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By No owner — last modified Mar 14, 2017 05:03 PM

bq.gif  Bonaire - Profile

Facts

  • Bonaire together with Aruba and Curacao form the ABC islands. They are the three western-most islands of the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean.
  • Bonaire is the easternmost of the ABC islands. It is now a special municipality of the Kingdom of The Netherlands.
  • Aruba is a flat island, exposed to the ocean currents. Bonaire and Curaçao are surrounded by reefs, and so are much more sheltered from the weather.
  • Both Bonaire and Curaçao's reefs form popular tourist destinations. With its stunning underwater scenery, Bonaire is ranked as one of the top three dive spots in the world, and the whole island is a protected marine park.
  • Bonaire is less densely populated than its neighbour Curacao and also less developed. The slow pace of life on the island and its relaxed population have an enduring charm.
  • For visiting sailors the attraction also lies in the better than average repair and service facilities. Marina berths & services are available at Harbour Village Marina (also known as Bonaire Marina), Plaza Resort Marina and Club Nautico. El Navegante yard offers haulout and storage.

Security

Based on reports to Noonsite from cruisers, petty theft from yachts is on the rise in the Caribbean in general. Cruisers should take basic safety precautions and use common sense when leaving the boat or going ashore at night. Dinghy thieves operate throughout the Caribbean and best advice is to place your dinghy on deck and chain it overnight.

February 2017: Cruising couple robbed at gunpoint on way back to Harbour Village Marina.

October 2016: There has been a report of a large number of items stolen from a locked yacht which was stored in a secure compound of a boatyard about 8 miles north of Kralendijk.

See security reports adjacent and comments from cruisers at bottom of page.

The Caribbean Safety and Security Net (safetyandsecuritynet@gmail.com) provides information by anchorage or by island, so sailors can plan their cruising in the Caribbean with an eye to appropriate behaviour and precautions wherever they decide to go. Should you have suffered a boarding, robbery or attack on your yacht or have information about a yachting-related security incident, go to the CSSN homepage and click on the "Report an Incident" icon. The associated form is quick and simple to complete and ensures that all the necessary details are reported. The CSSN is the most comprehensive source of Caribbean security incidents against sailors. Remember, it is every cruiser's responsibility to ensure that incidents are reported. Also cruisers can subscribe to e-mail alerts, follow on facebook and twitter and listen to the SSB Voice Service.

The Caribbean Security Index (CSI) is a a tool to assist cruisers in assessing the probability of crime at ports and anchorages throughout the Caribbean. The CSI provides a means of assessing risk in a given area.
http://freecruisingguides.com/caribbean-security-index/

Also be sure to check the noonsite Piracy & Safety Pages

Last updated February 2017.

Weather

Bonaire lies outside the hurricane zone.

Meteorological Department Curaçao (MDC)
Provides weather services for Curacao, Bonaire, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten and Saba, within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page

Main Ports

Kralendijk *

* indicates port of entry

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Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Mar 14, 2017 05:03 PM

Posted on behalf of SY Golden Glow.

During the daytime, Bonaire seems to be one of the best organized, cleanest and safest islands we've visited in the entire Caribbean. After dark, however, this appears not to be the case.

Two examples form our opinion:
1. We rented scooters for two days and the rental company insisted we check the bikes into their facility from 5pm to 8am. They explained that if we locked them up outside overnight, they would be stolen or completely stripped for parts by morning.

2. We are on a mooring ball right off Karel's Bar in Kralendijk, the small capital of Bonaire. Right in front of our boat, 100 feet away on the shore, is Divers Diner. We stopped there for happy hour between 5 and 7pm. We found out that between 12-1am that same night, a fatal shooting occurred in that bar/restaurant between locals who had "history and a grudge". So sad.

Ellen and Rand
Golden Glow
svGoldenGlow.com

tayl2017
tayl2017 says:
Jan 11, 2017 10:33 PM

To clear in to Bonaire, you must have an exit document from your prior port, in addition to passport and boat documents.

Ron Heyselaar
Ron Heyselaar says:
Mar 18, 2016 08:29 PM

We are about to leave for Cuba from Bonaire having been here for 4 weeks.
Excellent stay with the only issue being the lack of dinghy docks. We understand that Budget Marine is trying to obtain a permit to install a floating dinghy dock near the Yellow Sub dive shop. However, an ongoing discussion between STINAPA and the Bonaire local government about the construction of larger commercial docks is not completed yet.
Until this is solved, the best options are Karel's bar, the cruise ship pier (if no cruise ships are in port) or the marina. Only the first two are close to 'downtown'.

Regarding the mooring system, it is a bit of a weird system with two 'cheap' lines to ample sized concrete blocks. We did dive on the lines and did install an additional line so we could sleep well.

For diving this must be one of the best locations in the world for cruisers. We did multiple dives straight from our boat LILY. Amazing!! Other dives by using our dinghy. Plenty of perfect dive sites with good mooring system in place!

syGabber
syGabber says:
Apr 16, 2015 09:13 PM

Dear Bonaire cruisers,
There seems to be some misunderstanding about $1,- "service charge" the marine is charging. Nowadays the explanation is "mooring maintenance" but info from STINAPA (owner of the moorings) is not in line with that marina story: "By contract with the BNMP, Harbour Village Marina manages the moorings in the bay off Kralendijk. These are available, at $10 per night, to visiting yachts no more than 18 meters. Harbour Village Marina retains 35% of the collected fees to manage and maintain the use of the moorings as well as to collect the fees."
Read it: http://www.stinapa.org/ourincome.html
For your information, and enjoy the diving.

syGabber
syGabber says:
Apr 08, 2015 02:49 AM

Dear Bonaire cruisers,
As per 1st April 2015 Marina Bonaire is charging a $1 a day service fee for garbage drop off or use of there dinghy dock. A rise of 10%!
There is NO NEED TO PAY THIS FEE when you don't use these services!
Most sailors use Karels bar as a dinghy dock and the green containers on the street for garbage disposal.
So check your invoice when you pay the governmental $10 fee per day for the use of the STINAPA moorings.

Peregrina
Peregrina says:
Mar 31, 2015 12:45 PM

Mooring Line Parted. March 2015.
During the time we were in Bonaire (fantastic diving) our mooring line and another yacht's mooring line parted. Maintenance appears to be poor by the Marine Park Authorities. Suggest diving on your mooring block and, if needed, putting on your own mooring line.

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Kralendijk
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