We did our first dive in Bonaire on our arrival day, but not before taking a nap for several hours after our red-eye flight. We are staying at the Caribbean Club which is affiliated with Buddy Dive. We stayed at the Buddy Dive Resort the last time we came to Bonaire. Caribbean Club is a little farther from town, but the price was significantly less and they had availability. The island is very busy during spring break.
We did a dive off the pier. Good thing for me we did a check-out dive; one of my hoses was leaking air and the dive staff replaced it for me. My last dive was October 2010 and boy did it feel great to get back in the water. Buddy Reef is an easy dive site. Straight out to the reef and then north along the reef into the current and then south riding the current back. Twenty-five minutes out, takes only about 10 minutes back, a slow current. We were down about 50 minutes.
I had forgotten about all the wonderful schools of fish in Bonaire. The reef is really healthy, maybe even healthier than when we were here 3 years ago for spring break. This is easy diving and a great location for beginners. It was a good choice having not dove in a while. We heard lots of languages being spoken on the pier; there are people here from all over the world.
After cleaning our gear at the resort-our room includes a private rinse tank and locker-it was time for a shower, an evening cocktail, and dinner in town. We have a favorite pizza place, Pasa Bon. You can’t miss it. It is on the main road and has an old stop light outside which blinks “stop” in red; “for” in yellow, and “pizza” in green. There is always a long wait, so call ahead for reservations or order a pizza to go. The house salad is also wonderful with fresh greens, cheese, pepperoni, olive, green pepper, and tomatoes on top. The owner here is always in a panic; the place is just that popular. After the travel, our wonderful meal, and the dive, it was easy to fall asleep that night.
The next morning we did two boat dives so it was an early start to the day. The first reef was Sharon’s Serenity off Klein Bonaire, a small island just off the coast-a short 15 minute boat ride away. Most diving in Bonaire is shore diving, but for the Klein Bonaire reefs you have to go out on a dive boat or take a water taxi over to the island.
I love the small trunkfish with their fast flapping fins and Rocky loves the color on the fairy basslets. We saw angelfish, parrot fish, wrasses, butterfly fish, grouper, jacks, and blue tangs ( think Dori from Finding Nemo) among others.
After our surface interval spent on the boat traveling back to Bonaire, we did our second dive at 1,000 steps. Yes, this is the name of the dive site, but it is also how you access it from the shore. I vote for boat diving for this site, rather than wearing full gear and carrying a tank on my back down those steps. There were people doing that though. Can’t imagine going back up too, tired from your hour-long dive.
It is a great dive site, I spotted a small lionfish (love it at full spread) and the dive guide showed us a small filefish in the tall soft coral, great camouflage. I also spotted a colorful slug.