Captain Don’s Diving Mecca

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SCUBA Paradise

Before leaving for snowy New York last Thursday, I got to meet the legendary SCUBA diver and environmentalist ~ Captain Don Stewart.

The beloved man is now 80-plus years old but still as vibrant and passionate for preserving Bonaire’s coastal reefs as ever. In the 60’s his revolutionary way of thinking was mocked and jeered but today the island includes the greenest, most unspoiled underwater habitats in the world.

He recently decided to change his famous red and white pirate skull, sword and flag logo from red to green to show his dedication to conservation.

Captain Don owns a 5-star diving resort called Habitat Dive Operation and every Monday he autographs copies of his many books for guest divers. His writings include the works of his life with poetic descriptions of the colorful marine life and coral formations of Bonaire.

Besides receiving countless awards and profiles in dozen of national newspapers, Captain Donn has been instrumental in passing legislation to ban anchoring of boats around the reef.

After spending a good part of the morning interviewing the Captain, we found a few diving spots near Klein Bonaire or Little Bonaire, an uninhabited cay about 15 minutes by boat from Kralendijk, the capital of Bonaire. The diving mecca here is still alive and well.