Overview of Ol' Blue

Ol' Blue

Bonaire North
ABC Islands

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Ol' Blue is a great beach for sunning. The diving is spectacular, of course, so bring a lunch and enjoy the scenery while off-gassing.

Directions: On the stretch of road between Columbia and Karpata, 7 km North of Kralendijk.


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Diver Reviews:    Click here to write a Site Review, and share any new information about this site!

09/01/2017 Jim O (Avg: 3.92 Review) - We really wanted to dive Jeff Davis Memorial and went there twice but the entry/exit just looked really difficult (and I'm not one to shy away from a challenge). The first day we altered with Oil Slick Leap and had a good dive there and on the 2nd day we came here to Tolo as it's called now. (We did see the Ol' Blue name on some older literature). And we were pleasantly surprised. The coral health and reef community seemed to be in pretty decent shape here. We went fairly deep on this one around 100' to start and it was beautiful down there! But most of the life and activity is around 60' and up. This site turned out to be one of my favorites for the week. There is a lot of parking here, but not much shade. Entry/exit were both fairly easy. One other item to note is the decrease of lion fish on all of these reefs as compared to our 2012 trip where we saw them everywhere. They have actively hunted them here in Bonaire and it sure seems to have worked. Although a DM we spoke with at Buddy Dive told us that all of those lion fish who escaped being harvested have just moved down to below 150'. But it's a start I guess. Great dive site! Enjoy!

12/13/2016 Hannah (Avg: 4.08 Review) - Nice dive, easy access and nice mix of sandy shallows with gorgonians transitioning into a beautiful, sloping reef. Saw an eagle ray cruising past and shrimp hiding in sponges. There's a good entry spot right of the memorial plaque with coral rubble 'stepping stones'. (Not for people w/ weak knees or who are bad on their feet, but not terribly difficult).

06/22/2016 Anonymous (Avg: 4.37 Review) - This site is marked as 'Tolo' on the yellow rock. Excellent coral. We saw two colorful lobsters. Highly recommended.

11/23/2014 Sandbar (Avg: 4.12 Review) - Ol Blue is also known as Tolo. Visited in Nov 2014. This was our favorite dive of the trip. Fairly easy entry\exit for natural shore -- step carefully across rocks with holes. Visibility was excellent and almost no current; reef in great shape. Lots of different species of fish, corals, and sponges. Squid and large Parrotfish. We will dive this again.

11/13/2014 Brad Stan (Avg: 3.72 Review) - My first trip Bonaire. Amazing. Did shore dives at 23 different sites. This was a good dive. I enjoyed it more than 1000 steps and Weber's Joy. I did found it to be much better in the shallows than at deeper depths, where there is less activity and scenery.

02/02/2013 Anonymous (Avg: 4.59 Review) - Love it! Easy to get in, great diving once you are under.

01/16/2012 Jim Haggart (Avg: 4.13 Review) - Excellent dive. One of the best. Entry a little less than ideal but a great overall dive. Good reef and lots of fish, turtle and eels. Saw a couple of nudi branch and good flamingo shells.

11/09/2010 Ann Geiger (Avg: 3.43 Review) - Completed two dives here, one to the north and one to the south. Reef to south appeared slightly healthier, although both directions were nice. Good visibility. Usual fish and critters. Unusual interactions with bar jacks, who darkened themselves then used me and my buddies as hunting cover, swimming under us very closely then whipping out to grab (or try) something off the reef. Site is well-marked from road and has ample parking. Entry is down a ledge over stable but uneven rocky steps. Definitely manageable, although would suggest moving equipment down then donning closer to the water. (Please consider not donning equipment right at stairs down ledge, as this blocks others.) Entry is through a sand channel 15 to 20 feet in length just to the left of the 'stairs' from the parking lot. You do NOT, repeat NOT, have to navigate over rocks, although many divers seemed to think this the best entry and exit. We got three cameras in and out here without a problem. Very enjoyable morning.

07/10/2010 Jennifer Buuck (Avg: 4.41 Review) - The dive site is a bit of a drive because it is on the one-way section of the road, so getting back south takes some time. It is a beautiful dive and worth the drive. Very easy entry and exit. Well marked at 10 feet with a giant arrow made of wood and distinctive tube sponges make it easy to navigate. Saw squid, abundant schooling fish, large porcupine, sea slug, ocean trigger fish.

06/22/2009 Rlskill1 (Avg: 4.45 Review) - Beautiful site. Saw a spotted eagle ray. Large school of Sgt. Majors thought it was 'Happy Hour'. They were crazily swimming everywhere.

03/26/2009 Gerald Wilgus (Avg: 3.10 Review) - Just an update on the entry. Omar (2008) scoured many sites, Ol' Blue included. The small cliff is now steeper, but on the south end there is a ramp of rubble down to a small sandy beach with a very easy entry.

