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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Karol Meyer to Return for the 2011 Bonaire Freediving Event Hosted by Buddy Dive

The famous Brazilian freediver Karol Meyer will return to Bonaire for the 3rd consecutive year to host the Buddy Dive Freediving Event, to be held July 31 through August 14, 2011. Karol is renowned in the sport of freediving, having broken seven world records including the Guinness Book of Records in 2011 in Static Apnea, with a time of 18 minutes, 32 seconds, the World Record in Tandem No Limits with a depth of 121 meters, and the South American Record in Variable Weight, with a depth of 93 meters.

The event this year will feature Karol hosting an evening presentation to highlight her diving accomplishments, special workshops on breathing and apnea tips and a two day freediving clinic, open to the public for $195. (Source: Buddy Dive Resort)

Posted by Ann Johnson on March 31, 2011 at 11:09am AST
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Baggage Policy Announced for KLM and Martinair Flights

Effective April 1, 2011, there will be a new baggage policy for travelers on all KLM and Martinair flights, including those traveling to Bonaire via Curacao, replacing the policy mentioned in a previous story

The maximum amount of checked luggage allowed at no charge for an Economy Class ticket is one suitcase of 23 kilos and for a Business Class ticket is two suitcases of 32 kilos. For those traveling in Economy Class who would like to bring a second bag or an overweight bag, a fee of $100 will be charged on flights from Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba to Amsterdam. A 20% discount on the excess baggage fee is available by clicking here or by visiting the KLM website and going to the section titled “Manage My Booking.”

Passengers who are members of Flying Blue Elite and Elite Plus are allowed to bring one extra suitcase of up to 23 kilos when flying Economy Class and one extra suitcase of up to 32 kilos when flying Business Class.

For those traveling with pets, KLM will no longer be able to transport pets in the World Business Class cabin on intercontinental flights due to flight safety regulations. Pets may still be transported in a kennel in a special area of the luggage compartment. For more information, visit the KLM web site by clicking here. (Source: KLM Press Release)

Posted by Ann Johnson on March 30, 2011 at 5:28pm AST
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bonaire Bids a Final “Ayo” to One of Its Icons, “Uncle Bud” Pearson

It is with great sadness that the Insider reports on the passing of a Bonaire icon, “Uncle Bud” Pearson.  Clayton Baird (Bud) Pearson, Jr., lived on Bonaire for approximately 30 years, and he was known and loved by all--visitors and those living here alike.

Bud was the owner/proprietor of the Sand Dollar Grocery for twenty years, and thus came in contact with many of the island’s visitors who stayed in the northern hotel row.  He always greeted everyone in his store with a smile which lit up his face. 

He is survived by his wife, Karen Pearson, and sisters Diane, Barbara, Nancy, and Dorothy.  Come and celebrate Bud’s life at Sunset Beach (located at the northern traffic rotary) at a memorial service on Thursday, March 31st, 2011 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM.  Those who would like to make a charitable donation in his memory can do so to Bonaire’s Animal Shelter, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire, or Bonaire National Marine Park.  Condolences to the family can be emailed to unclebuddy@gmail.com(Source:  Extra)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 29, 2011 at 2:05pm AST
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane? No! It’s a Flying Gunard!

If you’ve always wanted to know more about those spectacular reef fish you spot while diving and snorkeling in the Caribbean, then this is the year to join Sand Dollar Condominiums and Bonaire Dive & Adventure as they host the Fourth Annual Fish ID Challenge July 30 to August 5 and August 6 to 12, 2011. Join them this summer as they team up once more with Fish ID experts Patti & Scott Chandler of ReefNet, Inc.

Participants will enjoy multimedia Fish ID seminars targeting novice to advanced fish watchers during their stay. Attendees will receive a Bonaire-specific, custom-printed Fish ID guide of the top 100 most commonly sighted fish found in Bonaire’s waters. During the week, Patti and Scott will lead guided shore dives on Bari Reef.  Several evenings each week, Patti and Scott will share raw, uncut video of these and other dives with participants discussing fish ID and swapping the days “fish stories.” One of Scott’s specialties is shooting in Hi-Def macro, capturing on tape those interesting fishes and creatures too small to be noticed by the naked eye and fish behavior not normally seen by most divers.

Divers will learn how to contribute to REEF’s (the Reef Environmental Education Foundation) fish database through the use of roving surveys. Information gathered in the surveys will be entered into REEF’s public-accessible database and made available to divers, marine researchers, and other interested parties. Current Reef database statistics site Bonaire as having 7 of the top 10 reefs in the Caribbean in terms of species richness, with Sand Dollar’s Bari Reef boasting the top position with a remarkable 389 species recorded.

Participants will be further challenged with the goal of locating a “fish du jour” which will be posted on a daily “Wanted Poster.” At the each of week of the event, prizes will be awarded for the guest(s) who accumulate the most points for daily fish sightings. Guests will be encouraged to participate in a cumulative weekly fish sighting tally that will be updated daily to illustrate the vast representation of fish that can be found in Bonaire’s calm waters. 

