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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bonaire Windsurf Place Introduces the GoPro Camera

Many visitors to Bonaire engage in active, outdoor activities that they would like to capture on video to remember their vacation experience, or share with others, either at home or even on YouTube. Bonaire Windsurf Place is now the local Bonaire agent for the GoPro HD video camera, offering the camera for both daily rental or sale to allow visitors to capture their vacation action experience on video. 

GoPro is a small waterproof HD action video camera that films in 1080p HD, which can be used in a variety of activities on Bonaire including snorkeling, diving, windsurfing, kiteboarding, mountain biking, or any type of action. It is fast becoming one of the most used HD action sport cameras in the world. For those wanting to capture underwater activity, the camera is waterproof and can be used as deep as 60 meters, when in the correct housing. Divers should note that the camera does not come with lighting, so an outside lighting source will be necessary for optimal colors underwater.  For those engaging in above water activities, like windsurfing, cycling, and kiteboarding, the camera allows the user to video the experience, as a participant or a spectator. The camera is small, easy to use, yet produces high quality videos. It is both unique and versatile as it can be housed in varied ways, making it available for use in all types of activities.

The GoPro is available for rent by the day for $50 or for sale starting at a price of $260. For more information, contact Bonaire Windsurf Place. (Source: Bonaire Windsurf Place)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 31, 2011 at 4:12pm AST
PotpourriScuba DivingSnorkelingWater SportsWindsurfingPermalink
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Monday, May 30, 2011

Jelly Jamboree Announced for June 17 to July 2, 2011 on Bonaire

The Jelly Jamboree is an event to document and survey the gelatinous marine life forms that exist in Bonaire’s waters. Everyone who is on Bonaire between June 17th and July 2nd, 2011 is invited to participate. To participate, simply keep your eyes open when diving or snorkeling, and report what you see in regard to jellies, where you see them, and at what depth. It’s hoped that by consolidating all the data gathered during this two week period, that there will be a better understanding of the life cycles of those jellies living in Bonaire’s waters. Images are also encouraged.

There will be educational and fun activities occurring throughout this year’s Jelly Jam, including a presentation at CIEE by Smithsonian scientists, a Science Cafe at Karels’ Beach Bar, snorkeling and diving with scientists during the day and evenings, and an evening dinner.

Of special interest in this year’s event is the Alatina Outreach. Alatina is a swarming species of box jellyfish (Cubozoan) that appears eight to ten days after the full moon. The swarming is actually a type of “speed dating” for reproductive purposes. If the zygotes are successfully collected, they will be raised in the CIEE lab. During last year’s Jelly Jam, a specimen of Tamoya ohboya, the new species of box jelly discovered first on Bonaire, also known as the Bonaire Banded Box Jelly or BBBJ, was collected under specific permits with STINAPA and DROB.

This year’s Jelly Jam is sponsored by Eco Sunscreen, EcoSMART Insect Repellant, and Burn-BGone. For more information and specific dates and times for events, please email: cubozoan@earthlink.net. (Source: Bud Gillan)

Posted by Ann Johnson on May 30, 2011 at 10:15am AST
EventsNatureScuba DivingSnorkelingPermalink
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Friday, May 27, 2011

Jong Bonaire to Host Eighth Annual Mini-Fun Triathlon on June 12, 2011

The popular Jong Bonaire Triathlon is set for Sunday June 12. Everyone is invited to participate and proceeds will be used for the Jong Bonaire center and to fund activities for the youth of Bonaire. 

Those wishing to join the race can choose between the “fun” category or the “pro” category, and the events include swimming, cycling and running. The fun category will include an 850 meter swim, an 11.6 kilometer bike ride and a 5 kilometer run. The pro category will include a 1500 meter swim, a 23.2 kilometer bike ride and a 10 kilometer run. Participants should arrive at 6:30 AM, for a 7:00 AM start.

Entrance to the triathlon may be either as an individual or as a relay team of three. The entry fee is $14 for an individual or $30 for a team and includes food, a t-shirt, water and fruit along the route and an information packet with a participant number. Following the event, participants are invited to visit City Cafe, an event sponsor, for salad and bread.

Registration will take play at City Cafe on Saturday June 11, 2011 between 5:30 and 7:30 PM. Registration may also be completed ahead of time at Jong Bonaire and The Freewieler Bike Shop. (Source: Jong Bonaire)

Posted by Ann Johnson on May 27, 2011 at 8:54am AST
EventsHealth & FitnessPermalink
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Next Farmers Market is Saturday, May 28, 2011

After a very successful collaboration at last month’s Farmers’ Market, Go Green and Kriabon have decided to continue working together to offer a larger market with a variety of plants, vegetables, and other Bonairean products for sale.  As such, this month’s market will take place at Kriabon on Saturday, May 28, 2011 beginning at 9:00 AM.

