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Woodwind or Klein off shore?


J breeze

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We did see some corals and fish but neither the quantity nor beauty that we saw with Woodwind.

 

My wife went snorkeling once in Hawaii, and cut her bare foot on some coral. Now she wants water shoes (or whatever they're called) to go snorkeling this time. Yet, Ulf wrote this to me:

 

"Your feet will be in no danger as they will not touch anything.

We have an all inclusive snorkel / sail so all you have to bring is a towel, we'll take care of the rest.

 

Let me know and I will send you a confirmation.

download?mid=1%5f6190%5fANbTi2IAAEOoTw9ERg8w3Qcwa44&pid=17&fid=Travel&inline=1&appid=YahooMailClassic

Ulf

Woodwind

Bonaire"

 

So if Woodwind has more quantity of corals, are we in danger or cutting our feet on them, or not? :confused::eek:

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My wife went snorkeling once in Hawaii, and cut her bare foot on some coral. Now she wants water shoes (or whatever they're called) to go snorkeling this time. Yet, Ulf wrote this to me:

 

"Your feet will be in no danger as they will not touch anything.

We have an all inclusive snorkel / sail so all you have to bring is a towel, we'll take care of the rest.

 

Let me know and I will send you a confirmation.

download?mid=1%5f6190%5fANbTi2IAAEOoTw9ERg8w3Qcwa44&pid=17&fid=Travel&inline=1&appid=YahooMailClassic

Ulf

Woodwind

Bonaire"

 

So if Woodwind has more quantity of corals, are we in danger or cutting our feet on them, or not? :confused::eek:

 

I have a lot of pictures of the excursion that might give you an idea:

http://simon-pics.smugmug.com/Cruises/Constellation-Mar-26-11-14/Bonaire-and-Woodwind-Bonaire/18451610_HvKw3X#!i=1423647060&k=tqbStf6

I think there are a lot of great photos on Woodwind's site as well.

 

One thing you may notice from the photos is that Woodwind snorkels along a coast line with a quick drop off. You can choose to snorkel closer to shore, or just a little further out where the coral is far below you, and still be close enough to your group.

 

Quite frankly, there should be no reason for you to ever touch the coral with your feet nor any part of your body. In fact you are not supposed to touch it because touching it has the potential to damage yourself and the fragile coral system.

 

Personally, I like wearing a product called "fin socks", a thin sock made of neoprene. It provides a minor amount of protection, snugs my feet in the fins for a nicer fit and also keeps the fins from chaffing my feet. They are inexpensive and available at many places online. I got mine from an internet dive shop site, but there are a bunch of different styles on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_seeall_3?rh=k%3Afin+socks%2Ci%3Asporting&keywords=fin+socks&ie=UTF8&qid=1328810152

 

While these will provide more protection than your bare feet they won't protect you completely should you put your feet on sharp coral as they do not have soles. Normally the fins themselves provide some protection. If you want even more protection you can purchase larger dive fins that are designed to be worn over water shoes or dive boots which have a sole. Personally I don't like these as much as smaller, lighter, fins designed more for surface snorkeling but they are an option. You can stop in a dive shop to check some out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We've just returned from Azura and we pre-booked trip with Woodwind. Dee and her crew were absolutely fantastic and very professional, briefed us on safety and info about the reef and eco facts. My 8 year old son had a great time and was out there in the water for over an hour.

We purcased the photo cd and we viewed it on the boat first. I was nervous and they did their upmost to reassure me and support me. free drinks on board and snacks after the snorkle included.

would recommend Woodwind 100%.

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A group of us went with Woodwinds when we were in Bonaire last week. I cannot say enough, they were so professional. Two of the guides were marine biologists! They would dive down and point at something then come up to tell us what kind of fish or plant life it was. Everyone in our group loved it.

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Can you snorkle to the exact same reef that Woodwind takes us to? How far from shore is the reef? Did you have to wait a long time to get a water-taxi to get there?

I don't know if Woodwinds always goes to the same spot, but for us it was a drift snorkel right along the shoreline. But I don't think you could get there except by boat. Drift snorkels are great, and much easier than the name sounds, as you can cover a lot of territory with very little effort. It is extremely easy to flow with the current with guides and the boat following you but would have been extremely difficult to do the same area entering from shore if you could even get to this area.

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One thing you may notice from the photos is that Woodwind snorkels along a coast line with a quick drop off. You can choose to snorkel closer to shore, or just a little further out where the coral is far below you, and still be close enough to your group.

Good to know! We bought water shoes, just in case. :cool:
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How much did the tour with Woodwind cost?

 

 

We did the afternoon sail on Woodwind, the cost was $50.00 US per person. The Woodwind drift sail is on the opposite side of the island, not anywhere near the Taxi.

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We did the afternoon sail on Woodwind, the cost was $50.00 US per person. The Woodwind drift sail is on the opposite side of the island, not anywhere near the Taxi.

 

It is a short walk to the other side, or if you are a strong swimmer like DH and myself, we just swam around most of the island.

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It is a short walk to the other side, or if you are a strong swimmer like DH and myself, we just swam around most of the island.

 

Wow! My hats off to you! You guys really are strong swimmers!

 

While you guys were able to do this I'm not sure it would be a good idea for someone in average condition. Here is some info on Klein Bonaire I've just looked up on the web:

 

Klein Bonaire is 2.4 miles long end to end the longest way and over a mile across the other way. The perimeter is roughly 6.5 miles. That is a long way to swim around given the currents.

 

I have a pictures from the veranda of the ship which shows a good portion of Klein Bonaire, but not all of it along the horizon on the left half of the photo: http://simon-pics.smugmug.com/Cruises/Constellation-Mar-26-11-14/Bonaire-and-Woodwind-Bonaire/18451610_HvKw3X#!i=1423647118&k=FFh6Kp4

 

Also a lot of the places we snorkeled along were out past long stretches of shallow coral that couldn't be passed on foot nor approached from the beach even if one did walk across the island. Here is a link to a photo which gives an example:

http://simon-pics.smugmug.com/Cruises/Constellation-Mar-26-11-14/Bonaire-and-Woodwind-Bonaire/18451610_HvKw3X#!i=1423226637&k=S88srsk

In the above photo the area we swam along was to the left side of the photo and the shore towards the right.

 

The day we were there with Woodwinds there was a fairly good current along the area where they took us. I was very happy it was a drift snorkel as that made covering the territory very easy and comfortable. I would have hated to have had to go against any currents of that nature as I could imagine one might have to if they were along in the area and got pushed too far along or had to swim up the other side of the island. Of course I think the current was a bit stronger than usual that day so perhaps on other days it isn't too much of an issue. OTOH, it would be pretty difficult to cover a several miles if you were not flowing with the current.

 

I wish more of our cruises went to Bonaire so we'd have the opportunity to check out both Woodwinds (again!) and shore snorkeling from the island where it is possible.

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Wow! My hats off to you! You guys really are strong swimmers!

 

I wish more of our cruises went to Bonaire so we'd have the opportunity to check out both Woodwinds (again!) and shore snorkeling from the island where it is possible.

 

LOL :D :D

 

We just got back Monday from our trip with Woodwind, this is a must in Bonaire!

 

Enjoyed looking at your pictures, brought back fond memories.

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Wow you are strong swimmers. Both my husband and I swim regularly (we live in Florida). It would take us hours to swim around the island and depending on the wind the currents would make it impossible for us to do. There are not many spots to enter or exit the water unless you walk on the coral - which destroys it.

We do love going with Woodwind. They do a great drift snorkel.

We'll be in Bonaire in a few weeks and plan on going to Klein by water taxi. We will have to take a look around and see how far we can walk. I definitely will not walking 6 and half miles :D

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It is a short walk to the other side, or if you are a strong swimmer like DH and myself, we just swam around most of the island.

 

To: EithneMay

As a local tour / snorkel operator I have to wright my first comment on Cruise Critic for the sake of safety and protection of Corals and marine life that, we on Bonaire, are making our living from.

You are giving Cruise Critic readers / Bonaire visitors a dangerous advice. Swimming around Klein Bonaire in itself is a task for VERY good swimmers with a boat following them at all times.

The current around Klein Bonaire is unpredictable and could be dangerous for snorkelers. Landing points are few and you would hurt yourself AND damage the fragile marine life/corals.

Trying to enter and exit outside the designated area marked with enter/exit stones is not recommended by the Bonaire Marine Park. Those makers are south of No Name Beach.

To give such an advice as you do EithneMay could cause a closure of many parts of Klein Bonaire for visitors. Bonaire is VERY sceptical to cruise ship visitors in the first place, your posting could cause visitors walking over areas at Klein they should not be.

To all Bonaire guests visiting Klein Bonaire: Choose a guided tour, take one of the several organized cruise ship tours or take a water taxi on your own if you like. Follow the Marine Park rules and regulations http://www.bmp.org/rulesandregulations.html - use the exit / entry markers to protect yourself and the marine life in our paradise. Enjoy....

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We always entered and exited the water at the beach where there was no coral to be at risk. I am a former competitive swimmer, lifeguard, and water safety instructor. With fins and on a calm day, the swim was a piece of cake for DH and myself. People need to know their own limits and not put themselves at risk, but we do not have to be tied to an over-priced tour where we are tied to a limited location, inflatable vests, and rude tour operators (not saying you are rude, but we have encountered those who were on many islands). If the marine park and local government was concerned, they would eliminate the water taxis all-together.

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We always entered and exited the water at the beach where there was no coral to be at risk. I am a former competitive swimmer, lifeguard, and water safety instructor. With fins and on a calm day, the swim was a piece of cake for DH and myself. People need to know their own limits and not put themselves at risk, but we do not have to be tied to an over-priced tour where we are tied to a limited location, inflatable vests, and rude tour operators (not saying you are rude, but we have encountered those who were on many islands). If the marine park and local government was concerned, they would eliminate the water taxis all-together.

