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Monday, July 30, 2012

Majestic Journeys Bonaire Offers Full Moon Healing Massage on the Seaside

As the moon is waxing into its first full moon in August (yes, there are TWO full moons this August, creating a Blue Moon for the second one!), Majestic Journeys Bonaire will hold a special healing massage on the seaside from August 1st through August 4th, when the full moon delivers additional energy.

It’s easy to imagine yourself listening to the gentle sounds of Bonaire’s sea lapping beneath you, with the warmth of the sun on your back, with the sea breeze gently caressing, while you receive a therapeutic massage and stress and tensions float away on the winds and waves.  Majestic Journeys Bonaire uses handmade coconut oil combined with revitalizing therapeutic grade essential oils, which will entice the senses as they deliver a healing combination. Each restorative oil blend is tailored by a qualified, veteran therapist, to address your individual healing requirements.

Massages will take place on the pier at Richard’s Restaurant anytime from sunrise to sunset, but only by prior appointment.  The rate is $68.00 per hour, but package rates are available upon request.  To make an appointment, text or phone (09) 566-6093, or leave a voice mail at 717-2482.  Or, send an email by clicking here(Source:  Majestic Journeys Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 30, 2012 at 10:00am AST
Health & FitnessPermalink
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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tiara Air to Launch Flights Between Bonaire and Curacao

Tiara announced this week that beginning this coming Monday, July 30th, they will launch daily flights between Bonaire and Curacao.

The current schedule allows for three flights with a Shorts 360–-a small aircraft with 36 seats-–between Bonaire’s Flamingo Airport and Curacao’s Hato Airport, and these flights represent the first step in Tiara’s considerable expansion plans.

With this type of aircraft, Tiara, which is celebrating its sixth anniversary this year, can maintain all connections from Aruba, its hub, to Bonaire, Curaçao, Riohachi in Columbia, and Las Piedras and Maracaibo in Venezuela.  The airline flies approximately 100,000 passengers per year.

The airline purchased a Boeing 737-300, suitable for 141 passengers, and this aircraft will be used for six new weekly routes from Aruba to St. Maarten, Medellin and Armenia in Colombia, Maracaibo and Caracas in Venezuela, and Fort Lauderdale in the US, starting in September. In the future, the airline company wishes to open routes to the eastern coast of the United States, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic.

For additional information about getting to Bonaire, click here(Source:  Amigoe)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 28, 2012 at 10:08am AST
Air TravelPermalink
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bonaire to Honor U.S. Military Veterans with a Visit From The Wounded Warriors

Bonaire will welcome a group of Wounded Warriors next month. The group will be scuba diving for rehabilitation and recreation from August 18-25, 2012. This is the seventh consecutive year that Bonaire will host a group of U.S. military veterans.

During this week, severely wounded soldiers and their significant others will travel to the island to complete the final step in the process of obtaining their dive certifications. Representatives of the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association’s (DEMA’s) Be A Diver Program, the North American office of Tourism Corporation Bonaire and the Handicapped Scuba Association (HSA) will also be on-site in Bonaire. All accommodations and diving will be provided courtesy of Captain Don’s Habitat Bonaire. Each year, the people of Bonaire warmly welcome this group and show them not only the natural beauty and pristine waters of the island, but also the friendliness and genuine hospitality of the Bonairean people.

This year’s contingent of ten Wounded Warriors has suffered life-changing physical injuries received in combat while stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. They and their partners will be kept busy with a variety of activities beginning with the completion of their PADI and HSA dive certifications, which will take place on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Once certified, they will continue diving throughout the week, both from the dock of Captain Don’s Habitat and via boat dives to Klein Bonaire and other famous Bonaire dive sites. The group will also enjoy sightseeing, shopping, dining, a beach BBQ and an authentic Texas-style BBQ. The highlight of the week will take place when the Bonaire community gathers to meet these extraordinary troops and their companions at a reception held in their honor with Bonaire’s Lt. Governor, the Honorable Lydia Emerencia.

