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Thread: Bonaire Recommendations

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    Bonaire Recommendations

    Hello all, I and my girlfriend are going to Bonaire for a week in August. I will be diving CCR, she is a brand new diver and so on OC. I'm looking for recommendations for a dive operation which has CCR consumables and which can provide her with a guide in the mornings. I will dive with her in the afternoons. I also need recommendations for accommodations which are nice and most importantly, secure. I have read many reports on forums about break-ins of hotel rooms and apartments. Thanks in advance! -Andy

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    RBW Member killey is an unknown quantity at this point killey's Avatar
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    Re: Bonaire Recommendations

    Capt Dons Habitat

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    Re: Bonaire Recommendations

    Buddy Dive Resort (http://www.buddydive.com) they will have everything you need as well as accommodation.

    Rob

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    Re: Bonaire Recommendations

    Buddy dive and ask for Mr G.

    I used to use Walt for ccr stuff at capt dons but the guy who took over his business, Walt has retired, has no clue about CCRS. We were just down there and he couldn't supply what we required even though we had made advance arrangements.

    We ended up at buddy dive within 2 days and they had everything sorted on the spot. Sorb, tanks, boosted 02, helium. It impressed me to say the least.

    Next trip well stay at buddy and tech dive from there too.

    Cam

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    Re: Bonaire Recommendations

    Thanks all, Buddy Dive it is, -Andy

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    Re: Bonaire Recommendations

    Slightly off topic, but .... thinking of Bonaire for a January vacation. How bad are break-ins on Bonaire? I've been to Curacao many times and stopped going after our rented condo was broken into in the middle of our 1st night there with the 6 of us adults inside. Cops didn't really care and only took a report (1 week later) after being pressured by a local who was helping us out. Also we witnessed a theft at a shore dive site and ran after the perpetrator who jumped into a waiting car and took off. Because there would be 6 of us again, a condo is how we would like to go. How bad are things in Bonaire?

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    RBW Member outofayr is an unknown quantity at this point outofayr's Avatar
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    Re: Bonaire Recommendations

    We were there in February and stayed at Capt Don's Habitat. Technical Diving Services had scrubber, 2L or 3L oxygen tanks (13s and 19s, although only 95% O2), 40s or 80s for bailout. Chris VerStappen (sp?) is the owner and went out of his way to help us out. We did contact him in advance to make sure he had what we needed.

    I've also stayed at Buddy Dive, and they support rebreathers there as well, but I had a much better experience boat diving at Capt. Don's. Of course, renting a truck is a must for the shore diving!

    As for break-ins, I've been there three times and never had any trouble staying at the resorts. Buddy Dive and Sand Dollar (right next door to Buddy Dive) have condo units that could handle six, and have security at night. When shore diving, just leave the truck windows down, the vehicle unlocked, and nothing of value inside. We've never had anyone take t-shirts, sandals, etc. from the parked truck.

    Have fun on the trip!

    Brian

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    Re: Bonaire Recommendations

    I know this is a late post on the thread, but...

    I just got back from Bonaire a couple weeks ago. I used the services at TDS and was very pleased with everything. Chris has rebreather tanks, bailout rentals, sorb (Extend Air and granular). He's got everything you need except Helium. (Buddy doesn't have Helium on a regular basis either btw)

    With regards to O2, Captain Don's actually has an O2 maker. They make their own. All the dive shops on the island get their O2 for Capt. Don's as far as I know. It's 98%. I definitely know that Buddy Dive gets their O2 from Don's. (and charges quite a bit more per cu. ft.) So there is no reason to pay extra by getting it from Buddy.

    I know this because I was recently down there for Tek Week. Long story short, after using both Buddy (Mr. G) and Chris at TDS, I will not use Buddy Dive every again for my OC Tec or CCR needs. I had a much better experience with Chris at TDS and it was all less expensive and much less hassle.

    Yes, definitely email ahead of time to make sure TDS will have what you need that week. It is still an island and island stuff happens. But Chris gets 2 thumbs up from me.

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    RBW Member Byte Me is an unknown quantity at this point Byte Me's Avatar
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    Re: Bonaire Recommendations

    Another plug for Chris at TDS. Great guy, very accommodating and knowledgeable about current conditions and "non-standard" dives that lend themselves to CCR. By non-standard I mean something other than walk in at Karpata - see which way the current is going, swim into it an hour and then turn.

    Reasonable prices, hours, equipment is in very good condition and he's super friendly. What else could you want?

  10. #10
    Let's go diving! mpement will become famous soon enough mpement will become famous soon enough mpement will become famous soon enough mpement's Avatar
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    Re: Bonaire Recommendations

    I live on the island, dive a Meg and do deep, DPV and extended range diving as well as hunt Lionfish. Still expect to one day find a pristine deep wreck with gold and silver strewn about on the reef. I'm self sufficient and don't use the local operations for support.
    I can however recommend both MrG at Buddy Dive and Chris at Capt Don's for vacationing rebreather divers. Both operations have established a fully functioning support system with sorb, O2, Helium and bailout tanks etc. along with credentials to dive The Windjammer.
    Boat dives can be an issue since you are trapped together with OC divers with limited bottom time. Guided dives can be problematic since your guide will also be on open circuit and invariably interested in maximizing his bottom time by staying shallow.
    If you're new to Bonaire, stop by my house and I'll fill you in on where to find what you're looking for.

    Michael 795-0035

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