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Monday, June 29, 2009

Maduro Dive Fanta-Seas Offers Escorted Bonaire Trips for Individuals

Escorted group trips have great appeal to couples, singles, families, and friends who love to dive and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of having the availability of your own tour conductor who can assist in making sure all goes as planned, but many times group trips are only open to a limited amount of participants, specific to a dive store or club.  However, Maduro Dive Fanta-Seas is now offering group trips to Bonaire, for individuals, to fill that need.

There are many benefits when traveling with an escorted group trip, such as meeting new friends and dive buddies.  Additionally, there are value-added features such as free nights, free Nitrox, food & beverage credits, free diving or airfare, or other travel components that would not be available if planning a trip on your own. Also, the group tour conductor is responsible for all dive travelers to insure a smooth, hassle-free dive vacation for everyone and participants can rest assured knowing their arrangements have been made by a knowledgeable dive travel specialist.

There are two such upcoming trips to Bonaire during 2009.  The first will be to Buddy Dive Resort from September 19 through 26 (details available in PDF format by clicking here), and the second is to Captain Don’s Habitat from December 5 through 12 (click here for details on this tour, also in PDF format).  Both tours offer great savings and are sure to be fun-filled.

For more information, email by clicking here or call 1-800-327-6709. (Source:  Maduro Dive Fanta-Seas)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 29, 2009 at 3:16pm AST
Hotels and LodgingScuba DivingSpecialsWater Sports • (0) CommentsPermalink


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Jong Bonaire Announces 2010 Bonaire Calendar Available September, 2009

As in past years, the kids enrolled in the Jong Bonaire after-school programs have produced a stunning 2010 calendar, focusing on the island’s cultural heritage.

In a time when the world is shrinking due to mass communication and travel, often culturally rich areas begin to lose their individuality and heritage.  Bonaire continues to strive to maintain its unique heritage, and earlier this year, the kids of Jong Bonaire explored different aspects of their ancestors’ history and culture.

These activities were recorded in images with the kids along with the grandinan (elder Bonaireans) who taught them, based on what their own elders had taught them, and thus their knowledge was passed to another generation.  These images were taken in typical Bonairean locations, and then turned into the 2010 calendar, so there will be a handsome picture on the wall depicting Bonaire all year long for those who purchase the calendar.

The calendar is titled Treasures Discovered by the Kids of Jong Bonaire.  The size is 30x30 cm and each one is individually shrink-wrapped. When opened it measures 30x60cm (12x24 inches) and it is sure to be a welcome gift for all Bonaire aficionados.

Jong Bonaire serves the island’s teenagers each weekday after school and provides a safe, supervised, and caring environment for our youth--the most valuable resource for the future of our community.  Please look for the calendars in September and help support Bonaire’s kids.  (Source:  Jong Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 28, 2009 at 10:57am AST
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bonaire Oceanfront Condo Launches New Web Site

Bonaire Oceanfront Condo is a privately owned studio condominium located on the premises of the Sand Dollar Condominium Resort.  The property has just launched a new web site to provide information about vacation rentals.

The owners and hosts, Irwin and Jacqueline Spector, welcome you to their studio condo.  On the new web site, viewable by clicking here, those interested in the possibility of renting the unit may watch a short video, as well as learn about the condo’s amenities, the Spector’s recommendations for restaurants, food shopping, as well as the ins and outs of getting to Bonaire and renting a vehicle.  You may email for additional information by clicking here(Source:  Bonaire Oceanfront Condo)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 25, 2009 at 4:22pm AST
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dive Friends Bonaire Announces Special Coral Spawning Diving Activities and Weekly Packages

September and October are the months when coral spawning is expected each year on Bonaire. Coral spawning, or the cultivation of the corals, is something unique and a “must-see” for every diver. 

This spectacular event takes place on Bonaire when several coral species (but also other organisms) release secretions into the water column at the same time under the influence of environmental circumstances such as water temperature and a very special position of the moon.

Any diver has to be very lucky to witness this event, but there is a schedule with predicted dates for the 2009 coral spawning event (click here to view in PDF format.)

Special dive packages are available for the 2009 coral spawning season with a variety of popular properties with prices and amenities to suit every budget:

• Coco Palm Garden offers a package which is $537.00 per person, double occupancy in a studio unit. This package includes 7 night’s accommodation, a rental vehicle, 6 days unlimited shore diving, a special guided coral spawning night dive, and all taxes. Please note that air-conditioning, if desired, is $12.50 per room per night additional.

• Happy Holiday Homes offers a special package of $524.00 per person, based on double occupancy. Package includes 7 night’s accommodations, 7 days double-cabin pickup truck, 6 days unlimited shore diving, 1 special guided coral spawning night dive, and all taxes and fees.

• Tropicana Apartments offers several packages. All packages include 7 night’s accommodations, double-cabin pickup truck, 6 days unlimited shore diving, special guided coral spawning night dive, and all taxes. Price is $512.00 per person based on quad occupancy in a two-bedroom unit, $632.00 per person double occupancy in a studio unit, or $667.00 per person double occupancy in a one-bedroom unit.

• Yachtclub Apartments is offering their coral spawning package of $659.50 per person, based on double occupancy, and the package includes 7 night’s studio accommodations, rental car, 6 days unlimited shore diving, 1 special guided coral spawning night dive, and all taxes. A group of ten persons can also be accommodated in the Yachtclub’s penthouse suite. The cost, minimum 10 persons, is $509.20 per person and includes 7 night’s accommodations in the penthouse, 2 rental cars for the week, 6 days unlimited shore diving, 1 special guided coral spawning night dive, and all taxes.

For more information or to book one of these coral spawning packages, contact Dive Friends Bonaire at email info@dive-friends-bonaire.com.

Those staying at other properties on Bonaire are welcome to join Dive Friends Bonaire for the coral spawning dives.  For any dates when coral spawning is predicted, Dive Friends Bonaire is organizing special night dives for their guests to see the phenomenon. This night dive is $49.00 per person (excluding equipment and air), plus 5% sales tax, with a minimum of four persons. Advance reservations are recommended to avoid disappointment.  For more information or to make a reservation, please contact info@dive-friends-bonaire.com. Please note that night lights will be available to rent, in the range of $10.00 to $20.00 per light, plus 5% sales tax.  (Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire, image courtesy of Caren Eckrich)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 23, 2009 at 12:30pm AST
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Monday, June 22, 2009

Foundation Animal Welfare Bonaire Requests Assistance

The Bonaire Insider has received a request to assist in getting the word out that the Foundation Animal Welfare Bonaire requires help.  This non-profit association looks out for the welfare of all animals on Bonaire, including pets, such as dogs and cats, and also larger farm animals, such as horses.

As a bit of background information, Elly Albers, the president of the foundation since 2007 and a previous manager of the Bonaire Animal Shelter, informs the Insider that the association investigates allegations of animal abuse, and, if warranted, involves the Justice Department so that the abused animal is removed from the owners and then sheltered elsewhere where it is cared for, while the case goes to court and until there is a decision made.

Within the past year, there was a landmark case which was indeed won in court, and the decision was made not to return the horse to the original owner.  In fact, the case was appealed to a higher court, and it was not overturned.  This particular animal’s jaw had been injured so badly that it cannot accept a bit, and therefore finding a new home for him is nearly impossible.  The association has pledged to take care of this animal for the rest of his life.  The costs for the care and feeding of the horse costs FL 300.00/month (about USD $170.00/month) and the foundation, which exists solely on volunteer work and contributions, has succeeded for the better part of a year to cover these costs.  However, the coffers are becoming low and the foundation seeks out individuals who can help with small donations.

100% of funds received go directly to the feeding and care of the animals under the protection of the foundation.  All board members of the foundation volunteer their time, and no salaries are paid to anyone.  The local vets on Bonaire also donate their time and services to the foundation.

If anyone is interested in helping out, any donation no matter the amount will be sincerely appreciated.  Those on Bonaire can make a donation into the association’s bank account at Maduro & Curiels Bank (Bonaire), account #113.06.706.  Those in the United States may request donations be forwarded through Support Bonaire, available by clicking here, and noting that the funds should go to the Foundation Animal Welfare Bonaire.  Those wishing to make donations from other areas of the world may inquire directly by emailing the association. (Source:  Foundation Animal Welfare Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 22, 2009 at 12:27pm AST
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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bonaire’s Bats are Seriously Endangered by Increasing Construction

The cave-dwelling bat-colonies on Bonaire are under increasing pressure. The Barcadera and Colombia areas of Bonaire offer the highest diversity among bats on Bonaire, including the Mormoops megalophylla (phantom-face bat), a sub-species that is only found on Bonaire.

A large colony of Leptonycteris curasoae (long-snout bat) seems to have been driven away already. This is also the area for the Natalus tumidirostris (funnel-eared Bat). This animal is still found here, although it is possibly close to extinction on Bonaire. The increase of tourism, tourism projects, and construction of luxury villas threaten the survival of the cave-dwelling bats. It is estimated that 75% of cave-dwelling bat species on Bonaire have less than 500 individuals still living.  Further, the fact that more and more people are visiting the caves does not help either in protecting these diminishing colonies.

These summations can be found in a 2008 report by Anna Rojer of the scientific institute for Caribbean Research and Management of Biodiversity (Carmabi) in Curaçao. STINAPA Bonaire was shocked by the results and sounded the alarm bell:  both caves and bats urgently need protection.

In areas with many caves, like Barcadera, Santa Barbara, Colombia, and Lima, there is construction planned while there is a lack of consideration for the bats’ environment. By protecting the caves and the surrounding areas, the bat population may be saved. Carmabi has pledged support to STINAPA in developing a control plan.

In 1991, the Barcadera area was designated as a protected area due to the presence of these caves and their bats. Unfortunately the government lifted that protection in 2005 to allow construction. STINAPA is pleading to reinstate this protection before it’s too late. The same goes for the Colombia area, which is also rich in caves and cave-dwelling bats.

Many tropical bat-species need caves as a daytime hiding place. It is also the place where their young are born. Not every cave is suitable for the bats. Most species have specific requirements. It is known that the phantom-faced bat (Mormoops megalophylla) and long-snout bats (Leptonycteris curasoae) only will live in caves that are very warm, so bats cannot simply relocate to another cave when disturbed, as other caves may not necessarily meet their exact habitat requirements. The rare Natalus tumidirostris’ (funnel-eared bat) also has high demands for its living quarters. There are only about 100 to 150 specimens left on Bonaire. There used to be a large colony that lived in a cave in Sabadeco until it collapsed when a house was built on top of it.

It’s not only the actual destruction of their cave homes that will drive bats away, but an entire colony of phantom-faced bats was decimated in Curacao when construction took place hundreds of meters away. It is theorized that the vibrations or sounds of the scraping of the earth by the bulldozers caused the bats to leave their cave home.

The funnel-eared bat still exists, but in only one cave on Bonaire. Just entering the cave could mean the wholesale death of this species if they have young as the disturbance can cause the babies to drop to the ground and die of hunger.

Bats are the only indigenous mammal species on Bonaire and all species that do exist on Bonaire are endemic subspecies. This means that they only occur on the Leeward islands and nowhere else in the world. They are very useful to man and nature because they eat mosquitoes and cross-pollinate the cacti (see image above). The long-tongue bat (Glossophaga elongate) and the long-snout bat are nectar-eating bats that pollinate the flowers of the pillar cacti, which only bloom at night. This pollination allows the fruits to grow which provide food for birds and reptiles in the dry season.  (Source:  STINAPA, image courtesy of Ron van Rijn)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 21, 2009 at 8:27am AST
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Friday, June 19, 2009

Father’s Day Buffet Lunch Is Offered at Casablanca Restaurant

Celebrate Father’s Day this Sunday, June 21st at Casablanca Restaurant with their special buffet lunch served from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM.

There will be a variety of dishes from which to choose, including grilled beef with mango or mushroom sauce, grilled chicken breast, or grilled fish fillet with creole or green onion sauce.  The main course will be served with baked potato, coleslaw, and rice.  A welcome drink is included in the price, as well as salad or soup and dessert.  Costs for the lunch are FL 43.75 (USD $25.00) for adults, FL 21.87 (USD 12.50) for children 6 to 12 years, old and children five and under are free.  (Source:  Casablanca Restaurant)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 19, 2009 at 10:09am AST
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bonaire Wellness Connexions Holds Cycling Events in June and July, 2009

Cycling is becoming a popular sport on Bonaire, and there will be several cycling events during June and July, 2009.

On Sunday, June 28, there will be a mountain bike tour at Washingon Park.  Registration will begin at 7:45 AM at the entrance to the park, with a briefing held at 8:00 AM, after which the tour will immediately begin.  Entry fee is FL 25.00 per person (about USD $14.00 per person) and includes a sandwich, drinks, and fruit.  Advanced riders who wish to extend their trip may start riding from Bonaire Wellness Connexions (in Kralendijk) to the entrance of the park, continue with the tour, and then finish with a ride back to Kralendijk.  This advanced ride will start from BWC at 7.00 AM. Should participants get tired during the park tour, there will be assistance with a pickup, so they can catch a ride.  For more information, call (on Bonaire) 785-0767.

On Sunday, July 5th, there is a Ride for Hope, a fund-raising event for the Bonaire Cancer Foundation.  All are invited to come and ride for a good cause. This bicycle tour is for cyclists of all levels of experience including kids, parents, and the whole family. The total ride will take about two hours of riding on paved roads in the surroundings of Kralendijk.  This ride begins at 7:00 AM, interested participants should meet at Bonaire Wellness Connexions.  Entry fee is FL 20.00 per adult (about USD $11.25) or FL 10.00 per child (about USD $5.60), and includes an event t-shirt, fruit, and drinks.  (Source:  Bonaire Wellness Connexions)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 18, 2009 at 11:24am AST
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bonaire Has a New Executive Council

Earlier this week, the Island Territory of Bonaire swore in new members of the Executive Council.  As a governing accord already had been signed between ADB leader Jopie Abraham and Anthony Nicolaas, the new commissioners were appointed by the Island Council on Monday. 

The governing accord between ADB and Nicolaas calls for negotiations with the Netherlands “to come to equal rights for all citizens in the broadest sense on the basis of mutual respect, the final result of which will be put before the people in a referendum.” This may be interpreted that the incoming coalition will not accept the current package for Bonaire to become a special overseas entity of the Netherlands as part of the “BES-Islands” together with St. Eustatius and Saba.

The new commissioners are Nolly Oleana, Marugia Janga, Pancho Cicilia, and Frensel Janga and their duties will cover the following areas:

Marugia S.M. Janga will be covering the Structural Status of the island, Public Health and Hygiene, Social Services, General and Legal affairs, and Information and Protocol.

Pancrasio “Pancho” B. Cicilia will cover Finances, Personnel, Economic & Labour Affairs, and Public Enterprises (excluding Telbo, Selibon, and Bonaire International Airport). 

Frensel Janga will manage DROB, the Department of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, & Fisheries, Fire, Internal Affairs, Post & Archive, and Housing.

Nolly Oleana will be responsible for Education, Sport & Culture, Domain Management, Environment, and Transport (including Telbo, Bonaire International Airport, and the Harbour). (Source:  Island Government Release)

Posted by Susan Davis on June 17, 2009 at 10:28am AST
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Friday, June 12, 2009

Antillean Wine Company Plans Wine Tasting Evening on Saturday, June 13, 2009

Antillean Wine will hold its monthly wine-tasting event tomorrow evening, Saturday, June 13, 2009, at their showroom location on Kaya Industria #23, from 7:00 PM through 9:00 PM.

Entry is FL 17.50 or $10.00, and six wines will be highlighted in an informal setting.  Snacks will be provided.  Come and bring a friend, or come and make new friends!  (Source:  Antillean Wine Company)

Please note update June 14, 2009: Due to work on the water pipes on Kaya Industria which shut off water in the area, the wine tasting has been postponed to tonight, Sunday, June 14, 2009.

Posted by Susan Davis on June 12, 2009 at 9:55am AST
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