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westernwilson
09-15-2011, 02:22 PM
We are going to be in Bonaire this Dec/Jan. We took out Open Water tickets about 10 years ago and do not dive regularly at all. We are really rusty!

What advice can you all offer on our best strategy for getting back into diving when we arrive in Bonaire, and how to get to a point where we can safely and comfortably toodle around in a truck doing shore dives on our own?

Regards,
Janet

kob
09-15-2011, 02:41 PM
Welcome to BT, Janet. As a long time scuba instructor, I highly, highly recommend that you get a "scuba tune up" from the dive operator you will be using while on Bonaire. While Bonaire diving is exceptionally easy, the length of time you have been out of the water merits extra caution. There are many great divemasters & instructors on Bonaire who can quickly get you up to speed.

You might also want to purchase "Bonaire Shore Diving Made Easy", which describes all the local dive sites and gives tips for safe entries/exits.

Have a great time !!:D:D

wwguy
09-15-2011, 03:17 PM
Hi Janet. Kob's advice is spot-on... a refresher course is the way to go.

Most dive certification agencies offer something similar, and some instructors have built their own program, but this link (http://www.padi.com/scuba/padi-courses/diver-level-courses/view-all-padi-courses/scuba-diver/scuba-review/)to the PADI Scuba Review Tune-up course should give you an idea of what to expect.

One option might be to spend some time in the pool with your local dive shop, and then do your 1st dive or two on Bonaire with an instructor.

There's also some previous dicussion of this topic in this thread (http://www.bonairetalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=70491).

westernwilson
09-15-2011, 03:35 PM
Thankyou gentlemen! We did hope someone could give us a refresher course as this situation must be common. We are not into very deep diving and as I get older I am less and less willing to go below easy escape depth. Life is getting more precious.

But we did a night dive with Charlie the Tarpon some time ago and I very much want to do that again, so we need to get our skills back up.

I also need to practice the "take your mask off and then put it back on underwater". I always get water up my nose on this one and have begun to dread doing it.

I hope I can sit in a shallows somewhere and just practice, practice, practice until I overcome the fear. It is such a silly thing to get hung up on.

Regards,
Janet

fraserfraser
09-15-2011, 03:35 PM
Janet,
I suggest hiring someone to dive with. Bas Noij or the other Bas are great people to dive with. Get in touch with them at www.vipdiving.com (http://www.vipdiving.com) . They can teach you the in and outs of Bonaire shoring diving as well as help with getting back up to speed in general.
If you have a place already selected and they have a dive shop affiliated with them, use them. Lots of great instructors on Bonaire.
you can easily practice in the shallows. get comfortable and go.

westernwilson
09-15-2011, 03:59 PM
We will definitely work with someone till we are comfortable again. We are staying first at the Sand Dollar condos, then Sorobon for our last two weeks.

Regards,
Janet

Bill K
09-15-2011, 04:13 PM
I would recommend the two-step approach. If possible, take a refresher course with your LDS in your local pool. My wife did this after half a decade off and she found it very useful. Then do a guided dive early on in Bonaire -- BDA (the dive op for Sand Dollar) can likely do one if you let them know. You will have to do your own "check out dive" as part of the orientation, so you could just opt to play in the sand flat before heading out to the reef at 30-35 feet. And you will be glad to know that "Charlie" (or the sons of Charlie) the tarpon still prowls the reef at Sand Dollar during night dives. Enjoy.

ChrisnKim
09-19-2011, 06:45 PM
I'm with you Western. We're both experienced novice divers, but have been out of the water for a number of years and were debating on whether we should take a local refresher (in a pool), or wait until our arrival to Bonaire. And, like you, the older I get, the more precious life becomes and the less apt I am to take risks. Not comfortable with the shore diving on my own at this point!

How feasible is it, and pricey, to hire a private guide for shore dives?

I'll start another thread of my own as I have questions about various dive ops on the island .... I've read good and not so good reviews (on one in particular that comes recommended that I won't name here). A safe and reputable organization is our biggest priority.
:hummm:

jallej
09-19-2011, 11:09 PM
Welcome to BT, Janet. As a long time scuba instructor, I highly, highly recommend that you get a "scuba tune up" from the dive operator you will be using while on Bonaire. While Bonaire diving is exceptionally easy, the length of time you have been out of the water merits extra caution. There are many great divemasters & instructors on Bonaire who can quickly get you up to speed.

You might also want to purchase "Bonaire Shore Diving Made Easy", which describes all the local dive sites and gives tips for safe entries/exits.

