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Friday, July 30, 2010

Bonaire’s Summer Underwater Cleanup a Resounding Success with Fifty Participants

On Saturday, July 10, 2010, fifty divers and snorkelers descended upon Kralendijk Bay for the Dive Friends Bonaire/NetTech summer underwater cleanup.  This cleanup focused upon the yacht anchorage south and north of the Dive Friends @ Yellow Submarine dive facility.  Images from this cleanup are available online at the Bonaire Insider Photo Gallery by clicking here.

Susan Davis of NetTech addressed the group and explained what trash should be recovered and what should be left behind, as well as how to keep from damaging any marine animals.  After the briefing, the divers were transported both north and south of the dive facility, where they entered the water, descended, and began to fill their bags with trash.  They then worked their way back to the Dive Friends @ Yellow Submarine, where the filled bags were brought to the surface to those working as shore support.  There, volunteers checked once again to be sure no marine creatures had been inadvertently included, counted and tallied the trash for statistics, and then disposed of it responsibly.

It had been a year since this stretch of shallows was last cleaned, and the group was able to process an impressive amount of trash that had accumulated during this time:  7 paper bags, 4 plastic bags, 48 beverage bottles (2 liters or less), 65 glass beverage bottles, 16 beverage cans, 12 pieces of clothing or shoes, 6 pieces of cutlery, 9 food wrappers, 20 pieces of fishing line, 7 light sticks, 11 pieces of rope, 12 pieces of tubing, 23 pieces of metal or plastic, 42 pieces of building materials, 7 automotive tires, 72 pieces of glass, along with sundry car parts and other trash.

Among the dive volunteers, there were several official lionfish hunters, and in addition to the trash, a large lionfish was also removed from the reef.

After the dive, all participants and their families and friends were welcomed back for a Pot Luck BBQ—Dive Friends Bonaire and NetTech, the sponsors of the Bonaire cleanups, provided drinks and main courses, while participants supplied side dishes.  All participants were rewarded with certificates of participation.

The next quarterly underwater cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, September 18, 2010 when the area surrounding Karel’s Beach Bar will be cleaned.  Additional information about the cleanups is available at: http://www.dive-friends-bonaire.com/clean_up_dives.html.  All are welcome to join in.  (Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire and NetTech)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 30, 2010 at 12:40pm AST
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bonaire to Host Wounded Warriors for the Fifth Consecutive Year

For the fifth consecutive year, the entire island of Bonaire is proud to welcome the Wounded Warriors to their “home away from home” as they use SCUBA diving for rehabilitation and recreation from August 7th through 14th, 2010.

During this week, severely wounded troops and their significant others will travel to the island to complete the final step in the process of obtaining their dive certifications.  Representatives of the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association’s (DEMA) Be a Diver Program and the North American office of Tourism Corporation Bonaire will also be joining this group. All accommodations and diving will be provided courtesy of Captain Don’s Habitat Bonaire. Each year the people of Bonaire open their arms to welcome this group and show them not only the natural beauty and pristine waters of the island, but also the warmth, friendliness and the genuine hospitality of the Bonairean people.

This year’s contingent of seven Wounded Warriors has suffered life-changing physical injuries which they received in combat while stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.  They and their partners will be kept busy with a variety of activities beginning with the completion of their PADI and HSA dive certifications, which will take place on Saturday and Sunday. Once certified, they will continue diving throughout the week, both from the dock of Captain Don’s Habitat and via boat dives to Klein Bonaire and other famous Bonaire dive sites.  The group will also enjoy shopping, dining, sightseeing, and even a Texas-style BBQ.  The highlight of the week will take place when the Bonaire community gathers to meet these extraordinary troops and their companions at the reception held in their honor at the home of Lt. Governor Glenn Thode. 

