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Bonaire-June 2010

Bonaire 2010

This trip was a bit quick in the making after the 2nd attempt to go to Cozumel and I think it was a great choice. This was the 1st club warm water trip in 6 years and the last trip was also in Bonaire at Captain Don’s. It was nice to be with the club on another warm water trip and it looks like all 12 (11 divers and 1 non diver) had a great time and friendships were made. No one got kicked out of their rooms, no fights and everyone got along very well. We had two 3 bedroom apartments with 6 in each one and the apartments were next to each other. Apartment #1 had Wally, Nancy & Shannon Burke, Steve & Patti Ehret and Ann Hoagland and apartment #2 had Ken & Tessie Kollwitz, David & Mary Gregg, Jeff Larson and Pat Crane.

The flights over and back went well with no problems and security was different at each airport. You just couldn’t be prepared for much except to remove your shoes. What I really liked was when we arrived in Bonaire, Buddy Dive had someone to greet us and pick everyone up in a nice air conditioned bus and even at 5:00am the AC was very much needed. We found out quickly that it was very unseasonably hot and humid, even the locals didn’t like it.

When we arrived at Buddy Dive the 1st order of business was breakfast and then the 9:00am orientation, basically a tour of the facility and how things worked. Then during the day most all of us did our check out dive which is just a dive at the resort to get your weighting and buoyancy correct and to work out any issues you may have. We also got all situated into our rooms with our new room mates. Jeff and Pat wasted no time diving the 1st day with 2 day dives and a night dive and then most of us did 1 and a store run for snacks and drinks with dinner at the resort.

Our boat dive schedule was set for the week with 2 dives starting at 8:30am on Sunday and Tuesday, 2 dives starting at 1:30pm on Monday and the 3 tank all day trip to the north end of the island on Thursday. This left us with some free time for shore diving and shopping and Friday free to go sightseeing to the Washington Slagbaai Park.
The diving was excellent with 85° water temperature and 50’-100’+ visibility. I did 17 dives (9 boat and 8 shore dives) and my dive buddy for most all the dives was Shannon. Our typical dive time was about 50 minutes except for the Salt Pier which was 80 minutes because of it being very shallow. We saw some cool things and no live seahorses, but then that’s another story.

Every morning started with breakfast being served from 6:30-10:00am and I think it was quite good. It was like a buffet with omelet bar, waffles, cereal, muffins, toast, sandwich fixings, bacon, sausage and much more. After breakfast it was time to get ready for our dive day either by boat or shore. The boat dives were nice, but for myself , I would like to go back and do shore dives only because there are still many places I would like to explore and dive (Pat and Jeff included) and most all the sites you can get to by shore. Part of the adventure to me is getting to the dive site; of course I know this is not for everyone.

Every night at the pool bar there was happy hour with drinks only (no snacks) and if you ordered food you where usually in for a wait-can I say “Island Time”. Tessie really enjoyed the drinks of the day and was sad to leave because of them. The food was OK at the resort and the 50% off deal we had sure made it worthwhile. Most everyone ate at the resort mainly because of the ease of it. One night we ordered dinner at the restaurant and had it to go so we could watch a fantastic free diving presentation at the pool bar. Monday night David and Mary joined Tessie and I while we sat on our 3rd floor balcony and had tuna fish sandwiches and chips for my birthday dinner. I am a simple type of person and for me that was much better then another night eating out. Tuesday night we had a potluck with all kinds of good things and for desert we had a very good cake with fresh fruit over the top of it from the local bakery complete with candles along with ice cream. Thursday night we went to a local pizza place that has good reviews-Pasa Bon Pizza & Bar. David, Mary, Tessie and I had a sausage, pepperoni and olive pizza and it was the best pizza I think I have had.

We had kitchens in the units, but mainly just used them for snacks, sandwich fixins and drinks. The one thing I missed was the drinks just never seemed to be cold enough. I found getting a drink/soda/tea at the bar with an extra glass of ice was the best way to get a cold drink.

Friday was our day to off gas for the flight home so we all went to the Washington Slagbaai Park for a day of sightseeing, now that I have been through it there is no need to go back and I think the rest of the group thinks the same. There are interesting and scenic things to see like old buildings, flamingos and lots of cactus but other then that it is like four wheeling in a very rough desert for several hours. We were really surprised how well our little van with small tires did and thankful we did not have a flat. The trip is a fun trip, but once is enough-there are many other things to do on Bonaire.
After our sightseeing trip it was off to town for some last minute shopping and then back to Buddy Dive to start packing and check out. It was the sad time of the trip. We had dinner at the pool bar for an all you can eat BBQ and watched our last sunset of the trip.

Saturday seemed to come quickly and early. We had to be ready at the front desk to get our ride to the airport at 4:45am. Check in went well and everyone made it past all the security checks and it was off to home we went. Overall the trip went very well, with good diving, fun times and fun people to spend the time with. What’s even better is everyone said they would like to go back-probably in a few years.

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