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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sanikolas Sails into Bonaire This Saturday, November 29, 2008

Each year, Sanikolas, also called St. Nicholas (English) or Sinterklaas (Dutch), sails into Bonaire and arrives at the Town Pier, along with his Zwartepietnan (Black Piets), to visit with the children of the island over the coming weeks.  This year, his planned arrival is at 9:30 AM, where he will then proceed to Wilhelmina Park.

There are activities and music before his arrival, to keep everyone happy and in a holiday mood.  The Zwartepietnan do acrobatics and engage the audience, and the entire event is quite a show.

After, Sanikolas and his Zwartepietnan will make appearances all over Bonaire up until December 5th.  Legend says on that night, he will go to all homes to check who’s been naughty or nice and will leave gifts behind in your shoe, which might just be filled with fresh grass or carrots for the horse.

Images from an earlier Sanikolas’ arrival are available on the Bonaire Insider Photo Gallery by, clicking here.  (Source:  FASIZ)

Posted by Susan Davis on November 27, 2008 at 1:17pm AST
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Monday, November 24, 2008

The 2009 Bonaire Digital Shootout will be Held June 6-13, 2009

Once again the underwater digital imaging gurus will return to Bonaire next June to host the 2009 Bonaire Digital Shootout from June 6 through 13, 2009 at the Divi Flamingo Beach Resort and Casino.

Join Berkley White (Backscatter), David Fleetham, Dan Baldocchi (Light & Motion), Eric Cheng (WetPixel),and Mary Lynn Price (DiveFilm) for the Bonaire Digital Shootout 2009.  During the week-long event, these experts will work with participants to improve their underwater photo and video skills.  Learn the latest digital imaging techniques from some of the industry’s top professionals while diving the rich waters of Bonaire.

Equipment sponsors Sea & Sea, Light & Motion, Ikelite, Ultralight, and Aquatica will have demo gear available to try out, and, at the end of the week, prizes will be awarded for the best images and videos of the week.  for additional information or to register, click here. (Source:  WetPixel Online)

Posted by Susan Davis on November 24, 2008 at 3:45pm AST
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Friday, November 21, 2008

CIEE Research Station Bonaire Launches Newsletter; Constructs New Lab

Just two short years ago, the CIEE Research Station Bonaire (The Council on International Educational Exchange) commenced classes, and since that time, the organization has become an integral component of Bonaire’s nature studies, offering free public lectures on various topics of interest.  Additionally, they have now begun a published newsletter and are soon completing construction on a new lab.

To view the premier issue of the newsletter, click here (in PDF format).  To subscribe to receive future newsletters, e-mail info@cieebonaire.org.

Additionally, CIEE has been busy recently with the construction of a new lab, located across the street from the Research Station on Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot.  It’s hoped that the lab, which also will have staff offices and a presentation room, will be able to open mid-December, 2008. (Source:  CIEE Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on November 21, 2008 at 10:38am AST
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dreams of Bonaire Exhibition Opens on December 2, 2008

An exhibition of dramatic, life-sized, limited-edition photographs entitled Dreams of Bonaire will be available for viewing at Kas di Arte from December 2nd through 16th, 2008.  The photographs feature the winners of the “What is Your Ambition” essay contest held recently at Jong Bonaire.  Each of the winners was then photographed dressed as their career ambition in beautiful Bonairean settings.

In addition to the 12 teen photos, the exhibition includes over 30 large images of Bonaire landscapes, nature, and underwater scenes.  The photos are printed on canvas in sizes from one meter square, to 50 cm2 and 30 cm2.  The photographer prefers the large square format because the eye can easily circle it and take in the entire image. “I feel it is more pleasing to the eye than the usual rectangular shape,” he adds. 

Bart Landheer and his wife, Jacqueline, started the massive project last year when they photographed the winners of the essay contest for the “Dreams of the Kids of Jong Bonaire” calendar, which is on sale now in most stores on the island.  “We wanted to donate our time and skills to something that will have a positive effect on the island,” said Jacqueline. “In addition to encouraging the teens’ ambitions, the calendar is a fundraising project for the Jong Bonaire youth center.”

All the photos in the exhibit are for sale and any income over the cost of production will go to Jong Bonaire.  They were printed in Holland on canvas using a large format Epson printer with archival inks designed to last 80 years.  They have also been specially sprayed to protect the image in the Bonaire environment.  “We like to print the photos ourselves so that we can control every step of the process,” said Jacqueline.  “The result you see is exactly what the photographer intended.”

The photo exhibit features some favorite Bonaire locations as well as some images that many people have not seen.  The photographers have captured the colors and special light in each location and the extra large format makes the viewer feels like he is part of the scene.

The show will be open each day during the first two weeks of December at Kas di Arte, which is located on the waterfront, north of It Rains Fishes. Bart and Jacqueline Landheer will be available to discuss the works and arrange for any sales.  Should viewers prefer a different size or would like to have one shipped to Holland or the USA, this can be arranged as well.  However, only five copies of any print will be sold.  Those who purchase the large photos will also receive an exclusive signed copy of Landheer’s photo book.

The Landheers live in Holland where they run a design studio, but over the last 10 years have spent as much time as possible on Bonaire.  He has been a photographer since he was 14 years old, when he started developing and printing his own photos.  For more information about the exhibit, contact Jong Bonaire, 717-4303, or Bart Landheer, 787-0224.  (Source:  Jong Bonaire)

Note Update December 5, 2008: The exhibit of giant photos of Bonaire faces and nature will be open from 10 AM until 7 PM for the next three days: Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. 

Posted by Susan Davis on November 20, 2008 at 10:53am AST
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Special Thanksgiving Menus at Bonaire Restaurants

For those Americans either living on Bonaire or visiting the island during the upcoming American Thanksgiving Holiday, November 27th, 2008, many Bonaire restaurants will provide a special menu in addition to their regular menu in celebration of the day.

Buddy Dive Resort is offering a special three-course menu at their poolbar.  The menu can be viewed by clicking here (in PDF format).

Cactus Blue Bar & Restaurant has a special Thanksgiving Day menu, which is available on their web site by clicking here.  Also, they are offering a discount of US $2.50 per person for advance, on-line bookings, to be discounted from the check upon presentation of the voucher which has the lead name and the total number of diners. The voucher will be mailed to the guests before their arrival on Bonaire and will be backed up on the restaurant’s reservations chart in the restaurant, for those who might not receive the voucher in time.

Casablanca Argentinean Grill will be serving a special menu in addition to their regular menu.  The special menu can be viewed by clicking here (in PDF format).  Live music will be available on Thanksgiving evening.

Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino will be serving a special menu in their Calabas Restaurant on Thanksgiving evening.  Their menu can be viewed by clicking here (in PDF format).

Patagonia Restaurant reports that on Thanksgiving Day, they will have the regular menu, but also a special dinner of turkey with mashed potatoes and corn souffle with blueberry sauce.  Live latin jazz will be also playing.  Patagonia Restaurant also reports that they have recently added some new items to their regular menu:  Grilled lamb rack with port wine mint sauce and mushroom as an entree, and also caprese salad with procciutto di parma and stuffed mushrooms with crab and mushroom as appetizers.

Paradise Coffee and Papaya Moon Cantina report they will be closed this year on Thanksgiving Day in order to celebrate with their families.

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on November 19, 2008 at 8:36am AST
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

CIEE Announces Next Public Lectures

On Thursday, November 20th, 2008, CIEE will hold its next public lecture, entitled, “Coral survival in the face of changing ocean temperatures and ocean chemistry in Bonaire, presented by Claudia C. Johnson, PhD.  Also, on Wednesday, November 26th, 2008, the CIEE students will host a lecture whereby they provide feedback on their projects after the semester’s study.

The first lecture will begin at 7:00 PM at the CIEE Research Station at Kaya Gobernador N Debrot 21 on Thursday.  Ms. Johnson is from the Department of Geological Sciences at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, USA. 

The second lecture on November 26th, 2008 will also begin at 7:00 PM at the CIEE Research Station, and the students will host several ten-minute presentations (with question and answer periods following) on some of their independent research projects, which detailed specific areas in coral reef ecology, tropical marine ecology and conservation, and marine conservation management.  Their specific research topics include: an investigation of recent moray eel mortalities on Bonaire, water quality and sedimentation assessments related to nearby coastal land-use, habitat partitioning and competition among blennies, pre- and post-settlement ecology of exotic orange cup corals, the identification and frequency of coral bleaching in correlation with light and motion sensor data, population dynamics and predator-prey interactions of feather duster worms, and a comparative assessment of new moon larval fish assemblages between the leeward and windward coasts of Bonaire.

All are welcome to attend the lectures.  (Source:  CIEE Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on November 18, 2008 at 11:09am AST
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Friday, November 14, 2008

Bonaire International Airport To Initiate Service Charge for Departing Passengers December 1, 2008

Starting December 1, 2008, Bonaire International Airport N.V. will charge each departing passenger a service charge. This service charge amounts to FL 3.00 (about USD $1.69) and will be added to the existing passenger facility charge (airport tax). This means that departing passengers for domestic destinations will pay FL 15.50 (about USD $8.71), while those flying to an international destination will pay FL 63.50 (about USD $36.67). Departing passengers over the age of 60 or less than the age of 12, and who are residents of either the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba, will have a domestic destination fee of FL 10.50 (about USD $5.90). Children under 2 years are exempt.

The service charge will be effective as of December 1, 2008, due to the deployment of the new Airport Connect CUTE system. CUTE stands for Common Use Terminal Equipment. This is a common use system whereby all airlines can use each of the 12 available check-in counters at the Flamingo Airport. More flexibility is obtained while the processing capacity of passengers at the check-in counters is increased and made more efficient. This should lead to a higher level of service for the departing passenger. The present check-in system works with so called dedicated check-in counters which are only usable by one particular airline and cannot be used by other airlines, thus restricting processing capacity. Furthermore, FIDS, Flight Information Display System, will provide a real time display of the status of flights as a service enhancement to departing customers. In addition to the scheduled arrival or departure times, information such as “Departed”, “Delayed”, “Boarding”, etc. can be displayed.

As passenger numbers increase and security requirements grow, air travel becomes more stressful and time consuming for passengers. Travelers are looking for an easier and more efficient passage through the airport.  Bonaire International Airport continues to strive in providing a more efficient and speedier flow while at the same time meeting its passenger’s needs.  (Source:  Bonaire International Airport)

Note Update November 20, 2008: The Bonaire Insider has just received the departure fees in both US Dollars, as well as the current conversion to Euros, and those rates can be viewed by clicking here (in PDF format).  (Source:  Bonaire International Airport)

Posted by Susan Davis on November 14, 2008 at 1:24pm AST
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Washington-Slagbaai National Park Open As Usual After Brief Touchdown by Whirlwind

This morning at about 7:00 AM, an unusual weather phenomenon occurred near the entrance of Washington-Slagbaai National Park, when a whirlwind briefly touched down.  Chief Park Ranger, George “Cultura” Thode, noticed the strange, red clouds forming about 6:00 AM, moving in from the northeast, and, having seen this type of weather before, was able to sound the alarm so that local inhabitants had notice of the impending situation.

The cloud did “bounce” off the island briefly just at the entrance to the park, causing some damage to man-made structures.  The roof of the terrace was blown off, and there was minimal roof damage to the museum as a few tiles were blown away.  The debris from the terrace roof was scattered for about 100 meters (about 300 feet), including over the roadway.  Tourists from North America who had arrived early with the intention of touring the park joined STINAPA staff and residents from Rincon in immediately clearing the debris and thus reopening the road within hours of the event. 

The park is open as usual today, the debris has been removed from the park, and STINAPA is happy to report that there has been absolutely no damage to the natural areas of the park.  The skeleton of the Bryde’s Whale, on exhibit in this area since October, 2005, was not materially damaged, receiving only two scratches from falling debris.  Visitors to the park may continue with any plans for near-term visits.

Although whirlwinds, also called vortexes, are unusual weather events in the region, they are not unheard of, most frequently developing over water in the form of waterspouts. (Source:  STINAPA)

Posted by Susan Davis on November 12, 2008 at 5:11pm AST
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Paradise Coffee Relocates For Easier Access; Premiers More Extensive Menu

Paradise Coffee has recently relocated to a new setting just steps away from its prior site, in order to give easier access to all.  The coffee shop is now located on the ground-floor premises of Papaya Moon Cantina, and is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 3:00 PM for breakfast and lunch.

Complete with the move, Paradise Coffee has now substantially increased its menu offerings, with a large selection of breakfast or lunch items.  And, the coffee shop offers specialty coffees on such a large scale, they are simply the only eatery on Bonaire offering such a selection.  Paradise Coffee serves excellent Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, or enjoy one of their sixty coffee, latte, or iced beverages at any time throughout the day. 

Posted by Susan Davis on November 11, 2008 at 7:58am AST
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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Escape the Winter Blues with Delta’s New Non-stop Flight from New York/JFK

Whether it’s spending the holidays on Bonaire, or simply planning an escape from winter’s cold and snow, this year it’s easier than ever to dive and snorkel in Bonaire.  On December 20, 2008, Delta Air Lines, the world’s largest air carrier, will take to the air with their inaugural flight commencing weekly round-trip non-stop service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Bonaire.

Delta Air Lines flight #553 will depart John F. Kennedy International Airport each Saturday at 10:35 AM, arriving into Bonaire’s Flamingo International Airport at 4:16 PM.  The return flight #554 will depart Bonaire Saturdays at 5:16 PM arriving into New York JFK at 8:55 PM.  Delta is utilizing a 154-seat, 737-800 Boeing aircraft with 16 first class seats and 138 economy seats for these flights.

Excellent round-trip fares starting from $568.00 per person (additional taxes and fees do apply; subject to availability and restrictions may apply) are still available for the inaugural flight, so there’s no better time to book a Bonaire vacation.  Furthermore, Delta Air Lines allows two checked bags per person without additional charge on flights to the Caribbean, so there are no extra fees to travel with dive equipment. 

JFK serves as a useful gateway for Metropolitan New York, especially easy for residents in Long Island or Westchester, Connecticut.  It also has convenient connections from Boston and Providence, Rhode Island. 

The new JFK flight augments Delta’s current service, providing non-stop weekly round-trip flights from Atlanta to Bonaire.  Bonaire is also served by Continental Airlines and American Airlines/American Eagle.  (Source:  Dive News Wire)

Posted by Susan Davis on November 05, 2008 at 11:52am AST
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