Hilma Hooker Bonaire

Hilma Hooker Bonaire is a popular Caribbean dive site, partly because of its history. The Hilma Hooker shipwreck consists of a sunken cargo ship that went under off Bonaire's southern coast in 1984. Before the ship sank, it was confiscated by the police, as part of its cargo was of a dubious nature. Some 25,000 pounds of marijuana were found onboard the Hilma Hooker when it was seized, and as you might expect, nobody came forward to claim the ship. To divers and marine creatures alike, the eventual sinking of the Hilma Hooker was a very good thing. The fish and other aquatic creatures got a new home, while divers got a welcome addition to the already impressive number of great Bonaire dive sites.

Wreck diving in Bonaire can be very rewarding, and the Hilma Hooker is ideal for this type of diving. The Hilma Hooker shipwreck can be found just off the southern shore of Bonaire near the capital of Kralendijk, so it is relatively easy to access. Though the ship rests at a depth of almost 100 feet, all levels of divers can enjoy the site. Beginners tend to stay closer to the surface, sometimes diving down to around 60 feet to admire the craft from a safe distance. Thanks to the efforts of the Bonaire Marine Park, the area waters are clean and clear, so it's not necessary to dive all the way down to the ship if you want to get a good look.

If you want to go wreck diving in Bonaire, the dive operators around the island can take you out in a boat for a fair fee. The Hilma Hooker shipwreck is an especially popular site, and moorings are in place for the consistent wave of dive boats. After visiting Hilma Hooker Bonaire in the morning, many divers finish the day off by diving at the two reefs located on either side of the wreck. These reefs are found in relatively shallow water, and they boast a variety of corals for divers to enjoy.

As a side note, the clarity of the waters off Bonaire's coast makes for good underwater photography. As such, many divers bring an underwater camera along when visiting sites such as the Bari Reef and the Hilma Hooker. At the Hilma Hooker site, the large bronze propeller of the ship is a particularly popular backdrop for photos. It is also worth noting that you don't have to take a boat to Hilma Hooker Bonaire. Divers can enter the water at the rocky shoreline and then surface swim out to the diving buoys. The swim out to the buoys takes around five minutes.

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