03/23/2007 Colleen Haggart (Avg: 4.18 Review) - Reef is just feet from entry, which can be tricky if there's lots of surf. It's worth the effort as it is a good dive. We saw rays, eels and puffer fish.

05/22/2006 Jason NYC (Avg: 4.57 Review) - Yet another lovely Bonaire shore dive. Entry not too bad down a sandy/coral rubble beach to the water where the swim to the drop off is short. Busy this day with 5+ cars and divers sitting under the trees along the beach. Spotted Drum and more of the usuals! Very healthy reef! Entry was best on the far right or left of the beach where it wasn't as rocky. Writing reviews for 20 Bonaire shore dives makes me feel like I am repeating myself. Poly want a great shore dive? ANY shore dive on Bonaire is what Poly wants, LOL!.

07/25/2004 JoAn (Avg: 3.78 Review) - Very short swim out to the reef. Lots of dark brown plate coral.

04/08/2004 Jim Homan (Avg: 3.62 Review) - Care should be taken getting in and out. Booties are a must, as is the case for almost all shore diving in Bonaire. The drop-off is nice, but he shallows took a beating during the storm a few years ago, which is a shame, because there had been a lot of life in water less than 30 feet deep. But even that is starting to recover.

01/03/2004 Deborah Norton (Avg: 3.90 Review) - This is a great dive! Getting gear up and down the small cliff on shore is a little work, but not difficult if you hand gear to your buddy. The shallows are a little rocky, but not too bad. Dive is a wall dive that is great even as a shallow dive (50 -60 feet).

11/04/2002 John Kurre (Avg: 4.57 Review) - Site is right next to paved road. Parking is limited but adequate. There are no facilities. There is a small cliff - 10 feet high and a small stone beach all very close to the road. Once you get your gear down the cliff, it is easy. The dive is a wall dive and the top of the wall is about 15' from the beach. Top of wall is 10' below surface and goes straight down to deep blue. Coral, Sponges, Sea fans and other plant life are all very healthy. Fish tend to be more of the larger variety as there is no shallow area for smaller tropical types. This is my favorite dive on Bonaire. I would caution all divers however to be careful about going too deep and then coming up to fast. It is easy to forget that the top of the reef is only 10 or 15' deep and only a few feet from the beach. There is a lot to see and the dive almost lures you down to deeper water.

08/21/2002 Fiona Rattray (Avg: 4.10 Review) - Lots of macro critters and fish. Easy entry, turtles in the shallows.

06/04/2002 Dave Rambo (Avg: 4.16 Review) - One of the easiest entries on Bonaire. My wife is not the most agile on shore dives, but she did great on this one. Great reef in very good condition. Saw a large number of fish and what impressed me was the number of juvenile fish on the reef and in the shallows.

09/10/2001 Charles Ackerman (Avg: 3.78 Review) - First dove this during the surge from Lenny, it was one of the few west coast spots you could dive during that surge. Very nice, big tube sponges, lots of fish, colorful. The 'beach' is really small pieces of rounded coral, these can tend to roll under your feet and if the surf's up can make existing a bit troublesome.

08/02/2001 Bill Duncan (Avg: 4.10 Review) - This reef started in about 10 feet of water. It was a quick and easy swim to the reef. The coral was in great shape.

04/27/2001 Remko Fortgens (Avg: 3.84 Review) - One of the untouched sites by the tidal wave in 1999. Everything intact, very beautiful, compared to other sites.


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Site Photos

Maps
(what is GPS?)
Photo
(click photo for a larger version)
Comments
Parking

 Map     Sat
GPS: NB1001
N1212.6481'
W06819.3087'

 

Parking at Ol' Blue 

The parking is on hard-packed coral and sand.

Right Entry

 Map     Sat
GPS: NB1002
N1212.9462'
W06820.2654'

 

Right Entry at Ol' Blue 

The entry is off a sandy beach, with the drop off only meters away.

Left Entry

 Map     Sat
GPS: NB1003
N1212.9249'
W06820.2592'

 

Left Entry at Ol' Blue 

Divers return quite happy, we're sure!

Aerial

 

 

Aerial at Ol' Blue 
(click photo for details)

This is the easiest access for some of the world's best shore diving.

Last Verification: February, 2001  

 

Diver Averages for  Ol' Blue  (1=worst, 5=best)


Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  3.77
Bottom Conditions:  4.18
Reef Conditions:  4.50
Animal Life:  4.36
Plant Life:  4.05
Facilities:  2.50
Solitude 3.82
Roads:  4.05
*Site Average:  4.04
   

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  3.59
Beginner Scuba:  3.95
Intermediate Scuba:  4.45
Advanced Scuba:  4.14
Night diving Scuba:  3.36

Number of reviews for this site: 22

124-2-2-10


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