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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Travel Alert--Starting January 1, 2008 Spare Lithium Batteries No Longer Allowed in Checked Baggage

Effective January 1, 2008, spare lithium batteries--extra batteries not installed on devices--will no longer be allowed in checked baggage. Spare lithium batteries may be packed in carry-on baggage and lithium batteries installed in a device may be packed in either checked or carry-on, as long as the battery is installed in the device.

TSA provide some safe tips for travel batteries:

Keep batteries and equipment with you, or in carry-on baggage--not in your checked baggage! In the cabin, flight crew can better monitor conditions, and have access to the batteries or device if a fire does occur.

Buy batteries from reputable sources and only use batteries approved for your device--avoid counterfeits! A counterfeit battery is more likely to cause a fire in your equipment--costing you more in the long run, and compromising safety.

Look for the mark of an independent testing or standards organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

Do not carry recalled or damaged batteries on aircraft. Check battery recall information at the manufacturer’s website, or at the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Only charge batteries which you are sure are rechargeable! Non-rechargeable batteries are not designed for recharging, and become hazardous if placed in a battery charger. A non-rechargeable battery placed in a charger may overheat or cause damage later.

Only use a charger compatible with your rechargeable battery--donít mix and match!

If original packaging is not available for spare batteries, effectively insulate battery terminals by isolating the batteries from contact with other batteries and metal. Do not permit a loose battery to come in contact with metal objects, such as coins, keys, or jewelry.

Place each battery in its own protective case, plastic bag, or package, or place tape across the battery’s contacts to isolate terminals. Isolating terminals prevents short-circuiting.

Take steps to prevent crushing, puncturing, or putting a high degree of pressure on the battery, as this can cause an internal short-circuit, resulting in overheating.

If you must carry a battery-powered device in any baggage, package it to prevent inadvertent activation. For instance, you should pack a cordless power tool in a protective case, with a trigger lock engaged. If there is an on-off switch or a safety switch, tape it in the “off” position.

(Source:  TSA Web Site)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 30, 2007 at 8:18am AST
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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Cactus Blue Commissions Local Bonaire Artist to Create New Restaurant Image

In true Cactus Blue form--thinking outside the box--owner/operators Hagen and Corinna Wegerer have created a new “first” for Bonaire, by commissioning well known Bonaire artist, Henk Rozendaal, to create a new painting which the restaurant will use as its company insignia.

An unveiling party was held last Friday, December 21, 2007, at Cactus Blue.  After everyone had enjoyed cocktails, Hagen and Corinna thanked their guests, the local companies which support the restaurant, as well as Henk, the artist.  Then, the tarp came off, and the new sign for Cactus Blue was seen for the first time in public.  The title of the painting is, “Taste Something Delicious at Cactus Blue,” and will now be the restaurant’s main street sign.

After congratulations were given, the guests enjoyed some of Cactus Blue’s finest appetizers.  Images from the evening’s event can be viewed on the Bonaire Insider Photo Gallery by clicking here(Source:  Bonaire Insider reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 25, 2007 at 9:10am AST
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Sunday, December 23, 2007

End of the Year Cultural Event is Set for December 29, 2007 in Rincon, Bonaire

SKAL, in cooperation with Fundashon Wega di Number Boneiru, is organizing a Cultural Event 2007 on December 29th, 2007, in order to close out the year with a “krioyo” ambiance with local music and dancing.

These activities are to honor those citizens who contribute and maintain the local culture.  The event will take place from 6:00 PM until 1:00 AM at the patio in front of the Centro di Bario Rincon with musical presentations by the following groups:  Watapana, Glenn i su Geng, Sebari, Palíi Wiri, Tutti Frutti, and Foyan Boyz.  Dance presentations will be performed by Kibra Hacha and Nos Deseo.  All are invited. (Source:  SKAL)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 23, 2007 at 2:15pm AST
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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bonaire International Airport Introduces a Security Fee

Bonaire International Airport, better known as Flamingo Airport, announced today that beginning January 1st, 2008 a new fee of FL 2.50 (USD $1.40) will be assessed to all passengers departing from Bonaire.  With the income derived from this fee, the airport will be able to drastically increase the level of security it offers its passengers.

After September 11, 2001, many changes in airport security around the world caused dramatically increased costs.  It is for this reason that the management of the airport has decided to introduce the security fee.

The security fee can be paid at the same time when paying the departure tax.  (Source:  Bonaire International Airport (BIA) N.V.)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 20, 2007 at 4:20pm AST
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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Shooting Great Images of Bonaire’s Flora and Fauna, Bonaire Photographers Share Their Tips

Many visitors to Bonaire always wish they could take home the perfect postcard image of their vacation on Bonaire.  So, here at the Bonaire Insider, we’ve asked some of Bonaire’s resident photographers to showcase their work and share their tips for taking great Bonaire images.  Today in the Bonaire Insider Photo Gallery we’re highlighting Marlies Seelos and her recent iguana images.

Marlies has captured each of these iguana images in her garden.  She tells us that the large one lives under her roof with his growing family.  Because the iguanas see her each day, they have lost their fear of her, and she can easily stand on a ladder to shoot when they are on sunning themselves on a roof.  In fact, the “big daddy” of them all is quite famous, as the tour buses stop on their northern route to point him out from the main street.

