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View Full Version : Boka Bartol, White Hole Playa Benge and Lighthouse



jorge
04-27-2012, 04:49 PM
Hello!!! we're going to dive in Bonaire again!!!!!!!. We were there last year. But this year we want to visit others diving places. What about Boka Bartol, White Hole and Lighthouse ?. We dived in the places near Kralendijk, Vilma Hook, 1000 steps and Karpata but we didn't go to the northest place neither to the southest. regards Jorge

Vann Evans
04-27-2012, 05:56 PM
We have dived both the White Hole and Lighthouse. Both were done during a wind reversal, so the seas were very calm on the "wild side'.

The Lighthouse was unusual because it was a very long surface swim out over 8-10 feet of water before we ever got to the drop-off. Once at the drop-off, it was a typical Bonaire dive-more turtles than usual and lots of fish life. It was a very nice dive-easy and safe but a long surface swim out. It's definitely worth the long swim, but only when there is a wind reversal or calm seas.

We have dived at the White Hole on 2 different times and two different ways. The first time was during a wind reversal, so seas were calm. we entered at the north side of Lac Cai near the conch shell piles. again, it was a very long surface swim to the drop-off. We went down on the reef going south. After we got to 2000psi, we started back and then swam through the White Hole. It is everything you've heard-there must have been 100 tarpons swimming around-completely unconcerned with us. We weren't able to stay long as we had limited air left. We were guided by a long time Bonaire diver who knew exactly where to go and return. I would not try this dive without a knowledgeable guide.--air consumption is critical and knowing where to go and return are also critical.

The second time diving White Hole was on a boat dive with East Coast Diving. This is the way to do it in almost any weather that they feel safe. We had 4-6 foot seas and it was a blast. . They take you in their boat and lead you with a divemaster.. We had lots of opportunities to see tarpon, turtles, eagle rays and all types of fish, including the biggest green moray I've ever seen. Highly recommend this dive.

Vann Evans
A4 Sand Dollar.

Bas Tol
04-29-2012, 03:51 PM
We have dived at the White Hole on 2 different times and two different ways. The first time was during a wind reversal, so seas were calm. we entered at the north side of Lac Cai near the conch shell piles. again, it was a very long surface swim to the drop-off. We went down on the reef going south. After we got to 2000psi, we started back and then swam through the White Hole. It is everything you've heard-there must have been 100 tarpons swimming around-completely unconcerned with us. We weren't able to stay long as we had limited air left. We were guided by a long time Bonaire diver who knew exactly where to go and return. I would not try this dive without a knowledgeable guide.--air consumption is critical and knowing where to go and return are also critical..

Vann, reading your description it seems like you dove the white hole only once, by boat. The shore dive you described above sounds a lot like a regular Lac Cai dive. What you believe was the white hole is actually the tarpon pit which is just off the conch shell piles. Judging by the description of the 'route' / the way the dive was done I think I know who was your quide too... someone with the initials AB?
To reach white hole from the conch shell piles it is at least a 90 minute dive... one way! It makes much more sense to start at the south side of the bay. The hole is much closer from there... about 30-45 minutes diving once you're in the water outside the bay. But it makes most sense to do this one by boat.

Jorge, you should look into sites Candyland and Taylor Maid! They are easy to do on your own and have some of the best coral reef you can find on the leeward side.

Vann Evans
04-29-2012, 06:55 PM
Hello Bas Tol, Thanks for the clarification-after thinking about it, the "white Hole" did seem different the second time compared to our trip there. I guess we actually were at 2 different locations. I certainly didn't mean to send anybody the wrong information.

The dive leaving from north Cai took us due south. On the return we swam through what looked like a circle shaped depression with a LOT of tarpons-we were told it was the white hole-looked good to me!! But actually the name "tarpon pit" is even more correct-the "hole" could easily be a "pit" and there are certainly tarpons. A well named dive site! It is a great dive under the right conditions --but go with somebody that knows the route.

our "guide" was not AB--it was our friend JL and he's not really a guide, just a friend who spends a lot of time on Bonaire

Thanks again-I always love to know more about Bonaire.

Vann Evans A4 Sand Dollar

jorge
04-30-2012, 08:30 PM
Bas, where are situated Candyland and Taylor Mail ? I can find in the map.