Have a great time !!:D:D
Hello. My wife and I are planning a trip to Bonaire in 04/2012. Can you give some more info on "Bonaire Shore Diving Made Easy" - os this a bo0ok or a video? Where to purchase? Thanks, Jim.

hammer
09-19-2011, 11:27 PM
Bonaire Shore Diving Made Easy is a book you can get it online at amazon or some other online book sellers. Enjoy your trip

Nick F
09-25-2011, 09:33 PM
Here's a link to order the book:

http://www.infobonaire.com/bsdme/order.html

I second the 2 stage approach - do a refresher with your LDS and try to get in a few easy local dives. Once on island, hire a guide for a few shore dives; you may want to do a few boat dives first then progress to guided shore dives. Shore dive entries vary in difficulty, a few shore dives with a guide will help you learn to deal with entry and exit as well. Enjoy your trip.

Love Water
09-27-2011, 09:59 PM
Welcome to BT, Janet. As a long time scuba instructor, I highly, highly recommend that you get a "scuba tune up" from the dive operator you will be using while on Bonaire. While Bonaire diving is exceptionally easy, the length of time you have been out of the water merits extra caution. There are many great divemasters & instructors on Bonaire who can quickly get you up to speed.

You might also want to purchase "Bonaire Shore Diving Made Easy", which describes all the local dive sites and gives tips for safe entries/exits.

Have a great time !!:D:D
+1:)

Eric M
10-27-2011, 07:07 PM
Hello. My wife and I are planning a trip to Bonaire in 04/2012. Can you give some more info on "Bonaire Shore Diving Made Easy" - os this a bo0ok or a video? Where to purchase? Thanks, Jim.


You can get it at Michael's store right next to SandDollar when you are on the island as well.

e

corybaby
10-27-2011, 10:23 PM
Bonaire is one of the easiest places ive ever dove, picture this.....the island is round (not really but for explanation purposes lets say it is) So round island with larger round reef all the way around maybe 25 to 100 yards from shore, reef is not flat but most always a wall going down about 45-75 degrees......I will post the advice i gave some other divers a while ago on Bonaire diving....hope it helps!
Let me share our technique: enter the water wherever you need to to be safe and easy, then maneuver yourself directly in front of your truck (parked on the shore by the or off of the road) and take a compass reading on it,set the arrow, use the opposite (reciprocal) reading to go across the sand to the reef edge, find something unusual to remember...........head over the edge and stop around 25-35 feet, turn around and look for something you can FOR SURE remember, three large rocks in a cluster,heart shaped bowl coral, extra tall vegetation etc......it helps to be twenty or so feet away and up off the reef when your looking......Once you find and remember you landmark also look up to the edge and look for another identifier, bouys are a real plus if its a mooring spot.....if not anything memorable will do.......Nows the fun! check which way the currents running by loooking at the long vegetation and go against it, desend to about 60-70 or whats comfortable and look at your time source....now swimm the way youve chosen for approx 10-15 minutes, when times up ascend to 30-35 feet or halfway up the side of the reef,this way you get to see more of the reef, check your time again and add another 10-15 or exactly how many minutes you swam out at and go back the other way, dont forget the time you need to stop at! Once times up again start looking for your landmarks, of course as your time mark is getting closer keep looking ahead for your landmarks, once found ascend and look for your unusual object, you compass should already have your reading on it since you set it before, at the truck, follow your reading back until its shallow enough to pop up for a look see, wala!
And now that you have your landmarks all picked out , do your surface interval and go the other direction on the next dive, see all new stuff but use the same in-n-out points! unless the currents an issue but it rarely is.....
hope this helps, works for us everytime!

Fid
10-29-2011, 12:45 PM
One other option is to just ask other divers if they would mind if you tagged along.

We will be there for a few weeks around the same time as you and you are more than welcome to contact me and I will be more than happy to run through some of the basics with you. It is surprising how much of it comes back to you after only one or two dives. Either send me a private message or leave a message with Michael at Chat n Browse.

yakgalnj
12-04-2011, 07:44 PM
Since the hurricane a couple of years ago, many entries ar not as easy as they used to be. Many now require a big step down off of the coral shelf. This can be difficult if there is a surge or wave action. Some very easy entries include Oil Slick Leap, Old Blue and 1000 Steps (if you don't mind the steps).

corybaby
12-04-2011, 07:59 PM
Our favorite is always Margate bay, you step down about 2 inches, at the right spot,(directly in front of the center shore idol) then its an easy shuffle in! and its one of the nicest reefs down south...

Only 11 more months and counting! lol

Maybe a trip in april....who knows?