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Thread: US based home/condo owners August get together?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    West Milford NJ
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    123

    Default US based home/condo owners August get together?

    Why do I usually feel like a tourist on Bonaire? We see the same flight crew out of Newark as often as we see familiar faces in Van Den Twill.
    We visit and stay in Bonaire for 1-2 weeks at a time at our house almost monthly year round. The only Dutch I speak is ney ney and Heineken! Most of our Bonaire friends are local or Dutch.

    I can see us retiring here eventually, but we are still too busy back in the states to consider making that change any time soon. Our house here is in Belnem. We live in NJ and VT back in the states.

    Are there any other "frequent" US based home/condo owners visitors on this forum who might be interested in networking? We just left Bonaire last week and will be back mid August.

    Anyone up for a "group" dinner at Eddy's August 15th, 20th or 22nd? If yes, reply here or PM me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    2

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    Good Morning,

    We usually do 1-2 weeks stays in bonaire 4 times a year.. There is the dirty 4 letter work that is keeping us from going down more.. We have met a bunch of locals ( Dutch and folks from the states) and we look forward to seeing them when we return to paradise.. We live in the DC area and would be interested in networking and meeting new people.

    Wont be down till Sept 14 - 22nd.. Have to catch coral spawning.. We have a place over in Hato by the water plant..

    -Chris

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    West Milford NJ
    Posts
    123

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    Chris,

    We just left after a 2 week visit and are not sure if we will be back before 12/7, again for 2 weeks. Enjoy the September visit.

    Chris L

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    2

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    Hi Chris!

    I am very Jealous!! 2 weeks is just enough time to really unwind!! Sad we wont be able to get together, but happy we made the connection.. We have been packing up for the past couple of weeks. He have some friends coming down with us, new scuba people so it will be fun.. We are stashing tanks and a grill in our luggage this time.. One of these days we need to just fill a container.. :-)

    How long are you staying in Dec? We are actually trying to come back in Jan for 16 days (arrive Jan 11th)

    -Chris M

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    West Milford NJ
    Posts
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    Only 2 weeks in early December 7-21. We want to be back in the northeast for the holidays with the college kids and grown kids and grand kids. We are only 57 but started the kid thing early and have a whole lot of scuba & ski kids now. We will likely be back on Bonaire in February. You should check out Ocean Oasis in Belnem when you are down.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    St. Louis, Mo. USA
    Posts
    3

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    Hello Chris and Chris! We too have a house in Hato. We won't be back down until March at this point but we are working on making the transition to full time as soon as we can, probably 2 - 5 years. We only have a handful of friends so far since we haven't yet spent a great deal of time there but we never feel like tourists. Everyone we have met seem to remember us and most all of the new connections seem like old friends pretty quickly.

    I am curious about you taking tanks with you. Can you tell me the advantage? I have been trying to decide between buying and renting tanks on island. I am a certified inspector so I am good for the full run between hydros if I own them but I haven't seen enough of an advantage to justify shipping tanks. Maybe you know something I've missed. what is the number of fills/year necessary to offset the cost of ownership? Do you have a good source for fills at a much lower rate than the "tourist" shops.

    Will either of you be down at the end of March 2020?

    Steven

  7. #7
    DrDirector is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    180

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    Even though my wife and I "only" come for a total of 10 weeks a year and typically only do 1 dive a day, we decided it was far better off to own our own tanks. I can send you more info if you open up your account to allow Private Messages.

    Mark, aka DrDirector

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    West Milford NJ
    Posts
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    I just arrived today for two weeks. I’ll be back for two weeks again 2/1 & 3/21/2020. I bought tanks thru leisure pro and had them delivered free to Miami at AmCar addressed to me with Bonaire as my hyphenated last name. Rocargo picks them up in Curaçao and gets them to Bonaire about 10 days after they arrive in Miami - I usually send other things at the same time because every combined shipment is only charged one processing fee. Bilnds.com, Crate & Barrel, Polywood furniture etc... Freight is based on volume, not weight plus 8% duty. Most US companies will refund sales tax when you prove the item left the US. Rocargo is the folks to work thru info@rocargo.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    West Milford NJ
    Posts
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    Further, I buy a refill card from DiveFriends - it’s way cheaper then “renting” tanks and I always have 4 ready at home plus my pony bottles. Free Nitrox seems to be disappearing on Bonaire but the cost difference is not a real factor for the benefit

  10. #10
    DrDirector is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    180

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    We bought used tanks. Two 65's for my wife from Bruce at Carib Inn and two 80's for me from Bas at VIP. Bruce takes his tanks out of service after 5 years so they needed to be hydroed and have their visual inspections. I bought 4 year old tanks from Bas at VIP (where we get our fills). Had to have them hydro-proofed a year later but no issue. Abot half the price of new tanks and no import issues. Pay for themselves after about 20-25 fills. Bas's were already set for Nitrox; had to convert my wife's to Nirtox, but no issues. Bas at VIP Diving offers tank cards for people who stay longer than a few weeks and there is no difference in price between air and Nitrox. I believe he gives locals a lower rate than visitors. His fills are typically 3300 PSI or more and consistently 31% - 33% Nitrox, and usually much closer to 32. As a former rocket propulsion engineer (yes, a "real" rocket scientist) who regularly worked with high pressure gases (well above what we use in scuba tanks), I was very impressed with Bas's facility. They gave me a tour several years ago shortly after they opened in their current location, and I was extremely impressed with how they did their high-pressure plumbing as well as the care and safety-concious manner they had done all of their equipment. Truly a top-notch operation on top of having very knowledgeable and caring staff. I am very please with our decision to buy and pay for fills rather than rent full tanks.

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