To find the new location at Kriabon, those attending the market should drive inland past More For Less Supermarket, and Kriabon will be on the left hand side shortly after one passes the supermarket.  It is recommended that one arrive early for the best selection.  The products are seasonal, so what is offered varies from month to month, but it’s not uncommon to find just-picked lettuces, spinach, eggplant, okra, or cucumbers, as well as a variety of herbs such as specialty basils, chives, or mint.  Locally produced honey is sometimes available, as are very large pumpkins or other squash.

Additionally, Go Green Natural & Organic Shop now has a new featured lunch item, smoothy, or snack.  For lunch, try the new pasta salad with organic vegetables spirals tossed with roasted red peppers, artichokes, olives, and greens.  Served with glucose-free bread.  Combine it with the featured smoothy made with a refreshing mix of mango, pineapple, and basil with low fat vanilla yogurt, which is sweetened with locally produced organic honey.  Or fight the mid-day cravings with nutritious home-made hummus.  Served with your choice of pita bread or celery sticks.  (Source:  Go Green Natural & Organic Shop)


Posted by Susan Davis on May 26, 2011 at 8:55am AST
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Insel Air Takes Delivery of Fifth MD Aircraft

Last week, Insel Air took delivery of their fifth MD aircraft, expanding their fleet once again.  The new plane has a capacity of 152 seats and is intended for medium-range destinations.

The aircraft is already approved for flights, having its “C-check” before arriving at Insel Air’s headquarters in Curacao.  During this check, the entire plane was dismantled and inspected. Accordingly, the plane was immediately put into service with an inaugural flight between Curacao and Aruba.

Over the past several years, Insel Air has been regularly announcing new destinations, including a new flight between Charlotte, North Caroline (USA) and Curacao, which will begin in June (see prior Bonaire Insider story by clicking here).  The current fleet consists of five MD-80 aircraft and three smaller propeller aircraft, the Embraer 110 Bandeirante.  In addition to the new Charlotte service, Insel Air also flies to Medellin (Colombia), Miami, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Bonaire, Haiti, St. Domingo, St. Maarten, Jamaica, Valencia, Las Piedras, and Surinam. Plans are in the works for a flight to Cuba in the near future. 

Insel Air serves Bonaire with daily flights to and from Curacao, as well as weekly non-stop service to and from Miami.  (Source:  Amigoe)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 25, 2011 at 8:37am AST
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Open House to Be Held At Washington Park on May 29, 2011

STINAPA Bonaire has announced an open house dedicated to George “Kultura” Thode on Sunday May 29, with a day of activities, education, shopping and music. It’s a wonderful way for visitors and locals alike to participate in guided park activities, learn about the nature and history of Bonaire and have fun. 

Attendees may choose from several guided soft adventure activities, all starting at 8:30 AM. Those who enjoy hiking have the option of following the Lagadishi Walking Trail which takes approximately two hours, or the Kasikunda Climbing Trail, which takes approximately one hour. Those looking for a bigger challenge may join the climb up Brandaris, which takes approximately two hours. For those who prefer biking, there will be two options to cycle the park, either 15 kilometers or the longer 34 kilometer route.

The education and fun program includes handcraft for children, face painting and information on bats and conch in air-conditioned comfort. The museum will also be open from 8 AM until 5 PM.

Marshe di Rincon, which is the local market, will be held at the entrance of Washington Park with stands offering different kinds of local food, barbeque, snacks and sweets along with local products and local art. Live music will be provided by local bands including Tutti Frutti and Grupo Eso. Entrance and activities are free and all are invited to attend. (Source: STINAPA Bonaire)

Posted by Ann Johnson on May 24, 2011 at 8:28am AST
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Monday, May 23, 2011

PWA and ProKids Windsurfing Competitions To Be Held on Bonaire in June

After a seven year break, the Professional Windsurfers Association (PWA) will return to Bonaire to hold the world championships on June 12 through June 16, 2011, followed immediately by the ProKids windsurfing competition, on June 17 through 19, all to be held at Lac Bay. It’s an opportunity to view Bonaire’s best windsurfers competing against other top international contenders, to determine the world freestyle champions, while enjoying a week of excellent windsurfing and fun. 

The PWA competition on Bonaire is the final event of the season and will determine the world freestyle champions, in both the men’s and women’s categories. Bonaire’s own Kiri Thode, Taty Frans and Tonky Frans competed in Vietnam in January and Austria in April and placed first, third and fifth respectively. They will now defend their positions in their home waters of Bonaire. There will be some new young talent competing from Bonaire, moving up from the ProKids competition as Amado Vrieswijk and Youp Smith bring new talent to the field.

The ProKids competition will follow the PWA, with the top kids in the world competing for the freestyle title. The ProKids competition was a concept which came from Bonaire’s Elvis Martinus, who has long promoted kids windsurfing on Bonaire, along with major sponsor Starboard, and many others offering assistance through sponsorship. Several successful international PWA competitors came up through the ProKids tournament including Kiri Thode, the current leader of the 2011 PWA competition, Sarah Quito Ofringa of Aruba, who has won three consecutive PWA titles, and Bjorn Saragoza, who has been competing in PWA events since he was eleven.

