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Friday, August 31, 2007

Love our Planet Week, September 15th through 22nd, 2007

As we enter the final month of Dive into Summer Bonaire, one particular week will be filled with interesting activities and events to add to your conservation knowledge, while still having a great vacation.  Love our Planet Week will take place from September 15th through 22nd, 2007.

There’s certainly not a lack of events to keep even the hardiest of visiting tourists from being bored.  The event will kick off with the quarterly underwater cleanup and BBQ, and then continue on for another seven days with lectures, dives, meals, and other events.  For additional information on the week’s schedule, click here. (Source:  TCB Release)

Posted by Susan Davis on August 31, 2007 at 10:53am AST
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Marine Spawning Season is Here

As a follow-up to our previous story, the time for marine animals to spawn will be upon us shortly.  Different types of marine animals will spawn at various times over the coming months.

The Bonaire Insider has seen a video, taken by Bonaire’s Ellen Muller, in which two frogfish spawn.  It’s an amazing video, taken on September 4, 2006, and we thought our readers would enjoy viewing it.  The larger of the two frogfish is the female, while the smaller one is the male.  They go through quite a dance prior to the final release of eggs.  You may view the video by clicking here(Source:  Ellen Muller, video by Ellen Muller)

Posted by Susan Davis on August 31, 2007 at 10:37am AST
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Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Great Annual Fish Count Ends

Each year for the past 16 years, REEF organizes the Great Annual Fish Count, and Bonaire has been included now for many years.  This event kicks off each July with a dive from Dive-Friends’ Yellow Submarine location, and it’s a good time for everyone.

At this year’s Kick-off Dive, prizes were given in the following categories: Most Species Found and Coolest Species Found in the following REEF Levels II, III, IV-V. Prizes were provided by REEF Station Dive Friends Bonaire. The group total for the GAFC was 129 verified species found on the Yellow Submarine house reef with a record set in the Level II category by Cassandra Franklin and Susie Stanhope with 77 species. Todd and Lynn Fulks took the Level IV-V prize, and Walt and Honoree Cooper took the Level III prize. Gerrie Fokke, manager of Dive Friends, offered an exciting prize of a underwater camera to the buddy team who found a new species to the Yellow Submarine Reef.

The event was organized by Linda Ridley and Angela Eylander, who thank judges Chile Ridley and Muriel Spyhala for their time, as well as all the REEF certified divers for their efforts. Pictured are the following REEF surveyors: Franklin Neal, Cassandra Neal, Melissa Stockwell, Buddy Stockwell, Linda Ridley, Walter Cooper, Candace Grove, Honoree Cooper, Grant Grove, Lynn Fulks, Todd Fulks, Susie Stanhope, Joy Johnson, and Paulette.  REEF would like to thank Dive Friends’ Gerrie Fokke and Angela Eylander for their help and support.  For more information concerning REEF, visit their web site by clicking here, or call Linda Ridley at 785-6779.

Posted by Susan Davis on August 30, 2007 at 6:35pm AST
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Insel Air to Increase Service Between Bonaire and Curacao

For the past year, Insel Air has been providing flights between Bonaire and Curacao on weekends, but has recently announced that they plan to begin daily flights (three times per day) soon.

At an anniversary celebration earlier this week, Manuel de Gouvela, head of marketing, announced they have a target date of October 15th to begin the new daily service, but that this date is provisional as they are awaiting an aircraft which will be used only for this service.

With the new daily service, Bonaire will now be included in their strategic hub, offering new possibilities for connections in Curacao.

Insel Air also announced that beginning this Saturday, September 1st, they will begin a weekly flight to Brazil in a joint venture with TAF (Transporte Aereo Fortaleza).  Although the airline wishes to inaugurate flights to the United States, they are still awaiting the necessary permits. (Source:  Amigoe)

Posted by Susan Davis on August 30, 2007 at 2:35pm AST
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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Bonaire Wellness Connexions Announces Next Events

Continuing in their tradition of planning events in the health and fitness arena, Bonaire Wellness Connexions has just announced the next Bike Tour, as well as Wellness Month.

On Saturday, October 6th, 2007, they will hold their next Bike Tour.  Details are available by clicking here (in PDF format).

The entire month of November has been declared Wellness Month on Bonaire, and there will be a multitude of activities throughout that period ranging from weight management to group fitness and outdoor events.  For additional information, click here (in PDF format). (Source:  Bonaire Wellness Connexions)

Posted by Susan Davis on August 29, 2007 at 8:27am AST
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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Many Bonaire Properties Offer Fall Specials

During the coming months, tourists to Bonaire can take advantage of a variety of specials with every budget in mind.

Many of the island’s resorts, small inns, or even bed and breakfasts are offering savings during the coming months.  You may view a listing of specials by property by clicking here (in PDF format).  (Source:  TCB Release)

Posted by Susan Davis on August 28, 2007 at 1:28pm AST
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Monday, August 27, 2007

New Nudibranch Species Found on Bonaire

Long-time Bonaire resident Ellen Muller recently found what may be a never-before-described nudibranch species.  While on a dive last June, Ellen saw what appeared to be some animal, black and white, about the size of grain of rice.  Not sure what she was seeing, she took two quick photographs, thinking it was some sort of crustacean, most likely a shrimp.  However, once she viewed the image on her computer screen, she could easily see it was some sort of mollusk, but she had never before seen anything similar!

