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Monday, January 31, 2011

Blue Mekong Thai Restaurant Offers New and Exciting Dining Options on Bonaire

The new Blue Mekong Thai Restaurant opened its doors a few months ago, and a visit to the restaurant for dinner proved that they have a new, fun, and exciting way to enjoy dining out on Bonaire. 

Unlike most restaurants, Blue Mekong has no menu.  Instead, patrons have the choice of ordering five, seven, or nine courses, which change every three weeks.  All courses are served in cups, and go from bland to spicy as the menu progresses.  This option works well for those with different appetites at the restaurants, as those who wish a complete dinner can order the 7-course or 9-course dinner, while those who want something lighter can go with the five-course menu.  Or, to be entirely flexible, anyone can start with the five-course menu, and upgrade to the seven-course or nine-course menu as the dinner progresses.  In fact, that is what this reporter did, enjoying the full nine-course dinner and yet not having that feeling of having over-eaten!

Blue Mekong Thai Restaurant is located on a second floor balcony overlooking Kaya Grandi in Kralendijk.  It offers a peaceful and restful oasis away from the street noise of town.  The restaurant is small and intimate, and the hosts do all they can to ensure everyone has a wonderful time. The pre-set courses include chicken, pork, beef, or shrimp, as well as variety of vegetables, rice, noodles, or soup.  With the courses changing every three weeks, there is an incentive to return time and time again to see what new, innovative Thai dishes will be served.

It is recommended that advance reservations be made, by calling 717-5556.  Blue Mekong is open Tuesday through Friday for dinner.  The restaurant is located at Kaya Grandi #5. (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 31, 2011 at 2:52pm AST
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Friday, January 28, 2011

Free Downloadable Resource for Those Interested in Conservation of Bio-Diversity

The Bonaire Insider has recently learned that the Oxford University Press is making a biology resource publication available free via download, entitled Conservation Biology for All, to anyone with an interest in conservation of biodiversity.

Geogina Mace provided the forward to this 358-page text, and she tells us that even though 2010 was named by the United Nations to be the International Year of Biodiversity, coinciding with major political events that set the stage for a radical review of the way we treat our environment and its biological riches, so far, the reports have been dominated by reconfirmations that people and their lifestyles continue to deplete the earth’s biodiversity. Indications are that actions to date have not slowed the rate of depletion of our earth’s resources. In fact, it continues to increase.

There is something within the manual for everyone who is, or wishes to be, a conservation biologist. We hope that our readers will be inspired and better informed to do something that will help show improvement in the world community’s next examination of our biodiversity.  Those interested may download the publication by clicking here (in PDF format). (Source:  Paul Hoetjes)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 28, 2011 at 11:47am AST
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cas Cadushy Announces Grand Opening This Weekend

Cadushy of Bonaire Liqueur is a combination of Awa di Lamoenchi (water with lime) and cactus and is one of Bonaire’s unique products. This weekend will be the grand opening of Cas Cadushy, the home of the Cadushy liqueur, and all are invited to attend. The event will also feature Bonaire artist, Nochi Coffie, in his first of eleven upcoming expositions. The event runs Friday, January 28 through Sunday, January 30, 2011 and will be held at Cas Cadushy in Rincon, which is located in Plasa Diego at Kaya C.D. Crestian. 

The activity gets underway when the doors open on Friday at 5:00 PM, followed by the official opening at 6:00 PM with music by Munje Winklaar, Tica Sealy, and Tipico Clasiko and Dance. Join in the fun at 8:00 PM with the Happy Friday Dance Party.

