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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Recap of LaTina Divers’ First Lionfish Culling and Tasting Event

Last week was a great week for the good guys and a bad week for the lionfish on Bonaire, as La Tina Divers launched their first Culling and Tasting Event.

The week’s itinerary started off with a combined effort with STINAPA to cull lionfish from the northern marine reserve area.  On this day alone, 293 fish were caught, of which 230 were provided to CIEE for research purposes.  One surprising result was that 57% were female and 45% of the females had eggs. In recent hunting trips to Klein Bonaire over the past two months, males were much more abundant, with only about 30% being female, and of those, only a few had eggs.  Although no one can be sure, it appears that perhaps the females were ready for spawning, and the culling event removed the possibility of millions of additional lionfish eggs on the reef.

Starting Sunday and going through Thursday, LaTina Divers had their pros in the water with guided boat and shore dives, all of which were full to capacity.  Although plans were in place to cull on the east coast, unexpected strong winds resulted in a change of plans with boat dives to Washington Slagbaai National Park instead.  Rangers from the Bonaire Marine Park joined in when their schedules permitted.  The smallest fish for the week was caught by Menno de Bree, and it was only 8.5 cm (3.33 inches), while the largest fish for the week belonged to Bas Tol--a large female lionfish, full of eggs and ready to spawn, at 41.5 cm (16.33 inches).

From Sunday through Wednesday, an additional 504 lionfish were removed, of which 179 carried eggs.  At the beginning of the week, most lionfish were solitary, but by the end of the week, they were found in clusters of two to five fish--possible preparation for spawning? If so, the event culled these fish just in time.

The event closed with the really fun part--tasting and eating those lionfish!  Bistro de Paris had the perfect venue at their Zazu Bar, and all were invited to have free lionfish appetizers during the week’s closing event, the Lionfish Happy Hour.  Bistro served up lionfish in a variety of creative ways from several types of ceviche, to fried lionfish fillets, smoked lionfish, and lionfish wraps.  View images of the tasting event on the Bonaire Insider Photo Gallery by clicking here.

Beginning June 16, LaTina Divers will begin once again with their bi-weekly lionfish hunting and research trips to Klein Bonaire.  The focus during these trips is upon learning to become better hunters with a healthy respect for the environment.  Additionally, further data is gathered for CIEE to assist with their continued research efforts.  Video is one tool that is used on these trips to improve the skill and efficiency of the those hunting Bonaire’s lionfish populations.

The next LaTina Divers Lionfish Culling & Tasting event will take place from November 24 through November 30, 2012.  Information will be available soon on their web site, so check back often for the latest news at www.latinadivers.com. (Source:  LaTina Divers and CIEE Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 31, 2012 at 12:15pm AST
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bistro de Paris and Zazu Bar Launch Wednesday Evening Ladies’ Nights

Bistro de Paris, a favorite restaurant on Bonaire, and their new Zazu Bar, are launching a Wednesday night ladies special starting tonight, May 30th, 2012.

This night dedicated to ladies will include a three-course menu at only $25.00 per person.  Martinis are half price all night, and also enjoy half price on any bottle of house wine.  For more information, call 717-7070, or email by clicking here(Source:  Bistro de Paris/Zazu Bar)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 30, 2012 at 11:47am AST
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Stephen Frink to Offer Two Digital Master Classes in July on Bonaire

This July, there’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study and improve your underwater photography under the tutelage of one of the masters and it’s conducted in the best place in the world for underwater photography, Bonaire!  Stephen Frink will be offering two Digital Master Classes in July, one at the Divi Flamingo Beach Resort (July 7 through 14) and one at Captain Don’s Habitat (July 14 through 21).

But there’s more......as Stephen works with you to improve your photography, noted Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom guru, Eddie Tapp, also will be on hand to teach you the tricks of the trade in optimizing your images on the computer.

Stephen Frink has been teaching photo courses for over thirty years now, but normally conducts them in his home state of Florida in Key Largo.  Now, he will come to Bonaire, with its long history of marine conservation, and where the marine life is approachable and the backgrounds inspirational assuring an excellent portfolio of images from these photo opportunities.

As anyone knows who has dove on Bonaire, the island is an amazing place to learn underwater photography, because of the diversity of subjects, from fish and macro (for which the island is justifiably famous) to wide-angle reef scenics and wrecks. The fact that the diving is so very easy allows for concentration on imaging with ample light and bottom time.  The courses will be conducted at Captain Don’s Habitat and Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino, with dive boats dedicated to visiting sites for the desired specific imaging needs for the day. Of course, Bonaire also offers the option of superlative shore diving, for those eager to build their portfolio beyond the dives organized specifically for instruction.

The Master’s course is an intense immersion (pun intended!) learning experience and will surely provide the opportunity to accelerate the educational opportunities in an intimate group environment, in one of the world’s most productive underwater studios.  Eddie Tapp, known for his knowledge and abilities in both Photoshop and Lightroom, will hold special classroom sessions. Eddie is a very highly regarded instructor, a Member of the Photoshop Hall of Fame, and a Canon Explorer of Light.

