|By christine Hughes on Tuesday, April 30, 2002 - 9:42 pm:|
Hi, this is my first time posting on a msg board but after reading everything on this board for a week and probably driving Irene from the belmar crazy with my questions. I thought I would go to the best source I have seen on the internet. I want to know if I am making a mistake about flying dutch caribbean I got a deal flying out of miami with air fare including taxes for 435.00 us dollars. I made the mistake of mentioning it to one of my customers who owns a travel agency and they told me I was making a mistake flying Dutch Caribbean. Plus he is trying to talk me out of staying at belmar says he can get me a deal at the sanddollar but I told him I think I am making a great choice that Irene has been very helpful and that it looks like a great place to stay.
|By Stephen Monn on Wednesday, May 1, 2002 - 1:13 am:|
Christine, I would be careful about DCE, as with ALM. Also, we have stayed at Belmar many times and enthusiastically recommend it. You would be best advised to take the book part of the PADI before you go. The confined and open water training can be done in a short time while you are there if you arrange so beforehand, and will be fun in and of itself.
|By seb schulherr on Wednesday, May 1, 2002 - 7:32 am:|
Stephen is right on the money here Christine, I have not stayed at the Belmar but it is a beautiful place with excellent views.
|By Lydia S. Segal on Wednesday, May 1, 2002 - 7:55 am:|
|By Susan Taft on Wednesday, May 1, 2002 - 8:16 am:|
Christine -- I agree with others about the diving -- get as much done with a dive shop at home and then finish up in Bonaire. However, if this does not fit your schedule or you really do prefer snorkeling you will not be disappointed in Bonaire. We found the snorkeling to be awesome and you will find other snorkelers on this board who agree.
|By DARLENE ELLIS on Wednesday, May 1, 2002 - 9:23 am:|
Just for the record guys, you don't need to dive to enjoy the beautiful waters of Bonaire!!! I only snorkel and it is incredible!! I am also able to get some pretty decent pictures while only snorkeling. If your intent is to dive, then I agree with everyone else by getting certified before you get there. You sure don't won't to tie your self up with courses when you are in paradise!!
|By Glen Reem on Wednesday, May 1, 2002 - 12:43 pm:|
The lessons here and certificaton on island is usually called an 'open water referral'. Classroom and pool (confined water) work is done through your local shop and they give you a 'referral' paper for your Bonaire dive op where you do the, usually, four open water dives for cert, which take 2 days. Maximizes your time to dive your own fun dives on island. And avoids full wet suits and cold water diving; good especially if you are not planning on diving up north in the future. Most, if not all, of the dive ops on Bonaire will work with you on the 'open water referral'.
|By Randy Clark on Wednesday, May 1, 2002 - 2:56 pm:|
Christine - Talk to your local dive shops. They can get you certified in less than three weeks. Tell them were you are going and they should work with you and your husband. When you get to Bonaire you will want to dive. Go for it!
|By scott and sharon barlass on Wednesday, May 1, 2002 - 3:48 pm:|
If you don't have time to do your classroom and pool training before you leave for Bonaire...there is another option. Another option for you is to do a Discover Scuba Diving course with a dive shop in Bonaire. It doesn't take long, you can dive with an instructor for 14 days, and your training is credited toward the completion of your dive certification (i.e. you don't have to re-do what you have learned).
|By christine Hughes on Wednesday, May 1, 2002 - 4:13 pm:|
Thank you so much for all of your replys. I am trying to get into the dr.to get a physical because the local dive shop is concern with me being deaf in my left ear about me being able to dive. So once I get that hurdle over then I am going to get in a class. I need some advice we had got a snorkle set from sams club was an ocean pacific set not happy with the fins. What is a good mask and snorkle to get. My local dive shop is telling me that split fins are better and I have some people they dont like that kind. What kind do you all prefer? One of my customers at the bank told me not to buy a full wet suit to buy a shorty and a floaty is that good advice? We live in Fl so really the only time deal with cold water is if we wanted to go diving in springs.
|By Ida Christie on Wednesday, May 1, 2002 - 4:57 pm:|
If your going to be new to diving don't go out and buy all new stuff just yet. Wait until after you find out if you can get certified. Then if you do watch out for the dive shops they want you to buy the most expensive! My husband has the split fins and loves them. I have regurlar fins which I have to buy new ones due to the fact I have an high arch and the last dive trip I couldn't do the last 2 dives due to blisters on the top of my feet. If you live in Florida some places give you a choice of getting certified in springs or the ocean. They will supply you with all the equipment, and you will be able to try some out and get a little more of an idea of what works best for you.
|By scott and sharon barlass on Wednesday, May 1, 2002 - 5:35 pm:|
|By Marty Roddy on Wednesday, May 1, 2002 - 5:40 pm:|
|By Phil Corbin on Wednesday, May 1, 2002 - 8:41 pm:|
|By Sue Goodman on Wednesday, May 1, 2002 - 11:05 pm:|
Christine, if you are in south Florida, you might want to go to any of the Divers Direct stores for masks, fins & snorkels. Their selection is quite good and the prices are even better. They even let my husband return a pair of fins after he wore them once and they made his legs cramp. They have mainland stores in Deerfield Beach, Ft Lauderdale, Florida City, & Orlando, as well as 2 in the Keys.
|By Lydia S. Segal on Thursday, May 2, 2002 - 7:28 am:|
|By seb schulherr on Thursday, May 2, 2002 - 9:11 am:|
Christine, get open backed fins and thick soled booties for Bonaire if you hope to shore dive ( this may be getting ahead of the game, but I think open back fins are the way to go
|By christine Hughes on Thursday, May 2, 2002 - 9:33 pm:|
Thanks for your most excellent advice we are going to drive on Sat to orlando which is a three hour drive and go to divers direct to purchase our basic equipment. How does this sound booties,split fins, dry snorkel, and they are clearencing out shortys for 30.00 and a mask. Does that sound like eveything that we need. What is a good mask brand to get ? If you all want to look at diversdirect website they have what seem to be good prices on thier equimpent. Thank you Sue for that suggestion.
|By Linnea Wijkhof-Wimberly on Thursday, May 2, 2002 - 9:41 pm:|
The brand does not make a difference as long as it is a good quality mask. The fit is the most important thing. Just place the mask on your face with the strap hanging loose, suck in gently through your nose, let go of the mask, holding the gentle pull of air through your nose, and see if it stays on your face for more than 10 seconds. When you do adjust the mask strap, remember to pull it just tight enough to hold it in place for diving, not so tight that you think your head is in a vise.
|By mary pequinot on Thursday, May 2, 2002 - 9:54 pm:|
Everyone has given good advice. The mask that fits well will pass this test: put it on without the strap, inhale and bend your head. It should feel snug against your face.
|By Jake Richter - NetTech on Friday, May 3, 2002 - 12:58 pm:|
With split fins - it seems people either love them or hate them (put me in the latter category - I feel like I've lost lots of maneuverability when I've tried split fins). I use Mares Voles now, and love them (but not in a strong current).
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