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Rainer

Best Bonaire Sites for Macro + Wide Angle

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Headed to Bonaire in two weeks and bringing our camera. While I recognize most any site can offer good opportunities for both macro and wide angle photography, given that we're limited to one lens for each dive (10-17mm WA or 60mm macro), any thoughts on which dive sites might be best for each lens setup? Thanks!

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Hi Rainer

 

For macro I found Front Porch and Slaagbai pretty good: Yellowline Arrowcrabs, cleaner shrimp and whip coral gobies.

 

WA is a little trickier with few real walls or outcrops. But I've got some decent shots of tube sponges in front of Buddys, turtles off the East Coast - and the pier structures with sponges at Salt Pier.

 

Have a great trip!

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Rainer,

 

Macro is almost everywhere on Bonaire. Lots of shrimp, crabs, things in and around anemones etc etc Going really slowly and looking at very small scale could even net you a new species! Jawfish, some even with eggs, are possible at places like Something Special and lots of others. And of course sailfin blennies, seaweed blennies etc etc wherever you find them.

 

Wide angle would include several small sunken boats (e.g., the tugboat at about 100' at Front Porch/Bari Reef, one in front of Captain Don's etc) and also the Hilma Hooker on a clear viz day if you are lucky.

 

Ask when you arrive and you'll probably get other good suggestions.

 

Have fun,

 

Tom

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Agree pretty much anywhere for macro. Salt Pier excellent for wide stuff and you can now dive there anytime provided there isn't a ship loading. No palaver now about phoning through to get clearance first. Personally enjoy wide angle natural light ops. between Buddy and Capt. Don's with the huge tarpon that patrol up and down in the shallows.

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South of the Salt Pier there is Tori's dive site. This site and the sites close by I can almost everytime find a Juvenile Queen Angel in the shallows. There is Fire Coral in i'm going to say in 9 feet or less depth. They are in that fire coral. Of course thats a surge zone so hopefully you get lucky with that.

 

For wide angle, Salt Pier has already been mentioned, it's great for wide angle. There is of course structure with colorful sponges but also usually schools of Horse eye jacks and grunts there.

The other place for wide angle is a drift between Candyland and Taylor Made. You don't need a guide to do this but it helps, I recommend Bos Tol for that, just google you will find him.

 

Must have, A guide book. Shore Dives made Easy by Susan Porter. I think you can get it on Amazon.

 

Where you staying?

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Just came back from Bonaire a week ago. There is a great dive spot called Small Wall. It is in front of Black Durgon Hotel. The other one is Something Special just south of the entry into the marina. We dove both from the boat so I couldn't comment on the ease of shore entry, but both were good places for macro. Hands Off and Mi Dushi were both good for wide angle reef scenes. Those are the sites on Klein Bonaire. You can see my feeble attempts at both wide angle an macro here: http://golts.zenfolio.com/p430087121

Hope this helps. I am sure you will find plenty of stuff to photograph no matter where you go on Bonaire. We did not have a single dive where we didn't see both good coral formations AND interesting macro subjects worth a picture.

Have fun. Please, share the pictures when you come back.

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Some of the best sites for WA can be found on the east coast, there's a daily two-tank trip with East Coast Divers. Very good chance of seeing eagle rays, nurse sharks, a large school of tarpon in the White Hole, and dozens of large green turtles guaranteed. The reef over there is very healthy as well. The boat trip is the way to go, I don't recommend a shore entry there on a regular day with 20 knot winds, especially with camera gear...

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Is East Coast Divers still operating? I know the company was sold recently.

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Saw them operating out of Tarpon Bay in April, Tim

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Saw them operating out of Tarpon Bay in April, Tim

 

Ta. Just wondered. The sale was before April I think.

 

I went out with them for a few dives a couple of years ago. It was fun. As others have said, some tarpon, loads of turtles, one nurse shark.

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Hi Tim, yes they go out for 2-tank trips 6, sometimes 7 days a week (weather permitting). One of the owners recently sold his share, the remaining two continue to operate it.

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Thanks for all the recommendations! In addition to shore diving, we got out for two dives on Klein and two dives on the east coast (as others have mentioned, Bonaire East Coast Diving is still running charters).

 

I put together a trip report (with photos and video) here:

 

http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=60155

 

Enjoy!

Edited by Rainer

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