trip reports

  • August 27, 2018 3:48 PM | Clare Florio Anthon (Administrator)

    BONAIRE DIVI FLAMINGO BEACH RESORT AUGUST 11th-18th, 2018

                              

    On August 11th, 2018, seven Under Sea Adventurers were packed and ready to meet at Miami International Airport.

    After a delay of 50 minutes, we jetted off to Bonaire Flamingo International Airport. Upon arrival we were met by a van from DIVI. A very friendly driver named Ray safely tucked our luggage away while the group chose seats for the five-minute ride to the resort.

    A very delicious Rum Punch welcomed us as we were checking in and receiving our room key, towel card, resort card and event schedule.

    I was told Serge, the Dive Shop manager, was waiting for me. I quickly went to meet with him.  I gave Serge all the diver’s completed forms, and there were many!! I was told to have all the divers down at the shop for orientation. After I managed that feat, we were given a tour of the area we would be using all week.  We were told to put all our gear in our preassigned lockers (the picture below is me in my locker) and get ready for a check out dive. Serge wanted us all to be properly weighted to avoid any unsinkable divers in the morning. So after a long day of travel we made a dive.

                  

    Sunday morning, after a very hearty breakfast buffet, seven wide-eyed USA’ers were  ready for the first day of diving.  Our package included six days of three- tank diving.  Like clockwork we were all on the boat at 8 o’clock each morning and after an enormous lunch, back on the boat at 2 o’clock every afternoon. 

    The water was 81-82 degrees F and as we were anchor diving, a bit of a current.

    Orlando, one of our Divemasters was always ready to help and show us all the amazing creatures, large and small.  We were treated to the sights of tuna, tarpon, barracuda, squid and all the beautiful tropical fish we see here. The walls were spectacular and the corals beautiful. 

    Our rooms were spacious studios with kitchens and small living rooms that opened to lovely screened porches.

                  

    Happy Hour was usually in my room. Thanks to all we had a great assortment of snacks,  cocktails, beer and wine.

    The Resort offered Karaoke Night, at the Beachside Bar, so off we went! Needless to say, it was very entertaining. USA’ers are not shy.

    On Thursday, the Beachside Bar had a complimentary Happy Hour with hors d’oeuvres and  more Rum Punch, so off we went again. After many “punches” we enjoyed our Private Dinner. We had a choice of a lovely piece of tuna or a HUGE pork chop. Guess what I chose? It was excellent!!

                                                                                                 

    After six divers completed two morning dives on Friday, the rinsing and hanging of gear commenced.  

    A group of five decided to rent a van and tour the island.  The Food Manager, Henk, packed a lovely assortment of wraps, fruit and drinks in coolers  for us to take along.

    We drove to Washington Slagbaai National Park.  After a very bumpy ride over dirt and rock roads we proceeded to the other end of the island to visit the Salt Flats.

                               

    Upon returning from our tour, some of us went to a nearby Italian eatery. Capriccio Ristorante was a short walk from DIVI. We decided to dine all’interno vs. alfresco where complimentary Mimosa’s welcomed us.  The food was delicious and the wine was white and crisp.  

    After dinner, we returned to DIVI.  We all gathered and realized our long planned week had come to an end.  A few more beers, cocktails and lots of ice were center stage.

                                                                       

    Saturday morning, many were packing and getting all belongings up to the Front Office for check out.  Finally our van appeared! Once again our luggage was safely tucked away as we chose a seat to return to Bonaire Flamingo International Airport.

    I will always remember my first trip to Bonaire with the Under Sea Adventurers Dive Club!

    Sunny regards,

    Clare Florio Anthon

    Trip Leader





       

       




  • May 09, 2018 10:49 AM | Anonymous

    Log Date: Saturday, Apr 14, 2018
    Entry By: Bahamas Aggressor crew

    Bahamas Aggressor Captain’s Log
    April 14 – 21, 2018

    Air Temp: 75-85F
    Water Temp: 72-75F
    Visibility: 50 – 100ft

    Crew:
    Captain: Christy Weaver
    Engineer: Dave Millard
    Instructor: Josh Foster
    Instructor: Caitilin Tincher
    Instructor: Ben Phillips
    Chef: Caleb Dudley

    Guests:
    Kim, Nancy, Flora, Ronnie, Nils, Laura, Carrol, Margie, Rita, Dr. Rick, Rick, Amy, Roger.

    Dive Sites:
    Saturday – Nassau to the Exumas
    Sunday – Lobster No Lobster, Staniel Cay
    Monday – Staniel Cay, Three Peaks, Crab Mountain
    Tuesday – Up Jumped the Devil, Austin Smith, Barracuda, Smugglers Plane
    Wednesday – Pillar Wall, Dog Rocks, Madison Ave
    Thursday – Crab Wall, Aquarium, Blue Hole
    Friday – Blue Hole

    Saturday April 14, 2018

    This week we have thirteen guests from the USA Dive Club, including one of its founding members who started the club in 1971. Everyone already knows each other so the crew and the guests do introductions and start to get excited about the adventure to come. We go through the essentials of the safety briefing and then Caleb serves up a superb meal as we start to make our way to the Exumas.