Sand Dollar’s “Ride to the Reef Packages” during the Challenge are priced at US $787.00 per double diver, for seven nights studio accommodation, free Nitrox upgrades, six days unlimited shore diving, truck rental, and government room tax.  Packages including boat dives and other accommodation types including one-, two-, and three-bedrooms are also available.  The Challenge is free to guests of Sand Dollar. 

For more information, please call 800-288-4773 or Sand Dollar’s Florida Office at 954-453-5025 or email by clicking here or visit their web site at www.SandDollarBonaire.com. (Source:  Sand Dollar Condominiums)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 24, 2011 at 3:58pm AST
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Next Go Green Farmers Market Will Take Place This Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Go Green Natural and Organic Shop will organize Bonaire’s next Farmers’ Market this Saturday, March 26th, 2011.

The market will be held just behind the Go Green shop, and in front of the Catholic church in Kralendijk.  It will open at 8:00 AM and run through early afternoon, but it is recommended to get there early for the best selection.  A nice array of home-grown or home-produced items are available at the market.  While there, take a few moments to stroll through Go Green’s wide display of natural or organic products, some of which are now available in bulk.  For more information, visit the Go Green web site by clicking here(Source:  Go Green Natural & Organic Shop)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 23, 2011 at 9:48am AST
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

CIEE Announces Next Public Lecture on Wetlands Restorations

This Monday March 21, 2011, John Liu, who is internationally known for ecological film making and conservation and restoration projects around the world, will do a presentation on wetlands restorations and the potential for transformational change. 

John Liu is a Chinese American who lived in China for three decades, working in the news industry for both radio and television. Over the last 15 years, Mr. Liu focused on ecological film making and wrote, produced and directed films on grasslands, deserts, wetlands, oceans, rivers, urban development, atmosphere, forests and endangered animals, primarily on the BBC series Earth Report and Life. In 2003, he wrote, produced and directed Jane Goodall - China Diary for National Geographic.

Mr. Liu has also been actively involved in other major ecological and environmental projects. He directs the Environmental Education Media Project, which delivers ecological, sustainable development and public health messages via television in China and other countries. He was also the major force in the China Environment and Sustainable Development Reference and Research Center, and is active in many other related institutions and activities. His work continues to focus on policy change and behavior modification related to ecology and the environment and to build a global consensus on the importance of protecting and restoring ecological function.

The lecture is open to the public and all are invited to attend. It will start at 7:00 PM at the CIEE Research Station, at Kaya Gobernador N Debrot #26 and admission is free. (Source: CIEE Bonaire)

Posted by Ann Johnson on March 19, 2011 at 1:46pm AST
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Friday, March 18, 2011

Insel Air and KLM Announce a New Alliance

Effective March 27, 2011, Insel Air and KLM will operate under a new interline agreement, expanding service and destinations for those traveling on both airlines.

Passengers with a KLM flight ticket can now fly to all Insel Air destinations on one ticket with automatic baggage transfer, utilizing Insel Air hubs in Curacao and St. Maarten. The new agreement will streamline connections, save time, reduce connection challenges and expand destination choices for travelers.

Insel Air and KLM have also announced a special agreement for the destinations of Jamaica (Kingston), Puerto Rico (San Juan), the Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo), Haiti (Port au Prince) and Venezuela (Las Piedras), making it more attractive for travelers to visit these destinations.

Furthermore, Insel Air is currently acquiring three Fokker 50 aircraft, which are 50 seat turboprops, to be included in Insel Air’s fleet to increase flight options and capacity. For more information, visit Insel Air’s web site by clicking here. (Source: Insel Air)

Posted by Ann Johnson on March 18, 2011 at 4:50pm AST
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

There’s New Tantalizing Snack Options in Kralendijk

Kralendijk is now sporting three new ice cream shops, some of which offer coffee and other tasty sweet treats, and a pastechi shop for those who crave something with a local flair. 

Each ice cream shop has something special to offer. Lilly’s Ice Cream & Coffee has 36 different flavors of ice cream, so there is something for everyone from which to choose. They also serve coffee, coffee drinks, tea, milkshakes, and smoothies, along with a variety of delicious chocolate biscotti treats to enjoy with your coffee. Lilly’s is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM until 9:00 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 AM until 9:00 PM, and has a large indoor seating area including tables and a bar, and a smaller outdoor seating area. It is located right in the middle of town on Kaya L.D. Gerharts.

Gio’s is now open in Kaya Grandi serving homemade Italian-style ice cream and coffee. For those with a sweet tooth, they have pastries, chocolates, and bon-bons. Gio’s has an intimate atmosphere with several tables inside and a few outdoor tables and is open daily from 8:00 AM until 10:00 PM and on Sundays from 10:00 AM until 10:00 PM.