BonaireDan
05-02-2012, 10:19 AM
Candyland and Taylor Maid are great dives. The best hard coral on that side of the island that I have seen. Definitely a challenge to get there. North around BOPEC but a truck is a must and that can be treacherous at times. Consult a detailed Bonaire map and check with local divers for the best detailed instuctions. BSDME is a great reference all Bonaire divers must have.

Bas Tol
05-02-2012, 09:19 PM
Hi Jorge,

E-mail ( loonybin@bonairelive.com )or PM me and will send you detailed info on these sites.

Bas

Bas Tol
05-06-2012, 03:13 PM
Since more people sent requests for the info on these sites, I might aswell put it here....

Why I like these dives so much...
Going there is like time travel. These dives remind me of how the all
reefs were when I was a kid, 30-35 years ago. This mile or so piece of
coast line is still mostly intact unlike the rest of the leeward side which was hit hard by
big waves spun off by storms passing by in the last decades.

You can't just enter anywhere because of the fore-reef that's blocking
your way. The fore-reef is a shallow barrier reef between the shore and
the shallows. You can't walk on it, can't crawl over it (unless the water
is unusually high you can just float over it) You need a cut/channel through the fore-reef to get to
the deeper water. Everywhere else the fore-reef was beat to bits. Most
damage done in '98 by Lenny.
It's not that this didn't get hit at all as there's some area's in the
shallows that are pretty 'bald' but for the most part it's great from the
shallows to the drop off and down...

The coral formations on the drop off are amazing. Best diving depth is on
the edge of the drop off 25-35ft. Allthough a little deeper you'll find
nice big sponges and other cool stuff. Some of the coral formations are
just huge. Candyland is great and it gets even better at taylor maid going
north.

To get there... drive north, past Karpata all the way to the gate of the
oil storage facility (BOPEC) There you take a right onto the dirt road
going up the hill. This road will take you around the BOPEC. Once you are
around it, gone down the hill and the road is right next to the ocean
again, look for a lake on your right. Follow the road until the lake at
your right ends. Where the lake ends you have a small area on your right
where you can park off the road. There's also a pretty large tree there,
where if you look closely you'll see there's a 'hang-out' under this tree.
If you found this... walk across the road and you'll see a small walking
trail heading to the sea. Walk to the sea and look about 15 yards to your
left (along a coral dike)... you'll see a formation of stacked large coral
rocks that are not part of the original coral dike. At this time there's a
stick stuck in it with a plastic bottle on the top. This marks the channel
through the fore-reef. At the end of your dive you can surface, look for
the rock formation and directly in front of it you are good to come back
in. This is Candyland.

To find taylor maid... From where you parked at Candyland... follow the
road for 20 yards or so and you'll see a small bumpy coral road on your
left. Go on it and drive until you'll find another stack of large coral
rock. One large piece of it stands up straight and kinda resembles a grave
stone. This marks the channel for taylor maid. However this channel is not
right in front of the stones... a few yards off to the right. this channel
is not as easy as the one at candyland. there's large brain corals there
that you have to navigate around... be nice to them!

Taylor maid north... if you continue the coral road untill it dead-ends,
you'll find another stack of rocks. At the moment this one has a doll head
on top of it. There's another channel in front.

If you make yourself familiar with all these markers on shore, it's great
to do drift dives in this area!!

One thing you have to keep in mind is that the waves that are being washed
over the fore-reef push up water over the fore-reef which is being
funneled out through the channels. So the bigger the waves, the stronger
the 'current' coming out of the channels.

Another thing I'd like to bring to your attention is the corals that are
trying to grow in these channels. PLEASE put on your mask and inflate BCD
BEFORE entering the water. Walk/wade in to between knee and hip deep
water, squad and lay down. Use snorkel or regulator so you can see where
you put your feet as you make your way to deeper water and a safe spot(for
you AND the corals) to do on your fins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Enjoy!!

TankHalfFull
05-07-2012, 10:13 AM
Thanks, Bas!

jorge
05-08-2012, 09:26 PM
thank you Bas !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
that's a great and clear explanation !!!

thank you very very much !
Jorge