The last few weeks several people have contacted me and asked me how you find a buddy on Bonaire…. Realizing this is a hot topic I decided to do a bit of research and contacted several dive shops on Bonaire for their input! After reading this article you’ll know exactly how to find a dive buddy on Bonaire.
When you’re on your own on a boat dive, you often get paired with another “solo” diver or if everyone brought their friends with the dive guide. But that doesn’t really work in Bonaire as most of the dives are shore dives… I mean you could wait at one of the 89 dive sites and hope you can tag along with some other divers passing by, but it’s hardly the most effective approach.
Let me start by saying this; it’s incredibly safe to book a holiday to Bonaire and trust you’ll find a buddy. There’s many different ways and we’re going to cover all of them!
Start searching for a dive buddy in Bonaire whilst still at home – Online
After you’ve booked your trip you’ll know exactly when you’re going to Bonaire. This is the moment you can start looking for a dive buddy on Bonaire. A very common way for that is Facebook. There are two groups that I know off, specifically focused on Bonaire that can be used to find buddies;
I can hear you think, what language is that? Dutch. But both groups speak English! So don’t be discouraged by my native language… you’ll be able to get by even if you don’t master the beautiful language from The Netherlands… 😉
The Buddy Board’s in the dive shops on Bonaire – Phone/e-mail
Four dive shops who I wrote told me they’ve buddy boards in their locations. Basically you (or the shop) writes your details on the board and that you’re looking for a buddy. So like your name, phone number, certification, available dates. Then if there’s a match either the shop puts you guys in touch or the last person reading the board reaches out. Simple as that! If you’re smart you phone or e-mail ahead a couple of days before arriving on the island and ask them to write down your details….
The dive shops that offer this service are;
Start with boat dives in Bonaire
Did you book your trip last minute? Or struggled to find someone online? Book some boat dives! Soon you’ll realize pretty much everyone is a diver on Bonaire… but especially on boat dives you’ll meet other divers that for sure will have some shore diving planned as well. Once you’ve met each other during a boat dive it’s very easy to discuss further dives. This is a great way to find a dive buddy on Bonaire.
Consider getting self-reliant / solo certified
Whilst I realize this is not for everyone, and you’ll need at least a 100 dives, you can consider becoming a PADI Self Reliant diver or a similar. These courses are recognized in Bonaire and materials such as a redundant air source are available for hire. In my next article I’ll discuss this course a bit more. I did mine in Thailand and even though I barely solo dive, I’m happy I can when I want…. You can read all about my course HERE.
I hope my tips and tricks (and links to the right shops and groups), will help you find your buddy in Bonaire. Let me know if you think something is missing from this article and I’ll try to update when applicable. Also, let me know if this article was any help to you and how you found your buddy ^^