Playa Funchi is a dive site deep into Washington-Slagbaai National Park. It is also located on the opposite side of the Island. With these two factors in mind you need to allow for a 3-4 hour travel time to and from the location. Having said all this, it is worth while driving through the park and seeing all the cool sights in the park. Just plan to do this in the morning as the park closes at 5 sharp and they will not let you in if they think you can’t make it out on time.
Being next to the open ocean, you have to count on big waves and a difficult entry. The current can be quite substantial compared to anywhere else on the island. Our entry was not without casualties. Carrie was swept off her feet by one of the waves and her dive computer paid for it with its life.
The swim to the reef was also a bit harder
because of the current. In the shallows (30 feet-20 meters) the surge was constantly
pushing you back and forward. There was plenty of life but the turbidity made
it harder to get good video footage and the surge did not make it any easier.
On shore we were greeted by an army of lizards that took shelter under our car in the shade. They also had no problem trying to steal our food out of our hands by jumping into the air. This site turned out to be a real life adventure, and because of this I would recommend this dive site as a worthwhile endeavor.
Red Beryl turned out to be my favorite dive site I visited during our stay in Bonaire. In fact we visited this location twice. It is only a 20 minute drive from Buddy Dive. The entry is easy and the swim to the reef is short. We even found a group of garden eels in the sand when we decided to cut the surface swim short by descending early.
During our first visit I was so memorized by the dive that I just hung neutrally buoyant above the reef staring at the game of life that played out in front of me. It looked like I was floating above all these little cities with their own ecosystem. When I finally figured out what I was doing we were already 15 minutes into the dive.
Some of the bigger fish like the parrot fish moved from one city to the next one. In the shallows there were all these little colonies of the most beautiful damsel fish I had ever seen. We also saw one lonely little turtle fly by. This dive site gets 5 stars from me!