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Bonaire - amazing snorkeling, but stay away from the jellyfish!

Bonaire - amazing snorkeling, but stay away from the jellyfish!

Old Feb 19th, 2012, 06:41 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,050
Bonaire - amazing snorkeling, but stay away from the jellyfish!

We just got back from a wonderful week in Bonaire – it was the first, but definitely not the last time there. Here are some notes for everybody else who considers Bonaire for vacation. Just go!

We used Ann Phelan for planning and reservations (villa, restaurants, car rental), and everything worked out smoothly. She gets good reviews from everyone she works with, and for good reason.

Flights: we took the direct flight (red-eye) from Newark. I don’t like night flights…plus, everything is closed at the airport when you get there. Killing the time before the flight was not easy. Luckily, when we landed, the villa was not occupied and we checked in at 6:30 am.

We stayed at Pelican Reef – perfectly located villa, next to Something Special, the best snorkeling place we found. We snorkeled mostly there, also at Bari’s Reef (found an octopus there) and at Plaza (which I think it is overrated as a snorkeling place). We tried other sites further north (Andrea II and Karpata), but the surf was pretty rough that day.
Mark, the villa’s caretaker was very nice, helpful, and always there when we needed him. He even got us some groceries and a bottle of wine for the first day. Thanks, Mark.

We had a so-so dinner at Capriccio (my fish was way overcooked, DH’s pasta was ok). Thankfully the dessert was delicious. Great dinners, not in any order, at Patagonia, Paris Bistro and At Sea; all recommended.

We did a day and a night snorkel with Renee, who is great at spotting things. Unfortunately, during the night snorkel, I had an unplanned encounter with a jellyfish, and had to rush to the ER with a pretty bad allergic reaction (shallow breathing, high pulse, chills and perspiration). I stayed there a few hours, but the event killed the Woodwind trip the next day (which was also our last on the island). Now we really need to go back…
Lesson learned: rash guards are not only for sun protection!!!

There is little to do on the island if you don’t dive or snorkel, so keep that in mind. After snorkeling there, we will get the diving certification and go back.

xyz99 is offline  
Old Feb 20th, 2012, 02:56 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Wonderful report thanks for posting I love Bonaire super laid back vibe great diving you are right about the jelly fish. I
had to use a lot of Adolph's meat tenderizer to disolve the nematocysts(stinging parts) of the jellyfish when there last.
qwovadis is offline  
Old Feb 20th, 2012, 09:43 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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love your photographs. thanks so much for sharing!
virginia is offline  
Old Feb 20th, 2012, 11:12 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Always love hearing about Bonaire, an island that doesn't get much facetime on these boards. Sorry to hear about the jellyfish encounter. Do you know what kind of jellyfiwh got you? Would it have been visible during a daytime snorkel, do you think? Thanks for posting! Now i'm off to check out those photos...
ejcrowe is offline  
Old Feb 20th, 2012, 11:29 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Holy cow, those are some great photos! What camera do you use for your underwater shots?
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Old Feb 20th, 2012, 01:45 PM
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I think there is so little said on these boards about Bonaire becoause people who go there want to keep it a secret. I know I do

I have no idea what jellyfish got me, but the reaction was nasty. I know I got a couple other very tiny stings during day snorkle, but I did not realize at the time it was a jellyfish (felt like a sand flea bite, really small).

The camera is a Canon G9 with an underwater housing, no extra light. Glad you enjoyed the pics.
xyz99 is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2013, 02:08 PM
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A year later, jellyfish sting update: the burn is still easily visible
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