from shore. Further east towards Christiansted, Anchor Dive, mostly boat diving, has 5 minute boat rides to divesites and intervals back at the dock. Topside, lots of cool little places to eat, and things to see. Much of downtown Christiansted was built in the 1600's - 1700's and the some of buildings are now shops & galleries. I hate to say too much because I don't want to jinx it but it's become our favorite Caribbean diving destination of the 15 or so islands we've visited.
     
  2. phelana

    phelana Barracuda

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    I wonder, with over 80 shore dives in Bonaire, how will you not get bored elsewhere..? :)
     
    shoredivr and wwguy like this.
  3. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
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    Interesting. Out of curiosity, why do people pay for a guide? Can they not just swim out and dive it themselves, like people do in Bonaire? Is a guide required, or are there current issues?

    If bored with the standard west coast of Bonaire diving, have you followed the 2 current threads on diving the East coast guided, whether shore or boat?

    Thread 1.

    Thread 2.

    Seems like quite a different experience. If you stay at a resort where diving isn't included in the package, to help make up for the added cost of diving with one of those op.s, might be affordable.

    Richard.
     
  4. Grajan

    Grajan Manta Ray

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    I said "a BIT bored". I'm quite sure we will go back to Bonaire but it should not be the only place we dive. :)

    Next winter we hope to be living on our sailboat in the Bahamas which will be a major change so I guess we don't need to be too adventurous this year. Cayman is expensive but we will save about $1200 on the flights so that will make up some for the increased costs.
     
  5. coldwaterlloyd

    coldwaterlloyd Manta Ray

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    I agree with trying new places .
    I did Grand Turk last year after 4 consecutive Bonaire trips .
    We did a few shore dives but the wall is about a half hour swim .
    I am glad I changed venues as the Wall was something else .
    This year I am doing my first liveaboard . I have found the cost of land based trips have caught up to live aboards .
     
  6. Gdog

    Gdog Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lacey, Washington
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    Just a quick point...if you are going to Cozumel to shore dive, you are missing the entire Cozumel experience. With little exception, it is just too far out to the reef and through heavy boat traffic. If you surface on the way, OOA on the way back, ect...expect to eat a dive boat. Cozumel is boat diving. We do some shore diving there when we first arrive to enjoy the first day of warm water, but expectations are low as is the quality of close shore diving. The boat diving? Excellent.
    Just my dos pesos.
     
  7. wwguy

    wwguy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Boise, ID
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    Are you looking at a low-cost liveaboard like Blackbeard's? Most of the major liveaboards (Dancer/Aggressor/Explorer fleet) are more than $2000/person for a 7 day trip, not counting tips. Several are as high as $2700/person.

    On Bonaire we easily get by on less than $1000/person per week, including oceanfront accommodations, meals, booze, rental truck, and unlimited shore diving. Actual cost for our last trip was just under $900/person per week during Christmas and New Year holiday high season.

    I'm just curious, because the lower cost is one of the ways we justify staying on Bonaire for 3 weeks each winter. It's also why we quit travelling to "dive resort" locations like the Bay Islands and Caymans etc., where we could only afford to stay a week each trip.
     
  8. Drewpy

    Drewpy Orca

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: No. California
    6,567
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    Let me know what happens..I too have been to Bon 5 times and love it (especially the spots N. of Bopek!)

    I am off to Coz and mainland Yucatan for 2wks for a change...but man the Coz diving adds up $ wise! 79 bucks for a 2 tank dive + 8 bucks for Nitrox + a tip to the DM...that adds up quickly compared to a 149 dive and drive with unlimited nitrox...not to mention having a schedule and other ppl to deal with, as well as all the Cruise Ships.
    I love the quiet, laid back vibe of Bon, I think it will be hard to beat?
     
  9. Grajan

    Grajan Manta Ray

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    So.....
    After picking everyone's brains and getting a lot of good ideas - THANKS - we have decided to do something completely different. We are going to do some offshore sail training instead of a scuba holiday. It dawned on us that we were spending a bunch of money upgrading our boat for bigger adventures but we were under-investing in crew competency. We will hopefully make up for it over-wintering in the Exumas.....

    Again, thanks for all the great information. We will definitely make use of it some time in the future.

    Graham
     
    RJP likes this.

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