When on a two-week dive trip there is lots of time available to hone your skills, we decided to take advantage of time to get our Deep Diver certification. We are SDI divers, while having Deep Diver in Bonaire is not at all necessary it is in many other places we go. In Bonaire you would be completely happy at 60 ft, none of the boat charters take you to anything deep. We were actually scoffed at by another diver for getting the cert, many folks who vacation in Bonaire don’t dive anywhere else. How silly we are to want to experience anything else.
However many dive sites in the US require a certification like this unless you pay to have a dive master go with you. We wanted the flexibility and there is nothing wrong with getting an extra set of skills. Being with SDI we found a great instructor at No Dive, No Life. The instructor Astrid was flexible but very thorough, she was fine with us doing the e-learning portion before we came down. That was a big plus, while I wanted to get the cert on vacation I didn’t want to spend my evenings studying (although I still had papers due for grad school while there). We like SDI for the simplicity of the certification levels, some of the other programs get a bit silly with the classes.
After some one on one time reviewing the learning materials we headed out to two cool sites. The second was a ship wreck, Hilma Hooker. It has quite a story, one part fact and one part local legend. The story goes that the vessel was found anchored on the reef of Bonaire, something highly illegal. The entire coast of Bonaire is a marine preserve. When local officials took a look at the abandoned vessel they found a “secret” compartment with…can you guess….coke and pot. Something had to be done about the ship. When the boat was being towed away from port the most unusual thing happened, it sank!!! Creating a lovely dive site within the protected marine preserve.
We were pretty excited to finish our second dive, it takes two with in the instructor to complete your requirements. As we were paddling back to shore two stunning flamingoes took off from near by and flew right over us. We took that as a good omen.
This is the part where I shamelessly plug the dive instructor. We are big fans of getting private lessons, the one on one attention ensures that we are getting our money’s worth and getting the right instruction. If you find yourself in Bonaire and want to get SCUBA certified or add to your skills please look at No Dive, No Life.