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Woodwind or Klein off shore?


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I am looking forward to our trip to Bonaire in Jan but will only be on the island from 12pm-7pm. I cannot make my mind up to take a 3 hour snorkel trip with Woodwind or take the water taxi to Klein Bonaire by myself. Woodwind is going to be snorkeling around Klein for 1.5 hours and has told me the spots they go are better than offshore at Klein. 1.5 hrs does not sound like enough time. Can anyone compare the two trips for me? I would like to spend more time in the water than Woodwind would be but only if Klein is better snorkeling.

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Woodwind is outstanding, we used this this past week. You are snorkling right off of Klein. The water taxi will take you to no name beach with all of the other tourists. Where we went was beautiful. I say you can't go wrong with woodwind. 1.5 hours isn't long enough though, you won't want to leave.

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Woodwind was great. (Westerdam, Nov 27, 2011-Dec 4, 2011) The owner (regretfully I cannot remember her name) was a fantastic guide. I do remember she said she was from Trinidad. Her crew was great also. She made sure everyone was safe and comfortable in the water. Before getting in the water they gave flotation devices to those that needed it. She demonstrated hand signals to use to express that you were ok or in distress. She asked me at least 3 times if I was ok and gave her the appropriate hand signal. I saw her swim to others who she felt needed help and they apparently didn't because we all just went on. Snorklers were divided into 3 groups based on experience. I only snorkled 2 times before, so I was in the beginners' group. The also provided snacks and drinks. An underwater photographer took pictures and you could buy the CD if you wanted. I'd do Woodwind again if I return to Bonaire. Go Woodwind!

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We had a wonderful time with Woodwind. The snorkel time is one and one-half hours. Entire trip takes about two and half hours. Dee and Alisha were great. Our group of nine was divided into two groups - experienced and newbies. Dee led our newbie group and was fantastic - making sure we saw everything. Had such a great time with Woodwind we found another cruise next year that includes Bonaire. We had a wonderful time with Woodwind. The snorkel time is one and one-half hours. Entire trip takes about two and half hours. Dee and Alisha were great. Our group of nine was divided into two groups - experienced and newbies. Dee led our newbie group and was fantastic - making sure we saw everything. Had such a great time with Woodwind we found another cruise next year that includes Bonaire.

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  • 2 weeks later...
An underwater photographer took pictures and you could buy the CD if you wanted. I'd do Woodwind again if I return to Bonaire. Go Woodwind!

 

deer30084, how much was the CD? I went on the Woodwind website and it didn't say. I was thinking of buying a cheap underwater camera, but if they do the photography for you, it would probably be worth buying their CD.

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QUASAR1011,

I've begun my 'Snorkel' info search.We leave in Feb. QUESTION: How and Where is the best way to get a long 'Snorkel Day-trip' on Bonaire. We would LOVE a beach picnic and 1/2 day of Snorkeling'. Does such a thing exist?? We have our own equip.Thanks for any info. Locomotiveman TOMandPEGGY

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DW and I loved Woodwind two weeks ago. I have tons of great fish and coral photos (I love my underwater camera), and we even got to see a sea turtle swimming under us. DW said it was like Finding Nemo when the sea turtle swam by. Also, the refreshments and snacks on board really helped keep us fresh between drifts. Another vote for Woodwind.

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I will say that we've snorkeled a lot and Woodwinds is easily the best snorkeling we've ever done in the Caribbean and the most professionally done snorkeling excursion we've ever done as well. See my photo link below.

 

How long does the exursion with Woodwind last ? Can someone who doesn't swim find it interesting ? DH does't swim but I would love to snorkle in Bonaire. I'am trying to find an excursion he can enjoy while I can snorkle.

Thank you !

The excursion lasts about 3 hours or so. Also, you'll need to do about a 10 to 15 min walk up the coast to/from the boat.

This is not a good excursion for someone who doesn't want to get in the water as the boat used is mostly just transportation to and from the snorkeling site. This is unlike some other day-sail and snorkeling excursions we've taken on other islands where it was as much about the boat ride and sailing as about the excursions. But Woodwinds is all about the snorkeling and not the boat ride.

 

This is also not a snorkeling trip that would be good for someone who doesn't swim as it is a drift snorkel where you drift and swim with the currents along the coast while you are in the water. It is not difficult but I don't think someone who doesn't swim would enjoy it.

 

deer30084, how much was the CD? I went on the Woodwind website and it didn't say. I was thinking of buying a cheap underwater camera, but if they do the photography for you, it would probably be worth buying their CD.

 

The CD is something like $25, possibly a bit more

 

I have some photos and a review on my photo site at Meeting on the dock and ready to go on the Woodinds snorkeling excursion in Bonaire  Photo by Bill & Marilyn V

Some of the underwater photos I took and some I selected from the pro photo CD we bought - the captions acknowledge the photos taken by their photographer.

