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The ShoreDiving Reviews of
 Fiona Rattray

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Review Date       AVG       ShoreDiving Site
08/30/2004        2.04      Chippawa Creek Ontario, Canada
Viz is limited, the attractions are the drift and the possibility of finding antiques from the War of 1812; all I've found is beer bottles, golf balls and shotgun shells, but it's a heck of a drift!
08/30/2004        3.64      Telegraph Bay Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
This review is for Maple Bay, Cowichan Valley, the northwest side of Saanich Inlet, northwest of Telegraph. Drive northwest from Victoria towards Nanaimo, turn off just before the town of Duncan. Maple Bay is east on the coast. This is a sandy entry to the left of the government wharf. A rope leads off the dock to the north, taking you out to a reef at 60-80 feet. Lots of small critters, octopus dens, nudibranchs. A fun prowl and muck dive.
08/30/2004        4.05      Ogden Breakwater Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Fun dive, although the huge blocks of granite that make up the Ogden Point Breakwater, descending like giant stairs, can be a challenge when exiting the water for those of us who are short. (Crawl on hands and knees.) Tons of life, sea stars, urchins, crabs, jellies. If you walk along the top of the breakwater which goes out forever into the sea, you can pick your site. There are six dive flags about 100 yards apart, painted on the top of the wall. They correspond with increasing depths, the farther you get from the shore. At flag five we were told there are wolf eels, though it's quite a hike out there...good night dive.
08/30/2004        3.52      Telegraph Bay Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
This is a review of Henderson Point, a shore dive site in Saanich Inlet, a bit north and west across the Saanich Peninsula from Telegraph. Park your car in the parking lot at the end of Senainus Drive, at the west end of Mount Newton Cross Road. A bit of a hike down a few rocky steps to the entrance, go in off the rock ledges, and out on a 255 degree heading to the reef. Lots of crabs, gunnard eels, urchins, shrimp, sea stars and rockfish. There are sightings of sixgill sharks here; I saw a dogfish at 85 feet. Great dive!!!
11/28/2002        4.52      Sweet Dreams Bonaire South, ABC Islands
Did an unmarked site (Yellow Hut) between red Slave and Sweet Dreams. The surge was not too problematic, and saw lots of soft corals, some staghorn and elkhorn corals in the shallows. Nice relaxing dive.
11/28/2002        4.10      Tori's Reef Bonaire South, ABC Islands
You enter through the water channel for the Solar Salt works, so the water in the channel is way saltier and warmer than the surrounding sea. A minor surface swim IMHO, and the soft corals were healthy on the reef. Salt channel is protected against surge (if it happens).
11/28/2002        4.33      Bachelor's Beach Bonaire South, ABC Islands
This dive is not actually Bachelor's Beach, but about 100m further south at BelMar, their house reef. Gradually sloping reef after a 2 min swim though coral rubble. Since not many dive this reef, things are IMHO in pretty good shape. Bottom of reef at 110ft, hard corals, free swimming gold spotted eel at dusk in the shallows.
11/28/2002        4.25      Town Pier Bonaire North, ABC Islands
Finally after 4 years we get to do this dive. Go later in the evening, less crowded. Wonderful colours, sponges, corals, fish. Good buoyancy control is really important on this site.
11/28/2002        4.50      Karpata Bonaire North, ABC Islands
This dive site - BOPEC - is north of Karpata, past the marine reserve "No Dive" area. Squid, eels, lots of soft and hard corals, but the entry was _SO_ difficult you really shouldn't go there.:-)
11/28/2002        4.30      Aquarius Bonaire South, ABC Islands
On the advice of a local, we did this as a drift dive, starting at Aquarius (still double reef system, but 2nd reef is at 60-80ft and the sand channel is a bit wider than at the Lake). We drifted up to Angel City, meeting friends who started out on Hilma Hooker and drifted south to AC. What a great dive! Coronet fish at 80ft, and a free-swimming green moray somewhere around Alice in Wonderland. Surface and walk back to Hilux, drive back to dive buddies and load up gear. What could be easier and more relaxing?
08/21/2002        3.98      Hilma Hooker Bonaire South, ABC Islands
Did this dive as an early morning dive to avoid the "huge" crowds ;-). The ship's wheel has corroded away in places, and the hull has way more sponges and corals than in 1999. Beginners could do the wreck by staying at the upper hull at 60 ft and cruising the reef.
08/21/2002        3.93      Buddy's Reef Bonaire North, ABC Islands
We stayed at Buddy Dive, so this was the house reef. Reef showing a bit of wear in places (Lenny?), good fish life though.
08/21/2002        3.85      Alice In Wonderland Bonaire South, ABC Islands
Did this at dusk, lots of little fish and some fire coral in the shallows. A bit of surge on the way out, watch that fire coral again!
