Deborah Norton's Dive Log
Ol' Blue on 1/3/2004
This is a great dive! Getting gear up and down the small cliff on shore is a little work, but not difficult if you hand gear to your buddy. The shallows are a little rocky, but not too bad. Dive is a wall dive that is great even as a shallow dive (50 -60 feet).
Playa Funchi on 1/3/2004
Long drive to the site over rough roads and $10/person park admission fee. The road down to the entry point is also now heavily erroded. I dove this site in June 1999 and again in October 2003. The entry changed significantly in that time (hurricane Lenny?). It now has a very rough entry from beach errosion and a long swim to the reef with nothing to see except sand and dead coral debris on the way. The reef is heavily coated with silt and damaged from storms. Marine life was less abundant than almost any other site we dove on Bonaire. After you finally swim out of the cove, the current is stronger here than most other Bonaire sites. Unless you are touring the park and just want a place to get wet, I don't recommend making the trip to this site. The best things I can say is that thievery and crowds are no problem.
Andrea II on 1/3/2004
Easy walk down the concrete ramp then across a short beach. Buoy is north of the entry point and would be a longer swim. We swam straight out to the reef. Nice site with numerous spotted drum in all growth phases. We dove this site in the early afternoon and it got quite crowded when a dive boat moored at Andrea I and we started crossing paths with the boat divers.
Karpata on 1/3/2004
Entry is from a concrete slab that is only inches above the water level and can be very diffuclt in even mild surf. It is well worth it, but don't try it in high surf. The reef is in excellant shape and marine life very abundant.
1000 Steps on 1/3/2004
This site is only average. The sites just to the north of it are much better without the effort of the steps. Also, robbery is an extreme problem here - do NOT dive it if you are the only vehicle parked there. We had nothing of value in the van, so the thief took island maps, printout of dive site reviews, prescription eye glasses, t-shirts, dive logs, and anything else he could find and scattered it along the road for several miles. The thief was spotted (but unfortunately not caught) by some divers we met later and it was not kids.
Oil Slick Leap on 1/3/2004
This was one of our favorite dive sites on Bonaire. Provided you are OK with the giant stride off of the rocks into about 15 feet of water, the entry is extremely easy. The reef is a little further out than at some sites, but there are coral heads and lots of juvenile fish to see on the way out and back. A longsnout seahorse had taken up residence near the buoy when we were there in Oct 2003. This small wall is just as good at 40 feet or over 100 feet. The entry area also has great snorkling, but was a little crowded with local snorklers during one of our dives here.
Larry's Lair on 1/3/2004
There are live coral heads in the shallows of the entire entry area that are difficult to avoid. Swim to reef is a little longer than many of the other southern sites. The reef is in good condition and the marine life abundant. School of caribbean reef squid in the shallows.
Windsock on 1/3/2004
We chose this site as one of our first because we had a beginner diver in our group. The entry is very easy, current is light and the swim to the reef very short. However, the site is mediocre as compared to others on Bonaire.
Alice In Wonderland on 1/3/2004
Very easy entry if you find just the right spot. Medium length surface swim to the inner reef. We could not see the outer reef. Reef was in good condition. Lots of little golden and spotted morays and spotted drum.
Salt Pier on 1/3/2004
Easy entry about 50 feet north of the pier. I don't normally like junkyard dives, but the debris and pilings here are heavily encrusted with coral, oysters, etc and so it is a good dive. Lots of small marine life and juvenile fish, as well as some large barracuda and tarpon. Saw a school of caribbean reef squid and an octopus curled up in a crevice in the middle of the day. Lots of morays, scorpionfish, spotted drum, parrotfish.
Andrea I on 1/3/2004
Park on the hill - the road down to the site was erroded and there was evidence that someone had gotten stuck recently when we were there in Oct 2003. It is a fairly long walk with gear to the entry point and be careful walking down the slope! Entry at the yellow rock is easy. Swim to reef is not long. Small wall in good condition, but it is popular with boats and got crowded while we were there. Good dive with lots of marine life.
Atlantis on 1/3/2004
Easy shore entry, medium length swim to reef. Reef is in good condtion. There was no dive buoy in Oct 2003. Lots of juvenile fish in the shallows. Good easy dive.
Buddy's Reef on 1/3/2004
We stayed at Buddy Dive and found this site to be as good as almost any on the island. It is a very easy site to dive and convenient. We dove it 4 times on October 2003, including one night dive. The reef is in good condition an the marine life adundant. The frogfish hangin out just south of Buddy's were really a treat.