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Friday, August 29, 2008

Woodwind Snorkel and Sailing Charters Bonaire Expands Web Site

The Woodwind, a trimaran sailing charter which offers snorkeling/sailing excursions on Bonaire with a professional guide, has recently expanded their web site to include a section for arriving cruise ship passengers.

This new area of their web site, available by clicking here, now makes it easier for those planning a port call to Bonaire to see exactly which excursions are available to them during their ship’s visit.

Additionally, there is a link to on on-line form which makes it easy and fast to request availability or make a reservation.  For additional information, or to make a reservation, visit the Woodwind web site(Source:  Woodwind Sailing Charters)

Posted by Susan Davis on August 29, 2008 at 11:57am AST
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Monday, August 25, 2008

Shore Cleanup of Klein Bonaire Scheduled for September 14, 2008

STINAPA and STCB are jointly organizing a shore cleanup on Sunday, September 14, 2008 in support of World Clean Up Day the following week and also to keep the turtles that nest on the island safe from debris and trash.

Unfortunately, trash from various sources always end up on the same beach area at Klein Bonaire.  During this annual cleanup, all trash will be picked up up from the beach at Klein Bonaire and disposed of in a responsible manner.  Tourists as well as locals are invited to participate.  Those interested should meet at the Harbour Village Marina (next to Patagonia Restaurant) by 7:00 AM on the day of the cleanup.  Boats will depart promptly at 7:30 AM, and it’s expected that the cleanup will be completed by mid-day.  Pre-registration is suggested for those interested in participating.  Registration may be made by calling STCB at 717-2225 or STINAPA at 717-8444.

There will also be an underwater cleanup the following weekend on Saturday, September 20th.  More information regarding this cleanup will be coming soon.  (Source:  STINAPA)

Posted by Susan Davis on August 25, 2008 at 12:50pm AST
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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Deputy Nicolaas Inspects Bonaire’s Reefs

Deputy Anthony Nicolaas, in charge of the environment for the island of Bonaire, recently went on a dive at the dive site 18th Palm with Bonaire National Marine Park manager, Ramon de Leon, to personally inspect and assess the health of the island’s reef system.

The image shows Deputy Nicolaas (right) together with Ramon de
Leon, (left) manager of the Bonaire National Marine Park, as they
prepare to begin their reef inspection at the 18th Palm dive site.

This dive was arranged after a meeting with Deputy Nicolaas, STINAPA, and the Island Government’s DROB (Department of the Environment and Nature) where he was updated on the STINAPA / DROB investigation in relation to the quantity of nutrients entering the ocean and how they may possibly effect the condition of Bonaire’s reefs.

During the dive, the marine park manager pointed out areas of the reef which have been stressed by bacteria or nutrients.  He also pointed out different areas of the reef vulnerable to coral bleaching, normally a deleterious effect of high sea water temperatures.  Deputy Nicolaas will continue to dive around Bonaire to inspect the health of the island’s reef system.  Together with DROB and STINAPA, a continued vigilance will be kept to ensure the health of the reefs surrounding Bonaire and Klein Bonaire.  (Source:  Island Government)

Posted by Susan Davis on August 14, 2008 at 1:05pm AST
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New Bonaire Survey Available about Paradise Rebates Program

Earlier this summer we reported on the new service, ParadiseRebates.com, which offers coupons and rebates for tourism services on Bonaire. 

To monitor the value of this program, there’s a new survey available at BonaireSurveys.com.  Those interested in participating will be asked to provide their input as to whether or not the availability of coupons or rebates help in making decisions as to the tourism companies used while vacationing on Bonaire.

Anyone interested in participating can do so by clicking here.  To view all the public surveys available, click here(Source:  Bonaire Surveys)

Posted by Susan Davis on August 13, 2008 at 2:55pm AST
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Eighth Annual Jong Bonaire Swim to Klein Bonaire Is Sunday, October 5, 2008

For the eighth consecutive year, Jong Bonaire will organize its annual fund-raising swimming event, the swim to Klein Bonaire.  As in past years, this will be an opening event to the beginning of the Bonaire International Sailing Regatta.