08/21/2002        4.33      Salt Pier Bonaire South, ABC Islands
This was a great dive! If the Pink Dive Bus is at the dive site, permission to dive it that day has been given, otherwise you need to get permission to dive this working pier (I was told you can get this through your dive shop). What a great, cathedral-like dive with the light coming through the pier pilings. There were about 20 Wahoo just hanging out to catch the larger-than-usual numbers of baitfish. Neat sponges, orange cup coral on the pilings. Great place to hit 100 dives! Had a cold beverage at the Dive Bus since they saved us the effort of getting the permit.
08/21/2002        4.78      Margate Bay Bonaire South, ABC Islands
Lots of soft corals, some Elkhorn and Staghorn corals too. This was such a nice dive.
08/21/2002        4.48      Red Slave Bonaire South, ABC Islands
Ok, we didn't dive Red Slave because of the early morning local fishing boat, but we went to a dive site between the lighthouse and Red Slave called Soft Coral Garden. This was just like the name says, lots of soft corals and a mild current to make it a semi-drift dive. I proudly wore my Shore hat to most of the sites on this trip!
08/21/2002        3.90      Angel City Bonaire South, ABC Islands
This was a fantastic early morning dive. The bottom just at the entry had a few more holes than I remember. Lots of fish life and coral is healthy.
08/21/2002        3.80      Bari Reef Bonaire North, ABC Islands
Saw octopus in the shallows, Sand dollar dock and facilities not yet completed.
08/21/2002        3.76      Cliff Bonaire North, ABC Islands
Ridiculously easy entry down a set of stairs. When we were diving, there seemed to be some weird hot/cold vertical thermoclines I didn't notice anywhere else on Bonaire. The little wall was great, we went all the way from Cliff almost to the desalination plant, then back to Capt. Don's reef before returning to shore.
08/21/2002        4.10      Ol' Blue Bonaire North, ABC Islands
Lots of macro critters and fish. Easy entry, turtles in the shallows.
08/21/2002        3.98      Karpata Bonaire North, ABC Islands
Gear up before you enter the water at the old pier. Wade out to the end of the pier, hanging on to it, and put on your fins. Then just time it so that you lie down on top of a wave and you'll float out nicely over the shallow rocky bits. Fantastic shallows at the end of the dive.
07/24/2001        4.53      JanthielBaai Curacao, ABC Islands
We did a shore dive that's not listed here, to the south of Jan theilbaai...Tugboat is usually done as a boat dive. You'll need a local map, the road twists around Caracasbaai, and you'll find yourself on a tiny road...there's a small beach past an active dock...once there, Tugboat sits in about 25 feet of photogenic water...great drop off, spur-and groove wall... if there's no dive boat around you'll have the site to yourself.
07/24/2001        3.78      Playa Kalki Curacao, ABC Islands
Beach can be really hot for your non-diving friends- bring lots of H2O. Lots of fish life.
07/24/2001        3.98      Playa Jeremi Curacao, ABC Islands
Guidebooks say this is a popular local hangout- true, you'll see lots of local Curacaoans. 2 turtles along the drop-off. Lots of sheet and mountain corals. Orange cup corals on a large rock near the shore, but also monofilament lines from the locals fishing here.
07/24/2001        4.71      Pink Beach Bonaire South, ABC Islands
Pre-Lenny. Pink beach was still there. There were lots of sea fans and soft easy, enjoyable dive.
07/24/2001        4.32      Sweet Dreams Bonaire South, ABC Islands
Pre-Lenny. Lots of soft coals, fire coral; saw snake eels, clouds of creaole wrasse, macro critters. A bit of current.
07/24/2001        4.49      The Invisibles Bonaire South, ABC Islands
Pre-Lenny. Great dive- the double reef system continues here with the second, deeper reef appearing out of the distance as islands of coral at the 80-90' mark. my dive log notes squid, sea cucumber, garden eels, and at the surface, keeltail needlefish.
07/24/2001        4.40      Saint Marie Curacao, ABC Islands
Stayed at Habitat Curacao. Made 11 dives here, half of them night dives. Just like they say, home of diving freedom. Lots of macro critters, great place to learn photography. Also did Nitrox dives. A relaxing site.
07/24/2001        4.28      Playa Shon Moso Curacao, ABC Islands
Wow, loved the drive in, like your own little park, plus you get to see lots of bird life including the local parrot. We did a long surface swim so that we could try and find the giant barrel sponge listed in the guidebook, but we never did find it. However we did see flying guernards on the surface swim, and at depth a ray and a huge lobster.
