PhotoJournal For Dive Travelers

Shore Diving


    In 5 trips to Bonaire, I have never heard a bad word about any of the dive operations on the island. But this is not what makes Bonaire my favorite dive location. I love Bonaire because it is: 1) Quiet and without stress,
2) free of any traffic light,
3) possessed of any incredibly relaxed economic atmosphere,
4) full of great diving,
5) the world's mecca for shore diving. I'm about to expose a little known secret of the dive world. There are many divers who love the beauty of the undersea world, but their systems do not appreciate the wonders of the rolling sea.
Many divers wish they could experience the breathtaking joys of diving without living on seasick medicine. Bonaire is the place for you. One can spend weeks in Bonaire, visiting new locations, without ever entering a boat. You can get great exercise walking down the 1000 steps. A diver can walk down to the tiny beach of Karpata and enjoy phenomenal diving. You can drive down to Pink Beach and walk into the sea off a sandy beach. One can drive slightly north and swim out 100 feet to the Hilma Hooker. Continuing north you'll see the incredible salt operation, following by the many double reef walls of Angel City.
    Beyond these sites, about 4 kilometers south of Kralendyk, you'll find Lighthouse Beach, three sets of row homes, perfect for the shore diver, one along the sea, one 100 yards back, and one surrounding a beautiful swimming pool. I have rented from owners 3 times in the past 10 years and never been disappointed. We love the land animals of Bonaire. Puppies played with us between dives on our last visit. A beautiful Persian cat, Oliver, shared our home during the day for two weeks in 1996. Lizards and lorakeets are all over, and never forget the everpresent donkeys, who own the road. Less than two miles north of Lighthouse Beach, you can rent tanks from the Flamingo and come and go as you please, never having to watch the clock for the next boat ride or lie about a crowded boat between the halves of a two tank dive.
    There are more wonders to come. Kralendyk, the capital of Bonaire, is a wonderful shopping and dining area, a huge triangle enclosing a parking area. Beyond Kralendyk are the great majority of dive hotels of Bonaire. At night, I like to avoid the rocks present along much of the shoreline.
You can do this by entering the water from the docks of most resorts on the island. Captain Don's, Sand Dollar, Buddies, the Flamingo and other hotels allow divers staying anywhere on the island to park close and use there docks for entry. These docks lead to many of the best sites on the island. Captain Don's dock alone leads to the Machaca, a sunken boat, to the left, a 120 foot wall with a larger wreck and huge moray to the right and a sandy area where I've seen Octopi, tarpons and huge moray right off the dock. Orange cup corals are everywhere. I haven't even yet mentioned the main reason dive photographers head for Bonaire. The shallow dive under the dock at Kralendyk is the best macro location in the Caribbean. Frogfish, seahorses, glassy sweepers and many other species hide amongst the orange cup corals under the dock, while George, the tarpon, and his Snook friend linger in the shadows. If you like shore diving, Bonaire is truly Dive Paradise.

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Bob Klemow