No doubt, one
of my best dives so far in the Caribbean. I would put the East coast of Bonaire
just before Ost punt in Curaçao.
The coral and vegetation are still in very good conditions and the layout of the reef protecting the immense lac Bay definitely makes it THE dive site not to miss when coming here.
A lot of people would prefer the shore dives, for those I would say that if you have to make an exception it’s that one with East Coast diving (http://www.bonaireeastcoastdiving.com/ ). The semi rigid boat is small, but its arrangement is really well optimized. Let me try to convince you:
- I get seasick: most of the navigation to the dive sites are quite short, mostly within the bay which is really shallow so the boat has to go slow (the windsurfers are much faster), there is one bumpy bit when getting out of the bay but it is approached even slower; the remaining time on open sea is around 5-10 minutes.
- I don’t like crowded parties: good news, the boat is small, so no more than 10 divers.
- Briefing are useless to me: we heard more about marine life and facts about the nature, the actual dive profile bit is kept to its strict minimum. The organisation needs a bit of time because it is an unusual boat.
- Gearing up takes forever: the organisation on the boat is very precise, once you’re on it, everything has been well thought in advance and there isn’t any lost time.
- I don’t like jumping in the water: getting in the water is quite simple, it’s a rollback with almost military precision; but from the inflated side, it’s not high at all.
- It’s too difficult to come back on board: here is a bit of magic! I never saw that sort of setup, where a bit of the inflated side can be removed, and a ladder is attached. By the nature of that type of boats, it’s floor level above water is not as high as regular boats. As well the ladder is not on an axis and is firmly fixed, avoiding the wobbly assembly.
Even if you’re really experimented shore diver and you’re used to long surface swim, I would not recommend trying to reach the dive sites from the beach. It’s quite a long way and the waves and the current are making it a real challenge.
But you HAVE to go there, it’s nothing like I’ve seen so far. The variety in the flora and fauna that’s beyond hope.
I’ve seen during my two dives: turtles (lost count), 5 eagle rays, a reef shark, several moray eels, a lobster, a barracuda, lionfishes, and whatever other regular fishes you’ll find in the Caribbean (angelfish, butterflyfish, parrotfish, snapper, durgon, trumpetfish, trunkfish, grouper, etc..).
Fred and Martin are handling the whole operation really tidy and keep the whole thing very friendly. Thank you, guys!