Sponsors to date of the 5th Bonaire-Be A Diver-Wounded Warrior Scuba Certification trip are: 9Line LLC, Adams Unlimited Public Relations & Marketing, AERIS, Bikers Bonaire, Bonaire KFC, BonaireTalk.com, Bonaire Quad Tours, Bonaire Guided Motorcycle Tours, Bonaire Tours & Vacations, Budget Rent A Car, Captain Don’s Habitat, Caradonna Dive Adventures, Inc., Care Coalition, Caribbean Travel & Life Magazine, Chat & Browse Bonaire, DEMA/Be a Diver, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Magazine, Dive Training Magazine, Henderson, H.S.A. International Training Center of New Jersey, Islands Magazine, Jack Chalk & Family, Jewel Of Bonaire, NetTech, N.V., OCEANIC, PADI, Paradise Moon Bar & Restaurant, Patagonia Restaurant, Princeton Tec, Rum Runners, Sport Diver Magazine, Tourism Corporation Bonaire, and Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project.

As in past years, the Bonaire Insider will chronicle some of the activities of these amazing men and women.  Stay tuned for more details!  (Source:  TCB-NY)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 28, 2010 at 3:40pm AST
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Massage Hut Bonaire Offers a Summer Special on Massage Services Through September 30

Now through September 30th, The Massage Hut at Bonaire Windsurf Place at Lac Bay (on the beach at Sorobon) is offering a summer special savings of 25% off any massage service. 

This summer special means that a 60-minute massage is only $49.00 per person, while a 30-minute massage is only $27.00 per person.  Ninety-minute massages are a fantastic value at only $71.00 per person. This is a great way to beat Bonaire’s summer heat by experiencing the refreshing breezes at Lac Bay while relaxing to a massage and listening to the sound of the sea. For a unique Bonaire experience, add on a Bonaire sea salt scrub after your massage, to rejuvenate and exfoliate your skin, or take a little piece of Bonaire home with you--choose from the Hut’s Bonaire natural sea salt scrubs, bath salts, or cooking salt.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 786-6548 or email by clicking here and referencing the Summer Special. View all the Hut’s services at their web site at www.massagehutbonaire.com(Source:  Massage Hut Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 20, 2010 at 3:00pm AST
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Monday, July 19, 2010

Dive Friends Bonaire Announces New WebCam Services, With Bonaire’s First Open Water Training Cam

Dive Friends Bonaire is pleased to announce two new additions to its WebCam services, as well as an upgrade to its existing service.  Recently, two new Dive Friends Bonaire Web Cams went “on-line”; these cams provide an underwater view of the dive facility’s confined open water training area as well as a view of Kralendijk Harbor.

Combined with the existing PierCam, the new ReefCam allows family and friends to view all facets of dive training--from entering the water in front of the facility to watching the confined water training at 6 feet/2 meters of depth underwater.  The ReefCam can also be viewed live inside the dive facility, and plans are in place, for a nominal fee, for Dive Friends Bonaire to capture the video from students’ training sessions on DVD as a testament to their underwater training on Bonaire.

The new HarborCam offers a wonderful look into daily life in Kralendijk Bay, illustrating the coming and going of Bonaire’s visiting yachts, or the arrival or departure of a cruise ship into the island’s port.

The existing PierCam has been upgraded to state-of-the-art digital equipment, and this cam now offers crisp and clear colors in its views of the pier at Dive Friends @ Yellow Submarine.

All WebCams at Dive Friends @ Yellow Submarine are offered due to a collaborative effort between Caribbean WebCams, LLC and Dive Friends Bonaire.  Archives of all captured images are available in the archives of the Bonaire WebCams site, located at www.bonairewebcams.com.

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.

Posted by Susan Davis on July 19, 2010 at 4:39pm AST
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Posada Para Mira Opens For Dining and Private Parties, Serving Local Food

Bonaire now has a new spot to relax and enjoy some local food and entertainment on the weekends. Posada Para Mira recently opened its doors for business--it’s located on the road from Rincon to Dos Pos at the highest point on this hilly stretch of road just above Rincon, with an excellent view of the town and the surrounding hills.

Posada Para Mira specializes in Kushina Krioyo, local traditional dishes.  Patrons can also choose from various snacks and drinks. Available for private parties during the week, the restaurant opens to the public on weekends.  Each Friday features a happy hour starting at 4:00 PM.  Live music from local bands, as well as DJs from Bonaire and other areas, can be found regularly on the weekends entertaining the posada’s visitors.

Posada Para Mira is open to the public each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 4:00 PM until midnight. (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 15, 2010 at 3:44pm AST
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Glass Bottom Boat Tours Begin on Bonaire

Glass Bottom Boat Tours Bonaire has just begun operations on the island, offering tours within the Bonaire National Marine Park with a brand new, custom-made glass bottom boat. 

With a minimum number of participants of two (maximum 17), those taking a tour can enjoy a comfortable ride, shade from the sun, comfortable cushioned seats, and an easy entrance onto the boat from the dock at Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino.  An open bar and a friendly crew will make the trip complete.

The tour starts directly from the south pier at Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino and heads to Klein Bonaire, just about a half-mile away.  The tour provides a long drift along these reefs, before returning to the main island.  The viewing windows are large enough for everyone to observe the reef
simultaneously. For additional information or to book a tour, please call 795-1826.  (Source:  Glass Bottom Boat Tours Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 14, 2010 at 12:25pm AST
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Monday, July 05, 2010

Everyone Is Welcome to Join the Underwater Cleanup This Saturday, July 10, 2010

The next underwater cleanup will take place at Bonaire’s boat anchorage on Saturday, July 10, 2010.  All interested participants should meet at Dive Friends @ Yellow Submarine at 1:00 PM. 

Everyone is welcome, and those not diving can also help, since shore support is always needed.  It’s been a full year since this area was cleaned, so there will probably be a fair amount of trash to remove from the shallows.

All participants are welcome to return at 5:00 PM to 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.

Those planning on attending should advise Dive Friends Bonaire by sending an email to cleanup@dive-friends-bonaire.com or calling 717-2929 to make a reservation.

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

Posted by Susan Davis on July 05, 2010 at 4:29pm AST
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Friday, July 02, 2010

Dr. Eugenie Clark to Receive the North American Lifetime Achievement Award from Bonaire

Dr. Eugenie Clark will become the second North American recipient to receive Bonaire’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.  A panel of distinguished media chose Dr. Clark after long deliberations on several candidates. 

Dr. Clark will travel to Bonaire during the island’s Celebrate Our Planet Week, from August 22 through 28, 2010, a highlight week of the Bonaire Dive Into Summer program.  During her time on Bonaire, she will make several dives with visitors and residents of Bonaire, as well as give two presentations: one for adults, and one for Bonaire’s schoolchildren.  She’ll also be kept busy with a book signing of the newest edition of her book, “Lady With the Sharks” and will be the guest of honor at the home of Lt. Governor Glenn Thode when she is honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Eugenie Clark is a world-renowned ichthyologist and authority on sharks and is popularly known as the “Shark Lady”.  Throughout her long career, Dr. Clark has studiously applied the basic tenets of conservation which support sustainable tourism.  She was the founding director (1955 to 1967) of the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, now a leading center for shark research called the Mote Marine Laboratory, with which she is still affiliated. Today, Dr. Clark is Senior Research Scientist and Professor Emerita, Department of Biology, at the University of Maryland.

Her history with Bonaire goes back to 1983, when Dr. Clark began visiting over several years as a staff lecturer for short courses for medical doctors on “Human Underwater Biology.” Besides her lectures on Bonaire, she has given over 100 formal lectures at meetings, conventions, and universities in Australia, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Egypt, England, France, Indonesia, India, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Taiwan, and USA; 30+ lectures at community centers and schools; 3 lectures by phone; 50+ TV appearances and 60+ radio programs (local, national, and international). Dr. Clark became a member of Bonaire’s Queen Angel Club in 1983, a club which is still active today.

