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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dia di Rincon (Rincon Day) Offers Music, Culture, Food and Fun

Tomorrow, April 30th, is traditionally known throughout the Dutch Kingdom as the Queen’s Birthday, and it is a legal holiday, but here on Bonaire, there’s cause for another type of celebration, Dia di Rincon (Rincon Day), now in its 20th year.

Beginning around 11:00 AM and going until midnight, residents and those visitors lucky enough to be on island will rub elbows together in the streets of Rincon, enjoying the music and cultural dancing on four stages, as well as food and drink stalls, handicrafts, and a total immersion in all things Bonaire.  It’s a once-a-year festival that no one will want to miss.  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 29, 2009 at 4:11pm AST
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Bonaire Joins Social Networks Facebook and Twitter

The North American office of the Tourism Corporation Bonaire has incorporated social media tools with the launch of its new interactive fan pages on top social network web sites, Facebook and Twitter.  Bonaire’s Facebook and Twitter pages were created to support Bonaire Dive Into Summer 2009, which is a part of the Celebration of Bonaire’s Commitment to Conservation Program

The pages feature links to Bonaire Dive Into Summer and Celebrating Bonaire’s Commitment to Conservation calendars of events, links to the TCB web site, various island images, and more. The sites will encourage Facebook and Twitter users to follow the island’s updates on Twitter and invite them to add Bonaire to their fan page on Facebook, which will then provide access to the features and information available on their page.

Bonaire already has over 230 followers on Twitter and over 300 fans on Facebook. The island will continue to update followers and fans with news on the activities surrounding Bonaire Dive Into Summer, Celebration of the Parks, and relevant news on the island, etc. The pages are targeting the audiences of scuba divers, travel partners, journalists, sustainable tourism businesses, and other Caribbean partners.

While Facebook started out as a service for university students, at this moment almost one third of its global audience is aged 35-49 years of age and almost one quarter is over 50 years old.  Facebook boasts more than 175 million active users as of February 2008, with more than 45 million active users in the US alone and more than 3.5 million active users becoming fans of pages each day.

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users’ updates known as “tweets.” Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length which are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have subscribed to them. Twitter is the third most used social network and has 55 million visits per month.

Visit Bonaire’s Facebook page by clicking here, or the Twitter page by clicking here. (Source:  TCB-NY)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 29, 2009 at 2:39pm AST
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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bonaire Hosts IFCA Slalom and Pro Kids Junior Worlds and Youth and Masters World Championships

Bonaire is proud to welcome the IFCA Slalom and the Pro Kids Junior Worlds and Youth and Masters World Championships. The event will be held on Sorobon Beach, Lac Bay, from July 12th through 18th, 2009. 

Bonaire has hosted several PWA windsurfing events in recent years. The island also has been the site for the Annual Starboard Pro Kids Worlds held each summer.  As the sport grows and expands, it makes sense to bring slalom windsurf racing back to Bonaire.

Lac Bay offers perfect race conditions with water temperatures in the low 80s.  The bay is a protected area affording all racers safe and challenging courses. The entire island warmly welcomes freestylers, and the new slalom competitors, in July, 2009.

The event will officially open on July 12th, with slalom racing running July 13th through 17th.  After this competition concludes, the freestylers will take over on July 18th and 19th with the Starboard Pro Kids Youth Freestyle World Championship.

For additional information visit the two event web sites:  Slalom by clicking here, and Freestyle by clicking here(Source:  Starboard Pro Kids Championship and IFCA Slalom Championship Web Sites)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 26, 2009 at 4:16pm AST
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Patagonia Argentinean Restaurant Re-Opens for Lunch

The Palacios Family has recently announced that their harbor-side restaurant, Patagonia Argentinean Restaurant, will re-open for lunch beginning on Tuesday, May 5th, 2009.

The lunch menu will be similar to the extensive offerings available at dinner, along with some occasional specials.  The restaurant will be open from 11:30 AM until 2:30 PM every Tuesday through Friday.  This is especially good news for those staying in the northern hotel row, as now there will be another choice for a great lunch without having to go into Kralendijk.  For additional information, visit their web site by clicking here. (Source:  Patagonia Argentinean Restaurant)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 26, 2009 at 9:24am AST
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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bonaire’s First Mountain Bike Race of 2009 Will be Held on Sunday, May 3

All local and visiting mountain bike riders are invited to take part in the upcoming mountain bike race on May 3. It will be a tempo race--a fast ride with practically no hard climbing. This race is all about going fast along the wide trails of the Yato Baku area of the island, just outside the capital of Kralendijk.

Most entrants will ride four laps of a 4.4 km course. It starts with a seemingly flat first kilometer, but, in fact, riders will be rolling through what is called in Dutch a fals plaat. There are some technical sections in the middle of the course and the finish is a fast downhill section. An awards ceremony and music will follow the race, with prizes awarded to overall winners.

The race is open to mountain bikers of all ages and abilities who wish to compete. On Sunday morning there are categories for beginners, sport riders, master, and elite riders. On Saturday afternoon, May 2, there will be a race for kids from 10 years old.

Full details on the race and registration are available by clicking here (in PDF format).  (Source:  Bonaire Wellness Connexions)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 25, 2009 at 4:40pm AST
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Recap on Recent North American Airlift Changes for Getting to Bonaire

There’s been many shifts in airline lift from North America to Bonaire in the past weeks and months, as airlines continue to deal with the sluggish economic situation.  Noted herein are the changes to date.

Delta:  Based on recent P&Ls and weak advance bookings, Delta will not operate JFK-BON between June 20 and October 31, 2009. All bookings to Bonaire will be transferred to the connection via Atlanta. If the traffic from the northeast flowing through Atlanta causes bookings to exceed the capacity of the presently scheduled aircraft, Delta will upgrade the aircraft to a wide-body for the remainder of the summer and early fall. 

As previously announced, a second flight from Atlanta to Bonaire will be added on October 2. Delta plans to leave ATL at two frequencies, and watch bookings for the winter.  If bookings are up year over year, they will then look to add a third frequency.

Continental: Based on low demand during the fall shoulder months, Continental has announced they will not operate EWR-BON between September 5 and October 31. All traffic coming from the northeast will be transferred to the connection through Houston.

The second Houston trip operates through the end of April, not in May and then again from June through August. It will not operate September, October and November, but will return in December. This four month seasonality is the same that was in place last year and is not attributed to weak load factors out of Houston. Should demand from traffic flowing over Houston from the northeast exceed the capacity of the presently scheduled airlift, the September and October seasonality of the second Houston will be revisited.

American Eagle: American Eagle has announced that they will cease operations to Bonaire on April 30, 2009. They have indicated on two separate occasions that they will consider returning to Bonaire in November, but that decision is pending.

(Source:  TCB)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 25, 2009 at 8:04am AST
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Friday, April 24, 2009

Sea Turtle Club Sponsors Klein Bonaire Beach Cleanup to Help the Baby Turtles

On Sunday, April 26th, 2009, STCB, Bonaire’s Sea Turtle Conservation Club, will sponsor a beach cleanup at Klein Bonaire in order that the beaches can be clean and ready for the 2009 turtle nesting season, which begins soon.

Everyone is welcome to join in.  The cleanup will run from 7:00 AM until 1:00 PM, and participants should meet at the Harbour Village Marina for transportation over to Klein Bonaire.  Please wear appropriate footwear and bring water, a hat for the sun, and sunblock.

For more information contact STCB at 717-2225, or Mabel at 780-0433 or Funchi at 780-1225, both of whom are also with STCB.  Hope to see you there! (Source:  STCB)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 24, 2009 at 4:46pm AST
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Monday, April 20, 2009

Bonaire Oceanfront Villa 9 Completes Renovations

Bonaire Oceanfront Villa 9 is pleased to announce that renovations are complete and the property is accepting new reservations at this time.  Over the past 18 months, the villa has undergone a variety of improvements to improve the experience that divers will have when vacationing at the property.

The kitchen has been completely redone and enlarged to twice its previous size.  It now sports all new appliances, including a full-sized refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, and coffeemaker, as well as new windows and cabinetry.

The villa’s outdoor living spaces have all been upgraded:  The third-floor roof-top terrace has new terra cotta tile flooring, while the two bedroom balconies on the second floor have had roofs added to them, allowing all-day use regardless of the weather.  The backyard covered patio has been updated, including new teak furniture.  Lighting has been added to the seaside pavilion, so it can be enjoyed during evening hours.

The interior has also been refurbished with new furniture in the living area and a cable TV/DVD player and WIFI access.  Three bathrooms have been totally renovated, while the other two have new tile and fixtures.  All bedrooms have new split-unit air-conditioning, which offers quiet functioning as compressors are outside.

The entire exterior of the villa has been freshly painted, and the parking area enlarged to accommodate up to three vehicles.

Located at Hamlet #9, Bonaire Oceanfront Villa 9 offers the ease of diving from your own property, as the famous “Cliff” dive site is only 100 feet from the property’s beach.  The villa accommodates up to ten persons comfortably with five bedrooms and five baths.  Two diving facilities are within a short walk of the villa: Dive Friends Bonaire @ Hamlet to the north, and Captain Don’s Habitat to the south.

Bonaire Oceanfront Villa 9 is one of Bonaire’s premier oceanfront properties offering villa-style vacationing.  It offers affordable accommodations for any Bonaire visitor, but especially caters to those coming to the island to dive.  For additional information or to check availability, visit their web site by clicking here, or e-mail info@bonaireoceanfrontvilla.com.

Posted by Susan Davis on April 20, 2009 at 3:07pm AST
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Second 2009 Underwater Cleanup is Saturday, April 18, 2009

The second quarterly underwater cleanup will take place at the dive site, Cliff, on Saturday, April 18, 2009.  All interested participants should meet at Dive Friends @ Hamlet at 1:00 PM. 

Everyone is welcome, and those not diving can also help, since shore support is always needed.  All participants are welcome to return at 5:30 PM at Dive Friends @ Yellow Submarine for the event’s customary BBQ; drinks and main courses will be provided by Dive Friends and NetTech, but participants are asked to bring a side dish to share.

For additional information about the cleanups, click here. (Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire and NetTech, N.V.)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 16, 2009 at 2:40pm AST
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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Bonaire Celebrates Earth Day with Planting of Trees

As a result of Bonaire’s longstanding commitment to preserving and protecting the land, there will be 40 endemic trees planted on April 22, in honor of Earth Day. 

The planting of the trees ceremony will take place at Washington Slagbaai National Park, which is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year and the public is welcome to attend.  Participants and spectators will meet at the Visitor Center at the entrance of the park, and, from there, will drive thirty minutes to the planting site.

Upon arrival, Ms. Elsmarie Beukenboom, Director of STINAPA, Bonaire’s National Parks foundation, will explain the importance of this project and its purpose for the perpetuation of the natural reforestation process on Bonaire.

The trees will be planted in a designated area called Pos Bronswinkel.  This area will be enclosed by wire mesh to ensure the young trees’ protection until they are strong enough to withstand additional pressures. There is a natural well at this site that will assure a constant flow of water to keep the trees moist so they can take root and grow.  Most of the trees will be fruit trees, as it is a proved reforestation technique to use fruit trees to attract birds, which can then disperse the seeds across a wide range of the land area of the Park after feeding upon the fruits.

Prior to the event, the staff of Washington Slagbaai National Park will prepare the land by digging the holes for the trees in advance. On Earth Day, personnel will be on site to move the plants in; everyone present will be responsible for planting a tree in the newly tossed earth.

This event is part of the ongoing 2009 Celebration of Bonaire’s Commitment to Conservation, with festivities now through November commemorating the 40th anniversary of Washington Slagbaai National Park and the 30th anniversary of the Bonaire National Marine Park.  (Source:  TCB-NY)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 08, 2009 at 5:12pm AST
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