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View Full Version : March 27-April 6th Trip report..



alwayswet
04-07-2013, 09:50 PM
We took a chance and did the wednesday US Air to Aruba, Insel Aruba to Curacao, Insel Curacao to Bonaire route. A BIG thank you to MaryAnne from US Air as she was the only reason we made it to Bonaire on time!! If anything, lets say it was stressful.. We arrived late to Aruba, Insel had finished boarding however after finding out that we and our luggage had been checked all the way through, Insel accommodated us and allowed us to proceed onto the connecting flight AND got our bags on as well!! The following connection went without a hitch and we arrived in Bonaire less than 20 minutes late..

Poppy's staff had a car waiting for us even though we had a truck rented for the 10 days. No quarrels here as we are glad we had someone to meet us and provide us transportation! (They provided a truck the next day but less than what we had reserved, however it was discounted appropriately) We whole heartedly stand by Telerin and Poppy as they have always done the best they can by us.

So, we arrived at Sand Dollar A8 tired and unwinding..there were some issues with the unit which were resolved over the next several days, nothing big other than the inability to make coffee, and I like my coffee!! Dinner was available at Don's as usual it didn't dissapoint!

Diving with BDA was flawless, quick refresher orientation and off to diving. We have used them over the past 10 years and even though there may be some personality issues, the ala carte payment plan works great for us as we are not the normal "scheduled" divers, which is why we love Bonaire in the first place!! Joan was sick for the first two days and unable to dive, we decided to do a boat dive one day spontaneously, and not having to pay for a complete package was nice..

The wind speed was higher than usual for 8 of the 10 days but still in an Easterly direction so waves were minimal if at all. Visibility was 50+ everyday with minimal current. Water temps 79-82 over all the sites we went to.. Absolutely awesome diving, the only disappointment was not seeing the Manta everyone has seen over the last month.. Many octopus interactions both day and night, tarpon, the usual fish and invert sightings. Without a doubt the Salt Pier is our favorite as we consistently saw Turtles (4 every day) , Barracuda, schools of Jacks and a tremendous variety of corals on the pilings. The far south which we really enjoy and the east were off limits due to the high winds and great wave surge.

Fantastic sunsets every single night! The night diving was as good or better than the day diving as well...

Food was wonderful when we went out, Don's, Buddies, and some other local fare all as good or better than we have had before. Most any place on the island is good to great be it sandwich or full dinner course! We try to make as many of our meals as possible to make the trips affordable, one of the reasons we love Sand Dollar so much..

For internet, as expected, the speeds have improved. Each year the speeds and quality of WiFi/Internet improve and now the WiFI at Sand Dollar is more than capable of Skype and Facetime to back home without any problems..The kids really appreciated it as did we..

The unfortunate end of the trip went well and our exit was quite smooth despite our hopes it would be difficult and we would have to stay another week!! We flew Insel to Curacao and connected to Insel to Charlotte, All ontime and without issue..

We will post some pictures when we get some time to upload them..

Wishing we were back On Island already..we miss it and someday hope we can stay permanently...

Gail Currie
04-29-2013, 11:01 AM
Were you able to dive the salt pier without having to dive with a dive shop? I've read recently elsewhere that it is now necessary to go with one of the dive shops provided there are no ships expected?