Dr. Clark is the recipient of three fellowships, four scholarships, six medals (including the gold medal of the Society of Woman Geographers and the University of Maryland President’s Medal), and 34 other awards for work in marine biology, conservation, exploration and writing (including the National Geographic Franklin L. Burr and DEMA Hall of Fame awards in 1993) and three Honorary Doctor of Science degrees from University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth (1992), University of Guelph, Ontario (1995), and Long Island University (1995).  She has authored three books (Lady with a Spear, The Lady and the Sharks, and The Desert Beneath the Sea) and over 165 scientific and popular articles.

The Bonaire Lifetime Achievement Award honors long serving, high performance professionals whose careers have truly made a difference.  It is for achievement over a period of several years rather than a single contribution and it is awarded for achievement that distinguishes the individual’s work and provides a legacy for future generations. In 2009, Dr. Sylvia Earle was awarded the first Bonaire Lifetime Achievement award for North America. In June, Bonaire’s own Captain Don Stewart received the island’s inaugural local award.  Dr. Eugenie Clark joins an august society of recipients.  (Source:  TCB-NY)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 02, 2010 at 11:22am AST
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Thursday, July 01, 2010

Bonaire Pays Tribute to Their Own Captain Don Stewart for a Lifetime of Achievement on Bonaire

Captain Don Stewart became the first local recipient to receive Bonaire’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. It was presented to him on Friday evening, June 25th, during his 85th birthday celebration at Captain Don’s Habitat Bonaire.

The Bonaire Lifetime Achievement Award honors long serving, high performance professionals whose careers have truly made a difference.  It is for achievement over a period of several years rather than a single contribution and it is awarded for achievement that distinguishes the individual’s work and provides a legacy for future generations.  A household name to those on Bonaire, Captain Don Stewart has worked tirelessly since his arrival--on May 21, 1962--within the island’s dive tourism industry, and, in fact, he is considered the founder of dive tourism on Bonaire, an industry considered by many to be the engine driving Bonaire’s local economy.

Captain Don’s efforts throughout his 48 years on Bonaire have always carefully measured conservation of the marine environment with development of the tourism product, which is the very definition of sustainable tourism.  Captain Don, truly a man ahead of his time, led the campaign to ban spear-fishing on Bonaire, instituted the first permanent mooring system which eliminated the need for boats to drop an anchor (now considered a standard for any marine protected area), founded the Council of Underwater Operators (CURO), which is still operating today, and implemented a mandatory orientation dive for all people diving on Bonaire. He is also responsible for opening the first hotel on the island, Zeebad (which is now the Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino), and, in 1976, he opened Captain Don’s Habitat, which introduced the innovative concept of “diving freedom,” diving 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Over his nearly half-century on Bonaire, Captain Don Stewart has received many awards and commendations for his efforts for Bonaire and in sustainable tourism.  His contributions have been recognized by DEMA with the 1998 Reaching Out Award and by Bonaire with a bronze memorial plaque placed at Captain Don’s Reef at Klein Bonaire.  Additionally, he’s been inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, and Captain Don was honored with the title of Knight within the Order of Orange-Nassau, a military and civil order of merit created in 1892 on behalf of Queen Wilhelmina of The Netherlands.

Captain Don Stewart is a prolific writer, authoring a number of novels and short stories chronicling his life.  He is the founder of the International Accolade Foundation, which has an environmental objective to proliferate reef/sea management, to maintain a continuing productive underwater environment, and to guarantee the economic health of the world’s communities, nations, and their industries.  At his birthday celebration, Captain Don received a commemorative award to properly thank him for all he has done to put Bonaire on the map. (Source:  TCB-NY)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 01, 2010 at 2:26pm AST
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