Bonaire PNW Style

Tell us your tale of coming nose-to-nose with a 6 gill [--this big--], or about your vacation to turquoise warm waters. Share your adventures here!
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Scubie Doo
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Bonaire PNW Style

Post by Scubie Doo » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:12 pm

Got back Saturday around 5:00pm from Bonaire. It was my first time there and it certainly did not disappoint. I was joined by Keith (Bassman), Bill (bnboly), Tom Nic, and Zack. We had some milestone dives. Keith, Tom, and Bill celebrated their 700th dives, I hit 250, and Zack hit 100. It was great to travel with experienced PNW divers and a Bonaire veteran in Tom Nic. Since I have to catch another plane to beautiful Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota this week; I will provide a short dive report and hope the others will chime in too. :smt064

Over the 6 days I completed 26 dives (including 3 night dives). The deepest dive was Angel City where I reached 104'. My longest dive was 93 minutes from LaDiana's Leap to Karpata with a max depth of 95'. My favorite sites were (in order) LaDiana's, Angel City, Salt Pier, Oilslick Leap, and Yellow Submarine. We saw the usual suspects, when it came to critters. Turtles, Rays, Lionfish, Eels, Cudas, and Tarpon. I was hoping to see a seahorse and frogfish, but was unsuccessful. A couple of highlights on the critter/photography front were an encounter with a barracuda and stingray. On both occasions Tom Nic called me over to see these two creatures chilling in the sand. I approached eye level and proceeded to get a few nice shots. As they departed, we continued to capture video and photos. It was a great experience.

All in all it was an amazing trip and I am sure the others will provide some details too. I am in the process of reviewing my photos and video footage, which is a monumental task. However, I did pull together a few of my favorites. I will be posting more to my site as I get them reviewed.

Thanks to the great NWDC divers that joined me on this epic trip.

http://jessemiller.smugmug.com/Travel/B ... &k=gkTjKMD
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IMG_0526-1.jpg
Green Moray Eel

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bucknaked
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Re: Bonaire PNW Style

Post by bucknaked » Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:54 pm

Welcome back glad yall had a good trip.

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Scubie Doo
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Re: Bonaire PNW Style

Post by Scubie Doo » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:04 pm

A few photos of the boys. More to come :-)

http://jessemiller.smugmug.com/Travel/B ... &k=9Bt9MQ9

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Scubie Doo
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Re: Bonaire PNW Style

Post by Scubie Doo » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:06 pm

bucknaked wrote:Welcome back glad yall had a good trip.


Thanks! Look forward to diving in the PNW again next week :-) We almost posted a Thursday night dive for Bonaire, but felt that wouldn't be cool considering the recent viz reports :neener:

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Dusty2
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Re: Bonaire PNW Style

Post by Dusty2 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:50 pm

That eel shot is AWESOME!

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eliseaboo
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Re: Bonaire PNW Style

Post by eliseaboo » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:26 pm

Scubie Doo wrote:
bucknaked wrote:Welcome back glad yall had a good trip.


Thanks! Look forward to diving in the PNW again next week :-) We almost posted a Thursday night dive for Bonaire, but felt that wouldn't be cool considering the recent viz reports :neener:


Not to mention the weather reports...sheesh! Shouldn't this plankton need sun and warmth to grow?? *sigh*

Looks like a fun trip though! Glad you guys had a good time :)

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Scubie Doo
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Bonaire PNW Style

Post by Scubie Doo » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:26 pm

Dusty2 wrote:That eel shot is AWESOME!


Thanks! But you know what is even awesomer? Your can light on a tropical night dive :-)

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pogiguy05
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Re: Bonaire PNW Style

Post by pogiguy05 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:09 pm

I have so got to get my boss (wife) to let em go next year with you guys. How do you guys with non diving wives do it? :smt064
Jeff Castor

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Jeff Pack
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Re: Bonaire PNW Style

Post by Jeff Pack » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:20 pm

Beg Profusely...

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Scubie Doo
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Bonaire PNW Style

Post by Scubie Doo » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:35 pm

pogiguy05 wrote:I have so got to get my boss (wife) to let em go next year with you guys. How do you guys with non diving wives do it? :smt064


I made the arraignments and then asked :) and Pack, begging really? You wear the pants in that family. Trust me, I saw them hiked up to your pits next to the scuba shack.

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Diver_C
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Re: Bonaire PNW Style

Post by Diver_C » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:57 pm

Great pictures!! Some day I will get there...

