The journey begins in Curaçao, where you’ll fly in for a first night of getting to know each other and orientations before transferring to the island of Bonaire in the morning. After settling into your home for the next 13 days, gear up and get ready to dive right in. Although you’ll descend as eight strangers, you’ll soon surface as a group of friends helping each other become better divers. After a refresher dive, you’ll move right into the Advanced Open Water course, as there’s zero time to waste. On the surface, venture to the port town of Kralendijk, Bonaire’s capital. This beautiful and friendly town, with buildings painted in pink, orange and lime green pastels, is as Caribbean as it gets. Look for signs that say ‘Aki ta Gang Kuminda Krioyo’, which means local Creole specialties are on the menu.
By the time you’ve completed your Advanced Open Water course it will be apparent why Bonaire is known as a ‘Diver’s Paradise’. With fringing reefs and world class shore diving, Bonaire is unmatched in the Western Hemisphere. As a newly certified Advanced Open Water diver, it’s time to focus on the Rescue Diver and Emergency First Responder courses. The EFR course teaches you basic first aid and CPR, important skills both in and out of the water. Rescue Diver is one of the cornerstones of this entire adventure. Learn how to prevent problems underwater, how to recognize and respond to emergencies and first aid procedures for dive related incidents. Take a break above the surface and spend a morning working with a sea turtle conservation organization off the coast of the mainland.
For the last few days, we shift our focus to earning specialty certifications. Refine your night diving skills, learn how depth affects gas behavior, and become a master at identifying reef fishes while earning PADI specialties. There’s no shortage of topside activities from windsurfing in the world famous Lac Lagoon, visiting the Bonaire Donkey Sanctuary, to hiking in Washington-Slagbaai National Park. As you pack up your dive gear to fly home, reflect on everything you’ve accomplished in the past 13 days and know you’ve taken the next step in your diving career.