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Bonaire Memorial Day Week - May 2011

Bonaire is a top-rated shore diving location, with 60+ marked sites. Water temp usually is 80?+, and 100+ viz is common. Drinking water is safe. Creature comforts are adequate. Restaurant quality and variety is good. The Buddy Dive resort is running a special package for diving between June and Dec 2011:

? 7 nights lodging
? 7 days breakfast
? 7 days pick-up truck rental
? 6 one-tank boat dives
? 6 days unlimited air/NITROX
? Room/car/gov taxes
? Airport transfers
? Welcome drink/Rum punch party
? 50% discount on food at the pool bar (max credit of $75)
? A two-tank trip to the southern end of the island to sites not easily accessible from shore

Pricing would be $986/pp per week for a 2-bedroom apt. Other rates exist for 1-bedroom and studio units.

Round trip airfare approximates $800. Delta has the best schedule. Additional costs include a Park Fee of $25 and Departure Tax of $35.

Total cost will be $1,850 + food, drinks, and tips. June would be a great time to go. Are you in?

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  • Laura

    Kudos to Lou for organizing -- it was a great week, all the way around!

    June 5, 2011

  • Chris B.

    I'm really glad someone got a picture of that guy in the Spider Man wet suite. I'm really looking forward to posting his picture on FB so that me and my FB community can have a good laugh, LOL.

    June 5, 2011

  • Chris B.

    What a great trip!

    June 5, 2011

  • Christine

    Fantastic week of diving!! Very healthy reef's and mass amounts of fish of all kinds!! Loved seeing so many turtles and rays and eels and healthy BIG coral! Had a great time with the group and big THANKS to Lou for the best organizer and buddy!!

    June 5, 2011

  • Tracy

    What a great week! I hope everyone made it back to the States without any trouble. Thanks to Lou for all of his hard work, Thanks to "our digital photo doctor, Sotorn" for all of his work last night, Thanks in advance to Christine for bringing my wetsuit back with her (I hope). Great first dive and trip with the Triangle Scuba Group. Looking forward to my next dive.

    June 4, 2011

  • David C

    I will have a notebook computer on the trip with a Skype acct that can call landlines in the US for free. Any time I don't need it(hopefully ALL the time) to talk to my office anyone is welcome to use it. 28 hours till my flight leaves!

    May 27, 2011

  • David C

    Could be I am the last to know...but just in case...two things...elec on bonaire 120/60...no converters necessary..but...its a coin flip whether there will be shampoo in your room....might want to bring some. Can't wait to get wet.....I'm ready for this vacation!

    May 24, 2011

  • Sotorn

    BTW, Don't forget to pack up a USB stick if you want to swap photos with each other.

    May 24, 2011

  • Sotorn

    Getting psyched. I can almost smell the salt water.

    May 23, 2011

  • Lou

    Customs is done when you land in Atlanta, Houston, etc. The Bonaire airport is small and rather unsophisticated.

    April 11, 2011

  • Chris B.

    Good. Personally, I welcome the extra 2.5 hours of sleep. BTW, all you Bonaire veterans. Is US customs in BON done on the island (like in the Bahamas) or in the States when we land?

    April 11, 2011

  • Sotorn

    FYI, I called Orbitz and they fixed our return flight through Houston also.

    April 11, 2011

  • Lou

    Sorry guys, but we all have to contact Buddy to authorize payment of our respective final amounts.

    Trust me ... the diving is way better than the administrative effectiveness we are encountering. Sorry for the awkwardness.

    April 11, 2011

  • Sotorn

    Since the credit card I used to pay the deposit was canceled while I was in Thailand due to someone stealing the number I had to call in anyway.

    April 11, 2011

  • Chris B.

    I was under the impression that they would just charge are credit card we left our deposit on at the end of the month. Do I actually have to call and authorize it?
    Also, peeps coming home on Continental through Newark, there was a flight change which caused me to mis-connect in Newark, so I had to rearrange my flight through Houston and now I don't leave until 8:30 AM from BON. You can also wait at Newark for the next flight to Raleigh, but it's not until 6PM. So, it's a long lay-over.

    April 11, 2011

  • Sotorn

    Just paid the rest of the fee for me and Pam. Just FYI, they had us all coming in on Delta with Lou so I had to tell her I was arriving on Continental on Saturday from Newark for the free airport transfer they offer.