This year’s ProKids event includes the family Halank from Australia who have two children ages six and nine who will be competing. They won a promotion to participate in last year’s ProKids tournament and they enjoyed Bonaire and the event so much that this year they have returned to compete again. They have been here training for two months already, and they are looking forward to the competition. (Source: TCB-Bonaire)

Posted by Ann Johnson on May 23, 2011 at 4:50pm AST
EventsWindsurfingPermalink
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

IUCN Publishes Study on Bonaire’s Coral Reef Resilience Characteristics

IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has published a story on the various resilience properties of the coral reefs in the Bonaire National Marine Park. The results include resilience indicators on coral population structure, algae populations and fish community structure, all of which determine how the coral reefs react to climate change and other threats. The goal of the study was to provide information to incorporate resilience information and climate change responses into Bonaire’s Marine Park planning, design and management. 

IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network and helps find solutions to environmental and developmental challenges across the world. The Bonaire study is based on a survey conducted in 2009 as part of the IUCN Climate Change and Coral Reefs Working Group global coral reef resilience assessments.

Bonaire’s coral reefs are among the healthiest and resilient in the Caribbean, with the major threats to their health being coastal development and artificial beaches, leaching from septic tanks, increasing damselfish populations and an overabundance of the algae Trididemnum and Lobophora. Of the coral reefs that were rated, those farthest away from Kralendijk show the most resiliency, with the resiliency declining to medium and even one low rating closer to and in town.

Sites were ranked according to their overall resiliency. High resiliency ratings were given to the Marine Reserve North, Playa Frans, Karpata, Margate Bay, Vista Blue and South Bay. Medium ratings were given to Playa Funchi, Wayaka ll, Oil Slick Leap, Cliff, Bari, Something Special, 18th Palm, Bachelor’s Beach, Angel City, Salt City, Tori’s Reef, Carl’s Hill, Mi Dushi and Keepsake. A low rating was given to Chachacha.

Based on the findings, the study made several recommendations to improve water quality and reef resiliency. First, Bonaire should have an appropriate sewage treatment facility. Second a water quality monitoring program should be established and implemented. Third, overpopulation of prey fish such as damselfish may alter the reef habitat. Fishing of predatory fish species on the reef should be controlled to prevent this from occurring. Lastly, Bonaire reefs have an overabundance of the organisms Trididemnum and Lobophora. These should be further studied to determine what factors are contributing to the overgrowth and then these factors should be removed. (Source: IUCN)

Posted by Ann Johnson on May 18, 2011 at 7:47am AST
NatureScuba DivingPermalink
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Several New Stores Open on Bonaire

Shopping on Bonaire now offers more variety with the recent addition of three new stores, Blokker, Le Garage and the new Jan Art Gallery.

Blokker offers household items including needs for the kitchen like dishes, pots and pans, cooking utensils and more. It also has household decorative items like vases and candles, cleaning items, small appliances and other household items. It is located in the middle of town on Kaya L.D. Gerharts.

The Antillean Wine Company has added a new business in their store, called Le Garage, featuring household items from IKEA. Products include kitchen items like dishes, glassware, pots and pans, cooking utensils, dish drains, towels, floor mats, chair cushions and more. They are located at Kaya Industria #23.

Jan Art Gallery has expanded to add a new gallery in town featuring fine art of Bonaire with original art and prints, hand finished coffee cups and tiles, art supplies for artists and hobbyists and custom framing by appointment. The gallery is located at Kaya Grandi #14. (Source: Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Ann Johnson on May 17, 2011 at 7:28am AST
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Monday, May 16, 2011

Classical Music Board Announces Dynamic Saxophone Group for the Next Concert May 29, 2011

Vento do Norte, an outstanding saxophone group from Portugal will perform a concert at Plaza Resort Bonaire on Sunday May 29. 

Vento do Norte is comprised of 10 young musicians who combine classical music, world music and jazz to create their own unique and compelling interpretations. The group was formed in 2004 by Hank van Twillert, an internationally renowned saxophonist who is a guest instructor at the Amsterdam Academy of Music and a tutor at the college of Performing Arts in Porto, Portugal. The group has built a tremendous international reputation as their popularity has grown with many European and Venezuelan appearances and several awards. As new students replace those graduating, their high quality of music has persisted as they continue to win more awards and are invited to perform at important musical events including the 50th anniversary of the European Union. In 2009, the group produced it’s first CD “Adagio for Saxophones.”

The group plays interpretations from Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Fado, Piazolla and even James Brown, covering a wide variety of musical styles.

A large number of attendees are expected, so this concert will be held at the Caribbean Point Terrace, which is under cover, with 300 seats available. It is close by the Cacique Hall where the concerts are normally held. Tickets are now on sale at Addo’s Books & Toys, Flamingo Bookstore and the Plaza Resort Bonaire reception desk. The price is $20 in advance and $25 at the door. (Source: Classical Music Board Bonaire)

Posted by Ann Johnson on May 16, 2011 at 9:47am AST
EventsMusic and PerformancesPermalink
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