Sponsors to date of the 7th Bonaire-Be A Diver-Wounded Warrior Scuba Certification trip are: 9Line LLC, Adams Unlimited Public Relations & Marketing, Aquatic Center of Rochester, Bikers Bonaire, Bonaire KFC, BonPhoto, BonaireTalk.com, Bonaire Quad Tours, Bonaire Guided Motorcycle Tours, Bonaire Restaurant Association, Bonaire Tours & Vacations, Budget Rent A Car Bonaire, Captain Don’s Habitat, Caradonna Dive Adventures, Inc., Care Coalition, Caribbean Travel & Life Magazine, Chat & Browse Bonaire, Casablanca Restaurant, DAN (Divers Alert Network), Destinations Weddings & Honeymoons Magazine, Disabled Sports USA, DEMA/Be a Diver, Dive Training Magazine, Henderson, H.S.A. International Training Center of New Jersey, Innovative Scuba Concepts, Inc., Iron Order Motorcycle Club Bonaire (Caribbean Pirates Crew), Islands Magazine, It Rains Fishes, Jack Chalk, Jewel Of Bonaire, NetTech, N.V., OCEANIC, PADI, Paradise Moon Bar & Restaurant, Pasa Bon Pizza, Princeton Tec, Rum Runners, Scuba Diving Magazine, Spice Beach Club, Sport Diver Magazine, Tourism Corporation Bonaire, XS Scuba, Wounded Warrior Project.  (Source:  TCB-NY)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 26, 2012 at 9:09am AST
EventsScuba DivingWater SportsPermalink
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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Another Massive Turn Out for Dive Friends Bonaire Quarterly Clean Up Dive at South Pier

On Saturday, July 21, 2012, a veritable army of volunteers gathered at Dive Friends Bonaire at Dive Inn to clean up underneath Bonaire’s South Pier.  Even though the weather was a bit rainy, the Dive Inn was filled to capacity with local and visiting volunteer divers overflowing out into the parking area.

Asko Zuidam of Dive Friends Bonaire addressed the group of 115 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 Bonaire’s endangered sea turtle population. 

After the briefing, the divers entered the water, at Playa Cha Cha Cha and swam over to South Pier.  A snorkel team of children, guided by local volunteer Walt Bentsen, participated by picking up debris in the shallows along the shoreline.  When collection bags were brought to the surface, Dive Friends crew and volunteers checked once again to be sure no marine creatures would be removed from the water.  A team counted and tallied the trash to submit the data to the PADI Project AWARE Dive Against Debris program and then disposed of it responsibly.

The South Pier of Bonaire is a working pier and also frequently used for fishing.  It’s an interesting place to dive and is normally off limits.  It has been targeted as an area of concern by Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire for fishing line and it was definitely in need of a clean-up.  Items collected include:  188 glass bottles, 101 fishing lines, 187 pieces of random plastic, 79 glass fragments, 41 pieces of rope, 43 beverage cans, 54 plastic cups, 34 plastic caps, 2 CDs and much more.  The total number of items collected was 863!

That evening, all participants and their families were welcomed to a Pot Luck BBQ and raffle at the newly renovated Dive Friends Bonaire @ Hamlet Oasis.  Dive Friends Bonaire and Van Den Tweel Supermarket provided drinks and main courses, while participants supplied side dishes.  Sponsors for the event include:  Selibon, BonPhoto, At Sea Restaurant, Ouray Sportswear, Deep Blue Gear, Dive Shades, the Bonaire Marine Park, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire, East Coast Diving and Your Scuba Store.

The next quarterly Dive Friends Bonaire underwater cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, September 22nd, 2012. All are welcome to join in.

Dive Friends Bonaire is one of Bonaire’s premier diving facilities with convenient locations at Yellow Submarine, Hamlet Bonaire, Dive Inn, and at Port Bonaire and three retail stores in Kralendijk. For additional information, visit http://www.dive-friends-bonaire.com(Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire)


Posted by Susan Davis on July 25, 2012 at 1:49pm AST
Community ServiceEventsScuba DivingSnorkelingWater SportsPermalink
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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dive Friends Bonaire Launches New Bonaire Dive Guidebook

Dive Friends Bonaire announces the arrival of Duikgids Bonaire, a brand new dive guide book by Marloes Otten.  This full color book celebrates Bonaire’s status as “Diver’s Paradise.” It has descriptions of 103 dive sites around the island including Klein Bonaire, Washington Slaagbai National Park as well as the east coast.

Duikgids Bonaire contains information regarding Bonaire’s history and its unique flora and fauna, including interesting terrestrial facts about donkeys, salt, and flamingos.  It also features maps of the island and underwater maps of each dive site.  Each of the 103 dive site descriptions go into detail about how to find the site, the surroundings, ratings based on experience level, currents, entry points, maximum depths, and points of interest. 

The production of this book included hundreds of dives, research in archives, and investigation of legends. The author collaborated with local guides, photographers, and conservation groups to insure that the book will inspire readers to appreciate Bonaire’s vulnerable ecosystem.  The pictures used in the dive guide are all taken on Bonaire, by both well known and not-so-well known underwater photographers from the Netherlands, Belgium, Bonaire, United States, and Brazil.

Marloes has written regional dive guides for the Netherlands and also writes for several dive magazines.  She is the author of Duikgids Zeeland and Duikgids Schouwen-Duiveland.  Her goal is to provide dive guides of the most beautiful diving areas in the world, with accessible information for every diver and snorkeler.  As an experienced diver, she has useful tips, inside information and describes not only the well known, but also not-previously-described dive sites with clear descriptions, routes, and excellent pictures.

DIVE Magazine says that it’s “a must-have for divers who haven’t been here before, invaluable for experienced divers who would like to explore a new dive site.” Onderwatersport describes it as “More than 250 full-color pages with all the information you need to make your dive experiences unforgettable.”

In addition to the book, there are also brand new, full-color, 10-panel Flora and Fauna of the Caribbean fish cards in English and Dutch providing an overview of the most abundant species of underwater life in the Caribbean.

This guide was released in the Netherlands a mere two weeks ago and the first reactions were very positive.  It will be available in English in November, but currently it is only available in Dutch.  The price of the book is $39.50.  Dive Friends Bonaire is the sole distributor for this new dive site guide, so is available for purchase at all Dive Friends Bonaire locations and also will be available soon at other retail locations around Bonaire.

For more information about Duikgids Bonaire, click here or please email Dive Friends by clicking here.

Dive Friends Bonaire is one of Bonaire’s premier diving facilities with convenient locations in Kralendijk, at Hamlet Bonaire, Dive Inn, and at Port Bonaire.  There are three retail stores in Kralendijk. For additional information, visit their web site by clicking here. (Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 21, 2012 at 2:47pm AST
Scuba DivingSnorkelingWater SportsPermalink
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Eighth Annual Pro-Kids Freestyle and Slalom Windsurfing Championship August 2-5

2012 marks the eighth consecutive year that Bonaire will host the Pro-Kids freestyle and slalom windsurfing championship at Sorobon at Lac Bay.  This year’s event will take place from August 2 through 5, 2012.

The focus of this year’s event is to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Bonaire’s only local windsurf club, Aquaspeed Bonaire Windsurfers.
Along with the windsurfing competitions, the event features beach culture with music, food, dance, beach soccer, beach bolas, dominoes, and a new Starboard paddle board competition and Telbo mini splash.

Throughout the event, there will be a steady supply of music from Dushi Band from Aruba, Rincon Kriyoyo, On Time, DJ Toad, DJ Robert2, DJ Indjo Ras, DJ True Clipz, DJ Pempi, and Loading Bank with Emphrem J.

The entire island warmly welcomes all freestyle and slalom competitors to come and compete!  See you on the beach for this great event!  (Source:  ProKids Freestyle)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 18, 2012 at 1:25pm AST
EventsWater SportsWindsurfingPermalink
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Update on Bonaire’s Efforts to Keep the Lionfish Population in Check

It is common knowledge that species of the invasive Pacific lionfish have populated nearly the entire Caribbean region.  Although Bonaire was fortunate enough to be one of the last dive destinations to have these predators inhabit its waters, the island had a master plan in place long before the first lionfish was spotted in October 2009.

The Bonaire National Marine Park (STINAPA) and the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) held a workshop to educate both the general public, as well as dive operators and their staff, about controlling this invasive species, since it was determined that a well informed community and pro-active dive staff would be Bonaire’s best defense.

Even Bonaire’s diving visitors jumped to assist with the task of marking and reporting the location of lionfish for future removal.  The Bonaire National Marine Park rangers conducted over 40 lionfish workshops for those marine park volunteers or visitors who were interested in helping to remove the fish, focusing upon how to safely catch and remove them. Today there are over 300 official lionfish hunters on Bonaire, of which there is a core group of about 30 hunters who are removing hundreds of fish every week.  Everyone can follow the hunters’ efforts by joining the Bonaire Lionfish Hunters Facebook group page at http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/bonairelionfish/.

Additionally, the CIEE Bonaire Research Station (Council on International Educational Exchange) has processed thousands of lionfish brought to their headquarters to take vital statistics such as size, weight, etc. to analyze and gather more data.

Through their continued efforts, STINAPA and DCNA have jointly developed a smart phone app whereby Bonaire’s lionfish hunters can add the location and details of lionfish caught, escaped, or seen during a dive, and this data can be viewed on a live map. The impetus behind this app is to collect all data in one centralized location so that a complete picture of the lionfish situation and its control is available to anyone.  The website, http://www.lionfishcontrol.org, may be used on a desktop computer or as a mobile application on a tablet or phone. Visitors to the site may register as either a hunter or observer and begin accessing the data immediately.  This tool is innovative and a benchmark for lionfish control.

But Bonaire’s nature and conservation foundations are not the only entities combating the lionfish, as many of the island’s dive operators are at the forefront of the battle as well.

LaTina Divers recently completed its first Lionfish Culling & Tasting Event, a seven-day event where the island’s visiting divers could join in the with hunters to remove as many lionfish as possible.  With guided shore culling excursions, boat culling excursions to Washington Slagbaai National Park, as well as other difficult-to-reach sites, in five days, 797 lionfish were removed, the majority of which were females with eggs, ready to spawn. The next LaTina Divers Lionfish Culling & Tasting event will take place from November 24 through December 1, 2012.  See http://www.latinadivers.com for additional information.

Buddy Dive Resort offers a “Go Hunting and Eat Your Catch” program. Visitors may sign up for a one-day course to become a PADI certified Lionfish Hunter, or simply ask for a dive to kill lionfish.  After those lionfish are removed, enjoy the Cooking Demo (available only in July), where visitors can learn how to cook and enjoy these tasty fish.  For more information, visit http://www.buddydive.com.

VIP Diving also has been at the forefront of the lionfish control efforts that Bonaire has undertaken and offers their guests a variety of ways to participate in their safe removal or to learn more about it. Experienced divers who want to personally hunt lionfish on Bonaire now have the opportunity through a certification program arranged by STINAPA and The Council of Underwater Resort Operators (CURO).  Divers who partake in this one-day training program divers will learn all about hunting lionfish. The program consists of a theory session, a target practice session, and ends with two actual guided hunting dives. (Source:  TCB-NY)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 17, 2012 at 12:16pm AST
NatureScuba DivingWater SportsPermalink
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Monday, July 16, 2012

Join in for Bonaire’s Next Underwater Cleanup This Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Dive Friends Bonaire is hosting their next underwater cleanup at Bonaire’s South Pier on Saturday, July 21st , 2012.  The underwater cleanups have become very popular activities, with over 100 participants joining in together on each event to keep Bonaire beautiful.

