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Thread: Preferred Snorkels

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    7

    Default Preferred Snorkels

    We have just returned from Bonaire after a 7 year absence. Before this trip we had been five times and each time the snorkeling was excellent at almost every single spot we tried. This trip we were saddened to see the damage from the two hurricanes that occurred in the intervening years. But we don't want to give up.

    We would be most interested in the suggestions of others for good, shallow snorkeling from shore on the west side. This trip we tried 18 Palms, and the strip from Eden Beach up to past Don's. The coral has taken quite a hit and the sea life was, compared to 2007, very sparse.

    Thank you for your thoughts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA/ Bonaire
    Posts
    421

    Default

    Its funny you mention the fish.... i just talked to someone on the island yesterday and asked "how is the fishing" ?
    I was told that the currents have changed this year and that happens about every 5 years , not sure how that impacts the coral reef fish,
    but it has affected the fisherman.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Upstate/Central NY Fingerlakes region near Syracuse, NY
    Posts
    43

    Default

    Hi Chas, we were on Bonaire the end of April and early May. We found the snorkeling very enjoyable starting across from the airport and many points south...and there's always a water taxi to Klein.
    "Stay in school, work hard, stay out of trouble and when you grow up, you can pay for those who didn't."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Lino Lakes, MN
    Posts
    38

    Default

    Chas, you might try hiring Renee from Renee Snorkel Tours. We always snorkel by ourselves, but once in a while we go with Renee and we ALWAYS see things that we missed. She is able to customize your trip to your needs/desires. The advantage of going with Renee over Woodwind (also good!), is that she takes out smaller groups of people.

    Since Renee lives on the island and is in the water almost every day, she knows the current situation of the reef and the animals on it.

    -Amy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Thank each of you for your responses.

    I would be particularly interested in knowing if any/all of you had the opportunity to snorkel the west side 2007 or earlier. That is our gold standard, not just for Bonaire, but for anywhere.

    Perhaps because of my Internet ignorance, I find it exceedingly difficult to find reliable snorkeling intel about any location from experienced snorkelers who know how really good snorkeling can be, i.e., Bonaire pre-hurricanes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Lino Lakes, MN
    Posts
    38

    Default

    My first two trips to Bonaire were in 2005 and 2006. I agree that hurricanes took a bite out of the shallows on Bonaire, but it is recovering, and there is still much to see. I have not snorkeled anywhere else in the Caribbean because I don't believe it will top Bonaire.

    You asked specifically about the west side, but my favorite snorkel on the island is at Lac Bay. It is a long walk/swim to the reef from Jibe City, but IT IS WORTH EVERY STEP. Crystal clear waters, schools of fish, sleeping nurse sharks and turtles, supermale parrotfish and more. I highly recommend it.

    -Amy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    89

    Default

    I am now a diver, but I understand what you mean about reliable itel, even though I myself was not fortunate to be a snorkeler in Bonaire that long ago. The best I have seen in the Caribbean for reef, Belize off Caye Caulker via boat. For general life via shore St. John. I think for me I want reef and I want it shallow and of course lots of life on top of it. People who say the reef starts at 15 or 20 feet is great snorkeling don't understand great snorkeling IMHO. I did think the Klein Bonaire snorkeling sites met this definition of great snorkeling depending on the site of course. One push to become a diver was reading online after I booked that the snorkeling off Bonaire isn't what it used to be that shallow and that you needed to get to 40 feet to see the pre-storm Bonaire (or as close as it gets). Of course I was already wanting to become a diver, just needed a little push!

    Even with diving its hard and I look a lot at youtube....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    219

    Default

    Try 1000 steps. It's not the shallowest, but there is a lot to see at reasonable snorkeling depth.

    Also just north of Red Barrel is super thick with life and reef in the shallows, IIRC.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Lino Lakes, MN
    Posts
    38

    Default

    Tom, I agree with you about Red Beryl. I didn't mention the southern sites because Chas was asking specifically about the west side.

    -Amy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Lino Lakes, MN
    Posts
    38

    Default

    Just had another thought about shallow-water snorkeling: Have you gone on a night snorkel with either Renee or Dee from Woodwind? LOTS to see at night in the shallows!

    -Amy

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