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LSimon,

Hi. I booked/confirmed with Ulf at Woodwinds yesterday. QUESTION: Is there a good alternative to Woodwinds that you know of?...as Woodwinds is now full on our 3/hr. so our friends will be looking elsewhere. Any thoughts appreciated. Locomotiveman TOMandPEGGY

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LSimon,

Hi. I booked/confirmed with Ulf at Woodwinds yesterday. QUESTION: Is there a good alternative to Woodwinds that you know of?...as Woodwinds is now full on our 3/hr. so our friends will be looking elsewhere. Any thoughts appreciated. Locomotiveman TOMandPEGGY

 

Sorry - but we've only been to Bonaire once and quickly signed up for this excursion based on recommendations from friends and didn't look too much at others.

 

Woodwinds does usually do 2 sailings a day though.

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...This is not a good excursion for someone who doesn't want to get in the water as the boat used is mostly just transportation to and from the snorkeling site. This is unlike some other day-sail and snorkeling excursions we've taken on other islands where it was as much about the boat ride and sailing as about the excursions. But Woodwinds is all about the snorkeling and not the boat ride.

 

This is also not a snorkeling trip that would be good for someone who doesn't swim as it is a drift snorkel where you drift and swim with the currents along the coast while you are in the water. It is not difficult but I don't think someone who doesn't swim would enjoy it....

 

I was just reminded that on our trip there were a few along with the ride who either didn't snorkel or who only snorkeled a short part of the trip and still had a great time. There were also several beginning snorkelers and I recall Woodwinds was great about putting them in a separate group with some extra instruction and assistance and had extra floats for them if they wanted, or needed, them. Like most snorkeling excursions they required everyone to wear a snorkeling vest. These provide pretty good floatation if one wanted that and could be worn deflated if one did not want them so they could dive down, as I prefer. Also, my comments about swimming were based on our day there when the water was a lot rougher than usual yet still provided a great day for all and magnificent snorkeling and viability despite the rougher conditions. Made me wish we could be there again on a day with more ideal conditions.

 

One of the nice things about our trip was the staff. There were quite a few for a snorkeling trip and they put everyone into small groups each with at least one staff person as a guide. In the past on other trips I haven't liked snorkeling as a "group" but did like the way Woodwinds did this. As I said in my post above the whole trip was done more professionally than other snorkeling trips we've done in the past.

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I have to chime in on this thread. My roommate and I just took a snorkling trip with Dee and the Woodwind staff earlier this month. I am very uncomfortable in water over my head, but my roommate really wanted to go snorkling. So, I heavily researched this company and chose them over others based on this research.

 

As previous posters have mentioned, we were divided into groups based on experience. We were in the novice group. They provided all of the necessary equipment(snorkle, mask, fins, two different types of flotation devices, they even had prescription snorkles for those who needed them). You were not required to use flotation if you didn't want it. I used both types and Dee stayed right with me. I would never have been able to do this trip and to see the amazing things I did if it wasn't for her and her amazing crew. I don't think anyone should have any fear about using them. This was one of the most professional tours I have ever been on of any type.

 

Go with the Woodwind crew. You won't be sorry.

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We were just in Bonaire about 2 weeks ago and did the Woodwinds excursion. What a great time! We had a few in our group that chose not to snorkle and stay onboard with JoJo. He was an excellant host and served them all of the "punch", snacks (finger sandwiches), and beer they could handle. Dee and her crew were also extremely gracious with those of us who did snorkle. What a great time...Can't say enough good about Woodwinds!

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I will say that we've snorkeled a lot and Woodwinds is easily the best snorkeling we've ever done in the Caribbean and the most professionally done snorkeling excursion we've ever done as well. See my photo link below.

 

 

The excursion lasts about 3 hours or so. Also, you'll need to do about a 10 to 15 min walk up the coast to/from the boat.

This is not a good excursion for someone who doesn't want to get in the water as the boat used is mostly just transportation to and from the snorkeling site. This is unlike some other day-sail and snorkeling excursions we've taken on other islands where it was as much about the boat ride and sailing as about the excursions. But Woodwinds is all about the snorkeling and not the boat ride.

 

This is also not a snorkeling trip that would be good for someone who doesn't swim as it is a drift snorkel where you drift and swim with the currents along the coast while you are in the water. It is not difficult but I don't think someone who doesn't swim would enjoy it.

 

 

 

The CD is something like $25, possibly a bit more

 

I have some photos and a review on my photo site at Meeting on the dock and ready to go on the Woodinds snorkeling excursion in Bonaire  Photo by Bill & Marilyn V

Some of the underwater photos I took and some I selected from the pro photo CD we bought - the captions acknowledge the photos taken by their photographer.

 

Do you know if Woodwind snorkels the same location as people off teh No Name Beach? Trying to see if I can see same snorkel locations off beach or if woodwind goes on back of island

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The CD is something like $25, possibly a bit more

 

I have some photos and a review on my photo site at Meeting on the dock and ready to go on the Woodinds snorkeling excursion in Bonaire  Photo by Bill & Marilyn V

Some of the underwater photos I took and some I selected from the pro photo CD we bought - the captions acknowledge the photos taken by their photographer.