Everyone is welcome to participate--divers, snorkelers, beach cleaners, and those who wish to lend a hand with shore support. Anyone interested in participating should check in at Dive Friends @ Dive Inn at 10:00 AM. All participants are welcome to return at 6:00 PM for the event’s customary BBQ at Dive Friends @ Hamlet; 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 July 16, 2012 at 9:11am AST
Community ServiceEventsScuba DivingSnorkelingWater SportsPermalink
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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Celebrate Bastille Day in a Bonairean Manner this Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bastille Day is the name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day, which is celebrated on the 14th of July each year.  This Saturday marks the 223rd anniversary of the French Revolution.

In typical Bonairean fashion, the island will adapt the day and celebrate in our local way with some excellent French wines at the monthly Antillean Wine Company wine-tasting event.

The fun will begin at 7:00 PM and go for about two hours at Antillean Wine Company’s retail store on Kaya Industria.  Entry is $10.00 per person.  This is a fun and social evening, and it’s a great time for visitors to get a chance to meet some of the island’s residents.  (Source:  Antillean Wine Company)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 12, 2012 at 8:55am AST
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Eight Years Later, “Extra” the Loggerhead Sea Turtle Returns to Bonaire

July 9th, 2004, Klein Bonaire: a female loggerhead sea turtle named Extra was fitted with a satellite transmitter by Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) staff.  The very next day Extra began her 1,754 km (1,090 mile) migration to the waters off the coast of Honduras, an area now known to be critical feeding grounds for Bonaire-nesting sea turtles.  Fast-forward to July 1st, 2012, when Extra is seen back on Bonaire!

On July 1st, 2012, when STCB received a reported sighting of a large loggerhead sea turtle with a small device secured to its carapace (shell), they immediately dispatched a team to investigate.  Extra was identified resting and swimming on the coral reef surrounding Klein Bonaire and the remnants of her satellite transmitter were removed from her carapace.  The device was completely missing its antennae and was easily removed by the team.

The sighting of Extra is not only a heart warming story for Bonaire, but also very important for our knowledge base of Bonaire’s sea turtles.  Extra is nesting once again on Klein Bonaire, which helps confirm the hypothesis that female turtles return to the same nesting beach for their entire adult life (and usually the same beach where they themselves were born).  Loggerheads nest with intervals of two to three years, suggesting that this is the third time Extra has returned to nest on Klein Bonaire since the transmitter was fitted.

Satellite transmitters stop working after some time for different reasons: the antennas break, the batteries run dry, or sometimes they fall from the shell, especially as the turtle grows. A turtle’s shell grows from inside out, just like fingernails do, but growth in adult sea turtles is very slow and that explains why the transmitters can stay attached to the turtle after so many years.

In 2004 Extra had her four flippers intact, however now she is missing half of her right front, possibly from a shark attack. Luckily, she didn’t lose it completely and is still swimming and nesting successfully. So far this season Extra has laid three nests on Klein Bonaire and is expected to lay at least one more before she returns to her feeding home off the coast of Honduras.

STCB’s satellite tracking of mature sea turtles was featured in the October, 2004 issue of National Geographic (Dutch edition). The photograph chosen for the article was the release of EXTRA after transmitter deployment (see above).

Loggerhead Extra was named after the local newspaper as a way to give publicity to the tracking of sea turtles to raise public awareness about these majestic reptiles.  STCB staff would like to thank Woodwind Sail and Snorkeling for reporting on the sighting of this turtle and for participating in the quest to recover the transmitter. We are grateful to our volunteers, Dee, Tina, and Richard who are always ready to help us protect Bonaire’s sea turtles. And last but not least, we thank Extra for carrying this device and providing valuable information that can be used to share with our international partners to enhance sea turtle conservation in the Caribbean.  (Source:  STCB)

Posted by Susan Davis on July 11, 2012 at 1:14pm AST
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