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bucknaked
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Re: Bonaire PNW Style

Post by bucknaked » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:19 am

:rofl:
Scubie Doo wrote:
pogiguy05 wrote:I have so got to get my boss (wife) to let em go next year with you guys. How do you guys with non diving wives do it? :smt064


I made the arraignments and then asked :) and Pack, begging really? You wear the pants in that family. Trust me, I saw them hiked up to your pits next to the scuba shack.

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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Scubie Doo
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Bonaire PNW Style

Post by Scubie Doo » Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:34 pm

Diver_C wrote:Great pictures!! Some day I will get there...


Thanks Diver_C, I am anticipating some more posts from others on the trip. I know they got some good pics and videos. They are probably still recovering from the trip :) It was pretty draining diving 25+ times in six days.

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BASSMAN
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Re: Bonaire PNW Style

Post by BASSMAN » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:22 am

pogiguy05 wrote:I have so got to get my boss (wife) to let em go next year with you guys. How do you guys with non diving wives do it? :smt064

Start a Scuba Unit envelope now and if you have the cash saved, it's easier to reason with her.
Hi, my name is Keith, and I'm a Dive Addict! :supz:

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Re: Bonaire PNW Style

Post by Tangfish » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:00 pm

Sounds like a great crew for an awesome dive trip! Tom, I think they're gonna have to name a dive site after you down there soon.

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bucknaked
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Re: Bonaire PNW Style

Post by bucknaked » Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:40 pm

Tangfish wrote:Sounds like a great crew for an awesome dive trip! Tom, I think they're gonna have to name a dive site after you there soon.

wadded weazel rock :neener: I talk to John based on your glowing recommenion of the weazles. Andbought one you are right they are great. :notworthy:
Last edited by bucknaked on Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Scubie Doo
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Re: Bonaire PNW Style

Post by Scubie Doo » Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:58 pm

A few more photos of the boys in Bonaire. Thanks to Bassman for all the fun photo opps.

http://jessemiller.smugmug.com/Travel/B ... &k=d9M7vqs
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Tom Nic
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Re: Bonaire PNW Style

Post by Tom Nic » Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:33 pm

I will post.... sooner or later. I am 7 days into a ferocious Influenza A virus that has seriously kicked my butt...

As my wife says, "there is nothing sicker than a sick man...."
More Pics Than You Have Time To Look AT
"Anyone who thinks this place is over moderated is bat-crazy anarchist." -Ben, Airsix
"Warning: No dive masters are going to be there, Just a bunch of old fat guys taking pictures of fish." -Bassman

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BASSMAN
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Re: Bonaire PNW Style

Post by BASSMAN » Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:32 am

Here are a few pics...
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Tom Nic's new FB picture!
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Her's Jesse, up close and personal, with a Barricuda!
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Fire Coral! "You should see my Leg!"
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Jesse, Rockin' it!
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Here's Tom Nic with a Halo!
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Jesse
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Bill and the Girls!
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bnboly (Bill)
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Night Diving W/ Tarpon!
Hi, my name is Keith, and I'm a Dive Addict! :supz:

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Scubie Doo
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Re: Bonaire PNW Style

Post by Scubie Doo » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:24 am

Sweet! Nice pics Keith. The shot of Tom in the school of fish is way cool. I also see you got your Tarpon picture :-)

You diving Thursday????

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Scubie Doo
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Re: Bonaire PNW Style

Post by Scubie Doo » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:39 pm

Alrighty boys. I have finished posting my photos. I went a little crazy on coral/sponge close-ups :-) Enjoy!

Image

Also added a couple more diver photos.

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Thanks again Tom, for setting all this up. Now to review my video footage :partydance:

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bucknaked
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Re: Bonaire PNW Style

Post by bucknaked » Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:42 pm

Some awsome pics

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Tom Nic
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Re: Bonaire PNW Style

Post by Tom Nic » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:22 pm

Bonaire June 2012

Well... I better put something down or this report isn't going to happen at all - from my end, anyway. I'm glad to have a relative Bonaire "Newb" (Yay Scubie Doo) with the youth and excitement to have gotten this thread started. If it was up to us old codgers it wouldn't be happening... :rawlings:

Bonaire delivered as usual, as it always has for me. I still contend that if your priority is DIVING that Bonaire is pretty difficult to beat for price and a land based warm water destination. This was trip #6 for me since 2008, and my final morning dive of the trip was dive #150 for me in Bonaire's much loved waters. I simply cannot get there often enough.