It’s Magical is yet another new ice cream shop serving delicious Nestle ice cream, shakes, and Nestle ice cream products. They also sell hot-dogs, chips and popcorn, so there is something for everybody. It’s Magical has a separate video arcade with two pool tables, so it is an excellent place for families and kids. The shop is open daily from 2:00 PM until 10:00 PM and is located near the center of town on Kaya General Carlos M. Piar.

The Pastechi House, located between Kaya Grandi and the oceanfront promenade, has made a local Bonaire favorite snack healthy.  For those who have not been indoctrinated into the pleasures of Bonaire’s favorite pastry, a pastechi is a pastry that is folded over, filled with a variety of stuffings, and then deep fried to a crispy golden brown.  The Pastechi House flash fries the pastechi in the proper temperature of oil, and pastechis of all sorts are available and are cooked to order.  Choose from the normal cheese or chicken pastechis, or be adventurous and try the Angus Beef, Tuna, Cod, Pizza, Chop Soy, or Samosa varieties.  The pastechis are available in the classic size or a junior size.  The Pastechi House also serves empanaditas, croquettes, and cheese balls or bitterballs.  And, since ice cream is always a popular subject, we should add that the Pastechi House sells pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice creams, including the ever popular Phish Food, Karamel Sutra, Cherry Garcia, Chocolate Macadamia, Chunky Monkey, Peanut Brittle, Imagine Whirled Peace, and a whole slew of other flavors.  The Pastechi House is open Monday through Friday and on Saturday mornings.

Be sure to check these new options on your next visit to Bonaire! (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 17, 2011 at 3:41pm AST
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Diving in Bonaire Just Got Better with Bonaire’s Bonus Bonanza Added Value Package

Bonaire has just announced their new destination-wide Bonaire Bonus Bonanza added value package, which offers visitors discounts throughout the entire island and is tailor-made for divers who want to save money this year on their next dive vacation. 

Those who book a seven-night dive package at any of the participating hotels get the Bonaire Bonus Bonanza package, which offers extra free dives, three day free gear rental, and a bonus card of special on-island offers and more. Reserve your accommodations with one of the following participating hotels: Buddy Dive Resort, Captain Don’s Habitat, Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino, Happy Holiday Homes/Dive Friends Bonaire, Harbour Village Beach Resort, Plaza Resort Bonaire and Sorobon Beach Resort/WannaDive Bonaire to participate.

The On-Island Bonus Card that can be used to receive discounts at these participating establishments: Bistro De Paris, Bambu French/International Restaurant, Cactus Blue, Chibi Chibi Restaurant at Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino, It Rains Fishes, Kon Tiki Beach Bonaire, La Guernica, Paradise Moon Bar & Restaurant, Rum Runners at Captain Don’s Habitat, Tipsy Seagull at Plaza Resort Bonaire, Aries Boutique, Bonaire Tours & Vacations, Chat ‘n’ Browse, Jewel of Bonaire, Littman Jewelers, SEACOW Snorkeling Trips, The Touch Spa at Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino, AB Rental Car, and Hertz Inter Island Car Rental located at Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino.

To take full advantage of Bonaire’s Bonus Bonanza package, travelers must make their reservations between now and April 15, 2011 for travel between May 1 – June 15 and August 15 – December 15, 2011 and may book their vacations with the following tour operators: Bonaire Pros, Caradonna Dive Adventures, Expedia, Hotels.com, Island Express, Maduro Dive Fanta-Seas, PADI Travel Network, and World Dive Adventures/Caribbean Adventures. (Source:  TCB-NY)


Posted by Susan Davis on March 16, 2011 at 7:46am AST
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Friday, March 11, 2011

Bonaire Residents Awarded New Yoga Teaching Certification

Long-time Bonaire residents Don and Desiree Seaver have attended and graduated from Kripalu’s 200 hour yoga teachers certification and are now sharing their new knowledge, instruction and insights with students in the yoga classes they are teaching at Bonaire Basics and Bon Bida Spa and Gym.

Both Desiree and Don are well known to many Bonaire visitors. Desiree had a salon in Kralendijk for many years, continues to offer her on-site haircutting service, and is also known for her unique jewelry and artwork. Don is well known among both the windsurfing and kite-surfing communities, being active in both, and also known for his beautiful hand-made furniture.

Kripalu yoga expands the practice of physical yoga postures and breathing exercises to include relaxation techniques for integrating body, mind and spirit. The certification conforms with standards of the Yoga Alliance and gives Don and Desiree a thorough background in technical skills necessary to teach yoga safely and effectively.

Kripalu is widely recognized in the yoga community and is the largest yoga and holistic health retreat center in North America, graduating more than 500 yoga teachers from its certification trainings each year. It has a professional association of 2500 registered yoga teachers and more than 30 affiliated yoga studios. For more information about yoga with Don and Desiree Seaver, click here. (Source: A Place for You)

Posted by Ann Johnson on March 11, 2011 at 8:33am AST
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