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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Holland’s Small Talk Band to Perform on Bonaire During February, 2009

Small Talk is a band from The Netherlands, known for playing classic pop songs in an acoustic line-up.  They will be performing on Bonaire during the first two weeks of February.

Emilio Helderman is a vocalist and plays guitar, while Jan Flubacher, also a vocalist, plays the bass guitar.

They will be performing three times during their stay on Bonaire:

• February 1st at 5:30 PM at the Coconut Crash Beach Bar, Plaza Resort Bonaire
• February 6th at 7:00 PM at It Rains Fishes Restaurant, on the oceanfront promenade
• February 8th at 5:30 PM at the Coconut Crash Beach Bar, Plaza Resort Bonaire.

All are invited.  (Source:  Small Talk Band)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 31, 2009 at 1:16pm AST
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Friday, January 30, 2009

Bonaire Briefs--News and Happenings Around the Island of Bonaire

Here’s some of the latest news from the island, perfect for divers, adventurers, families and sun-seekers.

Bonaire Seaside Apartments offer “value with a view” in their newly discounted three bedroom villas.  Previously priced at $500 per night, these spacious, modern apartments are now priced at $320 per night up to quad occupancy, $350 per night if shared by five or six people. Oceanfront, fully air-conditioned studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments are also available. Conveniently located within easy walking distance of Bonaire’s capital, Kralendijk, these modern units feature a fully equipped kitchen, dining area, living areas, and porch or balcony overlooking Bonaire’s picturesque anchorage and nearby Klein Bonaire.

Dive services are provided by neighboring Dive Friends Bonaire@Yellow Submarine, a PADI Gold Palm Resort and National Geographic Family Dive Center.

Seven night Drive & Dive Packages are now only $756.00 pp based on six people sharing a three-bedroom villa, including one manual transmission truck, 3 days of 2-tank boat diving, plus 6 days of unlimited shore diving, free upgrades for Nitrox divers and government room tax.  Prices are valid through April 17, 2009.  Toll free 1-800-382-1094, www.bonaireseasideapartments.com

Buddy Dive Resort has begun a major renovation of all their guest rooms, including all new furniture in the living rooms, totally new bathrooms, and new kitchens complete with all new equipment.  Buddy Dive has elected a modern look combined with comfortable furniture. The sofas and the dining table chairs will give their divers the opportunity to relax after their dives.

The Digital Photo Center at Buddy Dive Resort in Bonaire also recently underwent an upgrade of their cameras in their rental line.  They are now offering Canon A650 IS cameras in Ikelite housings, which record 12 megapixel images, so there is an amazing amount of detail.  Rental cameras are preset for optimal settings for Bonaire, which takes the guess work out of underwater photography. In addition to camera and strobe rentals, the Digital Photo Center features a half-day photo class that can be personalized to participant’s specific needs no matter what the photographic skill level.

Buddy Dive Resort continues to upgrade its technical diving product under the leadership of Dive Operations Manager, Augusto Montbrun. Today, they are able to offer Tec Diving courses from TDI, and the resort has rearranged the fill station area adding a complete and new partial pressure gas blending station where they are able to fill their tech diving tanks and prepare custom blends at the desire of their clientele.  www.buddydive.com

Den Laman Condominiums’ waterfront restaurant, Sunset Bar & Grill, operated by Kirk Gosden of Lion’s Den fame, is now offering room service to guests of the resort. Originally open only for dinner, the restaurant has also recently opened for lunch. The Sunset Bar & Grill is open daily (excluding Wednesdays) from 11:00 AM - 2:30 PM for lunch, and 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM for dinner.

In addition to the restaurant, Den Laman features 16 modern fully A/C apartments with state-of-the-art kitchens, dining, and living areas. It is also home to Fish Eye Photo, a full service photo & video facility, as well as Bonaire Dive & Adventure, a PADI 5-Star Gold Palm full service dive and eco-adventure facility. 

Seven night Drive & Dive Packages start at $735.00 per person in studio accommodations and include a manual transmission rental truck, 6 days of unlimited tanks for shore diving, free Nitrox upgrades, and room tax. Boat dive package upgrades are also available, as are packages for one- and two-bedroom apartments. Prices are valid through April 17, 2009.  Toll free 1-800-382-1094, www.denlaman.com

Golden Reef Inn is offering a variety of specials over the coming months, including the following:  March, 2009 is the Ladies Special, for lady divers only, offering 8 days/7 nights of divine delights.  April, 2009 is Mature Shore Diving for those 50 and over, where a Sherpa will be provided, someone who can help you carry your gear from truck to water and back, and help with equipment, for those who desire it.  May, 2009 is for the Macro Photographer and Wanna-bes when staff from Fish Eye Photo will help with tips on underwater photography and editing.  June, 2009 offers two nights free when the June trip is booked and paid for now.  August, 2009 offers special packages with one night free, when a seven-night package is booked.  Guest is responsible for taxes for the seventh night.  www.goldenreefinn.com

Sand Dollar Condominium Resort, dive partner Bonaire Dive & Adventure, a PADI 5-star Gold Palm and SSI Scuba Training Facility, has just added the SSI Enriched Air Nitrox Specialty to their course offerings. This half-day course is available for $120.00 per student, excluding book, table and tax. Once completed, all Sand Dollar guests with a pre-paid dive package can receive free Nitrox upgrades for their remaining dive days.

Sand Dollar and Bonaire Dive & Adventures Ride to the Reef Package, based on four people sharing a spacious water-view, two-bedroom/two-bathroom condominium, is US $911.00 per diver, US $627.00 per vacationer.  The package includes seven nights accommodations, 6 days of unlimited tanks for shore diving, 6 one-tank boat dives, free Nitrox upgrades, daily breakfast buffet, manual transmission pick-up truck, and room tax (Nitrox Specialty not included.) Packages for shore diving only, as well as studio, one-, and three-bedroom accommodations are also available. Prices are valid through April 17, 2009.  Toll Free 1-800-288-4773, www.sanddollarbonaire.com

Bencho Car Rental specializes in Toyota Hilux pickup trucks for rental vehicles, and offers a special package where one day is free for each seven-day rental. A seven-day rental is $281.02, with one day free.  A 14-day rental is $562.04, with two days free, and a 21-day rental is $846.06, with three days free.  All rates include CDW, sales tax, and vehicle tax.  www.benchocarrental.com

Bonaire Tours & Vacations is offering a group special, valid now through April 15, 2009, for round-trip airport transfers and luggage handling.  Get one free for a group of twelve, or two free with a group of twenty. 

Bonaire Tours & Vacations also handles wedding planning, and has packages starting at $600.00, including all paperwork and the wedding day arrangements.  Those planning to get married on Bonaire can enjoy a romantic escape combined with their honeymoon, when they let a professional wedding planner make all the arrangements.  www.bonairetours.com

Jody’s Fashion & Music, a well known shop located in the center of Bonaire, has just completed a new Women’s Department.  Offering fashions for men, women, and youngsters, Jody’s has the latest board shorts, polo shirts, and original Nike sneakers.  The store is open Tuesday through Saturday from 1 PM to 5:00 PM.

Bambu French/International Restaurant is offering a complete new dinner menu in addition to a monthly Gastronomic Evening, held every first Thursday in the month.  Their chef prepares an exclusive 5-course dinner, with all new dishes not on their regular menu. The price is Nafl. 75.00 per person, excluding beverages; reservations are necessary and should be made at least one day in advance.

Philip’s Cooking & Organizing and Suze’s Wedding Planning together offer catering with a personal touch.  Meals can be prepared for a romantic twosome on the beach, for large groups up to 50 persons, or for special or business events.  By using a caterer, the host and hostess can be a guest themselves, and enjoy their own dinner party!  Services include catered meals or party snacks, cooking lessons, and cooking demonstrations.  Full wedding planning is also available.

Telerin Car Rental announces that all new double-cabin pickup trucks are now in and available for rentals.  These manual-transmission trucks feature power steering, air-conditioning, radio (AM/FM) and CD, and have a central locking dive rack.  Telerin is committed to continuously improving the quality of their service to their customers.

BonairePros.com is offering new package options for windsurfing that include new accommodation options, discount car rental, and equipment rental at Jibe City and Bonaire Windsurf Place. New dive package options are also being offered featuring Bonaire’s favorite dive resorts and new lodging/dive operator combinations.

(Source:  TCB-NY)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 30, 2009 at 4:21pm AST
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Thursday, January 29, 2009

CIEE (Bonaire) Announces Next Public Lectures

Both CIEE (Bonaire) and STINAPA invite all to the next public lectures to be held in the new CIEE headquarters on Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot #26.

The lectures will be held on Monday evening, February 2nd, 2009 at 7:00 PM, and Max Engel, a faculty member of the Geography Department of the University of Marburg (Germany), will present a talk entitled, “The Coastline of Bonaire During the Recent Geologic Past,” (key processes in the Holocene evolution of tropical coasts, including an evaluation of the role of hurricanes and tsunamis).

Also, the same evening, Joaquin Buitrago, a Research Professor at EDIMAR (Marine Research Station), Natural Sciences Foundation La Salle, Isla de Margarita in Venezuela, will discuss “Monitoring Physio-Chemical Indicators of Water Quality in the Salinas of Washington-Slagbaai National Park.”

The lectures are free and all are invited.  (Source:  CIEE Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 29, 2009 at 7:59am AST
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Please Don’t Step on the Grass--Bonaire’s Sea Grass Beds, That Is!

In a move to protect the vital sea grass beds in Lac Bay, the Bonaire Sea Turtle Club (STCB) has joined with others in establishing protected areas with an in-water system of buoys and lines.

Sea grass provides an important food source for Bonaire’s juvenile green turtles. Lac’s sea grass beds also provide shelter, food and oxygen for other marine life, from microorganisms to fish, crabs, shrimp and queen conch. Additionally, sea grass roots in the near-shore beds prevent Lac’s sand from eroding. Areas with dense sea grass bottoms have been in jeopardy in Lac Bay due to heavy recreational use there. The line-and-buoy boundaries are visual markers to warn bay users of the sea grass beds below the waterline.

Roped-off areas designated by buoys are now located in the heavy traffic windsurfer area in front of Jibe City and around the point to the wind surf competition area.

STCB is being joined in this project by PROES (Progressive Environment Solutions) and STINAPA (National Parks Foundation Bonaire). Two local businesses, Jibe City and The Windsurf Place, have joined the project as supporting partners, providing technical and financial assistance, and on-site encouragement to users to stay outside of the marked areas. Lac Bay is a critical, sensitive environment, and this project will benefit not only the sea turtles, but also Bonaire’s biodiversity in general.  (Source:  STCB)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 28, 2009 at 10:02am AST
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Annual Lora (Parrot) Count is this Saturday, January 31, 2009

Each year, Salba Nos Lora (Save our Parrots) and STINAPA organize a lora count to ascertain the condition of Bonaire’s lora population.  The count will be held this Saturday, January 31st, 2009.

Everyone, both island visitors who may be on island, as well as local residents are invited to participate.  The count will begin very early in the morning, when the birds are first waking up and leaving their roosts.  Those interested in participating should email by clicking here to register your participation and get further details. (Source:  STINAPA)

Note Update March 7, 2009: The morning of the lora count, the participants were faced with drenching rains, which did inhibit the count.  Even with such conditions, the participants this year were able to identify and count 475 lora (parrots) this year, which is 50 more individuals than were counted in 2008.  However, in past years, as many as 650 lora were counted.  It is theorized that there are not actually less lora, but because of the unusually heavy rains, the lora were not in their normal locations. (Source:  STINAPA)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 27, 2009 at 10:36am AST
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Monday, January 26, 2009

2009 Bonaire Karnival Celebration is in Full Swing

The 2009 Karnival season has already begun with energetic preparations for this year’s celebrations.  Between now and the finale events, there will be tumba festivals, jump-ups, and elections of the King and Queen of Karnival.

The finale events are the favorites of both residents and tourists alike.  This year, Children’s Karnival will be on February 14th, 2009 in Rincon, and February 15th, 2009 in Kralendijk.

The Grand Karnival Parade will be held on Saturday, February 21st, 2009 in Rincon, and Sunday, February 22nd, 2009 in Kralendijk.

The Karnival Farewell Parade to King Momo will complete this year’s festivities on February 23rd, 2009. (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 26, 2009 at 11:31am AST
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

21st Annual International and Local Fishing Tournament is January 23-25, 2009

With prizes such as a Toyota Hilux pickup truck (if the Antillean record of 803 pounds is broken) and a Rolex watch (for a fish of 450 pounds or more), this year’s fishing tournament will prove to be an exciting one.  Tournament headquarters is at It Rains Fishes Restaurant at Club Nautico Bonaire.

Both local and international fishermen are expected to participate in the catch-and-release tournament.  A minimum of two fishermen per boat is required, and the maximum is four persons.  Each day fishing will begin at 7:00 AM and it’s expected boats will be back at the dock by about 4:00 PM.  The local boat fishing tournament will begin at 12:00 Noon on Saturday. (Source:  It Rains Fishes)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 21, 2009 at 9:45am AST
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bonaire Wellness Connexions Announces Upcoming Events

Bonaire Wellness Connexions has recently announced their events for the first half of 2009, including bike tours and triathlons.

On January 31, 2009, there will be a mountain bike tour to Lagoen, while on February 28, 2009, the Cycling Team Bonaire has arranged for a mountain bike fun ride.  This ride is about 2 and 1/2 hours on paved roads and on an easy pace in the surroundings of Kralendijk.  On March 29, 2009, there will be a fun triathlon Sprint Off-Road.

Additionally, each week free mountain bike rides are arranged for riders of all levels of experience.  The beginner’s ride is each Thursday at 5:00 PM, intermediate riders can enjoy rides on Tuesdays at 5:00 PM and Saturdays at 4:30 PM, and the ride for advanced riders is each Tuesday or Friday at 6:00 AM. 

For more information on any of these events, when on island call 717-4241. (Source:  Bonaire Wellness Connexions)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 20, 2009 at 11:33am AST
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Friday, January 16, 2009

Nature Fitness Walk is Scheduled for Sunday, January 18, 2009

Top Health Fitness Center is organizing a fitness walk for anyone interested who is on Bonaire this weekend.  It will be a early morning walk in the area of Seru Grandi, which is a hill people normally do not climb.

The walk promises to be a unique experience, with the sun rising over Bonaire as local historian Bňi Antoin provides educational and historic information.  Those interested in participating should meet no later than 6:30 AM across from the Lagun Hill development.  Entry fee is FL 10.00 (about $ 5.62 USD), and includes juice and some soup after the walk.  To make a reservation, phone Marugia Janga at 796-3109 or 567-1055 when on Bonaire.  (Source:  STINAPA)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 16, 2009 at 8:16am AST
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Thursday, January 15, 2009

American Airlines/American Eagle Announce Caribbean Fare Sale

American Airlines/American Eagle just announced today that they are holding a Caribbean Fare Sale.  Tickets must be purchased via their web site by January 26th, 2009, with travel now through March 12, 2009.  Fares are based on a round-trip purchase.

The Bonaire Insider pulled some sample fares that were available this morning from various U.S. gateway cities to Bonaire, and found round-trip fares of $610.00 from Chicago O’Hare, $395.00 from New York/LaGuardia, $532.00 from Miami, $611.00 from Dallas, $525.00 from Los Angeles, and $577.75 from Denver.  All fares quoted will have additional taxes payable and are subject to availability.  Other restrictions do apply; please click here for more details.  (Source:  American Airlines)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 15, 2009 at 11:16am AST
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