Most international flights arrive and depart Bonaire on Saturday. I planned to arrive in Bonaire early Saturday in order to greet everyone. When cancelled all of its international flights, we arrived with almost everyone else and the adventure began!
We picked up our rental trucks from Avis Bonaire. With a little patience, they made this almost effortless. We took the full insurance (recommended). Then we all got checked into the Sand Dollar Condominium, unpacked, set up dive gear and went to the grocery store to get essentials for the week!
Sunday started, as we would almost every day, with the included breakfast buffet. It has a wonderful view and was a great way to plan the day’s dives. After breakfast we signed in with Dive Friends Bonaire , got our required Bonaire orientation and purchased our STINAPA pass from the Bonaire Marine Park. With that completed, we all headed out to the house reef for our checkout dives. With some minor weight and gear adjustments, the buddy teams headed out to explore the island’s numerous dive sites. I began working with our youngest Scuba Girl Kayla on her Advanced Open Water Diver training!
Monday – Breakfast as usual and then off to explore Bari Reef with its sunken tugboat and the Hilma Hooker wreck. Kayla completed her deep and wreck adventure dives like a rockstar. We had lunch from the world famous food truck Kite City Catering at Kite City beach and dive site – if you find yourself eating with them every day, we will understand. Afternoon nap, because we can set our own schedule, followed by light dinner at the condo. Then it was time for a night dive at the house reef! The tarpon are your constant companions on these spectacular dives. Thanks to Yoyo for spotting the octopus!
Tuesday we skipped our breakfast buffet to go diving on the “wild side” with East Coast Diving ! This is one of the few boat dives we recommend in Bonaire . We don’t include it in the package, because part of the appeal of Bonaire is NO SCHEDULE and NO BOATS, but this one really is spectacular! I’ve never seen so many sea turtles! They launch and load their custom Zodiac boat at Lac Bay then proceed out the channel to dive White Hole Reef (62 on the map) on the first dive. We returned to Lac Bay for our surface interval and to switch tanks. Then back out to dive Cai reef (62 on the map). The reef is healthy and the crew is as professional as you will meet anywhere in the world.
White Hole Reef
Wednesday and Thursday we breakfasted in the morning and compared notes in the evening. The rest of the day was spent diving and exploring the island with the different buddy teams going all different directions.
I left the divers Wednesday afternoon and visited all the local dive centers carrying my biodegradable and reef friendly Stream2Sea products. My distributor arranged a training at Captain Don’s with Coral Restoration Foundation, the Bonaire Tourism Board and several of the local leaders in dive training. While I was teaching locals about the hazards of sunscreen pollution, our divers were off enjoying more of the beautiful Bonaire reefs.
Friday was our last day of diving, with the afternoon saved for exploring the island. I finished Kayla’s advanced open water course diving at Something Special and Yellow Submarine reefs with her in the morning. Some of our divers had a blast meeting the donkeys! That evening, we celebrated a great week with new and old friends with dinner sea side catered by Kite City Catering!
Saturday we said our fare wells. It was a great time diving with new friends and old! John and I departed Bonaire for Curacao and our next adventure. We hope to see everyone again soon!