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New to Snorkeling....have questions.


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We will be in Bonaire early December 2018. My wife and I would love to try snorkeling, since we understand this is one of the best places to do that. We have never snorkeled before. Are there companies that show you how to do it? Or is it expected that you will have some level of experience?

 

Thanks!

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I'd recommend Woodwind snorkeling. We went with them in December and it was one of the best excursions we've ever done. We had a few first timers in our group and the staff, especially the owner Dee, were great with them.

 

If you're interested you should reserve early as they often sell out. No deposit is required and you pay at the end of the trip.

 

 

Maryanne

 

 

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Another vote for Woodwind if not already booked up. My husband was very new to snorkeling and he LOVED it. They even had a full face mask for him to use instead of the normal goggles, which really helped him relax and feel more comfortable. They take you out in 2-3 groups depending on your experience level and provide as much support as necessary. Amazing value, as well. The price is decent for just the snorkeling but they also provided a wonderful full meal with dessert afterward, along with rum punch.

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Just to add the DIY option to the discussion:

 

Prime snorkeling is on Klein Bonaire. There are easy hourly water taxis back and forth (travel time is about 20 minutes) to Klein B. and you buy water taxi tickets at the booth on the main street by the ship dock. Big signs...no worries

 

The water taxi folks are friendly and informative and point out where's the best spot to begin your drift snorkel. The current will carry you along so very little swimming required. Great snorkeling!!

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Just to add the DIY option to the discussion:

 

 

 

Prime snorkeling is on Klein Bonaire. There are easy hourly water taxis back and forth (travel time is about 20 minutes) to Klein B. and you buy water taxi tickets at the booth on the main street by the ship dock. Big signs...no worries

 

 

 

The water taxi folks are friendly and informative and point out where's the best spot to begin your drift snorkel. The current will carry you along so very little swimming required. Great snorkeling!!

 

 

 

If we decide to do this do they rent snorkel gear?

 

 

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A couple points of information about Klein Bonaire -

 

Probably not a good place if you have never snorkeled. There is no snorkel equipment or instruction available on Klein Bonaire. It is a small uninhabited island that is surrounded by reef. It is unimproved so there are no bathrooms, snack shacks or other amenities.

You walk up the beach and snorkel back with the current. There are specific areas marked to allow you to get in the water and over the reef. You should enter and exit only at these marked points. Because of this, you can't just stop and get out of the water. You have to go to the next marked spot to safely exit. For some people this makes it a more difficult snorkeling spot. It is very beautiful. Enjoy Bonaire!

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Just wear safety vest and you'll be fine. It's drift snorkeling , so you won't have to swim much.

We went to Klein Bonaire and there's one very important point to remember.......walk upstream and drift downstream. We met people that did the opposite and said it was very tiring, swimming against the current. When you're on the beach and facing the water, walk to your right.

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We would also recommend booking the Woodwind (just google it to get to their web site). Dee and her husband will provide you with good equipment and any necessary instruction and they will have folks in the water to help out (pointing out fish, helping with any other issues). Her boat is only a short walk from the cruise port. We have gone out with the Woodwind 3 times (the 4th is booked for December) and have always been delighted. Just keep in mind that the Woodwind tends to book up (it is not a huge vessel) far in advance....so we advise getting a reservation ASAP. You do not pay until the day you get on their boat.

 

Hank

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We will be in Bonaire early December 2018. My wife and I would love to try snorkeling, since we understand this is one of the best places to do that. We have never snorkeled before. Are there companies that show you how to do it? Or is it expected that you will have some level of experience?

 

 

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

My husband and I were in a similar position before we went on our Galapagos trip. One of our local dive shops offered an intro snorkelling class. It was in a pool, so not quite the same but it gave us the opportunity to learn the proper techniques. One class (2-3 hours if I recall correctly) was all we needed to give us the confidence for our first ‘real snorkel’. It might be worth investigating whether something like that is available to you before you go.

Good luck! And enjoy!

 

Heather

 

 

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RatherBeTraveling....good point! We are doing exactly what you suggest. We live in the Phoenix, AZ area, and there are several "dive shops" that also teach snorkeling. They appear to offer classes in their on-site pool, followed by a trip to a local lake to practice in a bigger body of water. We will probably do this in anticipation of our 11/2018 cruise. :)

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RatherBeTraveling....good point! We are doing exactly what you suggest. We live in the Phoenix, AZ area, and there are several "dive shops" that also teach snorkeling. They appear to offer classes in their on-site pool, followed by a trip to a local lake to practice in a bigger body of water. We will probably do this in anticipation of our 11/2018 cruise. :)

 

 

 

That’s great! I hope the class does as much for you as it did us. The underwater sights can be an amazing part of an ocean trip and feeling comfortable in the water really adds to the enjoyment.

 

Have a great time during the class and more importantly on your cruise next year!! [emoji4][emoji227]

 

 

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Thanks again, everyone, for the awesome advice! After exchanging emails with Ulf Pederson at Woodwind, we've gone ahead and booked Woodwind even though we are a year away. He was extremely prompt in getting back to me with questions I had. After reading 5-star review after 5-star review, we decided we didn't need to look any further. The price was great - and far better than the cost of most shore excursions. We are doing the 3-hour tour that includes 1.5 hours to snorkel (I think this is on the main island, not Klein Bonaire), and just $55. We can't wait! :D

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Just wear safety vest and you'll be fine. It's drift snorkeling , so you won't have to swim much.

 

How do you get a safety vest at Klein Bonaire if there are no equipment concessions there?

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Drift snorkeling usually means the you drift with the current, and the boat drops you off in one location and you are assumed to drift to a different pickup location. That may or may not involve swimming, so if you want to be sure check with the outfitter to see if the boat is anchored in one place and your snorkel takes place around the boat. That's the easier route to snorkeling for first-time snorkelers. But not the absolute least intimidating. That would be beach snorkeling where you venture out from the beach. The downside of that is that you are unlikely to see much more than a sandy bottom until you get further out.

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Just some general snorkeling suggestions. I am not sure about Bonaire, but I have been snorkeling in Belize and Puerto Rico and have suggestions. 1. Wear swimming or surfing shirts to prevent sunburn on your back- even if you repeatedly put on spf 90 sunscreen. And 2. If you wear eye glasses for distance, buy prescription goggles online. They’re not too expensive. The first time I went, I got a terrible blistered sunburn and though had a spectacular trip, I couldn’t see much without glasses. A learning experience! I love snorkeling!

 

 

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