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Thread: WWGuy's Trip Report: May 31 - June 14

  1. #21
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    BrookeW - Sorry to hear the news about your husband. My wife, grand-daughter (18) and I just arrived on Bonaire this evening. We are staying at the Plaza and will be doing a mix of boat and shore diving all week. We would be more than happy to have you join us for some dives. Let us know if you are interested.

  2. #22
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    That would be amazing! Thank you so much! I am doing some dive courses Monday & Tuesday but Wednesday thru Friday would be perfect. If the hubby doesn't get better by then. My email is brookebobw@yahoo.com so we can coordinate times/meeting places.

    Thanks for the tip wwguy. I changed that setting.

  3. #23
    esculley is offline Supporting Member SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    absolutely loved the video

  4. #24
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    Roger: Bummer about the Polar switch-a-roo. I also prefer Polar's to Amstel Bright, but still can't turn down a real Heineken. So how was the diving?

  5. #25
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    wwguy is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    The diving was great, and still is! We don't return home until Saturday. Here's a shot of Anita hanging out on the reef above The Cliff on Sunday afternoon.


  6. #26
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    wwguy is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Default Trip Report Details

    Sorry about the delay. Here are some tidbits about our trip so far. As mentioned previously we'll be here through Saturday.

    Air Travel:
    We flew down on the Saturday Delta flight again. We live in Idaho, which means a flight connection in Salt Lake and an overnight stay in Atlanta going both directions. We stayed at the Doubletree near the Atlanta airport for a measly 10K Hilton Honors points vs. the 25K points we'd been paying at the nearby Hilton Garden Inn where we usually stay. I'd like to give a big shout out to Brad Ford for the suggestion to try this hotel. The complimentary hotels shuttles don't run to the new International terminal and we don't like the hassle and time required to connect from domestic to international terminal on the free airport bus. So we once again paid $20 for a taxi ride from the hotel to the international terminal on Saturday morning. We'll do the same for the return ride next Saturday night, then take the hotel shuttle to the domestic terminal Sunday morning for our flights home to Idaho.

    This was our 7th consecutive trip flying Delta to Bonaire and all have been uneventful. I also travel extensively for work and had my share of issues while travelling, but all of Delta flights to Bonaire have been great. The flight crews on this route have been a lot of fun too. We really enjoy the daytime schedule for flights in and out of Bonaire. Neither of us can sleep on red-eye flights. It's also great to arrive in Bonaire with plenty of time to buy grocery staples and enjoy a relaxing drink at sunset.

    Dive Truck Rental:
    We rented our truck from Telerin again and experienced the same legendary friendliness and convenience Poppy is famous for. Jacinto and/or Poppy are always there to greet us with a smile and a truck. However over the past couple of trips we've noticed that some of the trucks in the Telerin fleet are aging and the trucks are showing it. Our first truck this trip was missing a tailgate and the webbing replacement was fixed permanently in place in a manner that prevented using the truck bed as a platform for staging dive gear. This was unacceptable for us, as all of our diving is from shore and we require (and paid for) a working tailgate. There was initially some question whether another truck was available, but we were eventually brought one a day later. In hindsight it was small problem because it was fixed, but it would have been a big deal if this was the only truck available.

    Accommodations:
    We're staying at Beachcomber Villas again this trip. Again I can't say enough good things about this property, the location, and the wonderful resident owners who manage it... but if you search my previous posts you'll see that I try! :-)

    This trip makes 12 weeks we've enjoyed here since discovering this little jewel. Before we found BCV we enjoyed previous stays at Buddy Dive (twice), Yacht Club Apartments (twice), Lion's Dive (now the north Buddy Dive buildings), Belmar Apartments (before they were part of Buddy Dive), and Happy Holiday Homes. They were all great and I'd recomend them to anyone interested in them... but Beachcomber Villas is a step above in our opinion and we'll likely continue to return here for as long as Tim & Leanne will have us. Check out their website and/or VRBO listing if you're interested in learning what makes this place special. I'll be happy to answer any questions via PM etc.

    Here's a shot taken from the terrace of our apartment. The oceanfront terrace below is a great place to enjoy happy hour sunsets, or "sundowners" as Leanne calls them, and swap stories about the day's adventures. That dive boat is tied to The Cliff dive site mooring buoy. When we want to dive The Cliff we just unlock the gate and enter from shore. There's also some great snorkeling in this area.

    BCV dive boat on The Cliff.jpg

    Mosquitoes:
    The little vampires aren't out and about much this trip, most likely due to the current dry season and strong winds. I napped on the terrace for a couple of hours last night and survived without any bites. I think I've only applied repellent once or twice over the last 10 days and that was mostly just out of habit.

    Diving:
    Once again we've been using Dive Friends Bonaire for our tanks. EAN mix has been consistently 31 to 31.5% and fill pressures 3000 to 3200 psi. I haven't found a tank filled to under 3000 psi on this trip. DFB has several locations on Bonaire with reciprocal privileges at all, including the Hamlet shop located about 100 yards from our villa. We miss Patrick, who returned to Holland last winter, but Robert is a great guy too.

    This has been a weird trip for gear issues. I'm normally meticulous, bordering on obsessive, about gear maintenance but somehow a few things slipped by me on this trip.

