Sand Dollar February 2012
Our visits to Bonaire just seem to get better and better and trip number thirty two was no exception.
The weather, the visibility, the food, new stores, friends old and new, along with a three hour sail around Klein Bonaire. So, just sit right back and read this tail, a tail of a joyful trip, that started from this urban city aboard a Boeing 737ÖÖ.
The Continental (now United) non-stop flight from Newark continues to be a great way for us to get to Bonaire. We arrived on time and soon found ourselves back at our two bedroom condo at Sand Dollar. Friends had already stocked our refrigerator with some basics items. The complete kitchen is a great way to keep expenses down.
We did most of our diving on Bari Reef, the house reef at Sand Dollar. You just canít beat the fish life that exists there. The water was cooler than past years, consistently 78 degrees, however the visibility was the best we have seen in years!
Here is one of Alanís photos:
And also one of Joanís:
If you would like to see more photos from this trip and our previous trips visit our Bari Reef Photo Gallery.
Besides the great diving are the great people we meet in Bonaire. We reconnected with out friends Lynn and Paul who we met nine and a half years ago (how we met is another story). They are a retired couple who sold their home and live on their boat the Kiana sailing around the Caribbean. They took us on a beautiful sail around Klein Bonaire. Here we are on the back of the Kiana.
They also introduced us to their friends Krista and Bill who sail the Secoudon. Since we were land based and had a car we were able to take everybody shopping to restock their boats. It was great time and it was fascinating learning about the cruising lifestyle. It may sound glamorous to live on a sailboat but it is also a full time job. Something always needs to be taken care of and you must know it all, we canít imagine being responsible for making your own drinking water.
Alan was able to dive Playa Babou, the name the locals call diving along the sea road, off the Secoudon and took some beautiful photos.
Two of our favorite restaurants have moved. Donna & Giorgioís, serving breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday 9:30am to 3pm and dinner only on Tuesday nights, is now located on the main road into town. Capriccioís has move down the road from it previous location but has still kept the same format. Our most favorite, Bobbe Janís Take Away is still in the same location and as good as ever. We either ate there or took out three times on this trip.
A new, modern Dutch supermarket has opened on the island called Van den Tweel. It has meats, cheeses, bakery items, dairy and some of the best fruits and vegetables we have seen on the island. It has a large selection of convenience foods and even rotisserie chickens. Look for their Euro Shopper brand in the red box for the best value. Itís on Kaya Industria near the new rotary and is open seven days 8:00am to 8:00pm
Another interesting experience on the island is purchasing fresh fish to cook yourself. To buy fresh fish you need to go to the fishermenís house. We found Nikiís Fish located on Kaya Dialma, which is very close to our condo at Sand Dollar. It doesnít get any fresher that this and you canít beat the price.
As always, we updated our Bonaire suggestion sheet again. It is a continuing work in progress and contains information about the different grocery stores, their hours and directions. It also includes some restaurant suggestions, things we found fun to do, and other useful island information. If you would like a copy, just send us an e-mail.
We have just booked our tickets for our summer trip
Last edited by ModFreddie; 03-05-2012 at 05:48 PM.
Great report Alan and Joan. We are envious but will be at our Condo at Sand$ in less than two weeks. Nice to hear all the wonderful comments about the viz especially on Bari Reef, our favorite also. I love the little trunk fish and the green moray. It does sound like the green Morays are on their way back in numbers. The new market, Van den Tweel has gotten great reviews and we will definitely check them out. We tried to find the fish man last time but guess we didn't look to hard as we couldn't for the life of us find him. Will try again to locate him. And yes, my mouth is already drooling for Bobbe Jans since you introduced him to us a few years ago.
Nice pictures and great report.
Sandy and Mary
Great pictures, Alan & Joan, particularly of the green moray. We were fortunate to lodge in your condo on our most recent trip in December and loved the mural. The tip sheet is great. Enjoy your summer trip.
Thanks for the post! My girlfriend and i are headed to Bonaire for the first time later this week. We'll be staying at Den Laman, but are looking for reccomendations for dive sites and restaurants. I'd love a copy of your "suggestion sheet". Thanks,
i would love a copy of your suggestion's thanks firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally Posted by Ajzale
i would love a coy of your suggestion's thanks....email@example.com
Great report - and I can attest to the usefullness of Alan and Joan's suggestion sheet! We requested it before our trip in April and found it very, very helpful. Our trip in April was our first time in Bonaire, but not our last. We have already booked our trip for next February - and we can't wait! We stayed at Den Laman in April and absolutely LOVED Bari Reef. I snorkel and hubby dives - the snorkeling was exceptional. Hubby saw an octopus in about 2 feet of water - I believe I posted a pic in our trip report.
We are staying at a different location in February. Just wanted a little variety, and someplace to actually sit outside by the water. We will absolutely go back to Bari Reef while there.
We are heading to Bonaire this coming Saturday the 4th of August - our first time! I would love a copy of your suggestion sheet for our trip! We are so excited about out trip!
would love a copy of your suggestion sheet. firstname.lastname@example.org
While I do not have a suggestion trip, if you have space in your bags pack some Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chips and drop them off to Sue at Will's Grill and you might get to barter with her for a drink or two! This should be under dining but figured I would try to catch you before departing. Tell her Cornhusker says Hi and if you get the chance bring back some of their spice rubs and salts as they are great!
My suggestion----get up early, dive all you can and enjoy the very friendly people living on Bonaire!
PS--Mod Freddie hope this is ok to suggest and if not slap my hands when I see you in February!