The exposition will open Saturday at 11:00 AM and at 6:00 PM there will be a performance by Ritmo Lokal with Nel i su Grupo and Tipico Clasiko. On Sunday, the exposition will again open at 11:00 AM with The Silver Bullet Steelband providing entertainment starting at 6:00 PM. Entrance is free, so come prepared to dance and enjoy. (Source: Cadushy of Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 27, 2011 at 4:19pm AST
ArtMusic and PerformancesPotpourriPermalink
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Another Record-Setting Underwater Cleanup Removes Trash from Bonaire’s South Pier

Following on the heels of a record attendance at the September, 2010 cleanup, a new attendance record was set on Sunday, January 16, 2011, when 78 Bonaire visitors and residents joined together in the early morning to clean Bonaire’s South Pier, also known as the Customs Pier.  It was truly a monumental event to kick off the thirteenth year of regular reef cleanups on Bonaire.  Images from this cleanup are available on-line at the Bonaire Insider Photo Gallery by clicking here.

Dive Friends Bonaire and NetTech N.V. were the event sponsors, but many others assisted to make the event a success.  After registration was complete, Susan Davis of NetTech and Asko Zuidam of Dive Friends Bonaire initiated the briefing, giving an explanation of how to recover the trash, as well as what should be recovered and what should be left behind, as it was important that all participants refrain from harming any marine organisms. 

With the tally team in place, the divers entered the water and began their search for debris and trash.  When their bags were full, they would bring them to the surface, where the tally team ensured that any animals that might have been inadvertently brought up were quickly returned to the water.  The trash was then sorted, counted, and then disposed of in a large bin which Bonaire’s waste management company, Selibon, had donated for the day. 

The South Pier is a working pier, and thus the underwater terrain can accumulate more trash than is normal on the reef.  The following was removed from Bonaire’s South Pier:  9 paper bags, 17 plastic bags, 40 plastic beverage bottles, 289 glass beverage bottles or glasses, 36 beverage cans, 57 caps or lids, 62 pieces of clothing or shoes, 75 pieces of cutlery, 34 food wrappers or containers, 1 pull tab, 1 wallet, 5 straws or stirrers, 61 pieces of fishing line, 10 fishing lures, 1 light bulb, 3 pieces of fishing net, 1 piece of fiberglass, 21 pieces of plastic sheeting, 23 pieces of rope, 15 plastic straps, 1 scuba part, 4 toothbrushes, 1 pair of goggles, 2 cell phones, 1 doorknob, 9 batteries, 160 pieces of building materials, 8 automotive parts, 2 tires, 9 boat parts, 2 fire hoses, 2 towels, and even a pair of knitting needles!  Additionally, since there were a number of trained lionfish hunters in the group, three large lionfish were removed from the surrounding reefs.

In the later afternoon, all participants and their families and friends were welcomed back for a Pot Luck BBQ, with food and beverages hosted by Dive Friends Bonaire and NetTech and where quite a party ensued.  After enjoying a great dinner, all participants were eligible for a variety of raffle prizes, consisting of t-shirts and caps and dive accessories. Volunteers were also rewarded with certificates of participation.

Live video of the event can be viewed by clicking here.  Thanks go to the day sponsors Selibon, Reef, Deep Blue Gear, Ouray, Cudas, and Dive Shades.

The next quarterly underwater cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, April 9, 2011.  Registration opens at 12:30 PM, and the briefing will begin at 1:00 PM.  The planned location will be the pier in front of It Rains Fishes Restaurant.  Those interested in participating should make a reservation by e-mailing cleanups@dive-friends-bonaire.com.  Additional information about the cleanups is available by clicking here.  All are welcome to join in. (Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire and NetTech, images courtesy of Susan Davis, Frederique Schreurs, and Jim Mendria)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 26, 2011 at 1:21pm AST
Community ServiceEventsScuba DivingSnorkelingWater SportsPermalink
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bonaire Dominates Scuba Diving Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2011

The island of Bonaire has swept top honors receiving four #1 Ratings, which is more than any other destination in the Caribbean/Atlantic category, while continuing its reign as one of the world’s top dive destinations. For the ninth consecutive year, Bonaire has taken first place for Top Overall Diving in Scuba Diving magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2011. 

Bonaire received first place in three other Caribbean/Atlantic categories: Top Health of Marine Environment, Top Macro Life, and Top Shore Diving, and also received second place in seven other Caribbean/Atlantic categories: Overall Destination, Value for Diving Dollar, Beginner Diving, Snorkeling, Visibility, Marine Life and, Underwater Photography.

