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Friday, March 30, 2007

State Secretary of Kingdom Relations, Anke Bijleveld-Schouten, Visits Bonaire

The new State Secretary of Kingdom Relations, Anke Bijleveld-Schouten, visited Bonaire during the last week, as part of her tour of the Netherlands Antilles.  The purpose of her visit was to meet with the government officials of the island on different topics, as well as to discuss the change in government structure to come.

During her visit, Mrs. Bijleveld-Schouten also toured different tourist sites and spoke with some of Bonaire’s environmental and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), accompanied by a local delegation headed up by Lt. Governor Herbert Domacasse.  Illustrated in the image, Mrs. Bijleveld-Schouten experiences first-hand the work of the Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire. (Source:  Bonaire Government Release)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 30, 2007 at 10:36am AST
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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Caribbean Wind and Sun Announces Women’s Wellness Weeks on Bonaire

Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations is planning some very special wellness weeks on Bonaire just for women.  These weeks are perfect opportunities to take a break from the real world, immerse yourself in learning a new sport, and meet like-minded women from around the world who share your interests.

Activities will be planned to offer tranquility, such as seaside morning guided or solitary meditation, combined with active sports such as windsurfing and kiteboarding for all ability levels, scuba diving, or snorkeling tours. Each day participants may partake in sunset power walks up Sera Largu, a hillside shrine with breathtaking views of the sea, Ashtanga yoga classes, guided nature walks in the outback of Rincon, kayak tours around the mangroves teeming with sea life, gourmet dining, wine tasting and more. Each week’s itinerary is individualized for the needs and desires of the women.

Spa services will also be available, including holistic healing by a Louise Hay trained professional, healing touch and massage, as well as traditional sports massage, aloe treatments, and Bonairean Salt Scrubs at an oceanfront spa.

All services provided by experienced professionals in their chosen area of expertise.  Air and land packages available in budget to luxury accommodations. Single travelers welcome.

2007 Schedule

July 14-21 - Women’s Windsurf Week
July 15-18- Women’s Kite Surf Clinic
Dec. 8-15 - Women’s Wellness Retreat

For additional information, call 800-219-0118 or email ann@bonairecaribbean.com(Source:  Caribbean Wind & Sun Release)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 28, 2007 at 1:27pm AST
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29th Annual “Kontest di Fli” (Kite Flying Contest) to be Held on April 1st, 2007

Once again, it’s March and the spring winds are upon us.  What better time than now to hold the annual Kite Flying Contest, known locally as “Kontest di Fli.”

Sponsored by Flamingo Book Store, anyone over the age of seven can join in the fun.  Starting at 8:00 AM on April 1st, in the open field behind Kooyman’s, come enjoy the original kites made by young and old alike on Bonaire.  You’re guaranteed to see all sorts of kites flying that morning--large, small, unique, strange, beautiful--contestants are limited only by their imagination.  To keep everyone happy in-between kite flights, food, drink, and entertainment will be available.

Those wishing to compete may register by March 30th at the Flamingo Book Store, located at Kaya Grandi.  Entrance fee is NAFl 3.50 (USD $1.97) per child and NAFl 7.50 (USD $4.21) per adult.  (Source:  Extra)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 28, 2007 at 1:16pm AST
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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Divi Flamingo Beach Resort Augments Saturday Breakfast Buffet

Through October, 2006, many residents and frequent visitors alike enjoyed sitting at a favorite eatery on weekend mornings to savor Eggs Benedict as they watched the world go by.  When that restaurant closed, it created a void for this past-time, and now the Divi Flamingo Beach Resort has stepped up to fill that void.

Now each Saturday morning their normal daily breakfast buffet, which is quite extensive already, will be augmented by the addition of Eggs Benedict.  Those that have been searching for a suitable replacement for their weekend brunch will not be disappointed.  Served on the buffet, the Eggs Benedict are perfectly done, and are available along with made-to-order omelets, pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs any other way, potatoes, all sorts of breads and pastries, fresh fruit, juices, yogurt, cold cuts, and cheeses, coffee or tea.