Each course is $1874.00 per person, based on double occupancy, and includes the full course, accommodations, diving, airport transfers and daily breakfast.  Packages may be booked for a single week at either resort, or, for those wishing to maximize their time in Bonaire, back-to-back courses. This actually makes a lot of sense, not only to better amortize travel expense, but to truly learn the best of underwater Bonaire and be able to return to the most productive sites and capture increasingly improved photographs.

For additional information, contact either Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino or Captain Don’s Habitat(Source:  TCB-NY)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 24, 2012 at 9:07am AST
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Villa Kiki Extends Spring Special

For those who can make last minute plans for a trip to Bonaire, Villa Kiki has just extended their spring special offering a 25% discount.

For new reservations between May 26 and June 30, 2012, a 25% discount can be enjoyed.  Villa Kiki is a beautiful beach-front residence, located in the Crown Ridge area of Sabadeco.  With three bedrooms, a family or small group will be comfortable with the oceanfront location.

For more information, visit their web site by clicking here, or email info@villakikibonaire.com(Source:  Villa Kiki)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 22, 2012 at 1:55pm AST
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Monday, May 21, 2012

It’s a Musical Weekend with Something for Everyone, Starting Friday, May 25, 2012

There are three separate musical events this coming weekend, starting with Friday night, and then ending with two events on Saturday night.

On Friday evening, starting at 7:00 PM, Andreina and her friends will return to Club Roomer in Hotel Roomer in Belnem for the end-of-the-month Jazzy Happy Hour.  Entrance to the concert is free, there will be a cash bar and Hotel Roomer’s proprietors, Nicole and Martin, will have three special dinner plates available from which to choose, for those who wish to eat, for only $10.00 per plate.  Club Roomer is a charitable foundation that cares for the less fortunate Bonaire and uses donations from fund-raisers such as this to meet its goals.

Then, return to Hotel Roomer on Saturday evening, May 26th when the Traveling Piano begins at 7:00 PM.  This is an art project by artist Frouwkje Smit, who uses an old piano originally from the Netherlands but which is now on Bonaire, to play at various locations on the street.  In a four-month time-span, there’s been a mix of traditional Bonairean rhythms such as tambu, krioyo, barrister, and tumba, which were blended with classical (European) music and “young” music such as rap and improvisation.  From this musical encounter, Smit has made ​​a road movie entitled Salt Crystals.  This Saturday, Hotel Roomer will be the location for a unique performance. Visual artist Nochi Coffie goes live painting, while musicians play the Traveling Piano improvisation. Spectators are also invited to participate, with both music and painting. After the fun of creation, the road movie will be viewed, and then there is the whole evening with the sale of artwork from a variety of Bonaire artists. Snacks will be provided during the art sale.

Also on Saturday evening, the Classical Music Board Bonaire will present its final concert of the 2011/2012 season when Tour d’Azul plays with well known saxophonist Henk van Twillert, along with Tjako van Schie on the piano, Ines Soares (vocal) and Lonte Conradus (percussion). Their visit to Bonaire is a part of an Antillean Tour to Curacao, St. Maarten, Bonaire, and Aruba.  Concert tickets are available at Addo’s Books & Toys and Flamingo Bookstore on Kaya Grandi, Chat ‘n’ Browse at the Sand Dollar Plaza, Valeries’ Airport Shop, and at the Plaza Resort reservation desk.  Price is $25 each ($30 at the door, $10 for children). 

(Source:  Hotel Roomer and Classical Music Board Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 21, 2012 at 2:53pm AST
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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Summer Kids Camps for Windsurfing on Bonaire

This is the perfect mix for a family summer vacation--diving for mom and dad while the kids learn how to windsurf!  Three-day windsurf camps for kids are now scheduled for July and August.

Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations is offering the camps so that kids age 7 through 17 can learn how to windsurf, or better their current skills.  The 3 x 3 lessons commence at 9:30 each day and will go through 1:30.  Lunch is included for each of the three days, as well as the Bonaire Nature Fee and a t-shirt.  With its shallow and clear warm water with on-shore winds, Lac By offers superior conditions for kids to learn.  Price is $200.00 per child. 

For additional information, contact Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations by clicking here(Source:  Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 19, 2012 at 8:21am AST
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Friday, May 18, 2012

‘Bonaire One of the First Caribbean Islands to Partner with Coral Restoration Foundation

The Bonaire Reef Pilot Project was born when Ken Nedimeyer’s Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) was invited to visit the island by Buddy Dive Resort to work with and assist Bonaire with their continued efforts to preserve Bonaire’s greatest assets, its reefs. The project centered on the restoration of the shallow reefs by establishing a nursery and restoration program designed to cultivate staghorn and elkhorn corals and for this purpose the Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire was established.

In addition to working with local scientists to identify specific sites for coral nurseries and reef out-plantings, CRF will collect different genetic strains of staghorn and elkhorn coral, that will be used to populate coral growing corals in two nurseries. These corals will be monitored and maintained by the local support group trained by CRF and will form the base nursery stock that will be fragmented every six months to develop second and third generation corals in each genetic subgroup. In late 2013, these second and third generation corals will be taken from the nursery and planted back on the reefs.

The main coral nursery is located on Klein Bonaire, where there is limited public access and minimal disturbance for the growing corals. The second nursery is located at the south and north end of Buddy Dive Resort’s coral reef and is utilized as a training and demonstration nursery. (Source:  TCB-NY)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 18, 2012 at 11:26am AST
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Enjoy the Mi Zjilea Festival on Saturday, May 19th at Mangazina di Rei

Mangazina di Rei, one of Bonaire’s historical museums, will be hosting an event this Saturday, May 19th, 2012 called the Mi Zjilea Festival.  It will be a very full day of music, living history, and historic walks when one can see, feel, and taste the culture of Bonaire.

The day begins at 6:30 AM with a historic walk with Boi Antoin.  There will be living history with Kanta Orkidia from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and then the music begins at 5:00 PM and will go until 2:00 AM (for those who make it that long!) with local bands Kara Ora, Kana Brabu, Sensation, Foyan Boyz, Tutti Frutti, Esso Band, Sason, Niki Mix, and Glen and Friends.  There will be great local food to enjoy, as well.  For additional information, call 786-2101. (Source:  Mangazina di Rei)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 16, 2012 at 1:59pm AST
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Final Schedule Now Available for Bonaire’s First Annual Lionfish Spot, Cull, and Taste Event

As was previously announced, LaTina Divers will hold the first annual lionfish Spotting, Culling, and Tasting Event which will run next week from Saturday, May 19th through Friday, May 25th.  Anyone who is on Bonaire next week can join in and help with keeping Bonaire’s reefs clean of these invasive predators.

This is a great opportunity to experience a guided dive and assist in hunting lionfish.  One, some, or all of the events are open to visitors, but space is limited, so advance reservations are highly recommended.

There are many familiar names who will be acting as guides during the week’s events, including Bas Tol, expert on the east coast and unmarked northern sites, Susan Porter, expert on west coast sites and author of Bonaire Shore Diving Made Easy, and Menno de Bree, boat dive expert who’s favorite sites are in areas of the Washington Park without moorings.

The week’s events will commence on Saturday, May 19th with a huge lionfish cleaning dive in the Karpata Reserve area, organized by the Bonaire National Marine Park.  For more information, contact info@stinapa.org.

On Sunday, May 20th, Susan Porter will lead a guided dive, cost is $35.00 per person, but the first two participants to reserve get a $5.00 per person discount.

On Monday, May 21st, Tuesday, May 22nd, and Wednesday, May 23rd, there will be a two-tank boat dive to Washington Slagbaai National Park.  The boat will depart from the Harbour Village Marina at 1:15 PM and return around 7:30 PM.  Cost is $70.00 per person, but the first two participants to reserve get a $10.00 per person discount.

On Tuesday, May 22nd, Bas Tol will lead a guided dive at 8:00 AM.  cost is $35.00 per person, but the first two participants to reserve get a $5.00 per person discount.  On Wednesday, May 23rd, Thursday, May 24th, and Friday, May 25th, enjoy additional guided dive with Bas Tol at 8:00 am.  Susan Porter will also lead a guided dive on Friday, May 25th as well.  Cost for either guided dive on these days is $35 person per dive, and the first two participants to reserve receive a $5.00 per person discount.

To end the week with a grande finale, join everyone for Happy Hour starting at 5:30 PM on Friday, May 25th at Bistro de Paris to sample the lionfish and enjoy reduced prices on Belgian beers and specialty cocktails. The event and story telling ends when the lionfish runs out!

For more information or to make a reservation, contact info@LaTinaDivers.com or visit their Facebook page. (Source:  LaTina Divers)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 15, 2012 at 4:30pm AST
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Monday, May 14, 2012

Enjoy Bonaire’s Second Taste of Bonaire this Season

The last Taste of Bonaire was so well received by visitors and residents alike, there will be another feast this Friday, May 18, 2012 from 6:00 to 10:00 PM in Wilhelmina Park.

This “Taste” will be commemorating the 50th anniversary of Captain Don Stewart’s arrival on Bonaire, way back in 1962.  To celebrate, come and enjoy a welcome rum punch and fruit drink with cupcake from 6:00 to 7:00 PM, and then enjoy the offerings of many of Bonaire’s restaurants and food establishments.  All dishes are only $3.00 or $5.00, and there’s music by the Silver Bullets Steelband, dancing presentations by the New Generation Dancers, a handicraft market, and much more to enjoy.

All are welcome to come and enjoy the ambiance!  (Source:  Extra)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 14, 2012 at 4:22pm AST
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