For the Readersí Choice Awards, thousands of Scuba Diving subscribers and web users rated their dive experiences on a scale of one to five. Results of the 2011 Awards will be featured in the January/February 2011 issue of Scuba Diving magazine.  (Source:  TCB)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 20, 2011 at 12:23pm AST
Scuba DivingSnorkelingTourism AnnouncementsWater SportsPermalink
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bon Bida Spa and Gym Announces New Class Schedule

Effective immediately Bon Bida Spa and Gym has a new class schedule, along with updated pricing and membership information. Choose from a larger variety of classes and membership options, including an option for those who wish to visit the gym during their vacation on Bonaire.

The new schedule and pricing offers several options, ranging from full membership to lessons only. Lessons taught by Bon Bida’s fitness staff are automatically included in the membership. Lessons included in the membership or on a “lessons only” basis include Body Toning, Caribbean Dance, Pilates, Core Stability and BBB, which is Belly, Butt, and Legs. Tina Woodley teaches a different class each day of the week from Monday through Thursday from 9:00 to 10:00 AM. Monday is Body Toning, Tuesday is Caribbean Dance, Wednesday is BBB, and Thursday is Pilates. On Tuesday evenings she teaches Body Toning again, and on Thursday evenings, Pilates, both from 6:30 to 7:30. Core Stability is offered on Mondays and Fridays from 5:00 to 5:30 PM.

As an added benefit, access to classes taught by outside instructors is also available for an additional fee. Zumba by Wendy will start February 2nd on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 to 8:30, cost is $60.00 for a ten-visit card, or $8.00 for an individual class. Yoga by Desiree and Don as mentioned in a previous story is offered on Mondays from 8:00 to 9:00 AM and Wednesdays from 6:30 to 7:30 PM. Don teaches a men’s class on Wednesdays from 7:30 to 8:30 AM. The cost is $60 for a six week program of one class per week and a walk-in price of $15. Beginner and Advanced Salsa by Marjorie and Roy as mentioned in a previous story are also available for $80 per course. Salsa Starters classes are Monday nights from 7:00 to 8:00, Tuesday nights from 8:00 to 9:00, and Thursday nights from 8:00 to 9:00. An advanced Salsa class runs Monday nights from 8:00 to 9:00.  Fitness Overall by Kirsten is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30 to 9:00 AM, however, note that these classes are fully booked at this time. 

Prices and memberships are as follows:

-- 1 year membership (prepay the whole year for a $125 discount):  $90 per month
-- Half year membership (prepay the half year for a $50 discount): $90 per month
-- 1 month membership: $110 per month
-- 10 visit card (valid for six months): $140
-- “Lessons only” two times per week for a half year (prepay the half year for a $60 discount): $65 per month
-- “Lessons only” one time per week for a half year (prepay the half year for a $30 discount): $35 per month
-- Day Pass: $15

Furthermore, a customized program including instruction about the fitness equipment is available for a one time fee of $60 and includes a $15 deposit for a USB key which stores your program and your progress. At the end of the membership period and upon return of the key, the deposit will be returned.

Bon Bida also offers massage in a custom massage-room by a professional masseuse of your choice for $60.00 per hour.

Opening hours are Monday through Thursday from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM, Friday from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM. (Source: Bon Bida Spa & Gym)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 19, 2011 at 8:49am AST
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Classical Music Board Announces A Special Evening With Literature and Music On January 29, 2011

Saturday January 29, 2011 marks the night of a unique event featuring an author and three renowned musicians of Antillean music. It’s a great opportunity to take in another aspect of Bonaire’s cultural richness. 

Jan Brokken is the author of Why 11 Antilleans Kneel in Front of the Heart of Chopin, which discusses the history and the origin of Antillean music, and three pianists and composers of that music, who incorporate it with European composers like Chopin.

