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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Schedule of Activities for Scuba Diving Magazine Week July 7-14 is Announced

Scuba Diving Magazine is sponsoring a series of events during the week of July 7 through 14, 2007 as a part of the island promotion, Bonaire Dive Into Summer.  The week will be filled with free events that anyone may join, as well as free gifts and the chance to win additional prizes. 

Scuba Diving Magazine is also sponsoring a free summer-long photo contest for all visitors to Bonaire between June 1 and September 30.  Compete for prizes by uploading your best Bonaire photos in three categories (wide angle, macro, topside); the winners will be announced in October.

Bonaire Dive Into Summer is a summer-long, island-wide promotion featuring four months of activities and a free coupon book with discounts at restaurants, hotels, activities, car rentals, and more.  Bonaire Dive Into Summer runs now through September 30, 2007.

For additional information about Scuba Diving Magazine Week, or the photo contest, click here (in PDF format).  (Source:  DiverWire)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 26, 2007 at 3:02pm AST
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Monday, June 25, 2007

Captain Don’s Stories are Now Online

Captain Don Stewart is a living legend on Bonaire and was actively involved with the formation of the diving industry on the island.  Over the years, he has written a number of stories and books about Bonaire, as well as other subjects that live in his vivid imagination.

He has been spending the last six months uploading all his writings onto a new web site, called the Books, Yarns, and Fairy Tales of Captain Don.  Here you’ll find a myriad of short stories, anecdotes, and novels.  One thing that has always been said about Captain Don is you can always figure at least 85% is true!

If you would like to read some of Don’s quirky writings, they are available to read at no charge by clicking here, where you’ll find his eclectic collection, with more being added monthly.  (Source:  Books, Yarns, & Fairy Tales web site)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 25, 2007 at 11:31am AST
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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bonaire’s Culinary Team Brings Home the Silver Plus a Special Award

Bonaire’s chef and bartender team returned from the “Taste of the Caribbean” Culinary Olympics with not only a Silver Medal but a special award for The Most Innovative and Creative Menu, as the menu used Bonairean Sea Salt in each dish.

The island’s team competed against twelve other teams from islands which are, in many cases, much larger and richer, with more restaurants and hotels: Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Curacao, Grenada, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten/St. Martin, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, and the US Virgin Islands.

The competition creates a stressful time for the teams as they have only three hours to choose their ingredients from a Mystery Basket, make up a 3-course menu and prepare the meals for twenty persons. The judging is based on appearance, portion size, taste, nutrition, and use of their island’s products. They are even judged on what the cost of the dish would be and if it can make money for a restaurant, as well as how much is thrown away (wasted).  The Bonaire team reports that there was good camaraderie between the teams and some even helped others. 

The Taste of the Caribbean event is sponsored by the Caribbean Hotel Association and was held at the Hyatt Regency in Miami. Thanks go to the many sponsors who made this trip and competition possible for the Bonaire Team, but especially the two major sponsors BONHATA and SGB Chez Nous.

Members of the Bonaire Team are: Bartender Jenmarie Coffie - Divi Flamingo, Team Manager Selimah Agostien - Divi Flamingo, Chef Vladimir Gijsbertha - It Rains Fishes, Chef Egbert DeVries - Le Flamboyant, Chef Floris Van Loo - Rum Runners, and Pastry Chef Isidoor Van Riemskijk - Rum Runners.

Bonaire’s Winning Menu:

Appetizer:  Grilled watermelon, tomato, fresh green herb salad and angostura infused with Bonairean Sea Salt.  Cold tomato ginger shooter topped with coconut foam, Watermelon Pearls Vanilla, coriander and Bonairean sea salt-cured yellowtail snapper.

Entrée:  Guava glazed pork loin medallion and barbecue rubbed beef loin with infused rosemary and roasted bell pepper, flatap and potato tuille with smoked sea salt.

Dessert:  Bonairean sea salt caramel ice cream. Banana fritter served with spiced orange horseradish sauce with a dash of angostura.  Bonairean sea salt chocolate toffee lollipop. Banana crème brulee.  (Source:  Laura DeSalvo)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 23, 2007 at 9:27am AST
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Friday, June 22, 2007

New Restaurant Review--Warung Louise, an Authentic Indonesian Kitchen

This past week, a new restaurant opened on the Bonaire culinary scene--Warung Louise, located on Kaya Grandi in Kralendijk, is an authentic Indonesian kitchen serving dishes from various Indonesian islands.

The restaurant was officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday night, when the new owners Jessyca (from Indonesia) and her daughter and son-in-law, Debbie and Henri, gave a small reception for family and friends.  The restaurant opened to the public on Wednesday evening, and was booked solid its first night and for several nights after, while everyone sampled the new dishes.

My dining companion and I took the opportunity to try out the new restaurant on their opening night.  We enjoyed various appetizers and soup before the main course.  I ordered the chicken sate with peanut sauce, which arrived at the table garnished with a bit of toasted coconut.  The vegetarian spring rolls were also declared a success.

For entrees, I chose a chicken dish with gado gado, which is a salad including green beans tossed in a peanut sauce, while my companion sampled a dish with whole local fish with shrimp.  Both were excellent, and the wait staff went out of their way to be accommodating.  In fact, each time any of the wait staff came out carrying plates, every head in the restaurant turned, and lots of “oohs” and “ahhs” were heard, along with, “I have got to try that one!”

The menu is extensive and is available in either English or Dutch.  The ambiance is fabulous; in fact one would hardly recognize the location from before.  Jessyca, Debbie, and Henri have certainly worked hard to create a fabulous new dining experience, with a waterfall fountain and Buddhas placed among the tables.

All-in-all, the restaurant gets kudos for a great opening.  It is recommended that you call (786-6694) for a reservation, as the restaurant is small, and at this time, they are unable to accept walk-ins.  Images of Monday’s reception are available on the Bonaire Insider Photo Gallery by clicking here(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 22, 2007 at 4:31pm AST
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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Windsurfing Kids Around the World Prepare for Bonaire’s Starboard Pro Kids Freestyle Event

With the return of summer, one of windsurfing’s hottest events, the Starboard Pro Kids Freestyle World, also returns to Bonaire.  The event is set for August 1st through 5th, 2007 at windy Lac Bay.  International freestyle qualifiers have been running all spring and will continue into the summer with young freestyle talent competing for an opportunity to fly to Bonaire for this event.

The Bonaire Pro Kid’s Team will be heading off island early this summer to compete in several events and to promote the August Freestyle Event. The first stop is in Aruba at one of the sport’s oldest ongoing windsurfing events, Aruba Hi Winds. Over 60 Bonaire sailors will head to their sister island to compete in the freestyle and slalom action. This windsurf delegation will promote the Starboard Pro Kids Worlds while enjoying the Aruban hospitality and hot windsurf action. A group of Pro Kids heads to the Slalom Pro Kids Worlds in Turkey later in July. The team is comprised of nine-year old Jurgen Saragoza, ten-year old Amado Vrieswijk, twelve-year old Dylen Robles, fifteen-year old Bjorn Saragoza, fifteen-year old Clifton Pier and his older brother Harvey.  The adult chaperon will be former Olympian Constantine Saragoza, who will also compete in the Master’s Worlds. Traveling with the team for support will be the families of these talented hot shots. Pro Sailor Ruben Petrisie will be on hand to help raise the Bonaire flag at the opening ceremony. Ruben has been on the European Freestyle Tour for several years representing Bonaire. Later, Bjorn Saragoza, a Starboard and Hot Sails Team Rider, will head to the EFPT Turkey event celebrating his rise to Pro status.

Rumor has it Team Aruba has over 20 sailors flying in for the August Bonaire event. Sara Quita Offringa, one of the world’s best women freestylers will be on hand along with her equally talented brother Quincy. Other Aruban wiz kids will be in the house to represent their island. Sailors from Germany, France, Belgium, Dominican Republic, and beyond have already bought their air tickets and will begin arriving mid-July to train for the finals. The heat is on and the windsurfing place to be in August is certainly Bonaire.

For event details, contact ann@bonairewindsurfing.com. Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations will arrange discounted accommodations, gear and vehicle rental as well as hospitality support. For additional information, visit the event web site at www.prokidsfreestyle.com.

Our Event Sponsors: Starboard, RRD, TCB, Maduro and Curiel’s Bank, Rocargo, Bonaire Windsurf Place, Aquaspeed, Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations, Budget Car Rental-Bonaire, Plaza Resort Bonaire, Habitat Resort, Coco Palm Garden, NetTech, Windguru, TELBO, Hot Sails Maui, Blue Lagoon.  (Source:  TCB Release)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 21, 2007 at 11:11am AST
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bonaire Wellness Connexions Plans First Mountain Bike Race

Adding to their roster of bicycling events, Bonaire Wellness Connexions just announced that they will begin conducting mountain bike races for riders of all levels of experience.  Their goal is to create local sports events for people of all ages and abilities who wish to compete and also to grow the sport of mountain bike racing on the island. 

The first event will be held on July 29, 2007.  A second race has been slated for November 4, 2007.  Registration for the first race begins at 3:00 PM by the Antenna Kaminda Broertje Janga, or participants can pre-register by July 28 at Bonaire Wellness Connexions, situated at the Activities & Fitness Center at Eden Beach Resort.