    Sunday April 15, 2018

    We start our morning on one of our favorite shallow dive sites, Lobster No Lobster. This dive site gets its name because on quite a regular occasion we witness the great lobster migration here, so there are sometimes lobsters and sometimes no lobsters. We do two fantastic dive here and see leopard flat worms and a variety of fish life. After we are done diving we pack up and start heading south, this group wants to swim with some pigs! We make the long journey south down to Staniel Cay and make a quick run to the beach when we get there to say hi to the little oinkers before Caleb’s exquisite meal of Salmon and white chocolate brownies are ready. We settle in for a good night sleep at the anchorage here at “Bacon Beach” and rest well before our epic adventure of swimming with pigs comes in the morning.

    Monday April 16, 2018

    The pigs are waiting for us as we take off on the dink for the shore. We are equipped with the essentials FOOD! The pigs come running for our divers and then they are swimming with us. To see the large 600 pound animals moving so gracefully through the water seems to be something out of a childrens book so surreal. We enjoy the pigs and the beach for the morning and then start moving our back up north to where the diving is! We leave Staniel and wave goodbye to the pigs as we go and wind up in the Exuma Land and Sea Park for our first dive of the day. Three Peaks is where we land and the everything within the park is so much bigger than outside. We saw so many huge lobster as well as queen trigger fish and even some groupers being cleaned. We then continue our journey further up the Exuma Chain. We stop at crab mountain a dive site aptly name for its large population of crabs. We enjoy an afternoon and night dive here and get to bed early to we can be fresh for diving in the morning.

    Tuesday April 17, 2018

    Divers are awoken by the smell of wonderful french toast, we scarf down our breakfast and get ready for a full day of diving. We start our day on Up Jumped the Devil, a sight knows for the devils sun lounger that sits just on the wall. Divers get pictures on the lounger and marvel at the incredible swim thrus this site has to offer. We make our way back to the boat and we are off again this time in search of SHARKS! We pull up to the Austin Smith and known sharky area and before the engines even cut out the sharks are surrounding the boat. The divers take off into the water and hang out with the sharks all while exploring the wreck of the Austin Smith and old Cape May Cutter sunk to make a wonderful artificial reef. In the afternoon we make our way to the bank side of the Exumas to dive barracuda shoals. This shallow dive site is a small wonder! The life we find here is out of this world. Schools of snappers, grunts, and tang surrounded us in this underwater paradise. We see huge lobsters and even some large crabs. For our afternoon and night dive we move to smugglers plane. An old DC3 plane wreck which was brought down while smuggling drugs out of the Bahamas. The plane is now home to a plethora of life. We found red tipped sea goddesses, moon snails, schools of dog snappers and even some awesome coweries.

    Wednesday April 4, 2018

    We are up and at em’ and ready to start our diving at Pillar Wall. The wall here is fantastic and the life is abundant.   From the start the reef sharks are here to greet us, two of them actively circling our divers. The reef sharks stay with us most of the dive, which we love. We also see a beautiful spotted moray being cleaned by colorful neon gobies, as well as arrow blennies mischievously darting around to the point we lose them in the chaos of their own movement. We move to our second dive site Dog Rocks, this site is known for its swim thrus and they were absolutely stunning today. Our divers enjoyed playing in the incredible topography of Dog Rocks Wall and came back stoked but ready for some delicious lunch and a nap. In the afternoon we move to Madison Avenue, an awesome dive site with an incredible swim thru down the middle. We do our afternoon and night dive here and boy were they thrilling. We spot a spotted drum making his tight little circles as he moves about his spot on the reef. We also find the ever-elusive red tipped sea goddess nudibranch just cruising a long the reef. We settle in after we have some hot chocolate and baileys for a restful nights sleep.

    Thursday April 19, 2018

    The smell waffles awakes us this morning as we enjoy our breakfast we mosey on over to Crab Wall.   We do not have tons of takers for this first dive most of us our enjoying a lazy morning but for those die hards the wall awaits us. We jump in and are immediately greeted by a friendly barracuda just hanging around underneath the boat. As we move further away from our new found friend and out towards the wall the life is ever present. Schools of blue chromis fall over the edge of wall enchanting our divers we even find some awesome macro life, a snapping shrimp tries to take our fingers off and a small neck crab waves his arms like a ninja as we try and snap pictures. The dive ends in the most epic way with a huge loggerhead swimming right past us. In the afternoon we move to the dive site Aquarium, this shallow reef is a show stopper. The dive averages around 25ft and the coral life here is beyond out of this world. Thousands of soft coral sea fans sway in the water as we explore the utter beauty of this dive site. After we do two exquisite dives here we pack up and start heading a little closer to Nassau but we have one more stop of the day at the blue hole. I quote this was “the best night dive in the world” according to some of our divers. Four loggerhead sea turtles were just hanging around the hole and then followed our divers through out the dive. Thirty to forty blacknose sharks were aggregating inside the hole and then when our divers got in the shark came up out of the deep and swam around us. It is somewhat of an eerie feeling being down there in the dark you shine your light in a big hole and all you can see is 60 pairs of green eyes looking back at you, eerie but also totally awesome. Our divers return and gloat to those that stayed on the boat and we retire for the evening.

    Friday April 20, 2018

    On our last day we dive the blue hole for a second time and it is once again amazing. The sharks were back and circling, quickly darting in and out of the hole.   The big stuff was there and so was the small stuff we found leaches head shield slugs in the grass as well as tiny cleaner shrimps on corkscrew anemones, even some African Popano showed up with their streamers flowing the sea. The life was abundant and all the divers came back with smiling faces. We pack up and start making our way towards Nassau. At the wine and cheese party we talk about our incredible week gone by and talk about where we are going to on our next Aggressor Fleet vacation.

    Copied with permission from https://aggressor.com/captainlogsview.php?log=6026

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