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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Wounded Warriors are Certified--Day Two

On Monday, the Wounded Warriors kept to a busy schedule with more open water training dives and social events.  Images from Monday are available on the Bonaire Insider Photo Gallery by clicking here.

The men started off the day early with two more training dives, thus finalizing their PADI Open Water diving certifications.  After lunch, they returned to the water, but this time for a pleasure dive.

At 6:00 PM, they met Bonaire’s Captain Don Stewart at the Habitat Rum Punch Party and socialized with everyone there.  Afterward, they enjoyed a BBQ dinner at Rum Runners Restaurant, compliments of www.bonairetalk.com.

Another busy day is planned for Tuesday, when they attend a dinner at the home of Lt. Governor Domacasse. (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 30, 2008 at 1:39pm AST
EventsRestaurants and DiningScuba DivingWater Sports • (0) CommentsPermalink


Monday, September 29, 2008

The Wounded Warriors on Bonaire--Day One

On Sunday morning in the wee hours, the Continental Airlines flight from Newark arrived with some very special guests to the island--the Wounded Warriors (click here to see our previous story).  These young men will complete their open water diving certifications this week, as well as tour the island, shop, and enjoy Bonaire’s restaurants.

Upon arrival, they stopped for a few moments to pose for an arrival picture with the flight crew from the Continental flight, before being whisked through Immigration.  They then boarded their Bonaire Tours bus which deposited them at Paradise Coffee/Papaya Moon Cantina, where they enjoyed a made-to-order breakfast in the garden while the sun came up.

Although tired from the flight, the men were in fine spirits, and soon continued on to Captain Don’s Habitat, the host hotel for the week, where they checked in and received their diving orientation. 

After a boxed lunch compliments of KFC, the group begin their open water dives, which will be continued today.  We’ll be checking in with them later this afternoon to see how they’re doing.

To view images from Day One, click here to access the Bonaire Insider Photo Gallery.  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 29, 2008 at 10:19am AST
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Sunday, September 28, 2008

New Restaurant Review, Bonaire’s Unbelievable Restaurant

There’s another new restaurant on the Bonaire culinary scene, this one with a surprising name, the Unbelievable Restaurant.  This new eatery serves local lunches and has an international cuisine for dinners.

The Unbelievable Restaurant is owned and operated by Robby Matthew, who has worked in the island’s dining sector for many years.  Patrons can choose from two dining areas:  the main floor offers air-conditioned comfort in a chic, trendy setting more like those found in South Beach.  Everywhere one looks, there are motifs of tropical ambiance and Bonaire’s marine life.

Alternately, diners can opt for the second floor al fresco dining under the stars, where the breeze keeps it cool no matter how warm the temperature might be.  We decided for this option, and headed upstairs.

My dining companion and I ordered, and then enjoyed the stars while watching the heat lightening, which was putting on quite a show.  When our dinners arrived, we both enjoyed our plates--I had the pan-fried shrimp in garlic sauce and chose a Caesar salad instead of potato or rice.  The presentation was exquisite, complete with a piped “eye” and “fins” on my fish-shaped platter.  My dining companion ordered the fillet mignon, and the steak was large, juicy, and prepared just to her request (I can confirm that, since I had a bite or two!).

We passed on dessert but saw others being served--the chocolate cake looked decidedly sinful.

Dinner is available from 5:30 PM until 10:00 PM, Monday through Saturday.  The menu offers a nice selection of fish, seafood, chicken, meats, or pasta with entrees beginning at just USD 12.00 (FL 21.36).  The restaurant is also open for lunch from 11:30 AM until 2:00 PM Monday through Saturday and serves a more local-style lunch with fish, stobas (stews), and burgers.  Main courses for lunch range from USD 7.00 (FL 12.46) to USD 12.00 (FL 21.36).

The Unbelievable Restaurant is located on the newly renovated J.A. Abraham Boulevard, just a few blocks south of the post office.  Reservations are suggested and can be made in advance by calling 717-3000. (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 28, 2008 at 11:31am AST
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Saturday, September 27, 2008

CIEE Announces Upcoming Public Lectures

The Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) on Bonaire has just announced their schedule for upcoming, free, public lectures.

At 7:00 PM on Tuesday, September 30th, Ben Holt, PhD, The Department of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom will speak on “The Importance of Being Colorful on the Reef.”

At 7:00 PM on Tuesday, October 21st, Maria Uyarra, also of the Department of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, will speak about “Appropriate Management of Tourism: An Essential Tool for Coral Reef Conservation in Bonaire.”

And finally, at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, November 20th, Claudia C. Johnson, PhD, Department of Geological Sciences, Indiana University, U.S.A., will speak about “Coral Survival in the Face of Changing Ocean Temperatures and Ocean Chemistry in Bonaire.”

All lectures are free, and everyone is invited to attend.  The CIEE Research Station Bonaire is located at Kaya Gobernador N Debrot 21 in Kralendijk.  For additional information, phone locally to 717-4140, or visit their web site by clicking here(Source:  CIEE Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 27, 2008 at 10:03am AST
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Friday, September 26, 2008

41st Bonaire International Sailing Regatta is October 5 through 11, 2008

The Bonaire Regatta is an annual sailing event with many races along the coast of Bonaire and Klein Bonaire. All kinds of boats, hailing from all over the world, participate in this sailing competition. Added to this are windsurfing and freestyle competitions. 

Throughout the week, daily races in various categories are scheduled during the day; the races are held close to the shoreline so spectators can easily follow them.  The evenings are filled with a variety of cultural and folkloric shows and band performances.  The Bonaire Regatta Festival takes place on the boulevard and on the streets of Kralendijk. Stands with local “criollo” food, souvenirs, and handicrafts attract locals as well as visitors. International and local bands perform on stage every day of this festive week.

The complete schedule of events can be viewed by clicking here (in PDF format).  For additional information, please view the web site of the event by clicking here(Source:  Bonaire Regatta Web Site)

Note Update: Thanks to Bonaire Insider reader, Kathi Risenhoover, images of the Parade of Nations from the 2008 Bonaire Sailing Regatta are available on the Bonaire Insider Photo Gallery by clicking here.

Posted by Susan Davis on September 26, 2008 at 4:37pm AST
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Bonaire Hosts the Wounded Warriors for the Third Year

As the island has done for the past two years, Bonaire will open its arms to embrace the Wounded Warriors, young men and women in the U.S. military who have been severely wounded in active service.  The week of September 28 through October 4 will be filled with many events for these men and women, including the completion of their open water diving certifications.

This year, seven men and women will arrive on Bonaire and they will have an action-packed week.  Some are accompanied by family, and there are representatives from the Scuba/Be a Diver Tour and the Handicapped Scuba Association.

In addition to their diving activities, the participants will enjoy meals at some of Bonaire’s finest restaurants, shopping, and touring.  As in the past, the Bonaire Insider will be covering these events, and we’ll be posting updates throughout the week.

Thanks to sponsors: RE/MAX, Papaya Moon Cantina, Bikers Bonaire, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Bonaire Tours & Vacations, Bonaire Talk, Patagonia Argentinean Restaurant, Jewel of Bonaire, Paradise Coffee, Rum Runners Restaurant, Buenos Aires Cafe, Jack Chalk, and Captain Donís Habitat. (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 26, 2008 at 4:23pm AST
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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dive Friends Bonaire Launches the “Bonaire Easy Flight” Program

Dive Friends Bonaire announces the launching of its new Bonaire Easy Flight Program, to assist Bonaire-bound visiting divers with containing travel costs necessary to transport dive equipment.

Some Bonaire visitors have been already affected by new baggage fees being assessed by airlines, especially if they have domestic segments or layovers in the itinerary.  Additionally, some U.S. airlines have already increased the fee for a second checked bag to $50.00 one way, so packing dive equipment now can be a costly luxury.

To counteract these additional fees, Dive Friends has a new program available January 1st, 2009 and effective the entire year.  Any diver who books six consecutive days of diving can receive a package price with full dive equipment included at a discounted price, thus alleviating the need for extra baggage fees or the inconvenience of having to transport gear.  Of course, dive packages may continue to be booked without equipment, too.

Divers who reserve a minimum of six consecutive days of unlimited shore diving and full equipment are eligible for a package price of $350.00.

Divers who reserve a minimum of six consecutive days of unlimited shore diving, three two-tank boat dives, and full equipment are eligible for a package price of $435.00.

Restrictions do apply and sales tax is applicable; packages for diving and equipment must be booked a minimum of fourteen days prior to arrival, and the offer is subject to availability.  Rates are subject to change without notice.  For more information, visit the Dive Friends web site by clicking here, or email info@dive-friends-bonaire.com. (Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 25, 2008 at 9:37am AST
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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New Beachfront Condo Opens for Vacation Rentals, VINIBU at Bellevue

There’s a new beach-front condominium in Bonaire’s Belnem area, called VINIBU, which is now available for vacation rentals.  Located on a stretch of sandy beach, this luxury condo offers comfort and convenience.

VINIBU offers a third-floor, two-bedroom unit with sweeping views of the ocean in the new Bellevue development of only ten condos.  This unit offers air-conditioning throughout, or Bonaire’s natural, cooling breezes can be augmented with ceiling fans.  Fronting the development is a wide, sandy beach, perfect for diving, snorkeling, or swimming.  A fresh-water pool is also available for those who prefer it.

VINIBU has recently launched a new web site detailing the amenities of the condo.  Vacation rentals are now available for immediate use or for future visits.  For further information, click here(Source:  VINIBU Web Site)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 24, 2008 at 2:18pm AST
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Monday, September 22, 2008

Two New Traffic Circles are Planned for Bonaire

For many years now, Bonaire has been known as one of the few Caribbean islands which still doesn’t have a traffic light.  However, with increasing population and tourism, there are certain areas which have become congested with traffic and problematic.

The Deputy of Infrastructure, Mr. Anthony Nicolaas, announced today that two new traffic circles will be built on Bonaire in the near future.

Because of increased traffic, there are now areas of major congestion which have become dangerous.  The first new traffic rotary will connect Nikiboko and Tera Kora, and the second will connect Kaya Industria with Kaya International.  Both of these areas have shown an increased incidence in traffic accidents in recent months, even with some fatalities, and it’s hoped that the traffic circles will alleviate this problem.

In the meantime, the government hopes that drivers will take more care and drive more slowly, especially in these particularly dangerous intersections, until the traffic circles can be built. (Source:  Island Government)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 22, 2008 at 1:12pm AST
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Volunteers Needed for Fish Survey Being Conducted on Bonaire by East Anglia University

Ben Emerson and Maria Uyarra from East Anglia University are conducting a fish survey on Bonaire over the next several weeks. They are looking for volunteers to collect fish diversity data. 

The volunteer program is open to visiting tourists who may be on-island, as well as those living on Bonaire.  It would entail making three dives collecting important fish diversity data, which will be used in a study by the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom.

Ben and Maria are already on Bonaire and have started their research.  They will appreciate assistance from any sector.  Those interested can either email them at marinebiologyinaction@googlemail.com or phone locally to 795-0269.  (Source:  Bonaire National Marine Park)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 22, 2008 at 1:00pm AST
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