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when to snorkel WHERE?

MISSISSIPPI
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when to snorkel WHERE?

What is the best way to get the wind and surf forecast easily while on Bon Aire? We arrive on May 28, and I would like to check this info each morning before mapping out the daily snorkel agenda. I am also seeking advice for planning our snorkeling outings. I have read the dive site book recomended on this site but am a bit overwhelmed.

Are there some sites that are best done ONLY early in the morning before the wind picks up? Are there some that would be ok to do mid-day? We will have 6 days to snorkel and will visit as many different sites as possible.

Thanks for any input.

Marietta, Georgia
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for Beach Vacations, Bonaire
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1. Re: when to snorkel WHERE?

For wind and wave forecasts, I like windguru ( http://www.windguru.cz/int/index.php?sc=56 ). More than 3 or 4 days out the reliability is not great, but for "next day" forecasts, it's pretty good.

There is very little wave action at most of the Bonaire snorkel sites because they are on the leeward side of the island. There may be a few waves around Klein Bonaire, but not much.

The wind on Bonaire does not follow what I consider to be a "normal" wind pattern. Being form Fla. we're used to the wind being light in the morning and building up in the afternoon, but Bonaire does not work like that. There, the wind builds quickly and by about 10 AM it is blowing it's strongest. It typically drops off a little around noon to 3PM and then picks up again some around 4 - 6 PM. Each day varies quite a bit of course, but the above is typical. (As windsurfers, we watch the wind a lot.) The good part is that the wind has very little effect on snorkeling though.

New England
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2. Re: when to snorkel WHERE?

I agree with AmateurGo -- the wind will have little to no impact on your snorkel plans. Wave action tends to build at the northernmost sites (in the park) and the southernmost sites (near the lighthouse) but there are so many sites in between that you will have no trouble at all.

Bonaire Shore Diving Made Easy, which you mention, does talk about "surf entries" for those northern/southern sites because it can be an issue for a diver carrying a full set of gear and a tank on his/her back but is less so for a snorkeler.

If I were planning my days of snorkeling on Bonaire, I would pick an area with several sites that I wanted to try and just head out. Once you get there you can take a look at the entrance/exit and if you don't feel comfortable you can move on. Nothing is far apart and in some places you can see the next dive site from where you are standing. This is what we have done as both snorkelers and divers.

New York City, New...
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for Yucatan Peninsula
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3. Re: when to snorkel WHERE?

Brenda, the woman who works in the office at Coral Paradise (and is a dive instructor) circled the spots north of town for the morning, and the ones south of town for the afternoon.... But, I did a lot of late afternoon snorkeling around Capt Don's and it wasnt rough.

I would also consider where the cruise people are. If ships are in, they are more likely to be down by Divi or the Plaza. I was told that even the ones who walk dont get much further north than the round-about.

Check out my Bonaire trip report with pictures at Suitcaseready.com

Edited: 02 May 2011, 18:04
MISSISSIPPI
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4. Re: when to snorkel WHERE?

Thanks for the input.

I had not considered the extra gear that scuba divers deal with.

This makes me less "anxious" about the sites marked as difficult entry.

5. Re: when to snorkel WHERE?

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