The breakfast buffet is NAFl 24.30 ($13.65) per person, which includes 5% sales tax.  It is served daily from 7:00 AM through 11:00 AM, with the Eggs Benedict available each Saturday. (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 27, 2007 at 1:54pm AST
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Bonaire’s Casablanca Restaurant Premiers “Dushi Boneiru Night”, an All-You-Can-Eat Argentinean Grill

Casablanca Restaurant has announced the launching of a new weekly event, “Dushi Boneiru Night”, at their Bonaire restaurant, which features their popular grilled meats and a show by noted Bonaire photographer and writer, Albert Bianculli.

Each Monday evening from 6:00 PM through 10:00 PM, the restaurant will be serving All-You-Can-Eat Argentinean Grill featuring unlimited pork chops, authentic chorizo sausage, chicken, steak, and ribs. Fish can be substituted upon request. Side dishes and dessert (choice of ice cream, sherbet, or fruit cocktail) are included.  Reservations are highly recommended and can be scheduled for anytime beginning 6:00 PM, when diners can enjoy a cocktail, choose their table, and then view the show at either 6:30 or 7:30 PM.  Dinner can be before, or after, either showing.

Photographer Albert Bianculli will provide an excellent overview of the island in his two evening shows, highlighting Bonaire’s special interests above and below the water. Viewers will find his spontaneous talk enjoyable and educational.

Cost for the dinner and show is $19.00 per person, plus 5% sales tax.  Vouchers for a free welcome cocktail (sangria, fruit punch, rum punch, or soft drink) are available with any purchase at Budget Rent a Car, Chat ‘n’ Browse, or Lisa Convenience Store (at Lisa Gas Station).

Casablanca Restaurant has been providing fine dining experiences on Bonaire since 2003, and was voted Top Diving Destination Restaurant by readers of Scuba Diving Magazine in their Readers’ Choice Awards.  For additional information on this new event, contact Casablanca Restaurant by email at info@restaurantcasablanca.com, phone: +(599) 717-4433, or visit their web site at http://www.restaurantcasablanca.com/dushi_boneiru.html(Source:  Casablanca Restaurant)

Note Update November 14, 2008:
We’re sorry to report, the Dushi Boneiru Night is no longer available.

Posted by Susan Davis on March 27, 2007 at 12:50pm AST
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Monday, March 26, 2007

2007 Bonaire Heineken Jazz and Salsa Festival Announces Schedule

As reported earlier in the Bonaire Insider, the Bonaire Heineken Jazz & Salsa Festival will be held from May 16 through May 20, 2007.  This is the third annual event organized by the Bonaire Jazz Foundation, and the air will be filled with Latin and Caribbean jazz beats during the festival.

Performers will be arriving on Bonaire from Aruba, Holland, Curacao, the United States, Venezuela, and other locations for the various concerts that will be held over the festival days.  To view the current schedule and the TCB press release regarding the event (in Papiamentu), click here(Source:  TCB Release)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 26, 2007 at 3:29pm AST
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Friday, March 23, 2007

Digital Summer Camps Announced for July 2007

Two different digital summer camps will take place this July, 2007.  One camp will focus on digital still underwater photography, while the second camp will focus on digital underwater videography.  Each camp will last 7 days, and will be held over two separate weeks, thus making it more convenient for interested parties to attend.

Coordinated by Sand Dollar Resort Condominiums, Den Laman Condominiums, Den Laman Restaurant, Bonaire Dive & Adventure, and Fisheye Photo, the program will be operated in conjunction with the island-wide Dive Into Summer Bonaire.  Participants will enjoy seminars, dives, photo contests, and special photographic activities aimed at sharpening their skills.

For additional information about this innovative program, view the agenda (in PDF format).  (Source:  Press Release)

Note revision April 24, 2007:  For a list of prizes and demonstration equipment, please click here

Posted by Susan Davis on March 23, 2007 at 1:23pm AST
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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bonaire Wellness Connexions Plans Third Mountain Bike Tour Around Bonaire

With the first two bike tours such a success, Bonaire Wellness Connexions has just announced a third mountain bike tour, which will begin at 4:00 PM on April 7th, 2007.