    April 11, 2011

  • Christine

    Hv fun in FL! Thx for posting the class info. I'm gonna do my best to get there on the 16th vs. spending $$ in Bonaire. Look forward to rooming with ya!

    April 8, 2011

  • Tracy

    Christine- I will be heading to FL for spring break on the 16th so I cannot join you.

    April 8, 2011

  • Christine

    @Tracy- the 16th is better for me, the other two dates I already am booked (out of town both times). Would you be interested in doing on the 16th as well?

    April 7, 2011

  • Tracy

    The only other Nitrox class offered before our trip in on Saturday, April 16th at Down Under.

    April 7, 2011

  • Christine

    Lou- Ditto on awesome job getting this all organized!! However, I just noticed, the pic on this meetup lacks ...something :P I'll dig around and see what I can find that is Bonaire related and email ya.

    April 7, 2011

  • Christine

    Tracy- I would love to do a Nitrox course here vs. there. Are those the only days available?

    April 7, 2011

  • Tracy

    If anyone would like to join me I am taking the Nitrox class at either Gypsy on Monday, April 25th @ 7:00PM ($75) or at Down Under on Saturday, May 14th @ 8:00AM ($79).
    Also, if anyone has not booked their flights yet I recently was able to get a great rate. Let me know if you need info.

    April 6, 2011

  • Lou

    Final numbers and other stuff ?

    The final cost of $775.15 per person will need to be paid to Buddy by April 28. Please contact them at your convenience.

    After a little give-and-take Buddy has agreed to give everyone in the group the DEMA special, including the 3-tank boat trip to the south side of the island.

    We all get unlimited Nitrox as well. If you are not Nitrox certified you can do it there for $189. E-mail me if you have any questions. Game on!

    Lou

    April 6, 2011

  • kelly

    Thanks Lou!! Great job getting this trip organized. Cant wait to get in the water again!!!!

    April 6, 2011

  • Lou

    Room Assignments!

    With 13 confirmed divers this arrangement works well with the number of couples and singles:

    Two Bedroom Building #1
    Bedroom #1 - Laura Wade and Joel Lee
    Bedroom #2 - Rick Eilers and Kelly Stuart

    Two Bedroom Building #2
    Bedroom #1 - Christine Sumner and Tracy Serviss
    Bedroom #2 - Sotorn and Pam

    Three Bedroom Building
    Bedroom #1 - David Craven and Kevin Henning
    Bedroom #2 - Chris Busa and Rob Pohl
    Bedroom #3 - Lou Oberle

    Planning meeting TBA in near future.

    April 4, 2011

  • Tracy

    Deposit paid, substitute arranged & pet sitter booked! 2 months from right now I will be landing Bonaire. Yippee!!!

    1 · March 28, 2011

  • Christine

    FINALLY-got my air booked so I'm a DEFINITE!! Got a great Delta non-stop from RDU to Miami, then taking INSUL AIR non-stop to Bonaire, arrive 7:00pm 28th. Depart 11:25am 4th..again Non-stop to MIA, then non-Stop to RDU arrive 9:30ishpm. Used airmiles on Delta and got a really good fair on INSUL Air :-) YEA HAW!!!!!

    March 27, 2011

  • Lou

    Bonaire Reminder: Deposits ($100 and nonrefundable) must be paid by March 28 to reserve a spot. The balance of the trip cost will be required by April 28.

    Next week I will get with Buddy to confirm our group size and make up. We can discuss room arrangements in the weeks that follow.

    If you have not booked your air, I encourage you to add it to your near-term to-do list. As time gets short the alternatives dwindle and the cost increases.

    This is going to be a terrific trip!

    March 22, 2011

  • kelly

    Hey just found this link and thought I would share!
    CANT WAIT TO GET IN THE WATER!!!!
    http://www.bonairediveguide.com/

    March 1, 2011

  • Lou

    SIGN-UP DEADLINE APPROACHING … If you are giving thought to joining the 9 adventurous people already set to make this trip, please note that sign-up will end on March 28. This is because Buddy Dive needs to know the size and make-up of the group 60 days out. Also, please note that air schedules and pricing likely will deteriorate as the departure date approaches. They serve the island only on Saturdays and often cut their capacity to ensure their planes are as full as possible.

