Aquatic Adventures Blog

Bonaire Sunset

Visit Bonaire

Visit Bonaire: Welcome to Diver’s Paradise

In January 2017 Aquatic Adventures will visit Bonaire for the first time in several years. Having been to Bonaire and its close neighbor Curacao many times, I was asked by the staff to write a blog to share a few thoughts about this amazing little island.

Geography and Weather

Bonaire is one of three islands off the northern coast of Venezuela known as the ABC islands. Moving from west to east, the ABCs include Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire. Because these islands are outside of the hurricane belt, they are ideal destinations to visit as the weather remains consistently warm and dry all year long.

Bonaire was the first of the ABC islands I visited. I can still recall the surprise I had disembarking from the plane the first time. We had been in Jamaica where the weather was warm and humid. When we arrived in Bonaire, the weather was surprisingly drier. This is because Bonaire is a desert island versus a tropical island. Its annual rainfall is only about 20 inches. More than 65% of this rainfall occurs between October and January.

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Sam Heine

Get to Know Sam Heine

Sam Heine is new to diving, but he’s quickly grown to love the sport. Beginning with his Open Water Diver certification last June, he’s earned eight PADI certifications and become a Divemaster candidate in the year he’s been diving.

Heine, a student at UW-Milwaukee, began diving when he needed a recreation class to help boost his GPA. He chose Skin & Scuba, the beginning scuba course Aquatic Adventures offers through UWM. “It was just awesome. I took the Advanced (Open Water Diver course) because I needed to get out again. The next thing you know, I’m an addict.”

“It’s taken over my life,” says Heine, who began working at Aquatic Adventures at the end of April this year. He wanted to learn more about scuba equipment and get into servicing, but his favorite part of the job is the people he works with. “The people here are very interesting and it’s fun to work with them and help them.” He’s studying mechanical engineering at UWM and hopes to do more with hands-on engineering in the future to complement his degree.

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We arrived at the store several hours before the Instructor Exam (IE) so that the Sea Experience staff could go through our paper work and do a gear check. After ensuring all of our IE paperwork was completed and all our gear was loaded up, we packed up and drove out to Nova University where our test and presentations would take place.

We entered in the classroom and the examiner informed us on how the IE would play out. Day One would be pool demonstrations and skills, followed by the exams in the afternoon. After the exams, we would give our knowledge review presentations. Day Two would be at Tiger Tail Lake. Any testing that needed to be retaken would be accomplished before the open water presentations on Day Two.

The examiner then handed out papers that had the list of skills that we would be demonstrating, as well as what knowledge reviews we were presenting. We were given a primary skill and a makeup skill for confined water skills, as well as core skills for demonstrations and two open water skills. We were given about 10 to 15 minutes to prepare for each presentation.

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Beginning Scuba – Part 4

Week 5 of my Beginning scuba class was at the pool again. In my rush to be on time, I forgot my boots and contacts. Since I can’t wear my mask over my glasses and I can’t see without corrective lenses, Jerry, my instructor, sent me back home to get my boots and contacts and called another instructor, Jenny, to come and catch me up when I got back. I arrived back at the pool before Jenny got there, so after I set up my equipment, I got to sit at the edge of the pool and watch what the rest of the class was doing.

When Jenny got to the pool, she had me start by doing a back roll into the pool. The back roll was even scarier than the controlled seated entry. I had to make sure I had inflated my BCD and had my mask on and my regulator in my mouth, then I had to scoot back until my butt was over the edge of the pool. Jenny held my tank so it didn’t drag my backwards into the pool before I was ready. She showed me how to hold all all of my equipment in place, so it doesn’t go flying and I don’t lose anything on the entry, then she let me fall back into the water.

Once we were in the water, we swam to the shallow end of the pool to try clearing my mask, the skill that I hadn’t managed to complete the week before. I still had a lot of problems with flooding my mask. It’s actually way scarier than taking the regulator out of my mouth underwater.

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