View Full Version : Diving up north past the oil reserve

10-12-2011, 12:55 PM
Can anyone comment on the diving up past the oil reserves? I know there are no marked dive sites, but I drove up there last year and saw quite a few folks diving in different areas.

I am speaking of turning right on the dirt road just prior to entering the gates at the oil storage facility. The security guard allowed us to proceed but it had been raining and the dirt road was in rough shape - so we didn't venture too far.

10-12-2011, 01:41 PM
I dove Tailor Made up there last time, 2 years ago. There's another "site" near that and you can drive up even further to Nukove.
It's been a while, so I don't recall u/w specifics on that dive.
The DRIVE is almost as exciting as the DIVE for those sites, and I'll be up there again in just a few weeks...

10-12-2011, 02:31 PM
I always try to do Candyland at least once every trip.
It is a favorite dive; I like it going north best.
BSDME http://www.infobonaire.com/bsdme/ gives an excellent review of how to enter and exit, and it's quite easy.
Having said all that I'm not sure I would want to try that road after a recent rain.

10-13-2011, 06:08 AM
Both Candyland as Tailormade are very nice divesites. You can recognize them by the piles of stone next to the road. Follow the road towards Nulove, but where the road goes to the right and up, you go to the left along the shore. Just a bit further is the divesite. The other one is just before the the switch off to Nukove.

10-13-2011, 07:25 AM
We dove those sites in mid-September. They are still among the healthiest reefs on the island. The sites are relatively easy to find ... after getting around the BOPEC site and coming back to the road along the sea north of BOPEC, take the left fork in the road (toward the sea, the right fork goes up a slight incline and leads to Nukove). It will be a little rough, but worth it. Have sturdy soles on your dive boots and you'll be fine. There are some cuts in the coral you can see from shore where you can make your entry/exit.

10-13-2011, 09:29 AM
We dove all three at the end of Aug. They're all excellent.

At nukove, we got in the water at the far end of the cove (you'll see when you get there). There's a sandy spot to stand in, then a low spot in the barrier that you can slide over/thru. Fairly easy.

Take food, water, tanks and make a day of it. Nukove, then lunch, then back to candyland & tailormade. Return via Rincon (and LeMaSe). Depending on time (and beer), maybe stop at Seru Largu.

Vann Evans
10-13-2011, 09:57 AM
There are at least 4 sites north of the oil storage facility that we have dived. In order from the south are Candy Land, Taylor Made, Nukove and Fishing Village.

Candy Land and Taylor Made are both accessed from the same left spur off the main road. It is the same road as noted above(left turn off the main road)-both sites are well marked with large stacks of coral at the entry site. The road is quite rough-go slow. There is a turn around spot at the end. We usually leave a marker at the Taylor Made entry site as the coral is quite dense near shore and the exit point can be difficult to find on the return trip. Its best to walk in a very short way(waist deep) and then immediately inflate the bc and swim out quickly before the waves wash you into the coral. Same thing in reverse on the exit-stay underwater until you reach the shore corals, inflate the bc and surface swim to shore.

Nukove is obvious to find and an easy place for parking and lunch or surface interval. There is a small beach and entry point on the right as you enter.

Fishing Village is at the very end of the road. As the name implies, it was in the past the site of a fishing village. There are several abandoned buildings and boats there. the locals use it as a weekend retreat and party place. We have seen 20-30 people there on weekends-families and children cooking out and having fun. there is an obvious entry/exit point with a break in the coral-again, we leave a marker to find the exit on return.

Depending on the currents, we generally start going south at all of these sites and work our way back north on the return trips. all of these sites are healthy, well populated with fish and some of the best diving on Bonaire. We've seen more black durgons at Taylor Made than anywhere else.

As noted above, it's a long way from anywhere-we try to take 2 vehicles and everything we will need for the whole day. There is virtually no traffic and nobody to help if you need anything.

These sites are well worth the effort to get there.

Vann Evans
Sand Dollar A4

10-13-2011, 10:02 AM
Thanks for all the great info!

10-13-2011, 11:14 AM
...Take food, water, tanks and make a day of it. Nukove, then lunch, then back to candyland & tailormade. Return via Rincon (and LeMaSe). Depending on time (and beer), maybe stop at Seru Largu.
Won't the urchins steal your food while you're diving Nukove?
Or is that area just too far off the beaten path for them to bother with?

10-13-2011, 11:25 AM
It's pretty close to the end of the road.

We packed everything in a soft-sided cooler and left the cooler in the bed of the truck. Everything was there when we got out, even my apres' dive beer.

I guess there is a risk, but it seems like a loonnng way to go for what might be one truck. We didn't see other divers the entire day.

It is not a target-rich environment, as compared to Oil Slick or Hilma Hooker, where you'd find many trucks.

Besides, if my beer and sammiches got stolen I'd just skip lunch, dive, and stop at Rose Inn instead of LeMaSe.

Now, if your battery or spare tire got stolen...

10-13-2011, 08:07 PM
Not so good experience trying to dive Taylor Made last year. Dive aborted due to strong current and a car that refused to start. Brook`s Law working...no mobile phone onboard. Not a single soul to get a ride. Walked all way around BOPEP up to the main gate office, to make a phone call to my car rental and ask for rescue. What a hot adventure.
Bonaire is an island full off easy and fantastics points to dive in. It will be hard to talk me into going further north again. Anyway, good luck.