Bonaire Diving my personal 5 big secrets
My personal 5 BIG Secrets
This year it will be my 16 consecutive years of scuba on Bonaire. Teaching scuba has been my passion and when I started dive down the islands coral reefs, I never needed to travel anymore. Bonaire is unhurried, unspoiled and a natural paradise with crystal clear turquoise water and coral reef close to shore. This makes it the easiest shore dive destination in the world. The clear visibility, the colorful reefs and the fish population keeps surprising me over and over again, dive after dive. I simply love to dive in this well protected Marine Park.
That’s why I decided to share my 5 big secrets with you.
1. Full moon night diving from the shore of Pink Beach
I enjoy a night dive generally, but there is something unique about a full moon night dive. If you are a confident night diver, turning off your dive lights can be an amazing experience, just too good to be true. Go late to make sure the moon is high and everyone else is gone. Did you know you can see your own shadow underwater? A especially good spot to see this is in the shallows of Pink Beach, in the South of Bonaire, where the moonlight projects your shadow in the white sand. Then reaching the drop off and looking up to the moon will really amaze you.
2. Coral spawning and “sex on the Reef ” explained
This is really a true natural wonder. Coral Spawning happens only once a year around September and October on Bonaire and is again a late night dive. Fortunately, it has become possible to predict the nights that spawning will occur. This allows us, underwater spectators, to be ready and waiting for the event to commence. It is really spectacular when thousands of eggs and sperm bundles of different species are simultaneously released. Corals spawn by releasing millions of packets of eggs and sperm cells that appear under water as massive white and pink clouds. These eggs and sperm cells slowly drift to the surface where fertilization occurs. Within a few weeks the larvae will settle on the ocean floor and begin the process of reef building. You need a bit of luck to witness this “sex on the reef” event on Bonaire but it can be predicted. Ask your dive shop for the dates.
3. Nitrox diving course has many benefits
This course is really fun, it is short and you will truly enjoy diving with Nitrox in Bonaire. The number one benefit of using Nitrox is to safely extend your bottom time. By reducing the amount of nitrogen and by increasing the proportion of oxygen you reduce the risk of decompression sickness, and your bottom time gets longer. After several days of multiple dives, you will feel less tired, yes! Nitrox courses are available at Wannadive, and many other locations.
4.“Waking up with the turtles”
Book an early boat dive and persuade the Dive Master to take you to “Just a Nice Dive” or “Jerry’s Reef” to drift along Klein Bonaire. This is a “turtles guaranteed” dive. You will see Green Turtles, Hawksbill Turtles and around May to July, with a little luck, you can even see the enormous Loggerhead Turtles. If you stop instead of chasing the turtle, it will stay or even come up close to you. The turtle will need to go to the surface every hour to get some air.
5. My absolute best shore dive site ever on Bonaire
(and a dive that not many people make) is down South. You enter between Willemstoren and Red Slave, in front of the radar tower. You need a low wind day to be able to safely enter and exit and you usually drift South towards Red Slave. You will see a super healthy reef, with abundant Elkhorn Coral and Gorgonias. Big numbers of Cubera Snappers are common in this area and….please keep one eye in the deep blue for the good stuff!