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PADI Instructor Development Course – May 2021

Every quarter Instructor Candidates travel from their homes to the beautiful blue waters of Bonaire to work with PADI Course Director, Annie O., at Dive Friends Bonaire to achieve their dreams of becoming a PADI Scuba Diving Instructor. This April was no different as three divers made their way across the oceans from France and the United States to successfully earn their Open Water Scuba Instructor ratings.

The Instructor Development Course ran over 11 days during which Jason, Max and Millie all successfully achieved their PADI OWSI Instructor, Emergency First Response Instructor, Enriched Air Instructor and Dive Against Debris Instructor certifications. But the journey for these candidates started long before they landed on our charming island! The candidates participated in PADI’s revised DC meaning that they completed online learning and studied their dive theory for weeks before they arrived. Their pre-course preparation was only one of the reasons this course was such a huge success!

The candidates showed up and their skills and dedication to the sport of diving were evident! They were all prepared, enthusiastic, eager to learn and open to improve. Throughout their courses these candidates worked as a team to help each other grow and improve in their knowledge and skills, so it is no surprise that the laughs and good times were as abundant as the course information they were learning.

Jason, Max and Millie along with Course Director Annie O. woke up early on the morning of the 6th of May to make their way to the PADI facilitated Instructor Exam. This two-day exam is the most prestigious Instructor evaluation process in the world but the guidance and coaching the candidates received during the PADI IDC gave them all the confidence they needed to find complete success. They even managed to have FUN during the exam.

Their shared passion to become the absolute best instructors possible created a bond that we don’t think any of these PADI Instructors will ever forget!

The right BCD for you?

Finding the right BCD starts with knowing a little bit about the different options available to you. There are many different models of BCD on the market, which can be split into three main categories: Jacket-style, Backplate + Wing and Hybrid (aka Semi-Wing).

Jacket-style BCD

This is the most common type of BCD in recreational diving and preferred by dive schools as they are easy to use and fit different body types. We can recognize the Jacket-style BCD by the airbladder which fills at the back as well as the sides (like a jacket). This feature allows Jackets to be comfortable as well as easy to handle on the surface.

Being such a common style, we can find many different models with different characteristics; light and minimalistic specifically designed for traveling, simple and economical for rental or beginner divers. As we increase in price, we find characteristics such as extra padding, additional stainless-steel D-rings and a tougher outer shell which makes them more comfortable and suitable for more frequent divers. This higher price range are the kind used every day by dive professionals.

Backplate + Wing setup

This type of BCD is back-inflated only meaning that when inflated, the air is directed only to the back part of the BCD also known as “the wing”, making it very comfortable under water and perfect for maintaining a good position while diving. However, for some people, they are not as comfortable on the surface since, when inflated fully, they tend to push the body forward however with a little practice it can be controlled for instance by not fully inflating the wing, correct body position as well as being weighted properly.

This kind of BCD is the most customizable as they are made up of three separate modules: The Harness, the Backplate and the Wing. This allows it to be highly customizable, not only with regards to size, volume of bladder and comfort level of harness but also in its appearance and function. It can be as streamlined and as minimalistic as necessary, adding or removing parts like pockets, D-rings, a crotch strap, etc. to really make it your own. This modular approach will also make it easier to replace parts if and when needed. All of this makes them ideal for any type of diving, especially technical diving.

Hybrid BCDs or Semi-wings

As the name implies the hybrid BCD shares features of both the Backplate + Wing and the Jacket-style BCD. These are back-inflate BCDs that come as a complete preassembled package. Most commonly they will have an integrated weight system with adjustable straps and comfortable padding similar to the Jacket-style however they have the streamlined feeling of freedom that is associated with a Backplate + Wing setup. This kind of BCD has a good balance between the two previous styles, making them the number 1 choice for experienced divers and dive professionals that want comfort, good performance and streamlining but don’t need the full customization of the Backplate + Wing.

When it is time for you to choose your next BCD remember to talk to your sales person about what needs and characteristics are important for you. At the Dive Friends Retail store, we have a crew of experienced instructors and highly trained service technicians that can help guide you in your search. We also have a large selection of styles and sizes so we are sure to have something you like.

Quarterly Clean Up – January 2021

Happy New Year, welcome in 2021!

Good resolutions and time to start the year with a thorough clean up of the town’s center. The town center’s reef to be precise!

As you might be aware Dive Friends Bonaire is not only the biggest dive center on Bonaire but also we are the leading dive center on conservation and clean up actions on Bonaire. Next to our 6 adopted house reefs who get a monthly clean up, keep an eye on our agenda for this planning. We also host the biggest underwater clean up event on diver’s paradise 4 times a year. After all the new year’s festivities we thought it would be a good idea to jump in at the town’s center Pier where also one of our main event sponsors Karel’s town pier bar is located.

With all COVID measures we had to ensure that all divers and staff of course were safe and distant so we had all our volunteers checking in on preserved times, separated 20 minutes apart to guarantee diver safety and distance. After checking in, gearing up and briefings our buddy teams hit the water in their own teams. 24 divers means 12 buddy teams searching about 250 m2 and gather a Debris collection of 65 kilo’s!

All debris was counted, reported and separated and in the end handed over to our proud sponsor Selibon for recycling! Afterwards we had a drink sponsored by Karel’s town pier bar and then we continued into an online raffle, with several beautiful prices handed to us by our sponsors!

The price winners were:

Henk & Angela Diters
Adam Ward
Tadzio Bervoets
Maaike kosmis
Vicky Hoflack
Virginia Knight
Anita vd Wal
Marlies Wolters.

All prizes were donated by our proud sponsors:

Bonaire Automation
Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire
Tropical nature Bonaire
Dee Scarr
Karel’s Beach bar
Selibon Bonaire


For the detailed information about this clean up, check out the event page: