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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Final Agenda Announced for Bonaire’s Pro Kids Freestyle Worlds 2007

From August 1st through 5th, Bonaire will once again host the Pro Kids Freestyle Worlds 2007.  This competition is in its third year, and young windsurfers from around the world flock to Sorobon at Lac Bay to compete.

The final agenda has been recently released as follows:

Wednesday 1st
16: 00 – 18:00 Registration
18: 00 - 18:30 Press Conference
18: 30 - 20: 00 Opening Ceremony

Thursday 2nd
12:00 Lunch
13: 00 Skipper’s Meeting
14: 00 Competition starts
17:00 Happy Hour

Friday 3rd
10:00 Skipper’s Meeting
11:00 Competition continues
13:00 Lunch
17:00 Happy Hour
18:00 BBQ Beach Party

Saturday 4th
10:00 Skipper’s Meeting
11:00 Competition continues
13:00 Lunch
16:00 DJ Contest
17:00 Happy Hours
Classic Free Style Expression Session TBA

Sunday 5th
09:00 Skipper’s Meeting
10:00 Competition continues
13:00 lunch
14:00 Beach Culture, Dance Contest, Fashion Show, Rap, Brass Band
17:00 Awards Ceremony

(Source:  Pro Kids Freestyle Worlds)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 29, 2007 at 7:00am AST
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Friday, July 27, 2007

Green Turtle “Darwina” is the Second Turtle Tracked from Bonaire this Nesting Season

A Green turtle (Turtuga Blanku), nesting on the Atlantis dive site on the southern coast of Bonaire, was fitted with a satellite transmitter Tuesday night by a team of staff and volunteers from Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB). This is the second turtle to be tracked during the current nesting season and the second Green turtle ever fitted with a transmitter on Bonaire.

Based on the pattern of turtle nesting activity observed during the last few weeks, it was predicted that the Green turtle would possibly return to the beach on Tuesday night. During a beach patrol on Tuesday morning, STCB’s Funchi Egbreghts found crawl tracks from a turtle but observed that it was a false nesting attempt. So the team set out that night to monitor the area around the dive site.

Around 8:30 pm, a large Green turtle came ashore, but it took her three hours before she found a spot to lay her nest. When attempting to deploy a transmitter, it is important that the turtle be allowed to nest before starting the deployment process. If she decides to go back to the sea, we let her go and wait for her to come back and safely lay her nest. This is done in order to protect her clutch and avoid extra stress on the animal. At 11:30 pm, she began laying eggs. She was then measured (95.5 cm (37.6 in) straight carapace length) and tagged on her front flippers. An hour later and after she had thoroughly covered the nesting area with sand, the approximately 140 kg (309 lb) turtle was fitted with a satellite transmitter. At 2:30 am, the Green turtle was released and she quickly departed into the sea.

This was Darwina’s second nest of this season and it is anticipated that she may lay one or more nests before she leaves the area to return to her home foraging grounds.

Green turtle Darwina will be the second turtle to be tracked from Bonaire during the 2007 nesting season. Tracking of this Green turtle is made possible by a full sponsorship provided by Karen and Ken Miller.

Earlier this month, the female Hawksbill ‘Eloise’ was fitted with a transmitter after nesting at No Name Beach on Klein Bonaire. Eloise is still in the area and may be departing shortly.

The turtle tracking works through signals sent out by the transmitter, which is switched on whenever the turtle comes to the surface to breathe. These transmissions are then collected by Argos system receivers on board weather satellites that circle the globe, yielding location data for each turtle that are e-mailed daily to Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire.

Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire exists to ensure the protection and recovery of Bonaire’s sea turtle populations throughout their range. Founded in 1992, the STCB is a Bonaire-based, non-governmental and non-profit organization, part of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network.  (Source:  STCB)

Note Update July 30, 2007: Darwina, our female Green turtle, departed from the southern coast of Bonaire during the morning of July 25th, probably right after being fitted with her satellite transmitter. Her path has taken her due south toward Venezuela and it appears that she is turning to the east.

Darwina came ashore on the evening of 24 July to lay, what was believe to be, her second nest of this season and it was thought that she would stay in the area a while longer to lay additional nests.

Darwina is over 80 km from the southern tip of Bonaire and swimming at a rather leisurely pace.

Note Update August 8, 2007: She’s back! Darwina came ashore on Bonaire again shortly before 2:00 AM, right in the area in which she last nested back on July 25. She spent approximately two hours on shore, leaving around 4:00 AM. Subsequent signals we received are confusing and her path after leaving the beach is unclear.

This is the third nest for Darwina this season. STCB staff were on the job bright and early this morning and have already confirmed the nest.

After swimming a huge loop in the southern Caribbean, concerns regarding Darwina having lost her way were apparently unfounded.