Any interested participants should meet at the Eden Beach Resort Activity Center at 4:00 PM.  The participation fee is NAFl 15.00 per person (USD $8.43 per person), and includes drink and fruits.  Advance registration is available Monday through Saturday from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM at the Activity Center, or simply sign up the same day as the tour.

Information about the route can be obtained by emailing info@bonairewellness.com.

Notice: Helmets are compulsory for the tour and can be rented at Activity Center.  Bike rentals can also be arranged at the Activity Center for the tour.  (Source:  Bonaire Wellness Connexions Release)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 22, 2007 at 3:41pm AST
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Rotary Club Bonaire Announces 25th Anniversary Event Schedule

Bonaire’s Rotary Club will celebrate 25 years of supporting Bonaire this coming April, and the Club has announced a schedule of events for all to enjoy.

The Dutch Dixies, a dixieland band from Holland, last played on Bonaire in 2005, and they will be returning for several free concerts at various locations around Bonaire.  These concerts will be held from April 20, 2007 through April 29, 2007.  For a complete schedule of locations, click here.

Additionally, on April 27th, 2007, the Club will hold an exciting, high-speed, and fun auction of extravagant and extraordinarily items at the Plaza Resort.  Live entertainment will be provided, and a Caribbean buffet will be included in the price of admission (NAFl 125.00 per person; USD $70.22 per person).  This is one of the Club’s main fund-raising events to garner sufficient funds to continue with their current community project, Breakfast in Schools.

For additional information about the Rotary Club of Bonaire’s activities, click here(Source:  Rotary Club Bonaire web site)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 22, 2007 at 3:27pm AST
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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bonaire Algal Survey and Inventory Completed

In November, 2006 Conservation International, in cooperation with the Antillean Dept. of Environment (MINA) and Bonaire’s National Parks Foundation (Stinapa Bonaire), organized an expedition to survey the algae in the Bonaire National Marine Park by algae specialists Marc and Diane Littler of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. 

The Littler’s team included Barrett Brooks, Don Hurlbert, Barbara Watanabe, and Larry Gorenflo of Conservation International. The purpose of this expedition was to assist MINA, the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA), and the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science at Conservation International to assess the current status of Bonaire’s marine flora. The team collected over 300 specimens from the upper reef to a depth of 56 meters. This assessment increased the known species reported from Bonaire by 35%. The marine flora is typical of many Caribbean reefs with no specific areas of extremely high diversity or unique species composition. Another result of this expedition is a library of over 100 digital images, properly identified to the species level in most cases.

The species list and images will be made available through a web page currently under development, for use by managers for oral presentation, training manuals, brochures, etc., and to make marine plant identification possible for Bonaire’s many divers, volunteers, conservationists or interested agencies.

The team also surveyed the health of the reefs using key indicator species (recognized from over 30 continuous years of coral-reef research) in reference to the growing problems associated with eutrophication and overfishing along tropical and subtropical shorelines worldwide. The ecological responses of corals and macroalgae to nutrient enrichment and release from predation have been repeatedly cited as priority areas in need of further research (National Research Council, 2000; Littler & Littler 2006). They concluded that Bonaire’s reefs seemed in excellent shape with respect to fish populations. Large numbers of herbivorous fishes occurred at nearly all of the 21 sites surveyed. Some signs were noted of an overly stressed environment most likely due to high nutrient and/or sediment levels. A disturbing abundance of dead and diseased coral was noted, with Black Band and Dark Spot diseases being the most prevalent. Many sites surveyed were dominated by noxious Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). This harmful bloom of unpalatable (chemically-defended) Cyanobacteria is smothering other organisms occupying much of the available space, precluding settlement of desirable coral species.

The full report of the expedition with selected images can be downloaded by clicking here (in PDF format with a file size of 2.8 MB). (Source:  MINA Release)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 21, 2007 at 3:05pm AST
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