Bonaire: Where Drive-Thrus Aren’t Just for Burgers
There are two types of people in this world: those who have heard of Bonaire and those who haven’t. If you are in the latter category, you likely aren’t a scuba diver. Bonaire, ‘the diver’s paradise’, is located 50 miles off of the coast of Venezuela, 30 miles from Curacao, and 86 miles from Aruba. Bonaire puts the ‘B’ in ABC Islands (along with Aruba and Curacao) and is an official public body of the Netherlands.
With over 80 dive sites, the sheer variety of locations will entertain any diver. Add to this that 60 of these sites are shore accessible. As in, no boat, crew, or dive class needed. Diving can be done on your time, where you want, and at your desired frequency (according to your safety profile). The reef-lined coast has been protected and actively managed for over 30 years as a national park. Truly a diver’s playground, Bonaire’s arid climate maintains calm waters with an average temperature between 78-84F and visibility between 100-150 feet.
When/Where Are We Going
We leave tomorrow (December 28) for Bonaire and will return on January 4th . Mainly operating from a ‘Use it or Lose it’ standpoint, we booked a dive trip to ensure that the PADI Open Water skillset we gained two years ago in Belize would not be just a distant trip memory.
Buddy Dive, a full-service dive center, will become our home base. By booking with Buddy Dive, we have access to their home reef, a rental truck (to go to other dive sites), unlimited tank refills (including Nitrox) and the two-lane Drive-Thru tank refill station. What more could a diver ask for?
What We Did to Prepare
We obtained our Enriched Air Certification from Down Under Surf and Scuba. Breathing ‘nitrox’ on our dives will enable us to dive for longer and more frequently due to the lower nitrogen content (oxygen percentage >21%). Optimally used at depths shallower than 50 feet, nitrox is ideal for reef dives in Bonaire.
Although not entirely necessary, we took the plunge and purchased all of our own gear. This was a ‘long-term’ decision, as we are the type of people that will engage in an activity more frequently if we have our own equipment (re: dive more often). Also, everything fits the way it should! Comfort in either fit or familiarity encourages sustained involvement in any sport.
Get ready for future posts, pictures, and videos of the trip! I can’t wait to use my GoPro Hero 2!
Have you been to Bonaire? What else should we know before we go? Was this your first-time hearing of Bonaire? Comment below!