Entry fees:  Men and Women:  FL 25.00 (USD $15.00); Kids under 16:  FL 15.00 (USD $9.00); participation fee includes a T-shirt plus drinks and fruits.  For additional information, view the entire press release (in PDF format) by clicking here, or visit the BWC web site at www.bonairewellness.com(Source:  Bonaire Wellness Connexions)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 20, 2007 at 10:12am AST
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Buddy Dive Resort Announces Opening of Underwater Park

A unique underwater park has been created on Buddy’s Reef, the house reef of Bonaire’s Buddy Dive Resort.  In an effort to create awareness and educate divers about the importance of our reefs, Buddy Dive Resort, with the consent of the Bonaire National Marine Park, decided to create an educational diving trail.

Initiated and created by Buddy’s Dive Operations Manager, Augusto Montbrun, the Underwater Park has two diving trails allowing multi-level dives that will take divers from 15ft/5m to a maximum depth of 80ft/24m and back to 15ft/5m after a 45-minute bottom time.  And for divers who cannot reach the maximum depth due to level of certification or age (junior divers), they’ve prepared a parallel trail that will start at 15ft/5m and goes to a maximum depth of 40ft/12m.

While following the trails, divers will see different species of coral that grow in colonies at different depths along the topography of Buddy’s Reef Underwater Park. The corals are clearly marked with an underwater sign that has a printed photo, along with the common and scientific names on it. The sign will be fixed to the bottom of the ocean at a distance and height that will not allow divers to damage the reef while they are looking at the specific coral. All signs and materials used are environmental friendly.

To learn more about the new Underwater Park at Buddy Dive, click here to view the entire press release (in PDF format).  (Source:  Buddy Dive Resort)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 20, 2007 at 9:44am AST
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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Bonaire Wellness Connexions Launches New Web Site

Bonaire Wellness Connexions, well known for the organization of bike trips, races, and other fitness events, has just launched a brand new web site, located at www.bonairewellness.com.

The owner of Bonaire Wellness Connexions, Miguel Angel Brito, is a personal trainer and Body Balance certified instructor. A graduated tourism consultant and fitness trainer in the Netherlands, Miguel’s health and fitness expertise has been a vital asset to Bonaire’s sport and health development. He specializes in Body Balance, Stability Ball Training, Personal Training and Steps. As a group fitness instructor and personal trainer, Miguel focuses on encouraging his clients to improve their physical condition and achieve greater health. His philosophy is: “It’s all about awareness and acknowledgment while exercising.”

On the new web site, visitors can view the different activities available through Bonaire Wellness Connexions, as well as download forms and applications for various classes or training sessions.  A calendar of events for 2007 is also available for download.  Past newsletters are archived and available for download.

For additional information, or to view the new web site, click here(Source:  Bonaire Wellness Connexions Web Site)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 19, 2007 at 9:59am AST
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U. S. Department of State Temporarily Relaxes Passport Restrictions

Due to the high backlog of passport applications which have not yet been processed, the U.S. State Department recently announced that the restrictions regarding the need for passports for all air travel to specified destinations for U.S. citizens has been temporarily relaxed through September 30, 2007.

From now through September 30, 2007, U.S. citizens who have applied for a passport and have not received it in time for their travel to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Bermuda can temporarily enter and depart from the United States by air with a government issued photo identification and a Department of State official proof of a pending passport application.

U.S. citizens who take advantage of this relaxation of the passport restriction will need to present the official proof of passport application to air carriers and to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at airports of entry.  Such individuals may be subject to secondary inspections.

For those U.S. citizens who have not yet applied for a passport, be aware that the current turn-around time has been increased to ten- to twelve-weeks for a normal application, and two- to three-weeks for an expedited application.  Complete information on how to apply for a U.S. passport, as well as how to check the status of a pending application, is available on the Consular Affairs web site at http://travel.state.gov(Source:  U. S. Department of State Web Site)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 19, 2007 at 9:45am AST
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Monday, June 18, 2007

Olympic Day Walk and Run Slated for June 24, 2007

Joining forces once again are the Bonairean Sport Federation (BSF), the Netherlands Antilles Olympic Committee (NAOC), and Sebreko to organize the traditional Olympic Day Walk and Run on June 24th, 2007.

This annual event is promoted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to commemorate its formation on June 23, 1894 by Pierre de Coubertin.  This year’s theme is, “Exercise is good for all of us.” The BSF also uses this event as a fundraiser for other sporting events, utilizing proceeds from an afternoon BBQ. 

Everyone is welcome, and participants can either walk 5 or 10 kilometers, or they may run 2.5, 5, or 10 kilometers.  All participants receive an Olympic T-shirt, a certificate of participation, fruit, and a beverage.  Registration begins at 6:00 AM, with the event officially being opened at 7:00 AM with the national anthem, speeches by the NAOC representative, commissioner, and a BSF representative.  The walk and run begin at 7:30 AM, after which the participants can enjoy the BBQ.  (Source:  Amigoe)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 18, 2007 at 4:08pm AST
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