In 2007, nearly 400 people swam from a starting point at Eden Beach Resort to Klein Bonaire.  Many of them swam back as well, but boats are always available for the return trip or for any swimmers who need assistance. 

Jong Bonaire does expect another record-breaking number of participants, so those interested in participating should get their tickets early.  The adult entry fee is FL 25.00 (USD $14.04), and kids are FL 15.00 (USD $8.43) and includes the swim, an event t-shirt, lunch, and drink.  Tickets are available at Jong Bonaire, Bon Fisiotherapy, or Freewieler.  All details are available on a poster by clicking here (in PDF format). (Source:  Jong Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on August 12, 2008 at 4:16pm AST
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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Whale Shark Sighted Today in Bonaire’s Waters

Every once in a great while, some lucky divers are fortunate to find themselves diving with the ocean’s largest fish, the whale shark.  Earlier today, two such divers, Mr. and Mrs. David Kaplan from Albany, New York, USA, experienced the wonderment and awe of seeing a whale shark.

The whale shark, which feeds on small fish and krill, is not dangerous to humans, although, like any marine animal, care and consideration should be afforded it.  The Kaplans were diving between Alice-in-Wonderland and Angel City on Bonaire’s southern leeward coast and at 12:30 PM spotted the huge fish.  They tell us the whale shark had a retinue of Horse-eye Jacks and Barracudas trailing along behind it, eager to pick up any food remnants from the whale shark.

For those diving Bonaire these days, keep your eyes pealed into the blue water--the shark was traveling northward!  Jerry Ligon, one of Bonaire’s resident biologists, tracks sightings of such animals, and he tells us that there have not been any sightings of whale sharks for several months now, and perhaps all of 2008. (Source:  Jerry Ligon, image copyright Susan Davis)

Posted by Susan Davis on August 07, 2008 at 2:27pm AST
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Next Mountain Bike Race is November 30, 2008

Bonaire Wellness Connexions has announced its next mountain bike race, which will be held on November 30, 2008.

Registration begins at 7:00 AM until 7:45 AM at the race course on the day of the event, or pre-register before at Bonaire Wellness Connexions headquarters situated at Eden Beach Resort.

Full details are available by clicking here (in PDF format). (Source:  Bonaire Wellness Connexions)

Posted by Susan Davis on August 07, 2008 at 1:33pm AST
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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Second Female Loggerhead Turtle, Greggy Girl, is Outfitted with a Satellite Transmitter

Greggy Girl is the second turtle to be tracked via satellite in the 2008 Bonaire turtle nesting season.  Found while nesting on Klein Bonaire last Friday night, she’s the fifteenth turtle to be outfitted with a transmitter since the program began in 2003.

With Greggy Girl, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) achieved the goal of deploying two transmitters on turtles in 2008. Based on the pattern of turtle nesting activity observed on Klein Bonaire during the last few weeks, STCB staff predicted the possible return of a loggerhead turtle to the beach for Friday night. A field team consisting of STCB’s staff and volunteers set out at night to monitor the beach on Klein Bonaire for nesting activity. Around 9:00 p.m. a large loggerhead was found up on a sand dune and busy digging a hole for placing her nest, and she soon began laying eggs. An hour later, after she covered her nesting area extensively with sand, the approximately 120 kg animal was intercepted by the team on her way toward the sea and a transmitter applied to the top of her carapace. At 12:26 am the loggerhead turtle was released and she quickly departed into the sea.

The female loggerhead has a shell length of 96.7 cm and is estimated to weigh about 120 kg. Adult loggerhead turtles come to Bonaire to breed from May through July. The turtle is expected to remain in the area and lay at least one more nest before departing to her home feeding grounds.

Tracking Greggy Girl is being made possible by a full sponsorship provided by Houston, Texas-based children’s wear company, JMFA-Greggy Girl, Inc.  The popular Greggy Girl® clothing label, a favorite of some of the most popular child and young adult stars in Hollywood, is designed by Charlene May, who along with company executive, Cher M. Floyd, gains inspiration from the sea, sailing, and scuba diving. In fact, she completed her 450th dive last year in Bonaire. Mrs. Floyd, a long-time supporter of the environment, began working with the STCB in September, 2007. She and her husband, John, are currently on their motor yacht “Champagne Cher” which is docked at the Harbor Village Marina in Bonaire.

“It is imperative that we focus our efforts on protecting the reefs and saving endangered animals, like the loggerhead turtles, for future generations,” Mrs. Floyd said. “By participating in this effort to track and monitor Greggy Girl’s migratory patterns, we can more effectively protect turtle habitats and ensure that these gentle creatures will survive and thrive throughout the world.”

For those readers who have been following Wiske, her signal has, unfortunately, stopped transmitting.  Her last location was off the coast of Nicaragua.

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)

Posted by Susan Davis on August 06, 2008 at 10:43am AST
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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

American Airlines Offers Net SAAver Fares from San Juan to Bonaire

American Airlines just announced that they are running a special from San Juan to Bonaire (round-trip) for $385.00 via their Net SAAver Fares. 

Fare rules allow for departures anytime between Tuesday, August 12, 2008, and Friday, August 15, 2008.  Returns may be anytime between Monday, August 18, 2008, and Wednesday, August 20, 2008.  Tickets must be purchased by this Sunday, August 10, 2008, 11:59 p.m. (CT).  Fare of $385.00 is for round-trip coach class travel.  Other taxes, fees and conditions apply.

For additional information, visit www.aa.com. (Source:  American Airlines)

Posted by Susan Davis on August 05, 2008 at 9:31am AST
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Saturday, August 02, 2008

New Restaurant Review--Sunset Bar and Grill--Great Sunsets, Great Food

As reported earlier, the Sunset Bar and Grill opened last night to the public.  Owner/chef Kirk Gosden started things off with a bang by offering a special Happy Hour for friends, customers, and business acquaintances, before opening for the first night’s dinner crowd.

After Happy Hour, I counted myself lucky to get a table for dinner along with two of my dining companions, as it was obvious all tables would be quickly filled (and they were!).  We had an oceanside table with a fabulous view of the sun as it set into the sea next to Klein Bonaire, so the atmosphere couldn’t have been nicer.

The wait staff was attentive, cheerful and smiling, and did their best to anticipate any need.  Some new wait staff were in training.  It was wonderful to see some familiar faces from Chef Kirk’s other restaurant, The Lions Den, just a short way up the coastline. 

And now for the food--Oh, the food!  As anyone who has sampled Chef Kirk’s creations at Lions Den knows, he’s a master at blending textures and unusual ingredients that simply explode upon one’s taste buds.  Last night was no different.  I began with the red snapper chowder, a creamy soup filled with fish and potatoes, which, on its own, filled me up.  But I had ordered the shrimp duo for my entree so had to keep eating. 

The shrimp duo came with seven large shrimp, simmering in a tropical fruit curry, which was just fabulous.  The taste of the various fruits came alive at different times, so that each bite developed layer after layer of flavor sensations.  It was served with roasted potatoes on the side, and, although I kidded Chef Kirk that he needed to double his already generous portions (only because I didn’t want the meal to end), I was so happy after my meal that I couldn’t contemplate dessert.

In fact, my two dining companions couldn’t think about dessert either, as they had shared a fried calamari starter, served with a spicy chili sauce, and then savored the fish special, a perfectly prepared, moist red snapper, as well as a seafood brochette, both served with rice.  My dinner companions declared their meals as excellent as mine.  Things ran so smoothly that, had I not known this was opening night, there would have been no way to tell!

The restaurant, formerly the Reef Restaurant, has been painted in new tropical colors and the decor is relaxing and cheerful.  Coupled with the great wait staff and a chef with exquisite abilities, the new Sunset Bar & Grill will surely become a favorite for many Bonaire residents and visitors seeking a great culinary experience.  Personally, I can’t wait to get back to try the soft shell crab!

Sunset Bar & Grill is located in the Den Laman Condominiums and is open Tuesdays through Sundays for dinner 5:00 to 10:00 PM.  Reservations can be made by calling 788-2698.  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on August 02, 2008 at 8:13am AST
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