Posted by Susan Davis on July 27, 2007 at 11:30am AST
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Bonaire’s Xavier School of Medicine Holds Health Fair

Last Saturday, July 21, 2007, more than 100 Bonaire residents attended the first Health Fair at Xavier University School of Medicine Bonaire. Xavier medical students, supervised by faculty members, offered health information and screening for common medical problems to attendees and their families.

Participants received the latest information on diabetes, cholesterol, obesity, hypertension, and nutrition. Many took advantage of the free testing provided for blood glucose, urine analysis, blood pressure and had their body fat index calculated. The results of the participants will be used for a biostatistics study of general health on the island.  The island’s Commissioner of Public Health, Mr. Clarinda, also availed himself of the free services, offering his thanks for the school’s contributions to Bonaire.

Images of the Health Fair are available on the Bonaire Insider Photo Gallery by clicking here

Fundashon Mariadal and Manrique Capriles & Sons co-sponsored the Health Fair.  Botica Bonaire, Botica Korona, Oduber Agencies, Voz di Bonaire, Extra and Carpinteria Diaz & Lima also contributed generously to the event.

The school hopes to hold additional fairs in the future, when they can invite visiting tourists as well as local residents.  (Source:  Xavier University School of Medicine Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 27, 2007 at 10:05am AST
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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Seventh Annual Bonaire Eco-Swim is Slated for November 10, 2007

Each year this swimming event becomes more and more popular, with swimmers congregating on Bonaire to compete in the various categories.  This year, the distances offered will be 10K, 5K, 3K, or 1K.

This year the course will go north from Captain Don’s Habitat Resort along Bonaire’s shoreline and above the reefs that make Bonaire the shore diving capital of the world, and will show the swimmers why divers flock to Bonaire’s reefs each year.  The 3K category is new for the 2007 event, which offers a distance for everyone’s capabilities.  In additional to the 1K and 5K, the new Olympic distance swim is 10K.

For additional information or to register for the event, click here(Source:  United States Masters Swimming Web Site)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 25, 2007 at 12:29pm AST
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Monday, July 23, 2007

Bonaire Wellness Connexions Announces the 5th BWC Mountain Bike Tour On Saturday, August 18

Bonaire Wellness Connexions recently announced they are planning a fifth mountain bike tour for Saturday, August 18th, 2007.  These excursions are becoming more and more popular with both tourists who are on-island at the time and local residents.

This particular ride is for riders of all levels of experience, and offers a 15km distance for beginners, or a 20km distance for beginners or intermediate riders.  Advanced riders will enjoy a 30km route.

Program:
3:45 pm Registration Starts
4:10 Discussion of the Route
4:15 Tour Starts
On-site registration begins at the Eden Beach Resort Activity Center at 3:45 PM, or you may pre-register at the Eden Beach Resort Activity Center any weekday from 8:00 AM through 5:00 PM

Participation Fee: Naf. 15,00 per person, including drink + fruits, (USD $8.43).  (Source:  Bonaire Wellness Connexions)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 23, 2007 at 11:43am AST
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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bonaire’s Rotary Club Launches New Expanded Web Site

Bonaire’s Rotary Club officially launched their new, expanded web site yesterday, July 18th, during their weekly meeting.  The site offers insight into many of the organization’s functions, events, and community service.  The Rotary Club has been serving Bonaire’s community for over 25 years now.

On the site, viewers can find out more about Rotary International, the local Bonaire chapter, its members, visiting Rotarians, and especially about its current projects.

Community projects are varied, but they all have one thing in common:  All projects which the Rotary tackles serve to help Bonaire’s people or visitors.  A recent project including funding to reconstruct a Bride’s whale skeleton, which is now on exhibit at the entrance of Washington-Slagbaai National Park.  An ongoing effort is the “Breakfast-in-Schools” project, now starting its fourth year.  This program provides a healthy breakfast to over 150 schoolchildren, who might not otherwise enjoy a breakfast.  Having the nutritious start to their days helps them to better focus in school and thus achieve higher grades.

During their recent 25th Anniversary Celebration, the Club held many different events all to raise funding for their community service projects.  Details are available on the web site.  Also available are details of their weekly meetings.  All Rotarians from around the world are welcome when they visit Bonaire.

To view the new web site, click here. (Source:  Rotary Club Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 19, 2007 at 1:03pm AST
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The Wounded Warriors Return to Bonaire August 11 through 18, 2007

The Wounded Warriors are young men and women from the United States military service who have been severely injured in the Middle East; they have suffered amputations, some even multiple amputations, or serious limb damage.  In October, 2006, Bonaire welcomed the first group of Wounded Warriors and completed their diving certifications.  The program was so enthusiastically appreciated by these courageous young men, that a new program is in the works for this August 11 through 18.

During this upcoming week, new Wounded Warriors will arrive on Bonaire along with friends, family, and loved ones.  Here they and their families will continue and finalize their Open Water diving certifications.  They have a full schedule of activities, which will show them all aspects of Bonaire.

