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Thread: Trip Report July 31 – August 7, 2011

  1. #1
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    Aug 2011
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    Default Trip Report July 31 – August 7, 2011

    I am going to break this report down into different categories so that you can read portions that interest you.

    Diving:

    My wife and were able to get in 20 dives over our weeklong stay. We started up North and dove Nukove, Taylor Made and Karpata. We were amazed at the # of lionfish we saw up North. We saw 15 at Nukove, alone which is very sad in many ways. Due to a tropical storm in the Eastern Caribbean early that week the wind really died down for a couple of days. We immediately went south and dove Light House, Red Slave and White slave. Light House was so beautiful with all of the sea fans and soft corals. By far the most untouched site we dove the entire week. However Red Slave was the best dive (twice that week) due to amount of fans and soft corals (like Lighthouse) but also the many great finds we saw. 2 spotted eagle rays, scorpion fish not to mention a 6-foot green moray ell free swimming. Wow! We also dove the East side with Wanna Dive & East Coast Divers. Fred is a very nice guy and we were able to see about 25 turtles on that dive. The East side is nothing like the rest of the island which is nice a calm however it’s worth the effort. The highlight of the week was at Angel City. Not only did we see a frogfish but we saw him walk to the edge of a coral mound and jump and glide about 2 feet to another coral head. AMAZING!!! That was a memory burn that will never be forgotten. The only bad part of our diving was the lack of lobsters. We only saw 1 the entire time and it was slipper lobster up at Karpata. Tim & Leanne who hosted us that week said that they had been almost cleaned out by lobsterman.

    While on the island we used Dive Friends for our tanks. Although all the people were nice we were not impressed! The location at the Hamlet Oasis never had a nitrox analyzer that worked so we were not able to get any tanks from them. All of our tanks were picked up at the yellow sub location. We found them to analyze anywhere between 30-32%. Neither of the other 2 locations could ever provide a tank with anything over 29%. Needless to say they have lots of room for improvement. Next time we will use Wanna Dive, which we had used on our 1st trip, plus Bart and Fred are really nice guys.

    Accommodations:

    In a previous post on Scubaboard.com we had read about Beachcomber Villa’s www.BonaireBeachcomberVillas.com, which is located in the Hamlet Oasis Resort. Wow! What a great place to stay. Leanne and Tim (Dynamic Duo) the owner are amazing people. From the 1st interaction via e-mail to our departure from Bonaire they were so helpful in everyway. The 1 bedroom upstairs unit we stayed in was clean and had so many of the little things that you always wish you had when staying in a condo. However the dynamic duo are really what makes staying their really special. The villa is located ocean front with great views from the upstairs deck which overlook the “Cliff buoy” the house reef just North of Buddy’s. This place is dialed in for divers. Take a look at the website and check it out. You will not be disappointed.

    Dining:

    Bobby Jeans has good BBQ for takeout. We did not eat there because the service from the staff was not really friendly. In addition it was extremely hot from all the cooking in the kitchen. However the chicken was great! The ribs were good but just not much meat on them. The price is very reasonable.

    Paradise Moon is a nice place in town right on the water. The service was great with a very friendly gal from Texas (Lisa). The meal was good but the homemade apple pie served alamode was incredible. The drinks were really nice also after a long day of diving.

    Cactus Blue is a nice place in town but not on the water. The service was really good and the drinks were huge not to mention delicious. That night we had dinner with Tim & Leanne our hosts.

    Wil’s is our favorite place to eat on the island. Wil and his wife were working that night and both are so nice. The meal was fantastic but my wife could not get over how delicious her Caesar salad was. The desert was wonderful. Wil’s wife mentioned they always needed “Nestle toll house chocolate chips” and would give you a free desert in exchange for a bag. Apparently they are very hard to get on the island.

    At Sea was just a little fancy for my wife and I while on the island. The food was very good but they did not have a full menu yet. We had to go with our 3rd choice for wine since they were out of the others. Both of us had to go with our 2nd choice for appetizers since they were out of our other choices. The main entrees were great! Of course they were out of dessert choice so we just called it an evening. The gals who were waiting on us were very nice.

    Sunset Bar & Grill is a nice place on the water with great views. My wife and I went on lobster night and both had the special. Although the lobsters were good I was taken back by the small size of each lobster. Each plate must have had 5 half’s of lobster even a piece of slipper lobster (our 1st ever). I would of thought that there would be a size restriction on the harvest and sale of lobsters in Bonaire. Especially since we only saw 1 lobster while diving.

    Other Activities:

    My wife and I went and did the donkey sanctuary. We were very happy we did this and to witness the concern and compassion of those who run this place. We had a great time but 1 bag of food does not last long when you have 8 donkey heads in the truck looking for food. It was worth every penny and will be back.

    Cave tours with Clay at Jentis Tours was a very unique adventure. He picked us up on time at our place and gave us the details of what to expect. The 1st part was going into a dry cave and learning about the caves themselves. Although very informative this portion did get hot. The 2nd stop was the snorkle portion and was very different experience. Clay worked very hard to ensure we had a good time. I would recommend this but make sure you have the right shoes and can climb up and down into the caves. For some people this could be a problem.

    Hopefully this info helps someone.

    JM

  2. #2
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    May 2011
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    Grants Pass, Oregon USA
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    Thanks for the report. My wife Jolene and I are staying with Tim ad Leanne for two weeks next April. Did you rent a vehicle, adn, if so, from whom and what did you pay/think about it? Thanks, Jim.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2011
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    Default Texas Joe

    Thank you for your report. We have stayed at Buddy's for years until we bought our place at Bellafonte. We love the staff there especially Murph,Scott,Herman and the crew and the Your photos are wonderful as well.

    The Bonaire Gift Shop is a closely held secret and Gupta is a funny guy! he is really from Atlanta and puts on the Indian accent. He knows his wine. We met him a few years back and he loves to a great joke and we had a lot of laughs.

    Bill

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the great report. Makes us want to go back that much more.
    Planning our 8th trip and cant wait.

  5. #5
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    wwguy is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Joe View Post
    The only bad part of our diving was the lack of lobsters. We only saw 1 the entire time and it was slipper lobster up at Karpata. Tim & Leanne who hosted us that week said that they had been almost cleaned out by lobsterman.

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Joe View Post
    Sunset Bar & Grill is a nice place on the water with great views. My wife and I went on lobster night and both had the special. Although the lobsters were good I was taken back by the small size of each lobster. Each plate must have had 5 half’s of lobster even a piece of slipper lobster (our 1st ever). I would of thought that there would be a size restriction on the harvest and sale of lobsters in Bonaire. Especially since we only saw 1 lobster while diving.
    The locals harvest lobsters because visitors like you pay money to eat them in local restaurants.

    Otherwise a great trip report.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by jallej View Post
    Thanks for the report. My wife Jolene and I are staying with Tim ad Leanne for two weeks next April. Did you rent a vehicle, adn, if so, from whom and what did you pay/think about it? Thanks, Jim.
    We rented our truck through bonaire rent a car. Paid about $300 for the week. I tried to rent through Poppy but he did not have an available

  7. #7
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    May 2011
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    Hammond, Indiana
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    Poppy is a SHE, and you have to contact her earlly if you want her good service.

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