So Ellen decided to do some research, and she first turned to Leslie Harris from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. True to form, within an hour, Leslie had identified the unusual animal--well, at least by genus.  Here is an excerpt from Leslie’s email, posted with her permission: “That is a spectacular photo of something you couldn’t even see!  It’s a nudibranch in the genus Trapania - that much I could tell but I didn’t recognize it.  Since my copy of the carib nudi book is at home, I forwarded your pic to Angel Valdes, primary author of the book and our mollusk curator, in hopes of a species id.”

His response - and this is a direct quote - “WOOOOOWWWWW!  OH MY GOD!  WOOOWWWW!  This is so COOOLLLL!!!  It’s a Trapania and it’s completely new.  Totally new.  Never been seen before. WOOOOWWWW!!!!!”

However, the story gets more interesting.  Since her first discovery, Ellen has found six more of these wonderful new creatures, ranging in size from smaller than a grain of rice to about 1/2 inch. [Thanks to husband Erwin for finding the last one!]. In addition, a mating pair of Trapania have been seen several times at Klein Bonaire and were photographed laying eggs. These two are much larger than the others --about one inch long.  So the question becomes:  Is it really so rare?  Or is it just unknown because of its tiny size?

Angel Valdes, Associate Curator of Malacology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, offered this in response:  “I collected in Curaçao and all over the Caribbean before and never saw this species. Considering that these animals have population explosions and then may disappear for years it is critical that we can obtain a few specimens now. I’m afraid that this population will disappear before we have the chance to describe the species. When I became interested in nudibranchs I found a very common species of Trapania in northern Spain that I couldn’t identify and it turned out to be a species described in Naples 100 years ago and never found again. The next year the species was gone and never found again in that area.”

So, all those diving on Bonaire:  Keep your eyes open for black and white grains of rice.  If you find this new Trapania species, note its size, depth, location, and report in to the Bonaire Insider (simply add a comment via the link below).  If you’re carrying a camera, please take pictures.

Trapania eat entoprocts, tiny animals that look like hydroids but have a very different internal body construction. The kamptozoans or entoprocts are the translucent blobs with black dots in the image. (Source:  Ellen Muller, image by Ellen Muller)

Posted by Susan Davis on August 27, 2007 at 9:50am AST
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Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Wounded Warriors and Bonaire National Marine Park on TV

When the Wounded Warriors were on Bonaire a week ago, they worked with two film crews: the first of them, with Mr. Jay Cashmere, Weekends/AM Anchor and Reporter for WPTV, an NBC affiliate station in West Palm Beach, Florida.

They will be airing two stories.  The first will be on the Wounded Warriors and the second will be on Bonaire National Marine Park.  The schedule for airing is:  The “Warriors” will run next Wednesday, August 29th, at 5:00 PM on WPTV, and it will be part of their “Underwater Wednesday” segment and will be broadcast live underwater with Jay.  (Jay may be seen briefing the Warriors by clicking here.)

The second story on the Bonaire National Marine Park will run the following Wednesday, September 5th, also at 5:00 PM in the same format. Both stories will be posted immediately upon airtime on www.wptv.com, so everyone may have the opportunity to look at them. You can watch the stories right on-line with video streaming.

Lastly, WPTV will be forwarding the stories on the NBC and CNN feeds to all NBC/CNN affiliates.  For those who would like to reserve copies, they may do so by contacting WPTV’s dub service at 1-800-799-8881. (Source:  WPTV, West Palm Beach, Florida)

Posted by Susan Davis on August 26, 2007 at 10:33am AST
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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Loggerhead Turtle Nest Hatches on Klein Bonaire

On Monday evening, August 20th, 2007, a Loggerhead turtle nest hatched near to No Name Beach on Klein Bonaire.  Images from the hatching are available on the Bonaire Insider Photo Gallery by clicking here

About 7:00 PM on Monday, the hatching event began with one head poking up out of the sand.  This one tiny turtle cleared himself of the sand and began the long trek (for baby turtles, that is!) to the sea.  Within minutes, the action heated up when suddenly other tiny heads poked through the sand, and then very quickly, the entire nest began hatching, with baby loggerhead turtles scurrying over each other in their frenzied instinct to find haven in the ocean.

Mabel and Funchi from the STCB (Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire) were on hand to document the hatching, and they announced at the end of the evening that 92 eggs had successfully hatched and the new turtles had found their way to the water.  The Bonaire Insider wishes to thank Elly Albers for sharing her photographs of this event with us.  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter, images by Elly Albers)

Posted by Susan Davis on August 25, 2007 at 11:18am AST
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The Flamingo Rockers Rocked in Honor of Elvis Presley; Announce Upcoming Schedule

On Thursday, August 16th, the Flamingo Rockers outdid themselves celebrating the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death.

A local band with a repertoire including Reggae, Rock, Calypso, and Country, the Flamingo Rockers paid homage to the “king” with two sets of high-energy music, including many of Elvis’ greatest hits.  The band will return to Lee’s Bar on August 31st at 10:00 PM.

Other performances include Sunday, September 2nd at Sunrise from 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM, for the Rocker’s monthly “chill out” party with special guests and jamming.  On Saturday, September 8th, the Rockers will be playing at Divi Flamingo Beach Resort’s BBQ from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM with a medley of all their most romantic songs.  (Source:  Flamingo Rockers)

Posted by Susan Davis on August 25, 2007 at 10:35am AST
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