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Thread: Dive & Drive Package and/or Boat Diving Advice Needed

  1. #1
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    Default Dive & Drive Package and/or Boat Diving Advice Needed

    Hi All,

    I'm new to BT but I've perused the forums for a few years now, always wondering when the winds would take me to Bonaire. Well, I'm set to be there next month!

    I'm really looking forward to it, and already have accommodation set up at a great looking spot. Now I need to figure out the diving.

    A friend of mine who's been to Bonaire numerous times recommended that I look for a package deal that includes a truck rental and unlimited nitrox. Doing a search, I didn't find exactly that and I'm guessing that I'm maybe looking in the wrong places (most of the results included accommodation, which I don't need).

    Can anyone point me in the right direction? I actually have one place that's able to rent me the truck only (Toyota Hilux) for a reasonable rate, I think ~$240 for the week including insurance. But, should I be doing these things all separately or does it make a lot more sense to rent the truck with gas fills?

    Lastly, and I'm sure that this question has been posed a million times, is it worth doing any boat diving while we're there, or if we already have the truck and are staying on the water - should we just shore dive the whole time? I'd like to see a real great sampling of what Bonaire has to offer as I'll be working on a story to be published about Bonaire as a dive destination (shooting photos as well).

    Thanks All, and it's great to finally have something to say on BonaireTalk!

  2. #2
    Rog Karen's Avatar
    Rog Karen is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Welcome to BT2!
    You can contact dive shops on the island and book unlimited shore diving and unlimited nitrox only. Buddy Dive does have free unlimited nitrox
    and I'm sure there are others too!

    I personally love the shore diving in Bonaire but you should book at least 1 boat dive to Klein Bonaire...it is amazing!
    Rog & Karen

  3. #3
    tursiops's Avatar
    tursiops is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    I take the easy way and stay at Buddy Dive where they give me a truck, free nitrox, and some boat dives. I use the boat dives to get to great sites that cannot (or are not easily) shore-dived, such as Klein Bonaire, Rappel, and Country Gardens, or to get to the Park sites, or the far south, or even the east side.

    If you are doing a story, you're going to want to get to some of those more inaccessible sites, or your perspective will be incomplete.

    Many folks on here will tell you that Bonaire is all about shore diving, forget the boats. We disagree!

    You'll love the trip.
    Mel Briscoe, Alexandria, Virginia

  4. #4
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    Cool

    Hi Tangfish and welcome to BT.

    So I have booked truck rental and air/nitrox packages seperatly for years. I think your search is probably accurate. Pretty fair rate with the truck rental quote. Now just choose your place to get your nitrox and you are set! I would tell you to choose a shop that offers longer hours to get your nitrox. If your accomodations are a little further out from the dive shops then you will want to have a greater availability window. Everyone will have their favorite shop. I would recommend Belmar. They are associated with Buddy Dive so you are covered with getting tanks conviently at both ends of the island.

    I have dived both (boat and shore). Personally I like to do one day of boat diving but I don't want to do a boat dive that you can easily do from shore. Boat diving just takes a bit more time logistically and you lose the freedom of shore diving. However it is always fun to me to do that giant stride into the water.
    Good for you and Great for me!

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the warm welcome everyone! It took me a second to get used to the fact that the threads read from bottom to top

    Well, looks like I'm on the right track. I'm really looking forward to the trip. Maybe it's common on Bonaire but I've never stayed in a villa that has its own dive ladder right into the water!

    Sounds like there's a consensus that Buddy Dive is a good shop to go with for fills. I will contact them. I'd heard of them before too. Love the name of course, who wouldn't?

    I'm hoping to put together a nice piece on the island and the diving there. After a few attempts to get myself there over the years the desire to dive Bonaire has definitely built up over time. Here's an example of the recent story we published on the Philippines if anyone's interested in a read or to flip through the photo gallery (link on top right).

    Sounds like the boat diving is something that must be done to get a full feel. Any other absolute must-dive sites other than Klein Bonaire?
    Last edited by Tangfish; 05-24-2011 at 06:15 PM. Reason: wasn't done bonaire talking

  6. #6
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    You'll receive plenty of opinions of not to be missed dive sites- I will chime in with my must do - the UV Night dive with VIP Diving

    http://www.vipdiving.com/uvdiving.htm

    Also the thread display mode can be changed in the edit options of User CP.

  7. #7
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    Default Dive package

    Wannadive has unlimited package with free Nitrox. They have several locations.
    With all the varied shore diving sites you really don't need to book any boat dives unless you want to dive Klein Bonaire.

  8. #8
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    Hey Calvin - Buddy Dive's three-tank boat dive to the northern sites (off the Washington Slagbaii Park coastline) is really nice. It's a full day on the water and you can dive some sites that aren't necessarily easy to get to by land.

    If you do contact Bas @ VIP Diving (you should do the UV light night dive...it is cool), ask him about truck rentals. He has booked my truck for the past four visits, and it is always at a very good price through Budget.

    I always get my nitrox thru Buddy Dive. The drive thru is super convenient, especially if you are in a villa on the northern end of the island.

    Have a great trip!
    Cheers,
    Liz

  9. #9
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    Aside from accommodations that include a package with truck and scuba tanks, I've not seen any other offers combining the 2. It sounds like a very good rate you've got on the truck. Where did you get that if I may ask?

    No one has mentioned "Shore Diving Made Easy" - if you have time to get a copy before you go, do so. Otherwise it is readily available on the island. This will be your best resource for reading about the various shore dives. Everyone seems to have their favorite sites. One of my least favorite sites is often mentioned as folks favorite site (Buddy Dive house reef). The thing is to try lots of different places. We've always stayed in Belnem and so have dove more on the southern sites. However I love the sites from Oil Slick northward to Nukove. To be frank, my dives from Windsock north to Oil Slick have been less enjoyable. I'm sure many others disagree and will have their favorites in this area. You've just got to get out and take in as many as you can while you're there.

  10. #10
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    Thank you for all of this helpful info guys. I'm going to look into getting my hands on a copy of the book, definitely into the UV dive and Buddy Dive seems the way to go for the fills. After just finishing up a few days of wreck diving in the chilly green waters of British Columbia I can't wait!

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