 

Yes EithneMay, thanks to people like you, The Marine Park WOULD most likely close off Klein Bonaire in the future. It is already been discussed, at least closing off parts of it. Restrictions for kayaks are already in place thanks to ignorant and incompetent operators and tourists.

You know as well as me EithneMay that a lot of visitors less competent than you will try to swim around Klein Bonaire and “do it” alone with your VERY “easy to do” recommendation.

As a former competitive swimmer, lifeguard, and water safety instructor you should recommend NOT to do what you did. That would have reflected your background and been the right thing to do.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I did the drift snorkel with Woodwind on March 14th. I highly recommend them! It was my first time snorkeling, and I had no major issues. Dee (Deirdre) was a knowledgable guide, and there were 2 other guides, as we split into 3 groups of snorkelers based on experience. Plus, an underwater photographer accompanied the tour and took photos of the fish, turtles and coral that we saw. We even had some good photos of ourselves taken from underwater. That photo CD is an extra $25, but well worth it! :)

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We did the drift snorkel with Woodwind and found Dee and the crew to be extemely professional, safety conscious and informative. We were divided into 3 groups according to past experience and ability. The snorkeling was fantastic even though it was cloudy and rough that day. Snacks and drinks provided afterwards on the boat also a treat. Would highly recommend Dee and her crew even if not experienced at snorkeling.:)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just got back from our cruise, we did Woodwind and it was THE BEST snorkeling I have ever done. My husband who does not swim even went in the water , Dee took care of the non-swimmers and novices. This was his first time.

The marine biologists were great, I will do this tour again.

I was so impressed with every aspect of this tour.

 

Anneke

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  • 2 weeks later...
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.

Woodwind was one of the best tours we have ever taken. They are fantastic and you definitely get in some excellent snorkeling. I highly recommend them.

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  • 3 weeks later...

We went with woodwind on April 26. Absolutely the best snorkeling of the entire 14 day cruise. Dee and staff are all knowledgable about local fish and plants and trained biologists. Cant praise them enough. They separate the snorklers into three groups based upon experience or fear factor and then take you on guided snorkeling trips for 75 minutes. Probably one of the top three snorkeling spots I have been to in the last 30 years and more than 100 trips world wide.

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  • 4 weeks later...

We did this excursion in Bonaire last month. It was by far the best snorkeling I have done in years! We have snorkeled each year for the last 15 years and I do not impress easily. I knew I wanted to drift snorkel again after I did the Samur excursion several years ago. This location was even better than the Samur location. I have not seen this level of coral, fish and turtles since I snorkeled at Buck Island in the early 1980's.

 

 

Let me start by saying I read all the hype on cruisecritic so I knew this was the excursion for me. I was however very concerned about missing the ship because the tour ended so close to the time the ship leaves port. I emailed Ulf at Woodwind and he assured me that I would be back onboard the ship on time if he had to carry me himself! His confidence gave me confidence to book this excursion.

 

I met Ulf at the end of the pier. He gave me instructions to walk down the street to the Divi Famingo Beach Resort and follow the signs once inside the resort. We were a little early so we went inside the casino for a little bit before meeting up with the group. Little casino with free drinks!

 

The Woodwind is beautiful! You sit along the sides or the front of the catamaran. There are cushions so it is very comfortable. You sail to Klein Bonaire. Yes that's right you actually sail! I can't tell you how many times I have booked a catamaran sail and they motor! The crew are great hosts. They offer a huge selection of beverages. Dee asks each of you questions to get an idea of your experience level and breaks the passengers into 3 groups. Dee takes the inexperienced snorkelers out herself. 2 of my friends were in the beginner group. They were petrified to get in the water but Dee made them so comfortable that they got in the water and snorkeled while she held them on a line. They both loved it and appreciated Dee's special attention!

 

They issue you equipment. OK I have never seen such nice equipment!! No cheap stuff here! It went on easily and was so comfortable. Each group has a guide that points out special fish, turtles and coral.

 

They also have a photographer that takes pictures of all the passengers on the boat as well as when you are snorkeling. She got pictures of turtles swimming as well as resting on the bottom. Forget bringing your own camera! It doesn't get any better than a professional photographer with fantastic equipment. You can purchase the DVD of your day for $25. I did and love the shots she got!

 

In closing I want to thank the crew of the Woodwind for the fantastic memories I will cherish forever!

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I totally agree with the above poster. I have been to the great barrier reef in australia twice and the excursion I had with woodwin last month was as good as any one I took there. They separate the participants into groups based on experience and then tailor the swim to the group assignments.

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  • 1 month later...

I agree with the previous posters. BTW, the boat just had a makeover and looks beautiful. Repairs, fresh paint and I bet she is happy to be back in the water. We would sail her again without a doubt!

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  • 3 months later...

We are in port from 12 pm to 7 pm. As the 12:15 excursion w/Woodwinds was booked, we opted for the 3:15 excursion, returning at 6:15. Is that cutting it too close to board the ship before it leaves for its next destination or is it a safe bet that we'll get back to the ship in time?

 

Thanks so much!

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