|By David Gilhousen (BonaireTalker - Post #27) on Friday, February 25, 2011 - 11:16 am:|
Two years ago, when I snorkeled Bonaire, I used booties and open, twin-jet scuba pro fins. I found that walking across the coral rubble was uncomfortable in the booties and that my calves would cramp after 45 minutes in the water because of the weight of the fins.
|By PatsyJones (New BonaireTalk Poster - Post #10) on Friday, February 25, 2011 - 12:01 pm:|
My husband and I adapted Galen & Nicole's advice this way: hard-soled swim "shoes" attached with a carbiner clip to our yellow vests after changing in the water to our cheap open-back/strap closure fins. This probably looked awkward to others but worked well for us. I can't imagine how we would have gotten into the water safely otherwise. Having the shoes bobbing behind us didn't bother us at all. We are in our late 60's and are novice but enthusiastic snorkelers, to give this some context. Good luck and report back on what worked best for you.
|By KOB (LBR32) (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #496) on Friday, February 25, 2011 - 12:16 pm:|
With very rare exceptions, the shore is crushed coral and the entries are mostly coral with some sandy spots. You need shoes/boots with some sole to them for nearly all Bonaire shore entries.
|By ppartlo (BonaireTalker - Post #17) on Friday, February 25, 2011 - 12:23 pm:|
We've tried everything over the years and especially in Bonaire, nothing works as well as a pair of surf shoes with a good sole and open back fins. Safety, convenience and ease of use. You can leave the shoes on for beachcombing, etc. and then just walk into the water, slip on the fins, buckle and away you go. You leave the shoes on throughout. Closed fins are great, but we've watched too many folks struggle with those and other systems and if you like to snorkel in some of the more advanced areas or where you can encounter swells/surf like the south sites, the concept of walking into the water without protection on your feet....wow. They're braver than me....
|By Bill Thorpe, (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #767) on Friday, February 25, 2011 - 12:51 pm:|
After the first visit, when I went home with cut and bruised feet,I started using a pair of tennis shoes which fit in my fins.
|By Ruth van Tilburg (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #1541) on Friday, February 25, 2011 - 1:45 pm:|
I live here, and snorkel practically every weekend. Here's what works for me, depending upon entry & current.
|By Tom Nic (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #137) on Saturday, February 26, 2011 - 3:36 pm:|
I couldn't do Bonaire without Booties - my poor feet would be screaming!
|By Ruth van Tilburg (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #1542) on Saturday, February 26, 2011 - 7:00 pm:|
There are definitely areas where nothing less than a good hard-soled bootie for entry/exit will do. In those situations, I don't like to wear 'sturdy flip flops' or even Teva's, because the sides of your feet are exposed. (But still, after I'm in the water & floating, I change to what I consider my snorkel/surface fins).
|By David Gilhousen (BonaireTalker - Post #28) on Sunday, February 27, 2011 - 12:17 am:|
Thanks for all of the advice. My booties do have a hard rubber bottom, but may not be as ideal for Bonaire as some. My strategy at this point will be to use those booties to get into the water past the rubble zone, then remove them, and change into my closed fins. I'll then place the booties into a mesh bag that will be tied to me much like Patsy or Ruth described above. I'll do a test run of this in a swimming pool and maybe even the Gulf of Mexico with some wave action before my vacation (I live near New Orleans and my Bonaire trip isn't until late May).
|By Mickey McCarthy (Experienced BonaireTalker - Post #922) on Sunday, February 27, 2011 - 10:31 am:|
One thing that I never see mentioned is the inconvenience of dragging something along while free diving. Bringing stuff along on the surface is one thing, but if you free dive I can't see it.
|By Ruth van Tilburg (Extraordinary BonaireTalker - Post #1545) on Sunday, February 27, 2011 - 10:31 am:|
Sounds good David-you may be able to find a pair of the Aqua-Sphere Zip Fins that'll fit w/your booties. They're really made for swimmers who want to get more out of their work-out, but I find them great for no-pain snorkeling. I got my first pair at a Sports Authority. Worth a look.
|By Barbara "CB" Gibson (Supreme BonaireTalker - Post #6302) on Sunday, February 27, 2011 - 4:19 pm:|
I was so stubborn about my good old Mares slipper fins for several trips to Bonaire. Finally gave up and switched to my hard sole boots and cold water fins. But I do use a lighter pair than I use with the drysuit...those are overkill.
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