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Thread: Older diver coming back to Bonaire

  1. #1
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    Default Older diver coming back to Bonaire

    My husband and I haven't been to Bonaire in a number of years, but it's one of our favorite destinations. However, we are "senior" citizens and shore diving gets more and more difficult. Are there still a few dive sites that have easy, sandy entrances? And which dive shops (on the south end of island) offers best boat diving? We're looking at renting an AirBnB and would like some recommendations for "diving for the not so young and strong!"

    Thanks for any and all ideas.

  2. #2
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    You might try "diving canes." Here's a link describing them. Have fun.

    https://www.scubaboard.com/community/threads/dodging-aches-and-pains.558121/page-2#post-8232791

  3. #3
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    Thanks! We both only have one tank band so need to consider alternate ways to attached cane.

  4. #4
    randl's Avatar
    randl is online now Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    South end? It doesn't get easier than Pink Beach. Bari, in the middle is not much more difficult.

  5. #5
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    I would suggest that you look for a dive operation which has shore access from their home reef(s). Carib Inn is one, Dive Friends is another which has locations at several oceanfront locations and I do believe you can dive at any of their locations. By diving on the home reefs of your dive operation, in many cases you will have a ladder which can make it much easier getting out. Also getting in is easier, because it might be just a giant stride. I think both will welcome you as a shore diver staying elsewhere. Then you can augment your shore diving with some of the easier entry/exit dive sites away from your dive operation.

  6. #6
    gbf is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    I too am a bit older, and not quite as frisky as I once was.

    This is from Aug this year...

    Dive Friends Yellow Sub is an easy entrance. The shop was undergoing serious renovation, so facilities were limited.

    Dive Friends Dive Inn location, just south of the cruise pier, is an easy entrance, but we found the reef there to be an utter wasteland.

    Dive Friends Oasis, Cliff dive site, is easy, but there are some rocks to navigate as you get in. The facilities there make it first rate, and it's one of our favorite dives (seahorses).

    We like Salt Pier (frogfish, turtles), and find the entrance benign with a small step down to a flat bottom.

    in the North, Weber's Joy (Witches Hut) has stairs down to the water and an easy walk over coral rubble.

    Seems like Invisibles had a sandy spot where you can walk into the water. I could be remembering this wrong, but one of the sites along there had a sand channel.

    Margate bay is easy in, but you have to park on the road and walk to the water geared-up.

    Bari is about as easy as it gets, though the construction next door can make it dusty.
    Brad Ford

  7. #7
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    Good info - thank you!

  8. #8
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    Front porch, windsock and something special are all easy entry and exit.

  9. #9
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    Hi there everyone. We've stayed at the Divi Flamingo for 20 years now and the Divi Dive is great and you can see the ocean from the hotel about 50 feet away. We walk to the end of the dock and jump in.

  10. #10
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    My wife and I are also getting to the point where we need to watch ourselves carefully on shore entries. We have just returned from our second Bonaire trip this year, and always have chosen a place to stay that has a dock and good ladder on a house reef to let us do some low stress dives or easy night dives. We mix that up with shore entries at other sites- over the years, we have done a lot of the different sites and have found that the ease of entry at sites does change with weather and surge.

    Even at sites we know quite well we pause and watch other divers entries or exits if possible to see if there are better spots than the obvious entry. Sometimes its amazing how there will be 4 divers fighting rubble, stones and uneven ironshore when 30 feet away some guy is simply walking right in without issue.

    We never attempt to deal with fins in shallow water and pay close attention to the surge, even in Bonaire the little bit there is can knock you off your feet, so we pause and move in between periods.

    I'd have to say that some of our best dives this trip were Salt Pier. I would recommend adding Cliff to the list of dive sites recommended- there is a Dive Friends location there, decent parking and reasonable entry point.

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