I love diving Bonaire, because you can do a lot of shore diving. It gives you the freedom to dive where and when you want. Swimming over the sand to the reef gives me time to clear my ears and see a lot of things you don’t see when you dive from a boat. I’ve made only a few dives on Klein Bonaire. To me it doesn’t pay the extra costs. I don’t see there what I can’t see from the shore. It’s the same with the Wild Coast. If you want to see sharks, you’ll have to go there. No guarantees. There are enough movies on youtube to show what you can see there.
Night diving is something else. Don’t go to early, give the night creatures time to get active. A few years I go I discovered sunset diving. About a half hour before the sun sets I go into the water. The fish are very active, finding a last bite and looking for a place to sleep. But most strange are the creole wrasse. Thousands of them swim on a high way to wherever they are going. I see it in the daytime too, but not so many.
I prefer diving on the south side. The reefs above Andrea have suffered most. You don’t want to go deeper than 18 metres there. Parking at the south is also easier, more space, more places to choose from. In 1986 we did a lot of “drift”diving on the 2 reef system. There is not much
current, but we would start at one point, go to the second reef, swim to the left and at the end of the dive go to the first reef, make a safety stop (in those days, without a computer, we had to look at a chart and calculate how long and how deep. Spent a lot of time on 5 metres). Our driver then walked back to get the car and drive over the beach to the rest. It’s not possible anymore. You have to go back to the road.
One of my favorite sites is Invisibles. When I dove here the first time, I was overwhelmed by the amount of fish. This is almost the end of the 2 reef structure. The second reef breaks up here. There is a solitary block which attracts lots of fish. Big schools of Boga and Brown Chromis swim here. Some stay for a cleaning job, others are looking for food. Bar Jacks and Horse-eye Jacks hunt the small fish. But sometimes it is quiet on the reef. The fish may come, or not at all. Then it is just a normal dive.
I will show pictures from 2 dive sites.
The first pictures are from Weber’s joy/Witches hut. There was a long pipe there, it’s gone now but I’ve got some nice pictures from it. It was deep there (30 m). One time there was a big spiny lobster at the bottom.
The second divesite is the very popular Hilma Hooker. In 1986 the ship has just been sunk. The slides are from 1986 and 1996. In later years I’ve been back many times, but only when there aren’t any cars or boats. Sometimes they are a lot of horse-eye jacks and tarpons around the ship In 2010 I saw I permit there. Strange looking fish. Of course, no camera. The next year I saw him one more time.