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Monday, January 30, 2012

Roger and Karen Hamilton Named Honorary Bonaire Ambassadors

Last week, Roger and Karen Hamilton were named as honorary Bonaire ambassadors by the Tourism Corporation Bonaire for continuous visits to our island for the past thirty years.

Roger and Karen first came to Bonaire for diving and they remember and tell stories of those days when Bas Marin was their divemaster at Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino, and Peter Hughes provided the diving.  Enrique was also their divemaster and boat captain in those early days, and, in fact, Enrique is still helping divers to enjoy their vacations at Divi Flamingo Beach.

Even after all these years, the Hamiltons still make twice-yearly visits to Bonaire, and now their extended family joins them.  Congratulations, Roger and Karen!  (Source:  Tourism Corporation Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 30, 2012 at 2:35pm AST
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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mrs. L. A. (Lydia) Emerencia Appointed as Bonaire’s New Governor

On Friday, the Council of Ministers agreed with the proposal of the Minister of Interior Affairs Kingdom Relations, Mrs. mr. drs. J.W.E. Spies, to appoint Mrs. L.A. Emerencia, PhD (Lydia) as the new island governor of Bonaire.

Mrs. dr. Lydia Emerencia was born in 1954 in Aruba and is of Bonairean descent, as her father was born on Bonaire.  She has family living on the island, and Mrs. Emerencia knows Bonaire well and has been here on many occasions. The new island governor has two children.

Mrs. Emerencia has many year of experience in education, as since 2010, she was the director of the Center for Research and Development at the University of Aruba, and before that she was the rector of the same university.  She has two academic titles: a Ph.D. from the Utrechtse School voor Bestuur en Organisatie, University of Utrecht (UU), and a PhD, AbD. from the Katholieke Universiteit of Nijmegen.

She is the successor of Mr. mr. dr. Glenn A.E. Thodé who as of January 1st, has been functioning as the rector of the University of Aruba.  The new island governor will be sworn in by the representative of the central government, Mr. Wilbert Stolte, in the Passangrahan on March 1st, 2012. The island governor is appointed for a period of six years.  (Source:  SXM Island Time)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 28, 2012 at 8:39am AST
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Friday, January 27, 2012

Go Green’s Farmers’ Market is Tomorrow, January 28, 2012

The first farmers’ market organized by Go Green Natural and Organic Shop will be held tomorrow morning, Saturday, January 28, 2012.  Go Green organizes monthly farmers’ markets on the last Saturday of each month.

Tomorrow’s market will be held at Pakus di Pruga, at Kaya Lib. Simon Blv. 17.  Of course, availability of products always varies by season, but it’s a great place to pick up fresh vegetables, herbs, and other locally grown or hand-made products.  For additional information, telephone 717-2222.  (Source:  Go Green Natural & Organic Shop)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 27, 2012 at 11:38am AST
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jazzy Happy Hour to Be Held This Friday January 27, 2012 at Roomer Bonaire

Those looking for a relaxing way to wind down their week and start the weekend should consider the Jazzy Happy Hour this Friday at Hotel Roomer from 7:00 until 10:00 PM.

The event will feature music by island favorites Andreina and friends, known for their jazz and Latin jazz selections. Dinner specials are also available for $10 and diners may choose from pasta, stampot (a typical Dutch dish) or fried rice.

Roomer Bonaire is located at EEG Boulevard 97 in Belnem. There is no cover charge, and all are invited to attend. For more information, contact Hotel Roomer at 717-7488. (Source: Roomer Bonaire)

Posted by Ann Johnson on January 26, 2012 at 8:32am AST
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New Bonaire Diving Guidebook Available in a Kindle Edition

For those looking for a Kindle guide on diving and snorkeling while on Bonaire, George Lewbel, a marine biologist who has been diving on Bonaire since 1981 and has more than 40 years of diving experience has written Diving Bonaire, a Kindle Edition book now available for sale on Amazon. 

