English Garden

Bonaire South
ABC Islands

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Submitted By:
Jason NYC

Submitter Comments:
Typical southern site. A longer swim over the sand channel to the reef at 30 ft but nothing too bad. If you are looking for soft coral, then you have found the dive. Many sea fans and sponges here.

Directions:
 This is an unmarked site on Bonaire and doesn't have a yellow rock in front of it. It's a bit tricky to find since the parking area is smaller than some but Susan Porter's very useful book, "Bonaire Shore Diving Made Easy" helped. The entry is in the southern part of Bonaire JUST south of the entry to Pink Beach and just north of the house at the white slave huts.


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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: 4.12 Review) - 3rd Trip Bonaire. Awesome! Did 16 dives at 14 different sites. (Just hacking on ya Brad. I read your intro' about 12 times at different sites to my wife until we started laughing each time. And if you did 23 dives in a week...you ARE the man!). We completed a dive at Invisibles and got on the road towards White Slave for a surface interval and to look White Slave over from the shore. There is a nice little shade tree at this site so we pulled under it for a bit while we off-gassed. I walked over to the shore and could see a step-off point and so told my wife, 'Why don't we just dive this unmarked spot'? So we did! And if you like the soft corals? This IS the place for you! I thought I'd discovered a new site and was all set to call it 'Pink Slave' as it sites between the two sites, but have just found it under the 'undiscovered sites' as English Garden. And that really is a splendid name! In places, it does look like it was arranged for beauty. It's not hard to find, as you head south you'll see two yellow rocks at two entrances about 200' apart for Pink Beach. Just a 1/4 mile or so past the southern rock you'll see a structure on the hill that looks a bit like a silver and black chimney (old mooring tie-off point). There is a vacant lot with the previously mentioned tree and you can see the white obelisk from White Slave from this lot just a few hundred feet south. We entered towards the pink beach side as we found a 2' step down from the edge of the ancient coral to the bottom. and it can be hard to see the bottom if the waves are bashing about creating poor viz. Then, like many other sites you have to walk out for several feet on old wave-polished coral that has holes in it so watch your step. Also on a different day there were several snorkelers that were in right in front of the shade tree so there may be a better entry point there. Once in, we found a couple large cement blocks that are a part of the old mooring system. If you head just a bit SW from those blocks there is a good colony of garden eels at about 25' depth. We did our dive to the south as there was a bit of current when we started and we wanted to dive into the current. Just a really beautiful dive, my wife's favorite for the week. The lion fish hunters have missed this location and it shows as we saw several on 2 different dives. Most of the coral looked pretty healthy and we didn't see as much bleaching. Soft corals looked very healthy. Enjoy!

11/13/2014 Brad Stan (Avg: 4.80 Review) - My first trip Bonaire. Amazing. Did shore dives at 23 different sites. Do not let the lack of marking and user reviews deter you from doing this dive. It is a FANTASTIC dive and well worth the minor extra effort. One of my favorites. Susan Porter's book provide very clear directions and is well worth the buy in my opinion.

11/13/2011 Michele from San Jose (Avg: 4.77 Review) - We dove here after reading this write-up. The soft coral here is the best I've seen anywhere in Bonaire. Entry was easy. We looked around and chose southern section where there was sand/rubble channel with no step or drop off. It was a longer than average swim to the reef edge, but not bad at all. Highlight of the dive was near the end when, at @25', a huge bait ball came toward us from the north and completely engulfed us. It was awesome. Then, as we watched the bait ball receded, it turned and came back around us again! It was stunning to be in the midst of, and equally stunning to look at from outside, appearing as a single huge organism. It was being hit and herded by dozens of jacks. English Garden was one of, if not the, highlight of this years trip.

01/15/2008 Jason NYC (Avg: 4.50 Review) - This one can be a bit tricky to find without a yellow rock as a land marker. The dive itself is a bit like Pink Beach since it is the next site to the south, but the slope on the reef is way more gradual and the soft coral is far more abundant. I don't recall seeing so much soft coral at any other site on Bonaire; but, of course, after a week in Bonaire it can all start to bleed together, lol. We had a tiny bit of current and a slightly longer swim over sand to the drop off than at sites to the north. This is a great place to see Eagle Ray. We spent about 20 minutes with one. Yet another lovely dive in Bonaire. It's basically a southern extension of Pink Beach.


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Diver Averages for  English Garden  (1=worst, 5=best)


Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  4.25
Bottom Conditions:  4.75
Reef Conditions:  4.75
Animal Life:  4.75
Plant Life:  5.00
Facilities:  2.50
Solitude 4.50
Roads:  5.00
*Site Average:  4.55
   

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  3.25
Beginner Scuba:  4.00
Intermediate Scuba:  4.00
Advanced Scuba:  3.75
Night diving Scuba:  3.25

Number of reviews for this site: 4

1712-2-3-28


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