 

I went to your site- nice photos! $25 for a CD of underwater pics strikes me as reasonable.

 

Now I need to figure out whether to wear my contact lenses while snorkeling, or go with the prescription masks Woodwind provides. :confused:

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I went to your site- nice photos! $25 for a CD of underwater pics strikes me as reasonable.

 

Now I need to figure out whether to wear my contact lenses while snorkeling, or go with the prescription masks Woodwind provides. :confused:

 

I always wear contacts while snorkeling. In fact I've been wearing progressive lens bifocal glasses for years but still get a set of single vision contacts from time to time which I use largely for snorkeling. I find these are great while snorkeling and swimming.

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We were in Bonaire this week on the Zuiderdam. We usually go with Woodwind but this time we decided to take the water taxi over to Klein - just to see if it was different. My husband's cousins who had never snorkeled in Bonaire went with Woodwind at our suggestion.

I can tell you personally that the snorkeling on the side that the water taxi takes you to is not nearly as good as where Woodwind takes you. The water taxi allowed us to drop our stuff on the beach and get back on board so he could bring us a little further down the beach to drift snorkel.We did see some corals and fish but neither the quantity nor beauty that we saw with Woodwind.

Also, the water was rougher. We had a great beach day - it was beautiful but in the future, if we want to snorkel, we will book again with Dee.

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Woodwind is the only way to go. We had a mixed group with our children (young adults) being more experienced at snorkeling than mom and dad and Woodwind accommodated us perfectly. Dad does not like the water, tried it, and Dee very tactfully got him back on board the catamaran without him losing face. They then allowed him to sail the catamaran while the rest of the passengers snorkeled. He was as happy as a clam to be sailing again as he no longer owns a sailboat. Both of our children were impressed with their guides and one can hardly wait to go back to Bonaire. I was with the novice group, and Dee took excellent care of this group. She recognized which of us were tired by the end of the snorkel and made sure we got back to the catamaran safely. Her explanations were very educational. The snack food was much appreciated as well as the drinks served. The equipment they use is excellent so you do not need to take your own equipment with you. Book early though, because their tours do fill up.

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Don't waste your time with a tour with Woodwind. For starters, they were very nasty to me in an e-mail when I inquired why they did not offer the longer tour offered to land based guests to cruise guests. Second, it is very easy to grab a water taxi over to Klein and snorkel on you own for as long as you like. We explored and swam around most of the island of Klein and still had time to go back to the ship and clean up then shop! Much cheaper and no one else's time frame but your own.

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If you do a search about Woodwind you will find that they have excellent reviews. As my previous post states, we have snorkeled twice with Woodwind and once going to Klein on the water taxi. The water taxi was cheaper and we were able to do some snorkeling from the beach at Klein. But, the snorkeling does not compare to snorkeling with Woodwind. My husband's cousins are divers and even they said that they had never seen coral as beautiful as the coral they saw snorkeling with Woodwind.

We would definitely take the water taxi again but for us, it was more of a beach day rather than a snorkeling excursion.

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TBN Hubby here

 

Went with Woodwind last year and only had one problem. I wished I had booked BOTH their morning and afternoon tours. Great snorkeling with great guides and the grouping by ability made for a fun trip for the whole tour group. Definitely a top notch SNORKEL tour.

 

I have heard that the morning tour is usually better because the wind tends to be stronger in the afternoon and the rougher water stirs the sand a bit, reducing visibility ( I was on the morning tour).

 

Their catamaran is adequate and appears well maintained but is primarily for transportation to the snorkel site, so not the best unless you snorkel. Wife (TBN) does not snorkle and I don't think she would enjoy being on their Cat for the 3-hour trip. Not a disadvantage at all just emphasizing the fact that they are a SNORKEL tour with a short boat ride to get there, as opposed to some that are mostly catamaran trips with short, marginal snorkel stops thrown in.

 

Going back next year and will book two trips with them then!

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We just returned from Bonaire and had a great experience with Woodwind! They were very professional and treated us very well. The drift snorkel was awesome! They made the trip informational and fun! I would do it again in a minute! They are very interested in preserving the island and they make sure we respect the reef and the sea life. They were one of the highlights of our cruise!

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I agree with everyone else - the Woodwind snorkel excursion was the most professional snorkelling trip I have ever taken. Two people in our group had never snorkelled before and our guide Dee made them feel safe and comfortable in the water. They even offer prescription grade goggles for people who wear glasses. We bought the pictures that the photographer took of our excursion and thought they were definitely worth the money. You will not regret this trip even if you are a non-swimmer.

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We just returned as well and totally agree !!!!! Woodwind was one of the best excursions we have ever done{and we have done many}. The snorkeling was the best that we have ever seen and the crew was excellent !!!!

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