Great 20th Anniversary Snorkeling in Bonaire!!
by Susan Sims
We just got back from a week snorkeling in Bonaire and it was great!! We stayed at the Sand Dollar which is right in front of Bari Reef and weren't sure how it would be since I didn't see it in Galen & Nicole's Bonaire guide but this time all the critters must have known we'd be there. I liked entering at the pier there because my equilibrium is not too good sometimes (a lot of times) and they have steps right down into the water.
I got our place through VRBO and I don't know about most places at Sand Dollar but we went through the owner and got a great place (and deal). That whole part of the experience was wonderful because we didn't have to pack up to go places all the time. There was a restaurant on either side of us (Sunset has great onion rings) and a little store and deli right behind us. Also the dive shop is the place to get your permit and orientation which is informative (already read the info in the TropicalSnorkeling E-guide) but did get the $10 permit (the law). Also rented from AB Rentals for truck which was great because they picked us up at the airport and delivered us back with no delays. Ok, I sound like an advertisement so I'll move along.
One more though. If you go to Bonaire which you're missing out if you don't and this is from someone who's been to Hawaii 6 times and loves it, is... that you need to get Galen & Nicole's Tropical Snorkeling e-guide (especially for Bonaire but the others too). It'll tell you everything you need to know about the place and how, when, where, what and who! No kidding!! Take their advice on the rash guard. A definite skin saver. My husband still got his legs sunburned and he had on sunscreen.
Ok, snorkeling Klein Bonaire was wonderful. The ferns and sponges were beautiful and fish galore. I saw 3 turtles also and a squid. We went with a tour (Woodwinds) and it was so fun and safe. For every 10 people there was a knowlegeable guide and they would point out things. I was happy because they pointed out 1 turtle but I found the other 2 on my own and an eel, but did call the others. There was another fish we thought was a juvenile nurse shark, not sure. The guide pointed it out (free diving) but by the time she came up I was gone.
We went to Lac Bay and enjoyed being there but didn't snorkel because it would have been too tough on me. (Getting old just stinks.)
The last day snorkeling at Bari topped everything (except Klein - I don't think that can be topped). I saw so many fish I'd never seen before and got to watch a spotted? (I think) eel catch a fish (I think). I didn't really like that though cause I had just gotten several pictures of the fish. The fish was a little ahead of the eel and they were going one way, then the eel turned around and I didn't see the fish, so...I don't really know if they eat fish but it figures. I missed the octopus that was spotted, but I guess that'll give me a reason to go back.