Getting There: Queen AngelfishAir service to Bonaire is available through: Air ALM: From Atlanta and Miami. U.S. Reservations: 800-327-7230 American Airlines: From the U.S. via Aruba and Curacao through connections. Reservations: 800-433-7300. Air Jamaica: From Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, Newark and Miami via Montego Bay. Reservations: 800-523-5585.Dive Log:Below the hurricane belt, Bonaire receives little rain, about 22 inches per year, and the weather is hot, averaging 82 degrees F. The water temperature ranges from the high 70s to the low 80s, and when I visited in early July, my computer's thermometer did not budge from 81 degrees F. The leeward side of the island, which includes Klein Bonaire and most hotels and dive sites, is generally flat-calm, and diving is possible year-round. The eastern and northeastern sides are exposed and can only be dived when calm conditions prevail. Given the heat and effort involved in shore diving, maintaining proper hydration is an absolute must. Many dive sites are located in remote areas with no facilities or stores. Therefore, load up on extra water, sun block and lunch to spend the day out in the elements in comfort and safety. The island is quite safe, but as I learned the hard way, it's better not to leave any valuables in cars or along entry points. The dive operators with whom I dived were attentive to customers' needs and provided good but short briefings - just the right amount of information someone wants to hear while on vacation. They are also ready to lend a helping hand if you require assistance or to leave you alone and let you do your own thing. Some are larger than others, but all displayed excellent customer service. The high rate of repeats is a reflection of this. Quite frankly, at times I felt I was the only one who had not visited the island before. Rinse tanks for cameras are found only on some boats. These tanks are still inadequate to accommodate all cameras usually found on board. I kept my camera wet on the short boat rides to the marinas (where camera-only tanks are available with clean, fresh water) by keeping it covered with wet towels and T-shirts, which protect the system from the sun and prevent drying out. Back on land, I was able to soak it the right way. On off-days, visiting Washington Slagbaai and Lac Bay are musts. The latter is one of the hottest stops on the windsurfing circuit. A shallow, clear-water lagoon, it provides the ideal training ground for veterans and beginners alike. For general Bonaire information, click on the home page below.
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