The Bonaire Talk Community sponsored these young heroes by offering to act as a collection point for private donations to cover the men and women’s National Park entry fees and also one dinner.  Bonaire Talk has offered to do the same this year; details of the funding drive are available by clicking here.

The Bonaire Insider offered to help spread the word.  If anyone wishes to make a donation of any amount to sponsor these men and women during their upcoming trip, you may do so via PayPal by using receiving email:  paypal@bonairetalk.com and use “Wounded Warriors II” in the caption/subject line. 

To view some images of last year’s Wounded Warriors, click here. (Source:  Bonaire Talk)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 19, 2007 at 11:56am AST
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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Golden Reef Inn Announces Thanksgiving Special

Following up on a successful event last year, Golden Reef Inn has just announced that they will offer another special week over the American Thanksgiving holiday.

The special includes accommodations, diving, if desired, and a Thanksgiving Day feast.  To view their promotional flyer, click here (in PDF format).  (Source:  Golden Reef Inn)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 18, 2007 at 11:19am AST
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Caribbean Travel and Life Magazine Premiers Interactive Web Site for Bonaire Guided Snorkeling

The Bonaire Guided Snorkel Program has been in place for many years, and offers great entertainment for all members of the family, no matter what age!  Caribbean Travel and Life Magazine has taken the Program one step further by launching a new promotional interactive web site providing images and information about the Program.

The main page provides a short overview about snorkeling on Bonaire while enticing images of snorkelers, topside Bonaire, or marine life one can see when snorkeling tickle the viewer’s fancy.

The site gets really interesting when you move to the interactive map.  With a birds-eye view of Bonaire, points included on the Guided Snorkel Program are indicated by pink snorkelers, while blue snorkelers indicate other excellent snorkel sites.  Simply mouse-over one of the snorkelers, and the site name will pop up.  Now click, and a new window opens with an image from that site with a description and/or history.  Other pages list accommodation and snorkel trip operators, but the best page of all is where you can enter a contest to win a free trip to Bonaire.  To view the site, click here.

It’s a great site to get acquainted with the Bonaire Guided Snorkel Program, which should be a must-do on everyone’s next Bonaire trip list.  Continental Airlines provides easy non-stop service to Bonaire from Newark and Houston.  American Airlines/American Eagle offers daily service through San Juan from many U.S. gateways.  Air Jamaica offers weekly service from U.S. gateways through its Montego Bay hub.  (Source: Caribbean Travel & Life Bonaire Guided Snorkel Program Web Site)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 17, 2007 at 1:29pm AST
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Tiara Air Begins New Inter-Island Flight Service from Bonaire to Aruba

On Friday, July 20th, 2007, there will be an inaugural celebration at Bonaire’s Flamingo Airport when Tiara Air begins her direct non-stop service Aruba-Bonaire, with six weekly flights on board Shorts 360 aircrafts with 33 seats.  This new service may make it easier for some visitors from North America to fly into Aruba and then connect non-stop to Bonaire, or hop over to either Curacao or Aruba for day trips.

Camilo Muyale, commercial manager of Tiara Air, proudly announced that effective with this inaugural flight, a promotional round trip airfare of AWG 325.00 is currently in effect, with children ages 2 to 11 at half price.

The itinerary will be:  Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays: Aruba-Bonaire, leaving 9:45 AM, arriving in Bonaire 10:30 AM.  After a quick turn around, Bonaire-Aruba, will depart 11:00 AM, arriving in Aruba 11:45 AM. 

On Fridays and Sundays, Tiara Air also operates an Aruba-Bonaire flight leaving at 7:00 PM, arriving Bonaire at 7:45 PM. With another quick turn around, Bonaire–Aruba will depart at 8:15 PM arriving in Aruba at 9:00.

AH Services, under the leadership of Dudley Lourens, will handle the Tiara Air flights on Bonaire.  They can be reached at telephone +599-717-2005, +599-717-3668 and +599-717-3598 for sales and ticket reservations.  Additionally, all travel agents on Bonaire will have the capability to sell Tiara Air tickets.

For a complete airline schedule, or for additional information, click here to reach Tiara Air’s web site.  To view their promotional poster (available in PDF format), click here(Source:  Tiara Airlines)

Note Update July 23, 2007: Tiara Air Short 360 took off Friday morning from Aruba’s airport on its way to Bonaire’s Flamingo International Airport, a 45-minute flight.  Onboard were Tiara management, dignitaries and press members. The aircraft was welcomed by Bonaire’s Lt. Governor Herbert Domacasse, Minister Elvis Chin, and Deputy Anthony Nicolaas.  Ronella Croes from the TCB helped meet and greet the aircraft with 33 visitors on board. Tiara Air’s Managing Director Alejandro Muyale cut a yellow and blue ribbon and declared the Aruba-Bonaire-Aruba flight open.  Images from Friday’s inaugural flight can be viewed on the Bonaire Insider Photo Gallery by clicking here.

Posted by Susan Davis on July 17, 2007 at 11:12am AST
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