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Thread: Sand Dollar July 2017

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Sand Dollar July 2017

    This was our 43rd trip to Bonaire since we first started coming in 1995, and we continue to enjoy it more and more with every visit. Besides the diving, one of the many things we enjoy about Bonaire is all the warm and friendly people we meet.

    The direct, nonstop United flight from Newark continues to be our choice for getting to Bonaire, and we are very happy with the service. As usual, the night before we travel we stay at the Newark Marriott Courtyard. Itís nice to get up in the morning and have only a two-minute shuttle ride to the airport. Make sure you arrange the night before for a drop off at the terminal, other wise you will be dropped off at a central location and have to take the airtrain. Also, if itís a one or two week trip, they offer a tremendous deal where you can park your car and spend the night.

    We returned to our two bedroom condo at Sand Dollar and now that the condo has been completely renovated, and all the work is behind us, we can just sit back, relax and enjoy the diving and the view. The only other change coming to our condo is the air-conditioning that we have ordered for the living room and kitchen area, which will be installed in the fall making the entire unit air-conditioned. Being on the second floor, with a fully screened in porch, we donít feel it necessary, but it is now a requirement if we want to remain in the rental pool.

    This was a trip of many milestones. First, Alan celebrated his 600th career dive, and two weeks later, Joan celebrated her 25th anniversary as a certified scuba diver, with diver number 555. Both these dives were done at our favorite site, Bari Reef, the house reef at Sand Dollar. You cannot beat Bari Reef for the diversity of fish life.
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    Early in the trip we were shown a bright yellow frogfish on Bari reef that we would briefly visit on every dive up until the end of our trip. We hope he (she) will be there when we return on our next trip.

    Alan continues to shoot with a Nikon D200 in an Aquatica housing using two Nikonos SB-105 strobes. He shoots his wide angle photos with the Nikkor 12-24mm lens and either a Nikon 60mm or Micro Nikkor 105mm lens for his close up and fish portraits. While on Bonaire if you ever have a question about underwater photography or experience any equipment problems, Tim Peters at FishEye Photo is a tremendous resource.. You can see Alanís work at our Bonaire Bari Reef Photo Gallery.
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    Joan is really enjoying her Sony RX-100 in a Nauticam housing equipped with two Light & Motion Sola 2000 S/F video lights. She also sometimes uses a FanTaesa light. If you are interested in seeing the short video we produced on this trip please send her an email.

    Alan is photojournalist, who shot for The New York Times for twenty-five years, and on this trip had the opportunity to generate and shoot two cover stories for the local newspaper, The Bonaire Reporter.

    Grocery shopping in Bonaire over the years has gotten a lot easier. Right down the road from Sand Dollar is Zhong Kong, a grocery and liquor store where you can find almost everything you need. They also have a larger sister store called called ďSupermarketĒ on Kaya Karona. Itís the old Progressive Supermarket. Although there are many other places to do your grocery shopping, Van den Tweel, a modern Dutch supermarket, and Bonaire Warehouse are the most well stocked grocery stores on the island. We suggest comparing prices between both places. Another great place for grocery shopping is BonDigro, itís where all the local shop because it offers some of the best prices on the island.

    Although we cook in a lot in our fully equipped kitchen, we cannot pass up the many outstanding restaurants in Bonaire. We made multiple trips to our favorite place, Bobby Janís, for their ribs and chicken sate, itís one of the best values on the island. For sandwiches you cannot beat Between 2 Buns located in the strip mall at Sand Dollar, they also serve breakfast. Itís a great place to get sandwiches for your return flight home.

    Two other favorite places of ours are Capriccioís, which we visited twice, and we were not disappointed on either occasion, and also Donna & Giorgioís. Eddyís at Sand Dollar is also a great place for dinner and tremendous value. Another excellent value is Divemaster Burger night on Wednesdayís at Zuzu Bar located at Bistro de Paris at Harbor Village. For $8.00 you get a fantastic burger, potato wedges and a salad. If you donít want to eat out and donít feel like cooking, there is DŲnor: The Fresh Market that has rotisserie chickens, side dishes and salads made to order. Itís located across the street from Bonaire Warehouse and next to Store25

    We tried two new places on this trip. Sebastianís, which is the old Richardís, had great food and an elegant dining experience with impeccable service. One of our new favorite places is Italy in the World. Chef Carlos is a genius, and we had some of the best and most imaginative Italian dinners ever. It is a small, cozy restaurant with personalized service, great menu and an amazing wine collection. Both places are worth checking out.

    We continue to enjoy going to the English Catholic Mass at our Lady of Coromoto in Antriol on Saturday at 6pm.

    As always, we updated our Bonaire Suggestion sheet. It is the most comprehensive revision we have made in years and is a very helpful reference guide to the island. It contains a listing of grocery stores, restaurant recommendations, and many other helpful suggestions. If you would like a copy just send an email directly to us

  2. #2
    smits is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
    Join Date
    May 2011


    As always, it’s great to read your report. It makes me want to come back to Bonaire next year.
    The pictures are rather small. Could you make a link available where I could see them larger?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    agawam, ma.


    Enjoyed your report alan. Was the frog on bari? Mary and i will be on island and in our condo in 68 days. We can not wait and your report gets us more excited. Thanks.......sandy a11

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