Bonaire Questions

Jul 16th, 2008, 07:54 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 627
Bonaire Questions

Have some questions about Bonaire, especially with regards to snorkeling. I've been reading the posts on bonairetalk (which have been very informative), but hoping to get feedback from those of you that were newbies to Bonaire to get a different perspective.

Did you wear booties with your fins?
Did you find that you absolutely had to have booties to do the shore entry/exit?
I use a full-footed fin and a bit concerned that I would have to switch and get used to an open-back fin. I've tried them before and I didn't like them much.

How difficult is it to enter/exit the water from shore?
I keep reading that most entry/exit areas from shore are rocky or limestone-based (besides the ladders from the docks). I'm used to a sandy entrance, sitting down and putting my fins on, and swimming off. Which brings me to my next question.

I read you really have to be very cautious about fire coral in the shallow areas. I also read a thread where some fire coral crusting was on a ladder from a dock. I know how fire coral looks like, but is this something I am going to have to be constantly concerned about when entering/exiting from shore?

If we do end up in Bonaire, we will definitely start with some guided trips with Renee so we can get oriented.
mymoosie is offline  
Jul 17th, 2008, 05:35 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 20
I was in Bonaire for the first time in May and was concerned before I went about the same thing from all I had read. I used Renee for 3 snorkeling trips and her advice for the trickier spots was to sit down in the water on the rocky entries, put your fins on and then "skooch" down while sitting into the water until you are deep enough to flip forward to float. Very easy and safe. You can exit the water the same way - float in until you can flip over and sit and then "skooch" your way back in. I used full foot fins and never had a problem. Off the hotels most places have docks and stairs so you can make use of those easier entries too. I personally did not see any fire coral (maybe just lucky) and had no problems in the water at all. Loved the snorkeling trips with Renee (did a night one also) and really loved the snorkeling off the beach at the Plaza Resort. I snorkeled for hours at a time there and never got bored. It was at that beach I saw a turtle and spotted eagle ray. Be patient and don't be afraid to stray from shore into the deeper sections (not too far though due to some boat traffic) which is where I saw the "bigger stuff". Also found that if I snorkeled from Plaza and kept going towards town the coral types changed and were very interesting to look at.
BETHML is offline  
Jul 17th, 2008, 07:28 PM
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Thanks, BETHML. That's very reassuring to hear. The more I read at BT, the more concerned I got. Sometimes a little too much info is not necessarily a good thing. LOL.
mymoosie is offline  
Jul 18th, 2008, 05:14 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 20
One more thought on the fins - Renee uses full footed fins.

I read Bonaire Talk ALOT before I took my trip and though I got some very helpful information I realized now that you have to take some with a grain of salt. Usually nothing is as bad or as great as the opinions on the extreme ends of the scale state but rather falls somewhere in between. By the way, on one of my snorkeling trips with Renee I was very fortunate to see a puffer fish. It was hiding inbetween some sunken concrete pieces. What a cute fish! I didn't realize until Renee told me to never follow or try to get too close as they are very "shy" and will puff when they feel threatened. She said they only get to puff a few times in their life because it is so stressful on their body that eventually it will kill them doing it.
BETHML is offline  
Jul 18th, 2008, 02:06 PM
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Oh I LOVE pufferfish! They are my absolute favorite, perhaps even more so than turtles. There was a resident puffer or two at the reef in front of the house we rented in T&C. We named one Puff daddy. LOL.
That's good info to know about about they puff when they are stressed. I'm shamefully the equivalent of a papparazzi when it comes to photographing fish. Ok, well, maybe not as bad. I don't go close to the fish (don't know how to dive down) and I don't go trying to poke or touch them or anything.
mymoosie is offline  
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