Destination reviews

Scuba Dive Training worldwide with Pete Bucknell

Bonaire: Staying at Buddy Dive

A must see place for all divers alike.
Where is Bonaire? It's off the coast of Venezuela.

Asked to go and shoot video for a dive club for a week in the Dutch Island : Bonaire, I picked up some information that might be useful to you if you're new to Bonaire diving.
I highly recommend the diving there, and I was happy with the experience at "Buddy Dive Resort"

Here are some tips:
It's a fantastic place to spend a week of stress-free shore diving, with nitrox and air available right on the dock, or at a drive-thru located right in the resort.
Weights and tanks are provided of course.
All equipment is available for rent.
Towels provided
Safes are also provided in your room in most cases
Take a torch, preferably two, as night diving is big there.

Here's some footage of the big Tarpon that like to hunt at night using the light from divers' torches:

Ask in advance for an ocean view room, if that’s important to you, when making your booking, rooms usually have a balcony.
Also worth asking for a room near the dock (for people who forget stuff, it’ll save leg-work)

Flights seem to be once a week via Atlanta, with Delta who allow two 50lb bags free.
The resort will pick you up at the airport, and take your bags to your room.

To save time, I recommend watching their
orientation video before you fly,
Print and fill out the forms, go early to the dive shop on the dock to sign in, and you’ll be geared up and in the water same day:
Liability Release
Nitrox Release
Dive Log Sheet

A dawn dive is a must-do: be in the water just before the sun comes up to watch critters change shifts.

Plan to dive up to 4 times a day, and
do go on the boat dives, as they take divers to some really beautiful reefs, wrecks and beaches, and guides will point out the good stuff. The boats are serviceable, without being luxurious. Take your own lunch if you are doing a three tank day.

Get to know the staff, they are lovely people and their smiles are real. The food service is on island time, but if you learn a few names, things can move a lot quicker...

Resort rents trucks to guests so you can hoon around to all the island’s different dive sites :
Dive Site Map

Watch for other divers exiting the water and
ask about currents (can change during a dive! )

Here's a look at the Hilma Hooker from a closed circuit rebreather perspective.
(It's accessible from the shore)

Scuba divers staying at Buddy Dive are usually very friendly and chatty. There’s a wealth of information in their heads as many of them come back every year and really know the place, so ask questions.
General age group is 40 - 70, so if you want young people, take your own group.

Watch the sunset from the deck chairs near the bar, and remind yourself to relax...
Here’s a look at coral spawning week in Bonaire: