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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jong Bonaire’s Third Annual Fun Walk & Bike Will Be Held Sunday, February 21st, 2010

It’s the third year for this event, and much like other Jong Bonaire fund-raising events, such as the Swim to Klein Bonaire, the Fun Walk & Bike is gathering more and more participants each year.  This year, it will be held on Sunday, February 21st, 2010.

The walk will consist of a distance of 20 kilometers, and the starting time is 6:00 AM when it’s refreshingly cool outside.  The starting and ending points this year will be at the Jong Bonaire Youth Center.  Entry fee is FL 20.00 per person (USD $11.24) and children under the age of 12 are half price.  The entry fee includes a t-shirt, water bottle, drinks, lunch, and fruit.  Tickets are available at Freewieler and Jong Bonaire.  All are invited to come out for this fun event and help out a good cause!  For additional information and route information, click here (in PDF format).  (Source:  Jong Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 28, 2010 at 1:51pm AST
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dive Friends Bonaire Announces New Management for Dive Facilities

Dive Friends Bonaire is pleased to announce the appointment of a new manager for their dive operations department.

Effective immediately, Pascal de Meyer will begin as Manager of Dive Operations.  Mr. de Meyer has many years of experience in diving operations around the world and on Bonaire, where he has been working within the local dive industry for nearly twenty years.  He joined Dive Friends Bonaire after Yellow Submarine and Photo Tours Divers, of which he was an owner, merged in 2005, and he has been actively working as Retail Manager since that time.

Dive Friends Bonaire has every confidence that Mr. de Meyer will continue the company’s mission to provide Bonaire’s friendliest dive operation while maintaining the highest of standards. 

Dive Friends Bonaire is one of Bonaire’s premier diving facilities offering full diving and snorkeling services while still providing personal attention.  Two retail stores are available in Kralendijk, in addition to four diving facilities.  For additional information about all their services, visit their web site at www.dive-friends-bonaire.com, or e-mail: info@dive-friends-bonaire.com. (Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 26, 2010 at 1:00pm AST
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Friday, January 22, 2010

The Next Classical Music Concert is January 24, 2010

The Classical Music Board of Bonaire has announced their next concert, which will be in a new format.  On January 24, 2010, Krusa Musika will present a “Lazy Sunday Afternoon Concert.”

The program will be divided into three sets of thirty minutes each.  In each set, a mini-concert will be held for about 15 to 20 minutes, after which background music will be provided so attendees may socialize and talk a bit.  In between sets, a short intermission will be provided.  Linda Anthony will be singing soprano, Eric van Silfhout will be singing tenor and be on violin, Hans Faassen will be on piano and bass, and there also will be guest musicians.  The program has been planned to include vocals (solos and an a capella quartet), and instrumental pieces (on piano and violin).  Additionally, some 16th-century Dutch songs will be performed, along with other compositions.

The concert will take place at Cacique Hall at Plaza Resort Bonaire, and capacity is limited to a maximum of ninety persons.  Seating will be at twelve round tables.  Entry is FL 15.00 per person; tickets will be available at the door starting at 1:15 PM.  (Source:  Classical Music Board Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 22, 2010 at 1:55pm AST
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Buddy Dive Resort Receives New Boat, Now Offers Three-Tank Washington Park Safari Dives

Late last month, a new motor catamaran snugged up to Buddy Dive’s dock--with a welcoming committee which had eagerly watched the boat make its way from the horizon, past Klein Bonaire, to Buddy Dive.  This motor catamaran has lots of space, enough for up to 24 divers on a three-tank dive.

Equipped with everything on board that a diver needs, such as rinse buckets, a camera table, a sun-deck, a shaded area, and an entry platform for both easy entries and exits.  After or in-between dives, one can enjoy the sun and stunning views from a comfortable seat on the flying bridge.

Because of the spaciousness of the boat, Buddy Dive is now offering three-tank Washington Park Safari Dives, with possibility of dives made at Boca Bartol, Playa Bengi, Playa Funchi, Bise Morto, Wayaca, or Boca Slagbaai.  The price for the trip is only $120 per person and includes a lunch.  The boat will go with a minimum of just 6 divers, and the maximum is 24.  Those who wish to tag along, but not dive, are welcome subject to space availability.

Those wishing to check schedules or sign up in advance of their arrival on Bonaire may contact Buddy Dive’s reservations department by emailing reservations@buddydive.com or phone 717-5080. (Source:  Buddy Dive Resort)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 19, 2010 at 1:34pm AST
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Monday, January 18, 2010

CIEE Bonaire Announces New Lectures in January and February, 2010

CIEE has announced two new upcoming lectures in their continuing series of free, community-oriented presentations on Bonaire’s natural world.

The first will take place on Thursday, January 28th at 7:00 PM, and will be given by Dr. Sam Williams, University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom.  He will speak on factors affecting the abundance and distribution of the yellow-shouldered Amazon parrot (Amazona barbadensis) on Bonaire.

The second presentation will be conducted in conjunction with Stichting Kibrahacha, and it will be held on Friday, February 5th at 7:00 PM.  The topic will be trees and reforestation on Bonaire, and the presenter is Dr. Dolfi Debrot, Director of CARMABI (Caribbean Research and Management on Biodiversity in Curaçao).  Dr. Debrot has more than ten year’s experience with reforestation and planting of rare endemic trees on Curaçao and Bonaire. The last few years he has been planting trees on Klein Bonaire and in Washington Slagbaai National Park in collaboration with STINAPA.  Dr. Debrot has put together a splendid presentation with photographs of rare trees. This presentation also addresses the impact of feral ungulates on the vegetation. It shows how the bio-diversity can be increased by regeneration and reforestation.

Both lectures will take place at the CIEE Research Station Bonaire, Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot 26.  All are welcome and admission is free.  (Source:  CIEE Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 18, 2010 at 1:16pm AST
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Friday, January 15, 2010

It’s Karnival Season on Bonaire!

Although the holiday season has just ended, that doesn’t mean that there’s not time to begin the next celebration, which, on Bonaire, is Karnival.  We’re already into the Karnival season, with events beginning now and leading up through to the Grand Karnival Parade in Kralendijk, on February 14, 2010, also Valentine’s Day.

Here’s the schedule for upcoming events:

January 16th:  Jump-Up in Rincon
January 19th:  Jump-Up in Wilhelmina Park, Kralendijk
January 20th:  Jump-Up in Rincon
January 24th:  Election of the King and Queen of the Youth Karnival
January 30th:  Final Night for the Grand Tumba Festival
January 31st:  Youth Tumba Festival
February 1st:  Jump-Up Kabo
February 5th:  Election of the King and Queen of the Grand Karnival (Adult)
February 6th:  Youth Karnival in Rincon
February 7th:  Youth Karnival in Kralendijk
February 10th:  Bikers’ Parade in Kralendijk
February 12th:  Marathon Jump-Up Jump-In
February 13th:  Grand Karnival Parade in Rincon
February 14th:  Grand Karnival Parade in Kralendijk
February 20th:  Closing of the 2010 Karnival Season

Be sure to enjoy as many events as you can!  (Source:  Island Government)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 15, 2010 at 9:46am AST
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Restaurant Review:  La Barca Offers Traditional Italian Dining on Bonaire

It seems like 2010 has brought a wide variety of new restaurants on Bonaire to sample this coming year, from Chinese restaurants, to Italian restaurants, and everything in between.  La Barca Bar Restaurant recently opened its doors, and this reporter had the opportunity to give them a try.

La Barca is located on the oceanfront promenade in the premises of the former Angel Floating Restaurant.  The boat serves as a nice backdrop to the canopied garden, where dinner is served.  The menu, although not large, is varied and should offer something for everyone.  As with traditional Italian dining, La Barca offers starters (antipasti), different first courses (the pasta course), and various second courses (the main course).

My dining companion and I both elected to limit the caloric intake and so we each sampled the same pasta course, which proved to be plentiful and more than enough for a dinner.  We chose the tagliolini, a fresh egg pasta that was served with large shrimp, calamari, and shellfish, in this instance, mussels.  The pasta was perfectly al dente and the seafood married well with the pasta’s sauce.  Although I did not have wine, my companion approved of the wine list that was proffered and chose a nice red to go with the dinner.

The ambiance is understated Italian elegance, and those wishing to enjoy a drink at the bar sit on tall bar stools at the side of the boat’s starboard gunwale.  There’s an excellent breeze which keeps mosquitoes well away, so no bug spray was needed, and the tables are spaced well away from each other, so there’s no noisy intrusion from nearby tables.

To give other examples of menu items, starters can include a tuna carpaccio in citrus fruit marinade, duck salad with crudites and crunchy croutons, mozzarella leaves with tomato confit and Parma ham, among others.  Some of the pasta courses offered include Parmesan risotto with ossobuco morsels or a maccheroncini amatriciana style with fresh tomatoes, pancetta cubes, and pecorino cheese.

Some of the main courses that I’ve yet to sample on return trips include butter-fried Dorado escalope in poppy seed crust, grilled beef fillet with roasted potatoes, and for the vegetarians, a vegetable millefoglie cake with fondue, Parmesan biscuit, and orange citronette.

For such a small island, Bonaire offers a spectacular array of dining options, and La Barca is certainly a welcome addition!  The restaurant is located on Kaya Jan N.E. Craane, and reservations may be made by calling 717-4514.  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 14, 2010 at 3:36pm AST
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bonaire Wellness Connexions Begins 2010 with Many Activities

BWC has announced a very active calendar for 2010 which is perfect for active residents or tourists, beginning with the first event on Saturday, January 16, 2010.

This first event of the year will be the BWC East Mountain Bike Ride, a mountain bike ride through new goat and donkey trails along the east coast, which promises to be a thrilling ride. Price per participant is FL 20.00 (about USD $11.24); fee includes drinks and fruits.

Then, on Sunday, January 31, the National Park Mountain Bike Ride is planned.  This is a popular mountain bike tour in Washington Slagbaai National Park, and is for riders of all levels of experience; distance for beginners, intermediate, and advanced riders.  More advanced or experienced riders will have the opportunity to ride from BWC (town) to the entrance of the park, then ride the park with the whole group and then ride back to town (approximately 80 km). Advanced ride will start from BWC at 7.00 AM. There will be assistance in the park with a pickup in case participants get tired, so they can catch a ride.  Cost is $14.50 per person and includes a sandwich, drinks, and fruit. Please note that the entrance to the park is not included, so those who have a dive tag should bring that, along with the receipt, for free entry.

On Sunday, February 21, BWC will hold a 5k, 10k, and 1/2 Marathon.  Future events for 2010 include:

February 28, Island Road Bike Tour
March 28, Mountain Bike Race
April 17, North Mountain Bike Tour
May 2, Run Bike Run Off-Road
May 30, Tempo Race
June 13, National Park Mountain Bike Tour
June 27, Xtreme Duo Bonaire
October 3, Mountain Bike Race
December 19, National Park Mountain Bike Tour

Source:  Bonaire Wellness Connexions

Posted by Susan Davis on January 12, 2010 at 1:47pm AST
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Monday, January 11, 2010

Patagonia Restaurant Celebrates Third Anniversary with the Opening of Their New Martini Lounge

The Palacios Family, well known for their two restaurants, Patagonia Argentinean Restaurant and Buenos Aires Cafe, have added a new martini lounge to celebrate their third anniversary at Patagonia.

The new lounge is directly next to the restaurant, a cozy and intimate space with comfortable rattan chairs or with stools at the marina’s edge, overlooking the balustrade, just feet from the water’s edge.  Open Tuesday through Sunday, from 6:00 PM through midnight (2:00 AM on weekends), it’s a fabulous way to either start or finish the evening.  Sip your martini (they’re reputed to have the largest selection of martinis on the island!), or any other beverage, and watch the sun sink into the Caribbean behind the sailboats’ masts, or close out the evening with quiet background music that includes jazz, latin jazz, Brazilian soul, favorites such as Frank Sinatra, and other lounge music.

It’s a “sure thing” to add to one’s lists of new places on Bonaire to try on the next trip!  (Source:  Patagonia Argentinean Restaurant)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 11, 2010 at 3:26pm AST
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Friday, January 08, 2010

The Readers of Scuba Diving Magazine Choose Bonaire, Again and Again!

Each year, the readers of Scuba Diving Magazine give their opinions about the best diving destinations around the world, and Bonaire has once again been awarded high honors with seven #1 ratings, including the #1 Top Overall Diving Destination in the Caribbean and Atlantic, for the eighth consecutive year.

Readers also chose Bonaire as the #1 destination for six additional Caribbean/Atlantic categories, including Top Marine Life, Top Macro Life, Top Snorkeling, Top Shore Diving, Top Underwater Photography, and Top Value, proving once again that Bonaire offers the most to Caribbean-bound divers.  Additionally, the island was honored with #2 spots in Top Visibility, Top Health of Marine Environment, and Top Overall Destination, and a #3 spot was won in Top Advanced Diving.

To generate the Readers’ Choice Awards, many subscribers of the print magazine, along with web users, rated their dive experiences on a scale of one to five. Results of the 2010 Awards are featured in the January/February 2010 issue of Scuba Diving Magazine. (Source:  Scuba Diving Magazine)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 08, 2010 at 12:06pm AST
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