    Problem #1: I'd purchased a couple of SeaCure mouthpieces after our last trip but hadn't gotten around to forming and installing them. But apparently I did check to make sure they fit our regulators. I now know this because it was only when we were preparing to descend for our orientation dive that I noticed our primary second stage regulators had no mouthpieces attached. Ironically I'd just been swapping Stupid Dive Instructor Tricks stories with another instructor at the dive shop. We talking about things like making giant stride entries in front of students and forgetting our weight belts etc. And then I had to do the Walk Of Shame out of the water and back to our villa to get the mouthpieces out of my kit. My wife is still laughing about that one.

    Problem #2: As we were preparing to descend at The Rock I discovered that the rubber boot covering my BC inflator button had cracked/rotted and my BC suddenly wasn't able to retain air in the bladder. We decided to abort the dive and get it fixed. Fortunately I'd purchased the BCD from Bruce Bowker at Carib Inn 5 years previously and he had a $2.50 replacement part in stock. (Turns out this was a known issue with this model BCD being manufactured with cheap rubber in this part.) This is why Carib Inn is our local dive shop. We shop where we dive, not where we live.

    Problem #3: My wife's fin strap broke as we were donning fins after entering at Something Special. These are the same Beauchat fins she's been diving with since 1996 and she thought she might finally get a new pair now. But I produced an original replacement strap and she's still stuck with those old fins a little while longer!

    Wind:
    This is the windy season here, and man has it been blowing! Diving has been okay, since the wind direction is consistently easterly, but visibility has been reduced to 60' or so on some days. It's been great for cooling the villa and keeping mosquitoes at bay too. But it's been bringing dust across the Atlantic from the Sahara desert in Africa. It looks like smog in the air and the fine particulates cover everything touched by the wind. This leaves a layer of dirt on walls, windows, cars, furniture... even this laptop I'm typing on. It's a known seasonal occurrence, but one local resident we talked to says it's the worst he's seen it in the 7 years he's lived on the island.

    The health and environmental effects on humans and marine life appear to be unknown at this point, but it's driving my wife's sinus allergies crazy right now. Scientists have already identified some nasty stuff in this dust: "Chemical contaminants [pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and metals] and microorganisms have been identified in dust air samples from all sites." If interested there's more info at this USGS site and elsewhere on the internet.

    This view is looking north towards the Sabedeco neighborhood and the BOPEC oil terminal on the north end of the island. The view of both is obscured by this nasty dust.

    Dust.jpg

  7. #27
    gbf is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Man, that looks great. I'm glad yall are having a good time, and not the least little bit jealous.

    Bill K, drink the Heinies then close one eye and look through the glass at the sunset. That's the only way to see the mythical green flash. A big thank-you to Vince for that useful tip.

    wwguy, you know I'm all about eliminating anything that might interfere with my zen-like state while on Bonaire. So, when you do it again, will you book with Telerin or switch to E1R/other? I don't mind beaters, in fact kinda prefer them, but I also don't want any constant low-grade truck-annoyances. And I do like checking in and dumping luggage, then heading back downtown for one last lunch on departure day. Right now the plan is to use Telerin, but I'm sure one email to Leanne... What say ye?

    I'm really enjoying your mid-trip updates, it's keeping the green-eyed monster fed. But go diving man! Do all this stuff when you get home. But really, I'm enjoying your reports, so keep it up..
    Brad Ford

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbf View Post
    And I do like checking in and dumping luggage, then heading back downtown for one last lunch on departure day.
    I recall (many years ago) being able to check in and get rid of the luggage hours before the flight. now that we're not taking the blasted red-eye anymore, we could conceivably do it again. How much before the flights are they letting you check in these days?

  9. #29
    gbf is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    I really don't know, but we had to get out from under Leanne's feet before noon, so we went to the airport, checked our baggage with delta and then went to lunch at Zee Zicht (A/C). Telerin's "dump the truck in short term parking" just makes that last 2-3 hours easy...
    Brad Ford

  10. #30
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    wwguy is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Quote Originally Posted by antennariidae View Post
    I recall (many years ago) being able to check in and get rid of the luggage hours before the flight. now that we're not taking the blasted red-eye anymore, we could conceivably do it again. How much before the flights are they letting you check in these days?
    The Delta counter traditionally opens for check-in and luggage drop at 12:30 PM. I don't know about United.

    Quote Originally Posted by gbf View Post
    wwguy, you know I'm all about eliminating anything that might interfere with my zen-like state while on Bonaire. So, when you do it again, will you book with Telerin or switch to E1R/other? I don't mind beaters, in fact kinda prefer them, but I also don't want any constant low-grade truck-annoyances. And I do like checking in and dumping luggage, then heading back downtown for one last lunch on departure day. Right now the plan is to use Telerin, but I'm sure one email to Leanne... What say ye?
    Easy One Rents prices are great. I just wish they had Japanese trucks in their fleet instead of Chinese. The quality and turning radius just aren't comparable in my opinion.

    I'll continue to book with Telerin for now. I like Poppy and Jacinto, the easy pickup/return process, the price, and the Toyota Hilux trucks. I just wish they were in better shape and I had better expectation of getting one upon arrival that meets my criteria. To be completely fair I've made a point in the past of requesting that we NOT get a new truck because we didn't want to put first scratches in it, It just seems like the quality pendulum has swung quite a ways in the other direction in the past couple of years. I'm also appreciative that they'll take my Amex card without incremental fee and that they let me use the the Amex Premium Rental Protection insurance policy instead of their CDW. (I know I'm on the hook for repairs until Amex pays me if there's a claim.)

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