The book describes the best dive sites on Bonaire and Klein Bonaire and provides details on how to get there and what is likely to be seen at each site. Descriptions of sites include information on coral reefs, piers, wrecks, gentle and steep slopes and walls. Details on access, entries and exits, underwater and topside terrain, marine life, photo tips as well as special features of interest are also included. The guide also highlights sites that are particularly good for snorkeling. (Source: George Lewbel)

Posted by Ann Johnson on January 25, 2012 at 10:27am AST
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dive Friends Bonaire Starts the New Year with a Gigantic Clean Up Dive at Karel’s Pier

On Saturday, January 21, 2012, volunteers gathered at Dive Friends Bonaire at Yellow Submarine to participate in the first quarterly Clean Up Dive of the year.  The weather was perfect and the turnout was fantastic.  A large number of resident divers attended, as well as guests of Dive Friends Bonaire and a surprising amount of customers from other dive centers on the island.  The dive community of Bonaire proved once again how much they care about their marine environment.

Asko Zuidam of Dive Friends Bonaire addressed the group of 102 divers and explained what trash should be recovered and what should be left behind, as well as how to keep from damaging any marine animals. Sue Willis from the Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) program gave an explanation of how to safely remove fishing line and announced the launch of a new project to help Bonaire’s sea turtles. The Fishing Line Project is running with sponsorship from the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) and aims to reduce the amount of fishing line, hooks, nets and other debris found on Bonaire’s reefs; items which pose a great threat to our endangered sea turtle population. 

After the briefing, the divers headed over to Karel’s Pier, entered the water, descended, and began to fill their bags with trash. When filled, the bags were brought to the surface to those working as shore support. There, Dive Friends crew and 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.

Karel’s Pier is home to a lively bar and restaurant, and unfortunately the underwater terrain can accumulate more bottles and cups than is normal on the reef.  The statistics of the rubbish collected once again confirmed this to be true.  Items collected include:  1,085 glass bottles, 38 plastic bottles, 102 fishing lines, 238 plastic cups, 148 pieces of random plastic, 133 beverage cans, 39 firework remains, 2 cell phones and much more.  The total number of items collected was 2,104!

That evening, all participants and their families were welcomed back for a Pot Luck BBQ and raffle—Dive Friends Bonaire (with help from our sponsors) provided drinks and main courses, while participants supplied side dishes.  After dinner, the guests were treated to a cruise on board the Good Return.  Sponsors for the event include:  Selibon, At Sea Restaurant, Van Den Tweel, Ouray Sportswear, Reef Clothing, Deep Blue Gear, Dive Shades, Body Glove, the Bonaire Marine Park, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire, East Coast Diving, Tusa, and Suunto.

The next quarterly Dive Friends Bonaire underwater cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, April 21st, 2012. (Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 24, 2012 at 3:10pm AST
Community ServiceEventsScuba DivingSnorkelingWater SportsPermalink
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Monday, January 23, 2012

Bonaire Marine Park Manager, Ramon de Leon, to Present Next CIEE Public Lecture

The CIEE Research Station Bonaire will present their next public lecture this Wednesday evening, January 25th, 2012, from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM, and Bonaire’s own Ramon de Leon, manager of the Bonaire National Marine Park, will be presenting the lecture.

The topic will be an update on the “Status and Trends of Bonaire’s Coral Reefs 2011:  Cause for Grave Concerns.” The presentation will be followed by a question and answer period to address any queries from the public. 

The research station is located at Kaya Gobernador Debrot #26 in Kralendijk.  Entry is free, and all are invited.  (Source:  CIEE and Bonaire National Marine Park)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 23, 2012 at 11:44am AST
EducationEventsNatureScuba DivingSnorkelingWater SportsPermalink
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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Several New Dining Options Open on Bonaire

For those who think they’ve been everywhere to dine on Bonaire, there’s always something new. There are a number of additional restaurants and dining options on Bonaire to put on the list of places to try.

Long time favorites Donna & Giorgio have opened a quaint little restaurant serving breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday from 9:30 to 3:00 PM, lunch on Saturday and dinner by reservation only on Friday. The breakfast menu includes tostis and several egg items, with the lunch menu including pastas, soups, salads and sandwiches to eat in or take away. The intimate restaurant is tastefully decorated with a bar area for coffee, drinks and single diners, and a few small tables for outdoor seating. The restaurant is just north of downtown at Kaya Grandi 52 and the phone number is 717-3799.

Porto Deli is a wine bar with tapas offering breakfast, lunch and early dinner. The deli serves homemade salads, sandwiches, burgers and fresh bread and is conveniently located on the oceanfront promenade. Diners can choose to eat outside on the patio, or inside, in the air-conditioning. The restaurant is open daily from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, except Sunday and the phone number is 717-3997.

