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Snorkeling when windy

McGehee, Arkansas
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Snorkeling when windy

Hi all! We are coming to bonaire on Monday on a cruise day. We are DIY kind of cruisers and are renting a car. I was hoping to snorkel at karpata in the morning, make the drive inland, and snorkel at salt pier in the afternoon. I’ve read that karpata isn’t an easy entry and that there can be currents at the pier when the winds/waves are “up.” Windfinder says 25mph winds for Monday.....to Me that’s windy! I’d hate to commit to driving through rincon if we dont get to snorkel. Any suggestions? Thanks!

7 replies to this topic
NH
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1. Re: Snorkeling when windy

There may be 25mph winds...but "what" is the wind direction? Example: One side the island may be blowing up...but the other side completely protected because of the wind direction. ~~~allfins ><>

McGehee, Arkansas
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2. Re: Snorkeling when windy

So as long as the winds are blowing east I’m good. Over research leading to paranoia, check! I just wasn’t sure to what extent the waves would still be up with a 25 mph wind. Since both sites are on the protected side of the island we should be good then

NH
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3. Re: Snorkeling when windy

If both sites are on the protected side of the island...you should be good. However...it's probable that you will encounter currents.

I've only snorkeled Bonaire a few times...more familiar with other islands. I am make general statements based on my experience on other island.

Appraise the situation once you arrive. ~~~allfins ><>

Marietta, Georgia
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for Beach Vacations, Bonaire
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4. Re: Snorkeling when windy

<Hi Allfins!! > In Bonaire, the winds are out of the east about 99% of the time and when they are from any other direction, they are generally very light. Well, except for the rather rare tropical storm passing north of the island....

karpata should be fine as far as the wind/current is concerned, but entry/exit can be a bit tricky at many Bonaire dive/snorkel sites. Some form of "bootie" that your fins can be put over is recommended to get you over the coral rubble and ironstone shoreline.

The salt pier is located closer to the south/eastern "point" of the island and can get some wrap-around chop and some current, although typically not very bad. If you are an experienced snorkeler you should be fine, but if you have not had much experience snorkeling in the open ocean, you might want to go to one of the more protected sites, such as Donkey Beach or Te Amo. Also, the Salt Pier is not generally considered a snorkel site, so there may not be a lot to see at snorkel depths. And finally, if a ship is at the pier loading salt, divers/snorkelers are not permitted in the area of the pier.

You should understand that if you make both snorkels and do the corresponding driving, you will have a very busy/long day. If you snorkel Karpata then you essentially have to continue around through Rincon to return to Kralendijk and head south. If you drive as far south as the Salt pier, you might as well continue around the island past the lighthouse and on to Lac Bay where, on a windy day, you can watch us crazy windsurfers.

Edited: 17 October 2017, 16:17
Pa.
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5. Re: Snorkeling when windy

As amateurgo said. I also wouldn't consider Salt Pier a great snorkel, though I absolutely love it as a dive. If you decide to scrap that one, maybe stop at the distillery in Rincon on your way back to town. That is pretty nice to see/sample. If you decide to make the whole loop, just pick a second snorkel site as mentioned. Margate Bay and Red Beryl along the southeast ( south of the pier ) are listed in my book as excellent snorkel sites. We only ever dive them, so don't look at them from that perspective. It will be a longish day to drive the entire loop with stops for snorkels and pics, so just make sure you have the time.

Dover, Delaware
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6. Re: Snorkeling when windy

AmateurGO and snorkeler-6 are spot on here. I would recommend either a northern trip or a southern trip, with my advice being the north. You will want to stop at 1000 steps just to look, then head to Karpata to snorkel. You will need booties or sandals! Enter on the right side of the concrete slab, then head out between breakers. Really not bad. You could spend an hour here (or go back in). Continue driving north through Goto Meer, look for flamingoes, and still hit the distillery. If you decide to do the southern tour, Margate Bay or Red Beryl are better snorkel sites. Or you could try to snorkel the barrier at Lac Bay if you have good directions. Have a great trip.

McGehee, Arkansas
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7. Re: Snorkeling when windy

Thank you all so much for the advice! We are experienced snorkelers, but I prefer to stick to less challenging sites, as high waves and currents make me a little weary. I think we will skip the salt pier. I read about it on tropical snorkel dot coms ebook. They are usually a bit braver than me lol. I really want to check out karpata, we will wait and see what the weather is like when we arrive. We’ve been to Te Amo before and it was fun. We may go there early and then go watch the windsurfers! I always try to pack too much stuff into one day!

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