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Get Your Scuba On In Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles

August 18, 2009 at 12:03 PM | by | ()

This week, we’re venturing to the diving mecca of Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles. Located in the Southern Caribbean, it’s part of the ABC islands, the others being Aruba and Curaçao. We’re here for "Celebrate Our Planet" week, and so far, it’s been rife with underwater-related action. We were here to witness Karol Meyer break her free diving record attempt (she did at over 90 meters), took a spin through the Caribbean’s only super-high tech decompression chamber (very Star Trek-y), went on a fantastic snorkeling trip to Klein Bonaire via the Woodwind (saw Hawksbill turtles, green sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, squid and lots of parrot fish), and tomorrow, Dr. Sylvia Earle, world famous oceanographer, joins the mix.

Inspired to get PADI certified, we’ve been taking note of the small handful of resorts on Bonaire that cater to scuba divers, including the Buddy Dive Resort. It’s one of the island’s few full-service resorts offering accommodations (some rooms have kitchenettes and some are currently being renovated), swimming pools, restaurants and a bar. For divers of all abilities, Buddy Dive Resort pretty much has it all: instruction, a well-equipped dive shop, storage facilities and a small fleet of dive boats. Oh, and there’s a lively reef just steps away, popular for day or night diving or snorkeling.

We thought the two-lane "Drive Thru" Nitrox fill station was especially cool. (It’s a combo of Nitrogen and Oxygen for you non-scuba newbies.) Buddy Dive Resort also has "Drive & Dive" packages where you can rent a car on-site, swing through the drive thru to load up your tanks and venture elsewhere on the island to explore more than 90 dive sites, including the famous shipwreck, The Hilma Hooker.

[Photo: Globetrotting Gourmet]

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