Hilma Hooker Dive Site | Bonaire NA

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Bonaire

bonaire

Ahhh, the great story of the Hilma Hooker. I can tell you the story I was told about Hilma Hooker, but be aware there are other stories too. Part of the nostalgia of the Hooker is that it is shrouded in a bit of mystery so I am not going to fact check the story. Just enjoy it. 

hilma hooker photo

Diving the Hilma Hooker, or as many on the island say “going down on the Hooker” is really a fun dive. It is the most popular dive site on the island. Surely because of the gigantic ship that emerges out of the depths and the predatory fish that guard her.

Supposedly the ship was a drug running ship and when it was caught, it was full of marijuana. The decision was made to redeem her by making her part of the reef in Bonaire, where the Hilma Hooker sits today.

hilma hooker bonaire

As you enter the water, you will notice a lot of sea fans blowing in and out to shore with the waves. As you swim out, angle to your right from the yellow rocks and you will see two buoys which are tied to the two ends of the ship. It is helpful to get a compass heading so you know which way to go when finding your exit point on shore. Descent to the reef like normal and continue in the heading of the buoys following the reef. you will see the ship when you get to 30 or 40 feet and if you continue, you will literally run into it. You will start on the bow and work your way around her stern. There are no rules of how to explore her, but I have enjoyed swimming along the bottom of the ship (which is now facing the reef) and finish with the deck and masts on the open water side.

I took this video during my last trip to the hooker:


Here’s the 3D version:

It does not take a very long time to swim around Hilma Hooker, but you can go down below 100 feet if you are not paying attention. Be careful how you dive here. It is easy to go deep because next to the ship it seems very close and a lot of open water divers have a limit of 100 feet. This is really one of the only dive sites were I can understand how people get in trouble.

After the ship, note which way the current is going and if you have time to dive after considering your CO2 saturation and your PSI on your tank, enjoy some of the reef around the ship to.

If you are heading to Bonaire, check out these hotels and enjoy your trip!

Series Navigation