4 Seasons has opened at the former site of Bambu, on Kaya C.E.B. Hellmund 17, serving French and International food for dinner. The restaurant will change the complete menu every three months to reflect a new season and has both indoor and outdoor covered dining. They are open every night except Tuesday, and reservations can be made by calling 717-4166.

C’est La Vie has opened across from the Catholic church in Kralendijk on Kaya Libertador Simon Bolivar. It is a typical Dutch pub serving a daily barhop menu for dinner. It is closed on Sunday and Monday and the phone number is 788-1066.

Catering Service Skottelbraai makes a special type of South African BBQ, known as skottelbraai and will deliver it anywhere on the island as part of a complete package including the BBQ, salads, plates and flatware, so diners can avoid shopping, dishes and hassle. The delivery is free and the next day they will pick up the plates and flatware. To arrange a BBQ, call 796-6868.

For those with a sweet tooth, Yankee Donut has opened on Kaya Simon Bolivar #26c, in front of the Catholic Church in town. They are serving delicious American-style donuts, bismarks, fritters, muffins and cakes and hope to add bagels and small sandwiches in the future. They are also offering 16 different types of tea, coffee and juices to accompany your treat, and have special pricing for bigger purchases of donuts for parties and gatherings. They are open daily from 9:00 AM until 7:00 PM and closed on Sundays. The phone number is 717-5661. (Source: Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Ann Johnson on January 22, 2012 at 10:44am AST
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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sea Turtle Tracking Update

Our last check on Bonaire’s tagged sea turtles had Jklynn being outfitted with her transmitter, as mentioned in a previous story. On December 11, 2011, satellite signals indicated that she had started her migration home in a northerly direction.

Jklynn continued moving north and by December 22nd, the female hawksbill was just 80 kilometers south of the Dominican Republic, swimming 716 kilometers or 445 miles to get there. She was close to the boundary of Jaragua National Park, which is the largest protected area of the Dominican Republic and includes forests, mangroves and marine ecosystems. It is also known as a feeding areas for hawksbills, especially juveniles. Although Jklynn was close to protected waters, she was also very close to Haitian waters, where she was not protected from being harvested.

Even Jaragua Park, while being a protected area, still suffers from egg poaching and illegal harvesting of turtles. Efforts to protect migratory turtles like Jklynn have been a priority for Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) in recent years, as they have worked with regional partners to increase protection for sea turtles, no matter where they go during their migrations. Illegal harvesting and legal protection are still areas of concern.

After the December 22nd tracking signal, there were no further tracking signals for 24 days until January 15, when Jklynn’s transmitter showed her to be in the coastal waters at Jaragua National Park on the west coast of the park in Bahia de Las Aguilas (Eagle Bay). This location has one of the Dominican Republic’s most beautiful beaches and is an area where some hawksbill and many leatherback turtles nest. Looking at her average rate of speed, STCB believes she travelled from Bonaire to that area in approximately 13 days. It is also believed that since she headed in this direction after leaving Bonaire and because she has remained in these waters for several weeks, that this is her home foraging ground. (Source: Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire)

Posted by Ann Johnson on January 21, 2012 at 9:36am AST
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Friday, January 20, 2012

Join in Bonaire’s Underwater Cleanup Tomorrow, Saturday, January 21, 2012

The underwater cleanups have become very popular activities, with over 100 participants joining in together on each event to keep Bonaire beautiful.  As such, there is another cleanup scheduled to take place at Karel’s Beach Bar Pier on Saturday, January 21, 2012.

Everyone is welcome to participate--divers, snorkelers, and those who wish to lend a hand with shore support.  Anyone interested in participating should check in at Dive Friends @ Yellow Submarine at 9:30 AM, and the dive briefing will begin at 10:00 AM.  All participants are welcome to return at 6:00 PM for the event’s customary BBQ at Dive Friends @ Yellow Submarine; drinks and main courses will be provided by Dive Friends, but participants are asked to bring a side dish to share.  Those planning on attending should advise Dive Friends Bonaire by calling 717-2929 to make a reservation.  For additional information about the cleanups, click here. (Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 20, 2012 at 3:57pm AST
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