    February 1, 2011

  • Sotorn

    Went ahead and booked tickets for me and Pam. We are on the Continental 2492/1553 down and Continental 1556/3322 back. Same ones as Chris for the Newark/Bonaire leg.

    January 9, 2011

  • Sotorn

    This was the one for around $900 bucks right?

    January 9, 2011

  • Rick

    Kelly and I are on the same EWR-->BON flight as you Chris.

    January 9, 2011

  • Chris B.

    Okay, so I had to purchase a 1 way ticket to Newark and then was able to use United miles on the continental flight. So, I leave RDU on Friday, May 27 at 5:25 PM and connect to Continental 1553 from Newark to Bonaire at 11:55 PM arriving Bonaire at 4:25 AM Saturday. I depart Saturday June 4 at 6:00 AM on Continetnal Flight 1556 arriving Newark at 10:44 AM and then catch the RDU flight at 12:30. I can sleep when I'm dead. So, now I just need to know, who wants to room with me?

    January 9, 2011

  • Chris B.

    Yeah the flight situation is not looking promising! United miles on Continental = FAIL! Maybe I can swim there?

    January 7, 2011

  • Lou

    If the Delta flights are sold out I have heard that the next best thing may be to use Aruba as the primary destination, and get to and from Bonaire using a regional. I have never looked into this, but it sounds feasible since Aruba is served frequently by many carriers. This could end up being a benefit if this approach enables a trip longer than Delta's forced saturday-saturday itinerary.

    January 6, 2011

  • Rick

    Looks like the Delta return flight is no longer available. Only things that are left have at least a 13 hr layover...

    January 5, 2011

  • Lou

    Arrive at Buddy Dive on Saturday, May 28. Return to Raleigh on Saturday, June 4.

    January 3, 2011

  • Pat R.

    I am interested in the Bonaire trip. I may be just missing it but can some one post the specific departure and return dates for this trip. "Memorial week is all I can find and that is a bit vague."
    Thanks
    pat

    January 3, 2011

  • Christine

    I'm still checking out flight alternatives but I know Lou is booked as below:
    Sat 28MAY DELTA 1949 RALEIGH 6:00AM
    AR ATLANTA
    Sat 28MAY DELTA 663 ATLANTA 940A
    AR BONAIRE 159P
    Sat 04JUN DELTA 662 LV BONAIRE 259P
    AR ATLANTA 724P
    Sat 04JUN DELTA 2172 LV ATLANTA 935P
    AR RALEIGH 11:04PM

    December 31, 2010

  • Pam

    Has anyone got their plane tickets for Bonaire yet? Will you post the flight numbers and the price? I just started looking and I'm not seeing a lot that look great.

    December 30, 2010

  • Leslie

    I so want to join this trip! But the fact that it is over the Memorial Day Holiday is the deal killer for me. I have a standing commitment to ride the waves with my nieces and nephews that week every year.

    November 28, 2010

  • Laura

    I just got off the phone with Joel -- he paid his deposit today. :-)

    November 19, 2010

  • Lou

    Flamingo Airport. The code is BON. Only one on the island.

    November 18, 2010

  • Chris B.

    What is the airport we fly into? 3 letter code is fine.

    November 18, 2010

  • Lou

    We have 8 confimed paid deposits so the cost just went down by whatever the pro rata share of the free spot ends up being. If our final count by May gets to 10 divers we can request our own boat.

    Last week I talked with a friend that just returned from a 10-day stay at Buddy. He did 60 dives!

    November 18, 2010

  • Sotorn

    Deposit paid for me and Pam.

    November 18, 2010

  • Chris B.

    Thanks! I'm booked and my deposit is paid. Won't book a flight just yet, I have to be in Orlando the week before for work around that time, so I will probably try to work something out flying from Florida. Still working on my friend, she may not be able to decide by the 20th.

    November 17, 2010

  • Lou

    Chris-

    It's generally a Saturday arrival/departure but it depends on the air you book. Our week runs from 5/28 - 6/4. Delta has the best schedule but is the most expensive.

    Yes. You can get certified, AOW - you name it. They have a very good program including referral from a PADI shop here in Raleigh. Yes - extra $.

    Snorkeling is excellent. Some of my very best snorkeling was done right off the resort.

    Talked to a friend last week. He just returned and did 60 dives in 10 days!

    November 17, 2010

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