As promised, here's our trip report from our 9 days on Bonaire, we arrived home this week.
Matthew Damage: We saw none while diving Andrea, Karpata, Turtle City (East Coast) Oil Slick Leap or Klein Bonaire dive sites. When we snorkeled in the shallows with my sister and brother in law who don't dive, we saw significant broken staghorn coral at Te Amo beach, and two purple sponges knocked over on the drift snorkel around Klein Bonaire. The water clarity was good, the temperature was heavenly - we got 86 degrees at 30 feet off Andrea!
The Klein Bonaire water taxi driver from Eden Beach resort confirmed that the resort's sand area was heavily damaged, but that they brought in more sand, removed rocks and had it all looking perfect again in three days. It looked absolutely the same to us, except we saw a door to a storage room by the sand area that had louvers broken and showed water damage almost to the doorknob. The bartenders said the water went all the way up to the bar, and if you know Spice Beach club at Eden, that's pretty high. They also said that two huge rock boulders that used to be in the water are now on shore, moved by the storm surge.
We tried the new La Cantina restaurant (owned by the former owners of At Sea) and went back to At Sea to see how the new owners there are faring. At Sea was even better than ever. Luuk, the manager, is still there, the food was fabulous and the lighting was brighter (it's always been so dark that sometimes we've had to read the menus with cell phones, but not this time.) I saw very little change in service or food, we found At Sea still wonderful and one of our favorite restaurants.
La Cantina looks like a Mexican restaurant from the front, but it's actually an upscale seafood restaurant with a gorgeous walled garden in the back. You can eat in the front and have drinks in the bar area, or you can walk through the beautifully decorated outdoor hallway to the right of the building to the back garden. Beautiful large multicolored lights strung through the trees, great tropical feel. The food was excellent, the service and kitchen still needs some work. We arrived with a reservation at 7 PM, ordered promptly, and did not get our meal until 8:45 PM. Since we were sitting and talking, we didn't mind, but we were getting hungry so finally asked for whatever quick appetizer they could bring while we waited. They apologized profusely and gave us a round of free drinks. Don't know what the problem was, it didn't look overly crowded, but it's a new restaurant so I guess some glitches are to be expected. The menu is all a la carte, and you order pieces of sea food according to the portion size (small, medium, large.) I thought it was a little pricey for the small size piece of fish, your mileage may vary. All in all, a nice experience, if you don't mind making an entire evening of it and are aware that it is not an inexpensive restaurant. The night before we ate there, the "Sink or Swim in Bonaire" episode of House Hunters International was shown on TV (we were the couple) so it was pretty funny with people recognizing us and coming over to the table.
We were there during the rainy season with an almost 80% chance of rain every day, but the rain graciously came during the middle of the night or very early morning, except for one day. Then it absolutely poured and we heard thunder and saw lightning. Even then we had a few hours of sun to enjoy, and then it rained again at night. So, 8 out of 9 days of sun was great. The trade winds tend to die down in October, and it's one of the hottest months, so the island was not crowded. The sea is usually the warmest in October, and this was no exception, really lovely.
We had a wonderful time, as always, and look forward to going back again next month.
KateEdited: 04 November 2016, 21:09