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While in Bonaire, we booked an afternoon snorkel and sunset grill excursion with Epic Tours on one of their 40-foot sailing catamarans.

Upon arrival at their Kralendijk office, we checked in and moments later, were instructed to walk onto the dock across the road where one of their catamarans awaited our small group of sun seekers and snorkelers.

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[Our friendly Epic crew: Captain Fred, Randy, and Julia]

Once we all boarded, it was time to get relaxing with a cold drink as we enjoyed stunning views of Bonaire. An assortment of wines, two local beers, rum punch, plus soda, juices and cold water are offered throughout our five-hour trip.

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We sailed towards our first snorkel spot, Andrea I, filled with vibrant fish, coral and sea fans. Even though the past few days have seen a wind reversal (making underwater life a little murkier than usual), we got a good glimpse in relatively clear water on this afternoon’s outing.

Back on board, the crew treat us to a fresh tuna sashimi appetizer as we make our way towards Klein Bonaire, where the catamaran will remain until our two-course BBQ dinner is prepared and devoured.

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The second chosen snorkel location, Keepsake, is not too far out from the coastline of Klein Bonaire, on the other side of the tiny island away from No Name Beach. It’s one of Epic Tours’ favourite sites to bring guests.

The waters here are filled with abundant, beautiful marine life, one of the highlights being a pair of immense French Angelfish combing the coral reef not too far below us.

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After that second dip into the inviting azure blue water, the BBQ is lit and fresh fish and meats grill away as we relax around several lounge areas of the boat.

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[Second course is served]

Following dinner, slices of cheesecake are served as we soak in the last rays of the day. It’s been a beautiful afternoon with good company and we’re happily watching the sun set as we slowly sail back to shore.

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Compared to larger catamaran tour operators, Epic Tours takes out smaller groups and the vibe here is a lot more intimate as we make new acquaintances and swap snorkel tips and travel stories.

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We again visited Klein Bonaire one morning via their water tax service, which brings you from Kralendijk to Klein Bonaire in 15 minutes. From there, you can plan to stay on this tropical oasis until you’re ready to head back on one of the scheduled return trips.

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You can also choose to have the water taxi captain drop off your beach gear on shore, then get back onto the boat for a few moments, and drift snorkel back to Klein Bonaire’s No Name Beach (weather and current-dependent).

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[Just look at that stunning water!]

We were lucky to have the perfect conditions for this roughly one-hour snorkel back to the beach. It was one of the best snorkel trips we’ve done to date, as we observed hundreds of colourful fish of all sizes swim around us. We swam with the reef on our left and a deep sea drop-off to our right.

[Keep an eye out for the eel cameo!]

Visit Epic Tours Bonaire online for complete details and to book their daily tours in advance. Snorkel gear is included in the price of their tours, as are snorkel vests and swimming “noodles” for those seeking a ore more comfortable float on top of the water. Rates begin at USD $100 for a four-hour (cruise passenger-friendly) sail and snorkel.

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If We Could Change One Thing

Smoking is still allowed in open spaces (e.g. restaurants, boats, cafés) and with close quarters such as this, it would be great if a non-smoking rule were set in place. Smoking was allowed at the back of the catamaran, right next to the only shaded seating, leaving only the very bright sun of the front section or the stuffy small interior by the ship’s kitchen for non-smokers to enjoy the trip.

Our tour was kindly provided by Epic Tours Bonaire for the purpose of this feature. Opinions, as always, remain our own.

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