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Thread: Sand Dollar Summer 2021

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    33

    Default Sand Dollar Summer 2021

    After more than a sixteen-month absence, we finally made it back to Bonaire for our 49th visit to our beloved island. When we abruptly left Bonaire in March of 2020 we had no idea how long it was going to be before we would be able to return and how much COVID was going to change the world.

    This was a very last-minute trip for us. The CDC said it was okay for vaccinated people to travel to Bonaire and the Bonaire government dropped their risk rating from Level Two to Level One. Once we heard that, we decided to go and a week later we were on our way.

    Normally we fly direct from Newark Airport, but United is not scheduled to start flying to Bonaire until November when they plan to resume their flights from Newark and Houston.

    Delta Airlines through Atlanta was our best option from the northeast. We actually flew down to Atlanta the night before and overnighted at the Marriott Renaissances Gateway Hotel in Atlanta. This avoided having to get up at the crack of dawn and worry about connecting flights. The SkyTrain made getting back and forth from the airport to the hotel very easy.

    Entry requirements into Bonaire are constantly changing. Being vaccinated did make it easier for us to get into Bonaire. Check to see what the current rules are when you are traveling. Also, currently the United States requires you to taken an antigen test 72 hours prior to your return to the states. There are several places on Bonaire that handle this. We did ours at BonBida which is across the street from our condo at Sand Dollar. It took ten minutes to get our results and documents to travel home.

    Itís always great to return to our two bedroom, fully renovated condo at Sand Dollar. There are many things that we, and our renters, enjoy about our condo. The fully equipped kitchen helps you save money by eating a few meals in, but you also donít want to miss all the great restaurants Bonaire has to offer. We also get a lot of nice comments about our two completely renovated bathrooms with walk in showers, as well as our screened in porch overlooking Bari Reef.

    Now, letís get to the diving. Dive Friends at Sand Dollar had it very well set up to meet new COVID safety protocols including a pre-rinse tank for anything that came in contact with your mouth.

    We rate our trips on how well the photo and video ops are. This trip was one of the best. Joan was able to capture some spectacular frog fish footage along with many other exciting fish. If you would like to see her latest video, Joan and Alanís Bari Reef Adventure XV, just click here. Joan uses a Sony RX-100 in a Nauticam housing, equipped with a Fantasea video light.

    Alan also had a very successful photo trip taking stills using his Nikon D850 in a Nauticam housing, equipped with a pair of Sea & Sea YS-D2J strobes. On this trip Alan used either a Nikon 16-35mm or 105mm lens, each paired with the appropriate ports, depending on what he plans to photograph on each dive.

    Here are some of Alanís photos:








    Since we just wanted to take it easy on this trip, after being out of the water for more than a year, all of our diving was done on Bari Reef, the house reef at Sand Dollar. The diving conditions on Bari Reef were excellent and we had many dives lasting well over an hour.

    Bari Reef is a two minute walk from our condo at Sand Dollar, and Dive Friends Bonaire has a great operation there. There is a gear storage room where you can leave your equipment and not have to bring it back to the condo. Itís locked at night but you are given a code to get in. Dive Friends Bonaire has many locations on the island making it easy to get your tanks. They also offer boat trips right from the dock at Sand Dollar, and itís worth taking a trip to dive on Klein Bonaire.

    Besides the spectacular diving on Bonaire, one of the greatest things we enjoy about Bonaire are the people we meet, both locals and fellow divers from around the world. Alan had one special encounter on this trip while on the dock. When a fellow diver heard his name he said, ďYouíre Alan Zale? I follow you all the time on Bonaire Talk.Ē He then started telling Alan all about his last trip report. It made Alanís day and he went around the rest of the trip saying, ď I have a follower!Ē

    There are many grocery shopping options on Bonaire. Zhong Kong, a left out of the Sand Dollar parking lot, is 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. Terra Basket, just before Zhong Kong, is a great place for fresh fruits and vegetables. Bonaire Warehouse and Van den Tweel are modern Dutch supermarkets, both on Kaya Industria, and are both very well stocked. We suggest comparing prices between both places although Bonaire Warehouse has been written up as having some of the best prices on the island.

    Bon Di-Gro Grocery, also located on Kaya Industria, is a no frills store with excellent prices on basics such as beverages, canned fruit, cereal, juices, milk, as well as fresh fruits and vegatables. There is also a new supermarket called Jia Xing, featuring a lot of American products and is located on Kaya Korona, across the street from Our Lady of Coromoto Church in Antriol.

    Itís easy to call home. Most cell phones operating on a major carrier have a feature called WiFi calling. As long as you have an internet connection, your phone will connect to your carrier and work just like at home, for free! Just make sure you turn off Cellular Data and Cellular Roaming. Another easy way to stay in touch is the international texting app, WhatsApp which also allows you to make phone calls.

    When we are not cooking in our modern, renovated kitchen, we enjoy the many wonderful restaurants Bonaire has to offer. One of our favorites is Bobby Janís which has great ribs and chicken sate. Itís only open on weekends and is an excellent value. A great place for sandwiches is Between 2 Buns which recently moved just south of the rotary near Sand Dollar. Another great rib place is Holy Smoke located just south of the airport on Kaya IR Randolph van Eps. They have excellent smoked ribs and smoked turkey legs both served with fries. They are only open on Saturday and Sunday. Directly across the street from Sand Dollar is the DŲnor Station, which has rotisserie and shaved chicken. Itís an excellent meal and a very good value.

    A few of our other favorite restaurant include Eddyís at Sand Dollar which is always excellent. For gourmet Italian we suggest Capriccioís which also has an extensive wine collection. Sebastianís is another restaurant not to be missed.

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

    As always, we have updated our Bonaire Suggestion sheet that we started many years ago. Itís a helpful reference guide to the island, and 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
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by ModRoy; 08-30-2021 at 05:21 PM. Reason: pics made bigger

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    3,767

    Default

    did the Whale Shark visit happen after you'd left then ?

    thanks for the Trip Report Alan & Joan
    PRA & ET Inc
    Proof Readers Anonymous & Extreme Testers

  3. #3
    smits is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    595

    Default

    Thank you for posting. Beautiful pictures too!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Posts
    7

    Default

    So glad you got back! Sounds like a wonderful trip and the pictures are great!
    Warmly,
    Bethany

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    33

    Default

    Thank you for the kind words about my photos. The whale shark was after we left.

    Here are a few more photos. It's been a year and a half since I posted. Is there a way to make the photos on the posting a little larger. Also, Joan shot some amazing video. We have put together a great 4 1/2 minute movie. If you would like to see it send her an email and she will send you a link.





    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by ModRoy; 08-30-2021 at 05:23 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    3,767

    Default

    I posted this in the Test Area, http://www.bonairetalk.com/forums/sh...hoto-posting-) but we've had a couple of software updates since then and I'm not sure if it is still the same process.
    If I recall correctly I've simply edited your posts the last couple of Trip reports, so if you're ok with that I'll do the same this time.

    If you have the video on your Youtube channel, then you can post that link to show that here in a post.
    PRA & ET Inc
    Proof Readers Anonymous & Extreme Testers

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    33

    Default

    Please feel free to make them larger and thanks for reminder on how to make them larger.


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