My report from a couple of years ago has a ton of detail on the island and should be helpful for a bit of pre-trip research if you are so inclined, although the place we stayed no longer exists. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions on island specifics.

Let me take a couple of swipes at Highlights / Lowlights:

#1 - Slinging 80's. We have talked about doing this forever and this time everyone had their slings ready, had practiced switching tanks and gasses, and were ready to go. To be very clear - we simply used a slung 80 on certain dives for additional gas, not to go deeper than recreational depths or go into deco. Most of us who dive in the PNW are not enamored by the idea of going to 130fsw with 77 cu ft of gas, no matter how pretty and clear the water is. Being able to do the double reef systems, the deeper walls, the Hilma Hooker, and basically not have your lack of air be the main factor in your dive was a tremendous treat, and if you acquire the skills before you go I would heartily recommend doing some of your dives that way. However - make sure you bring a good set of paddle fins for your trip. Splits are fine, but when you're pushing a camera and an additional tank... well, let's just say the paddles aren't for looks, but for the thrust they provide.

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#2 - The Company. How cool is it to spend a week diving with good, solid divers who are actually good peeps?!? Way cool... The milestone dives for all of us made it even more fun, but it was the quality of the persons on this trip that really made it. Thanks Keith, Bill, Zach, and Jesse!

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#3 - Talk to Your Landlords! We stayed at Tropicana Apartments. We had met Roland and Irene on our previous trip, and they had been very good to us in a very difficult time so we had decided to stay with them. The apartments were spacious, and were quite adequate even though they might have been a bit spartan to some tastes. The first couple of days we had some "nigglies" - coffee pots that didn't work, missing spatula, etc etc. Every day Roland would ask us "So, how are things?" "Fine, just fine!" we would say, then go off grumbling. Silly, silly, silly. Roland isn't a mind-reader, and the minute you told him what was missing he opened up rooms of every supply one could possibly need and was more than accommodating. Arm-chair psychologists feel free to rip us up at this point.....

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Oh, by the way, there are certain "fauna" that live in the vegetation at the apartments, and they do NOT like salt water!

#4 - Picture Dissatisfaction. Yeah, one of the unfortunate side-effects of this trip is a pretty hefty dissatisfaction with my camera equipment. I am not happy about my pics this time. I could blame it on ScubieDoo and his awesome pics - and of course I partially do, but it looks like I am going to be needing to do some upgrading in the next year or so. Sigh... a never ending parade of Scuba Units flits by...

A few of my very inadequate pics from the trip are here .

#5 - Future Trips. I'm not sure when I will be able to get back, but I'm thinking that I will be planning for a couple of weeks, shoot for September / October, and intentionally do a TON of diving on the Eastside of the island, AKA "The Wildside". It is time. The animals are larger, more abundant, and the encounters wilder, and it is time I go there. It is NOT easy diving, but if you can time it with wind reversals it is doable, and that will be my focus next time. I also am hoping to put together enough peeps to do one of the vacation rentals that is on the water so we have our own house-reef. Planning, anyone?

Thanks again guys, for a wonderful trip - I hope to do it again some year!

And finally, here's a couple shots that I do like - even though I wish there were more!

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More Pics Than You Have Time To Look AT
"Anyone who thinks this place is over moderated is bat-crazy anarchist." -Ben, Airsix
"Warning: No dive masters are going to be there, Just a bunch of old fat guys taking pictures of fish." -Bassman

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Tom Nic
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Re: Bonaire PNW Style

Post by Tom Nic » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:44 pm

bucknaked wrote:
Tangfish wrote:Sounds like a great crew for an awesome dive trip! Tom, I think they're gonna have to name a dive site after you there soon.

wadded weazel rock :neener:


Oh, trust me, I've named a couple in my honor already.... :notworthy:

That does not get them in the guidebooks, however!
More Pics Than You Have Time To Look AT
"Anyone who thinks this place is over moderated is bat-crazy anarchist." -Ben, Airsix
"Warning: No dive masters are going to be there, Just a bunch of old fat guys taking pictures of fish." -Bassman

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Scubie Doo
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Bonaire PNW Style

Post by Scubie Doo » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:45 pm

Bravo Tom! Very nice write-up and pics. Another plus, while we are at it. It was great going with a few Bonaire veterans. Tom knew the sites very well. We were pretty efficient in our execution of the dive plans. Bill and Keith also provided guidance throughout the trip. Can't wait for next year :)

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