Bonaire South
ABC Islands


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02/27/2017 Andy Dobson (Avg: 3.60 Review) - 22 Feb 2017. The were westerly winds the previous day and light northerly the dive day which knocked down the customary 1 meter plus swell to 0.3 meters wave height, so a rare ideal day to try this east side dive. The dive was timed around the top of the tide to minimize current in the channel. The entry beside the most seaward pile of conch shells was easy but n those conditions. Before submerging, set your compass bezel to 170 degrees to follow the channel out into the sea. It is pretty obvious which direction to go while in the narrow part of the channel, but the compass becomes important later. The channel visibility was 15 feet, but it revealed the only live conch seen on Bonaire so far and a den of a dozen juvenile lobsters. The channel widens and deepens into a sand bowl 45 feet deep where 80-100 tarpon idled about with a school of sennet mingling. Then continuing in the 170 course, you cross a shallower reef, 25 feet, then reach the drop off. Total time at a lazy pace, with a couple of stops for pictures, to transit out was 18 minutes. It helps now to get an unmistakable reference landmark so you know where to turn in to find the channel on the reciprocal track. There was virtually no current so could go either way, but I turned right, heading south and went as deep as 95 feet and up to the shoulder of the reef at 35 feet. Perhaps it was too good a day, with no current to attract sharks, rays, turtles or other pelagics. But the reef was very good and there were 4 large green morays sighted.

09/20/2016 Alex Heemskerk (Avg: 3.94 Review) - Absolutely wonderful dive! Saw a nursesharks, southern stingray and a big group (+/-) 40 of tarpons. Different site from the classic shoredives here on Bonaire. However it needs some navigation and the exit conditions were absolutely not for beginners (strong surge, navigation factor). Beautiful advanced dive.

05/07/2013 Cindy 1 (Avg: 3.38 Review) - Dove at Cai last week on my first diving holiday. Although with 2 experienced divers, I was very worried about the reported current. However we had no difficulties making it in & out the channel at all, but this may be related to us being used to some current in the Oosterschelde (NL) anyway. Beautiful reef, but no eagle ray spottings due to rather low visibility on the sand... Still, a very nice dive! Resist the urge to drive straight to the surf club at Lac Bay for a beer after the dive, but mingle with the locals at the local bar - entertainment guaranteed!

09/14/2010 Pat 41 (Avg: 3.37 Review) - Dove this site twice. The first time access was easy and saw schools of Eagle Rays. Beautiful reef. Second time the current was horrendous. Turned back after a 5min attempt. One diver grabbed a hold of a large rock in an attempt to anchor himself against the out-surge. He and the rock were lifted and pulled back several meters. This dive is not for the light at heart.

09/27/2009 Nick Mardirosian (Avg: 3.79 Review) - Did it as a guided dive with Wannadive. Best dive of our Bonaire trip, but also the most strenuous. The current was so strong on the way back into the bay we were climbing from rock to rock and hugging the bottom to try to get out of the current. We saw about a dozen eagle rays, half a dozen turtles, and very large coral formations. If you're diving an AL80 I'd recommend 1800psi turn pressure as a minimum to deal with the current.

08/19/2007 Marge Lawson (Avg: 3.56 Review) - We dive this site any time the wind drops or reverses. It can either be a fairly easy dive or a very strenuous dive, depending upon wind, current, and outgoing tide. We do this dive two different ways. The most interesting dive is to do as the other reviewers suggest--go in by the conch piles or the picnic tables and head out the channel, making sure to get a compass reading beforehand. It is best to do this dive with someone who is familiar with this site since finding the reef in the usual low visibility can sometimes be a challenge. We prefer to go out on the surface to preserve our air, plus we can use landmarks on land to judge when to drop down. The strongest current is usually near the harbor entrance, and the reef and visibility improve as you go south. Look for nurse sharks and turtles sleeping under ledges, and look out in the blue water and above the reef for Spotted Eagle Rays. You are likely to see schools of Blue Parrotfish, and Rainbow Parrotfish, plus some Midnight Parrotfish. There are large Barracuda and Tarpon, lobsters, etc. We enjoy ending our dive by going up over the drop-off and spending some time in the sandy flats where large schools of Tarpon hang out. Occasionally we like to do the dive north of the harbor entrance. We do this by parking in the area just before you get to the picnic tables and conch piles. This should only be done with very flat water, since the rocks are quite slippery and you need to walk out a ways before the water is deep enough to put on your fins and start swimming. Take a compass heading and head straight out over algae covered rocks which gradually turns into seafans and small corals. The swim out is quite a long ways. Once you come to the drop off, head north. The farther north you go, the more interesting the reef. You will see many of the large pelagics here, but generally not in the same quantity as the dive to the south of the harbor. Once again, save plenty of air for the long swim in, which is often against a strong current.

02/29/2004 Wayne Sargent (Avg: 4.46 Review) - From Kralendijk go southeast following signs toward Sorobon and Lac Cai Bay, turning east on a dirt road before the mangroves and then following them on your right eventually passing a Kayak center and ending up near some shacks and a large conch shell pile. Lac Bay's southeast perimeter is a breakwater 'barrier' reef on the ocean. Parking on the north shore near the shacks, there's a channel that leads southeast to the edge of this exposed and shallow reef barrier. It's an easy walk-in entry at this channel, which typically has a brisk current and many resident tarpon. Before descending, take a compass heading, particularly for the return. You'll enter a depression at about 40 feet deep, with tarpon, large parrotfish, etc, around the corals. Tarpon stack up here like wind vanes facing into the current. Continue southeast and drop over the reef wall and turn right, or southwest, but remember to find a good marker where you drop over the wall for the return to shore later. Turtles and rays can be seen anywhere on this dive, but especially beginning here. Continuing southwest between 30 to 80-foot depths you will see some metal junk, and some large concrete blocks, a good landmark for turning back soon. Everything Bonaire has is seen here, plus the bigger pelagic creatures. Upon return, there's a huge difference between a surface and submerged swim leaving and returning to the rocky beach. Don't fight it, and you're ok. Just avoid running low on air, requiring a surface swim back against this strong surface current, by leaving the reef wall with 800-1000psi. You won't win that battle, and would likely have a long walk back from somewhere. It's best to go early or weekdays; Sunday afternoon is party time at Cai. Best times are when winds are lower, especially fall. One stop I'd make before going is to read and ask questions for any Bonaire dive site, or for other Bonaire information.

11/21/2003 Anonymous (Avg: 4.12 Review) - This is a guided dive only. Do not attempt it if you are not experienced with the site.

11/21/2003 Marcel Damen (Avg: 4.14 Review) - One of the best dives on Bonaire, Saw Eagle rays, Stingrays, Giant Lobster,50+ Tarpons , Turtle etc. etc. Great Corals , everything is much bigger then on the west site! Made a 73 min dive , max depth 30m, 12l alloy bottle with 270Bar !!!! Not for sissies!

11/12/2003 Anonymous (Avg: 3.62 Review) - Easy access from ramp to Lac at Cai. Try to go weekdays; sometimes used for parties and festivals on weekends. Mounds of old conch shells. Conch in Lac has all been taken years ago by Bonarians. Watch for jellies in Lac. You must swim through a challenging surge zone 10-15 ft deep to reach the reef. Stay underwater and navigate through sea fans by compass; at least a 20 minute swim. Return from reef with at least 1,000 psi in tank to leave a margin for this swim. Down to 50-60 ft reef is rough from surge but beautiful. Huge sponges. Many parrotfish, angels and butterflies, much bigger specimens than at any other Bonaire site. Schools of blue chromis. In dives two successive years at this site did not see sharks, baraccudas, rays, turtles or other large animals.

Dive Site Pictures:
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Diver Averages for  Cai  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  3.60
Bottom Conditions:  3.50
Reef Conditions:  4.40
Animal Life:  4.50
Plant Life:  4.20
Facilities:  1.90
Solitude 3.80
Roads:  2.00
*Site Average:  3.80

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  1.70
Beginner Scuba:  1.60
Intermediate Scuba:  2.50
Advanced Scuba:  4.60
Night diving Scuba:  2.50

Number of reviews for this site: 10


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