07/24/2001        4.63      Daaibooi Curacao, ABC Islands
Yes, a bit of a haul on the surface but really well worth it. A fabulous wall, lots of fish dramas (defensive ball of chromis against hungry jacks; soapfish chows down on large chromis, rock hind tries to steal it and loses the tug-of-war). Great dive, but I shouldn't be telling you this!
07/24/2001        3.72      Superior Producer Curacao, ABC Islands
After trying unsuccessfully to do this twice as a boat dive (once, boat too crowded, next time surface marker buoy not there) we got a dive master from Silent Immersion - great dive shop! -to take us to the wreck as a shore dive. Right choice! We did an entry from the extreme right of the aerial view; the current was pretty strong - the laidback dive master said the strongest he'd seen, and lots of surface chop - but what a dive! The wreck is everything it's advertised to be. Watch your air and depth.
07/24/2001        4.53      Kleine Knip Curacao, ABC Islands
Bit of a surface haul...diversity of coral and healthy fish..
07/24/2001        3.65      Airplane Wreck Curacao, ABC Islands
You can dive down and drop off your gear, but you must park up the hill, than walk back down. The day we were there, the surge and viz was quite bad (for Curacao) and we had encounters with those little stinging whatsis in the shallows (you know, the kind that make your lips go numb); fish life on the wreck had decided to go elsewhere due to the currents running the opposite of normal...very macro the end of the dive, we walked back up the hill in the aerial view to the parking lot in full gear, a bit of a workout.
07/24/2001        3.92      The Lake Bonaire South, ABC Islands
Pre-Lenny. Corals healthy, lots of tangs, snappers. Double reef system means more to see. Most people seem to dive the site next door, the Hilma Hooker. It makes The Lake a great ignored location.
07/24/2001        4.43      Cas Abao Curacao, ABC Islands
Topside is great for non-divers. Lots of little critters in the shallows, blennies, spotted morays, cleaner shrimp. A nice, quiet, meditative dive.
07/24/2001        3.98      Bari Reef Bonaire North, ABC Islands
This trip was made before Hurricane Lenny...we did 5 dives here, three of them night dives, and enjoyed them all. Lots of fish life, and at night the lights from the former Green Parrot made it easy to do a "stealth dive" return to the dock without lights. A great place to begin shore diving!
07/24/2001        4.75      Saint Marie Curacao, ABC Islands
Second visit. Conditions different than last year, cooler water, viz not as good and currents not doing what the locals expected...a small group of whales passed 1/4 mile off shore from Habitat one day… saw turtles and seahorses...not a bad tradeoff for the conditions
07/24/2001        3.71      Town Pier Bonaire North, ABC Islands
Pre-Lenny. We were unable to night dive the Town Pier due to the Dutch Navy vessel anchored there, so we got a dive master to take us to the Roll-On, Roll-Off Ferry pylons which appear in the aerial view as two dots to the right of the Town Pier proper. We geared up at the side of the road, listening to the sounds of the waterside bars, then slipped into the water. I mean, I slipped literally, slightly twisting my ankle. Good thing for high zip-up booties. Lots of colour on these cement pylons, orange cup corals, eels, etc. Very enjoyable!
07/24/2001        4.71      Port Marie Curacao, ABC Islands
Double reef system...very nice topside and below...great dive!
07/24/2001        4.78      Angel City Bonaire South, ABC Islands
Pre-Lenny. In my log book I have this listed as the best dive I had done to date. Fabulous double reef system lots of fish and coral was healthy. Nobody at the site! I hear that Lenny didn't do much damage here; fingers crossed that's true for my return in 2002.
07/24/2001        4.44      Vaersen Bay Curacao, ABC Islands
While the topside charms are a bit lacking, underwater it's a different story. Great drop-off wall, tons of creole wrasse, spur-and-groove formations.
07/24/2001        4.10      JanthielBaai Curacao, ABC Islands
Ok, this wasn't Jan Theilbaai either...we chartered a boat to take us to Klein Curacao, a small island flat as a pancake two hours away...the island is uninhabited except for some fishermen's huts, no roads, just paths and a weird rusting shipwreck driven up on the east shore...great shore diving, turtles in caves on the north side at 80 feet lots of fish life...take lots of water with you, and sun screen!
07/24/2001        3.98      La Machaca Bonaire North, ABC Islands
Pre-Lenny dive. We were staying at the Sand Dollar, and decided to check out Captain Don's house reef and swim back along the reef to Bari. Got as far as the Machacha wreck when a fairly strong current attempted to blast us north instead of south to Bari. Changed the dive plan to macro observation of the Machacha...
07/19/2001        3.72      Hilma Hooker Bonaire South, ABC Islands
Great surface dive. Also, 6 or 7 tarpon lurk inside the wreck.

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