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(Very late)Trip Report - Buddy Dive, last October

Discussion in 'Bonaire' started by ljwillia, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. ljwillia

    ljwillia Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Richmond, Va.
    Hi Everyone-

    I had been composing my trip report in my head while we were there. When we got back there were so many other reports I just never got around to posting. @scubadada I'm sorry we didn't get a chance to run into you! In re reading my original posts I realized you were there at the same time. I hope you had a great trip!

    Here goes. I was going to make this short... oh, well!

    Basic Info (non-diving)
    First - I was concerned about my husband's diabetes supplies in the truck. I'm happy to report we had no issues. He found a place to hide it, although I'm sure there is no such thing as a "hiding" place. We left the windows down, doors unlocked and had no issues with theft

    We had a flat the second day out. My husband has changed many tires but the jack seemed to be designed for a small car, not a truck. Even fully extended it wasn't tall enough to lift the wheel high enough to get a fully inflated spare on. Fortunately we still had a working cell. We called Buddy Dive and they came out about 45 min later with a heavy duty jack and we were back on the road. It could have been aggravating but it was a beautiful day and we floated in the water while we waited for help.

    Hubby was none too happy when they tried to charge us. I know it's in the contract but they need to provide adequate tools for changing a tire. Especially if they give you a truck with bald tires. Next time we'll know to look. They removed the charge after a bit of back and forth.

    My cell died after the third day (explained below). We were lucky it was still working. No one else in the area had a cell. We ended buying a cheap burner in town. We'll keep it for next time.

    I know others have said it, but the freedom of Bonaire is like no place else. We have always been slaves to boat schedules. We LOVED being able to plan our day on our own terms. We're not early risers. Having a second cup of coffee on the balcony of our room was wonderful.

    Shore diving had a learning curve. My husband adapted more easily than me. On the first dive I got rolled big time. Ended up on my back like a big old turtle. I tried to get too close to shore before I took off my fins. I had to get out of my gear and crawl up the beach. How embarrassing! I didn't make that mistake again.

    Unfortunately, my new iphone, waterproof camera housing that I bought for the trip got full of sand. Small grains worked their way into the mechanism and prevented proper closure. It was fine till the third day when it flooded. The phone was old. I had replaced it years ago but thought it would make a good underwater camera. I'm sure my pictures would have been National Geographic quality :)

    We stayed on the south of the island. I had an idea that the entry's would be a bit easier than north.

    Buddy Dive (often)
    Bari Reef
    Angel City
    Salt Pier
    Margate Bay
    Salt City
    Something Special

    They were all chosen for their easy entry. After being rolled I was a bit gun shy. Water was clear, no current. Easy in and out. I can't say enough about the experience.

    I know most people will disagree with me, but Salt Pier was not my favorite dive. While life was abundant, for me, the industrial litter really detracted. To see the beautiful wildlife and than look down into a jumble of cables and detritus just ruined it for me. I'm glad we did it but I don't expect I'll seek it out again.

    We didn't do as many dives as we expected. We often started late and by the time we got back to Buddy Dive we were ready for a beer and relaxation. We were more concerned with the pace than the number of dives.

    Buddy Dive was great. We had a second floor room in the newer section (thanks for the recommendation @Trailboss123 ). We booked Buddy Dive over Den Laman because of the pool. Never used it:) Still very happy with the choice. We ate Blennies once or twice for lunch. It was good. Breakfast was great. We're going back in October and I hope to book the same room.

    As many had suggested, we brought an insulated grocery bag. We put our frozen water bottles in the bag, stopped at Between 2 Buns in the am. After our second dive we had a wonderful lunch with cold water. One of the lizards tried to mug me for my lunch while I was sitting on the tail gate. Little sucker ran right up my leg. Scared the bejeeses(sp?) out of me.

    We enjoy eating out on vacation. We did get some basic food/snacks for the room from Van Den Tweel. But we ate most dinners out.

    Mona Lisa (our favorite) They had an amazing Wahoo Sashimi
    Bobbejeans - For us it was just ok. We've been spoiled by El Billy's in Cozumel. Nothing compares.
    Kite City Food Trunk (YUM)
    Mi Banana - Fun place back in the residential area
    La Terrazza

    We didn't have a bad meal anywhere.

    We're working on booking our trip for October. This time we plan to explore north. We're also planning on being there to see the Ostracods.

    Can't wait!
    scubadada, flyboy08 and drrich2 like this.
  2. LimitedSlip7

    LimitedSlip7 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Ohio
    How was the diving itself?
    ljwillia likes this.
  3. ljwillia

    ljwillia Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Richmond, Va.
    The most important part right! :)

    Diving was amazing. Spending the whole time in the south I will say the topography was all very similar. We simply waded into different parts of the same reef. We did do one of the double reefs. I can't remember where. It may have been Angel City. The current between the reefs was really strong. We blew through a bunch of air just getting out there. I'm not sure it was worth it.

    Viz was a good 70 - 90'. Not a lot of large fish, a few turtles, an eagle ray, but abundant smaller life. When we want to see the bigger stuff we go to Cozumel. What I loved about Bonaire was the ability to hover in one place and let the reef reveal itself. You can't do that in Cozumel.

    We didn't do any boat dives and I am not at all sorry. We did not want to adhere to anyone else's schedule.
    scubadada and drrich2 like this.
  4. peeweediver

    peeweediver Barracuda

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Chicago area
    Thanks for the report. We're headed there in May and chose Den Laman because we haven't used a pool on a dive trip for a long time. I'll use your recommendations on food. As to Salt Pier, having been in Raja Ampat in early December, one of the best muck dives was all trash, so maybe it won't bother us.
    Thanks again.

    ljwillia likes this.
  5. gbf

    gbf Barracuda

    "the freedom of Bonaire is like no place else. We have always been slaves to boat schedules. We LOVED being able to plan our day on our own terms. We're not early risers. Having a second cup of coffee on the balcony of our room was wonderful."

    " We often started late and by the time we got back to Buddy Dive we were ready for a beer and relaxation"

    "We did not want to adhere to anyone else's schedule."

    "Diving was amazing."

    Ain't Bonaire grand?

    (Thanks for the report)
    Jersey and ljwillia like this.
  6. Doctorfish

    Doctorfish Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Canada
    Something Special is an interesting rubble dive as well. There is a bunch of old construction rubble, tires, bottles and other assorted junk there but great habitat for small critters. There seems to be an eel or a spotted drum in every hole +/- an occasional sea horse. Never had a boring dive there.
  7. Jersey

    Jersey Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SE PA/ Southern NJ
    I either hate Something Special or it's SPECTACULAR! When it's boring we call it Something-Not-So-Special. On the other hand, I've had dives with multiple Octopus out and about, the best Frogfish I've ever found (15 feet water) and the only time we've ever seen Cornetfish on Bonaire. Not Trumpetfish, a really big Cornetfish.

    Nice trip report that pretty much sums up why we return - don't want to make a 0700 dive boat, OK. Want to make a pre-breakfast shore dive, OK. I love the shallow flats where I can hang around some soft or hard coral for 20 minutes and just take pictures. No current sweeping me off, no one else around scaring off the critters.
    ljwillia likes this.

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