So, letting your subject get accustomed to you and know you don’t mean harm is the best way of getting close to your subject.  Also, try to shoot with an upward angle, with a nice clear background (such as sky) behind the iguana.  This upward angle not only will emphasize the iguana, but separate him from an otherwise “busy” background.  Be sure the eye is sharp, even if other areas of his body are in softer focus.  And last, stay with your subject awhile, it’s usually the last image which is “the keeper!” (Source:  Bonaire Insider reporter; images by Marlies Seelos, Marlies Sail & Canvas)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 12, 2007 at 8:34am AST
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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A New Bonaire Ambassador is Named

The Bonaire Ambassadors Program is administered by the Tourist Corporation and recognizes loyal Bonaire visitors who have repeatedly come to the island for their holidays.  Recently Ms. Geertrui Kloppenborg was inducted into this elite group.

Ms. Kloppenborg first visited Bonaire in April of 1992 and immediately came under the island’s spell because of its tranquility, fantastic climate, and friendly people.  After her first visit, when she was back in The Netherlands, she already began dreaming of a second vacation to Bonaire.

Although it took her two years to return to Bonaire again, since that time, she has visited regularly.  Nowadays, she says it’s more like “coming home” whenever she arrives on island.  Ms. Kloppenborg says she hopes to be able to visit Bonaire many times in the future and enjoy everything the island has to offer. (Source:  TCB-Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 11, 2007 at 9:24am AST
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Monday, December 10, 2007

Dive Friends Bonaire Renovates Boat Fleet

Dive Friends Bonaire is pleased to announce the renovation of its dive boat fleet.  Over the past several months, two of their three boats have been out of the water for complete reconstruction and renovation.

Grote sub, a 32-foot Venezuelan-made vessel, received all new fiber-glassing and structural re-supports.  In order to make additional space and comfort for divers, the tank racks were moved to a location in the center of the boat, which also gives additional stability when moving at higher speeds.  This boat is powered by two, new 150-horsepower Yamaha four-stroke engines, to conserve fuel consumption as much as possible.  Grote sub carries a maximum of 16 divers, plus a crew of two.

Kleine Sub is a 27-foot transport boat, powered by a 165-horsepower Perkins diesel engine.  This boat, too, has recently undergone a transformation with new fiber-glassing and structural improvements.  The tank racks have also been moved to a center location to provide divers with more room in which to move.  A large step-off swim platform with a slant ladder for easy boarding extends from the stern another three feet, making getting in and out of the water exceptionally easy on this boat.  Kleine Sub carries up to 30 snorkelers or a maximum of ten divers, with either one or two crew. 

Both of these boats are now back in the water joining Dive Frenzy, an 31.5-foot, Colombian-made, single-hulled dive boat.  Dive Frenzy is powered by two 100-horsepower, Yamaha four-stroke engines, and carries tank racks behind the seating.  This boat carries a maximum of ten divers with one or two crew.

Dive Friends Bonaire is one of Bonaireís premier diving facilities with convenient locations in Kralendijk, at Hamlet Bonaire, and at Port Bonaire.  For additional information, visit their web site by clicking here, or email . (Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 10, 2007 at 1:22pm AST
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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Villa Kiki Bonaire Launches New Web Site

Villa Kiki is a luxurious oceanfront private residence which is available for vacation rentals for up to four persons, and they have just launched a new web site at www.villakikibonaire.com

The web site provides large images of the property and surroundings which give an intimate glimpse of what it would be like to stay at the villa on vacation.  Information is readily available about the villa, its furnishings, and costs for a vacation rental.  Reservations may be made on-line via an interactive form straight from the web site, or, for additional information, you may email Villa Kiki by clicking here. (Source:  Villa Kiki Bonaire Web Site)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 09, 2007 at 10:10am AST
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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Paradise Coffee Opens on Bonaire

Up until now, Bonaire lacked a coffee-shop that was convenient to town where you could run in for a “cup of joe” and a bite to eat.  However, this now will be rectified with the opening of Paradise Coffee on Monday, December 10th, 2007. 

Paradise Coffee is situated just north of the center of town on Kaya Grandi, on the second floor above the Chippie store next to the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Shop.  Patrons may relax on the balcony or inside, where the breeze is always good on the second floor.  They’re specializing in drinks to go, too.  You can order 12-oz., 16-oz., or 20-oz. drinks to go, with the large-size coffee beverages being their signature drinks.

Paradise Coffee will have 60 hot or iced coffee or tea drinks such as Caramel Machiato, latte, or Chai tea, but also juices, sodas, and many other beverages for those who do not drink coffee or tea.  Unlike the typical American barista, they can even add a shot of Baileys or Kahlua to that 20-oz. coffee.

In addition to breakfast coffee cakes, croissants, or bagels, Paradise Coffee will also have salads and sandwiches conveniently packaged to take with you or to eat in. Those looking for a real Columbian whole bean coffee for at home, they sell 12-oz. bags of Paradise Coffee private label coffee (they can even grind it for you, if you wish).  Hours of operation will be from 7:30 am until mid-day, Monday through Friday, so be sure to check it out on your next jaunt into Kralendijk. (Source:  Paradise Coffee)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 08, 2007 at 10:00am AST
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Friday, December 07, 2007

Bonaire Named #1 Top Dive Destination, for the Sixth Consecutive Year

Continuing its reign as one of the world’s top dive destinations, Bonaire has been voted for the sixth straight year-in-a-row, the #1 Top Dive Destination Overall (Caribbean/Atlantic) in Scuba Diving Magazine’s Readers Choice Awards 2008.

Bonaire also received the #1 rating in five other Caribbean/Atlantic categories (up from four in 2007): Top Destination for Beginners, Top Shore Diving Destination, Top Destination for Advanced Divers, Top Destination for Underwater Photography, and Top Marine Life.

For the Readerís Choice awards, thousands of Scuba Diving subscribers and web users rated their dive experiences on a scale of one to five.  Results of the 2008 Awards will be featured in the January/February 2007 issue of Scuba Diving magazine.  (Source:  TCB-North America)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 07, 2007 at 4:58pm AST
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