Bonaire Boat Diving with Ebby Jules!
As person that loves Bonaire and enjoys arranging unique experiences on the island for friends & clients, I make it my business to meet as many of its residents as I can and I am amazed to find just how friendly and interesting many of these people are.
I first met Ebby Jules through, Bill Minahan, an off-island entrepreneur friend from Boston who met Ebby 18 years ago and has been coming to Bonaire ever since. One summer night, Bill put us all together for dinner and I knew instantly that this was a funny, interesting and very knowledgeable person…who also happens to be the owner and operator of a great small-group (aka private) dive boat.
Since I really like Bonaire shore diving and never fail to expound upon its virtues, you might be asking yourself why do we care about boat diving in Bonaire? For that question I am also writing a blog on Bonaire Boat Diving. However, I can say here, there are many excellent Bonaire dive sites you can ONLY access by boat. So, it is very nice to know someone who not only has a boat but is filled with knowledge about the sites, fish, creatures, diving, and Bonaire itself.
As a native of the Dutch Caribbean islands and long-time resident of Bonaire, Ebby appears to know everyone as well as a ton about Bonaire and the related islands. As a rabid collector of new knowledge, I felt like I hit the jackpot when I met him and as we transit to dive sites, I always pepper him questions. So far, he always has an answer. Someday I’ll know something interesting about the island before he will…one can always dream.
Just recently I found myself back out on Ebby’s boat. A few members of my most recent group of divers were Fish ID fanatics (a PADI course I teach by the way 😊). They were hunting down any distinct example of marine life they could find but especially the tiny ones. We had a very successful week of finding things large and very very small. By our final dive day there were still a few species on the “still to find” list though. So, on the last day, I took my group out with Ebby to some of those sites you cannot access by shore. I joked on the boat that all our crew needed was a seahorse and a shark* and that Ebby had “promised” we would find them that day. He hadn’t, of course! Much to our great delight, however, during our first dive we saw a White Nosed Pipefish, a Frogfish and then a Dolphin pod (my first in Bonaire) and on the 2nd dive he took us straight to a seahorse within the first three minutes of the dive. Now that is service!
*As a footnote, after we parted ways with Ebby we did one final shore dive and we saw an amazing octopus right out in the open for about 10 minutes and then a largish reef shark cruising the depths right below us. What a spectacular last day of diving!
Ebby was featured in a great article about Bonaire in the NY times in February of 2019 (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/18/travel/coral-reef-bonaire.html) and you can learn more about Ebby and his dive business at https://www.divewithebby.net/