The three pianists and composers highlighted in this book who will be performing are Livio Hermans, Wim Statius Muller and Johnny Kleimoedig. They are the last living performers of this type of music and have done several tours and concerts with the author in the Antilles, Poland, Belgium and the Netherlands. Anyone who enjoys classical and Antillean music, will want to attend this unique cultural mix of music.

The concert will be held in Cacique Hall at Plaza Resort at 7:30 PM. The entrance fee at the door is $25. Tickets may be purchased in advance for only $20 at Addo’s Books & Toys, Flamingo Bookstore or the reception desk at Plaza Resort. Children with a school ID will be admitted for $10.  (Source: Classical Music Board)

Posted by Ann Johnson on January 18, 2011 at 7:30pm AST
EventsMusic and PerformancesPermalink
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Friday, January 14, 2011

Bruce Bowker’s Carib Inn Launches New Web Site

Bruce Bowker’s Carib Inn is one of Bonaire’s most popular small inns, dedicated to the needs and requirements of those travelers coming to the island for their dive vacations.  Carib Inn has just launched a newly renovated web site, detailing their services in both accommodations and diving. 

Those visitors who have stayed with Bruce over the years will still find all the information from the past web site, but the new format is easier to navigate and will display well on hand-held devices, such as a Blackberry, IPhone, or IPad.  New viewers to the web site will easily find data on room types and rates, diving and SCUBA instruction, last-minute openings, and Carib Inn’s retail store.  Additionally, there is information about the inn itself, about the staff, about Bonaire, as well as an extensive image gallery highlighting all the visitors who have faithfully returned to Carib Inn over the years, with some visitors having made over fifty visits!

Because the Carib Inn is so popular and has a high rate of returning, happy guests, many times this small inn is sold out well in advance. However, cancellations do occur, often allowing last-minute bookings at attractive rates. Check out the Carib Inn’s Last Minute Booking Availability by clicking here.

From the room rates page, those considering accommodations at Carib Inn can click through to see images of the various types of accommodations offered, from one- or two-bedroom apartments, a one-bedroom bungalow, studios, efficiencies, or standard rooms overlooking the pool.  A three-bedroom house is also available, offering a full kitchen, two bathrooms, and a sea-view deck.

Many Bonaire visitors who have accommodations elsewhere still plan their diving activities--boat diving, shore diving, or instruction--through the Carib Inn.  Many of the Carib Inn’s crew have been with Bruce for years, providing a welcoming return for repeat guests.

Those who have met Bruce Bowker over the years know he has an inimitable style, and Bruce’s Page provides a glimpse of him with some humor, diving tips, and personal philosophies. 

Preview the new site by visiting www.caribinn.com(Source:  Carib Inn Web Site)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 14, 2011 at 9:31am AST
Hotels and LodgingScuba DivingWater SportsPermalink
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Continental Launches a New Airline Service to Curacao

For those considering a trip to Bonaire or looking to extend a trip to Bonaire, Continental’s new service to Curacao is an additional option. 

Continental has launched a twice a week nonstop service from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to Curacao (CUR). The new service departs on Wednesdays and Saturdays and gives people the option of a ten day trip, making Bonaire more accessible. For additional information or to book flights, visit Continental Airlines web site by clicking here.

Connecting to Bonaire from Curacao has become easier as more flights have been added. You may choose between Dutch Antilles Express, Divi Divi, Insel Air or Easy Air. To read about connections between Bonaire and Curacao, click here. (Source: Continental Airlines)

Posted by Ann Johnson on January 13, 2011 at 9:13am AST
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Monday, January 10, 2011

All Are Welcome to Join the Underwater Cleanup on Sunday, January 16, 2011

The next underwater cleanup will take place at Bonaire’s South Pier (Customs Pier) on Sunday, January 16, 2011.  All interested participants should meet at Dive Friends @ Dive Inn at 9:30 AM.

Everyone is welcome, and those not diving can also help, since shore support is always needed.  All participants are welcome to return at 5:00 PM for the eventís customary BBQ at Dive Friends @ Yellow Sub; 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 January 10, 2011 at 3:35pm AST
Community ServiceEventsScuba DivingSnorkelingWater SportsPermalink
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