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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Second Chance to Hear the Flamencos in the Air

For those who didn’t get to Club Roomer last Friday to hear Olger Star and Terence de Haseth, there will be two more opportunities this weekend, as Friday the duo will be performing at Bobbejan’s BBQ and on Saturday evening at City Cafe.

These two talented musicians came together for these three special performances, as Olger is visiting Bonaire, but he will soon return to his native Holland.  The two are well versed in their musical genre of flamenco guitar, and are expert in their technique.  It’s a very special evening to listen to the strains of their music wafting into the evening air--truly Flamencos in the Air.  Both concerts begin at 7:00 PM.

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 31, 2013 at 2:56pm AST
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Anneke’s Journey Is Finally Complete

For those Insider readers who have been following the amazing Green Turtle, Anneke, since her migration began from Bonaire last October, we’re happy to report that her journey is now at an end.  As she has been in the area of Jardines de la Reina, Cuba for more than 30 days now, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire has enough data for them to assume this is Anneke’s home foraging (feeding) grounds. 

Interestingly, Anneke passed through Jardines de la Reina (Gardens of the Queen) slowing down significantly between November 9 to 11.  However, at that time, she continued to the west for an additional 500 km along Cuba’s southern coast, nearly reaching Isla de la Juventud.  Instead of staying there or continuing her way to the west, Anneke then turned back and returned to the area of Jardines de la Reina where she has been since December 9th, 2012.

STCB staff has contacted Cuba WIDECAST country coordinator, Felix Moncada, to inform him of the presence of Anneke.  Along with learning about sea turtle migratory paths and identifying feeding areas, tracking turtles provides the opportunity to work together with international organizations, which enhances the conservation of the region’s sea turtles throughout their range states.  (Source:  STCB)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 31, 2013 at 10:23am AST
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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It’s Karnival Time on Bonaire

The Karnival season is coming to its final, exciting culmination with the Children’s Parades this weekend, and the Grand Karnival Parades next weekend.  Jump-ups and other parades are also going to happen between now and Tuesday, February 12, when Karnival will come to its close, just before Ash Wednesday and Lent begins.

The Children’s Parade will take place in Rincon on Saturday, February 2, and again in Kralendijk on Sunday, February 3.  February 5 brings a jump-up in Rincon, and on February 7 the celebratory jump-up will be in Kralendijk.  February 8 brings the Schools’ Parade in Kralendijk, and the Grand Karnival Parade, the most well attended event, will take place in Rincon on Saturday, February 9 and in Kralendijk on Sunday, February 10.

After all the festivities, Monday, February 11 is a legal holiday for everyone to recover!

The Karnival season will come to its completion on Tuesday, February 12, when the parade will once again pass through the streets of Kralendijk on its way to the stadium, where the traditional burning of King Momo will take place, just minutes before Ash Wednesday, and thus Lent, begins.

Be sure to enjoy and bring your camera!  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 30, 2013 at 4:02pm AST
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The Army joins STCB!

As reported earlier, two platoons of the Dutch Army were on Bonaire for training exercises and to familiarize themselves with the island in case of a future need for emergency management or defense.  With the setup assistance of the War Veterans Foundation Bonaire (VeteranenStichting Bonaire), the soldiers also helped Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire for two days to make the nesting beaches of Bonaire and Klein Bonaire more safe for the endangered sea turtles.


Their first task was to protect the beaches on the main island from vehicles that drive onto the beaches, threatening to crush the nests of sea turtles. Working together as a team with STINAPA, Selibon, and Cargill, the Army platoons helped STCB to move over 100 boulders into place along the edges of the beaches. They also removed trash and weeds that were littering the sandy beaches.

Their second project was to remove dead wood from No Name Beach, which impairs turtles when they come out of the sea to nest. While the troops were on Klein Bonaire, they also repaired the hut roofs and removed 30 bags of trash that had washed up on the shoreline.

STCB would like to express their sincere thanks to all the soldiers, STINAPA, Selibon, and Cargill for their generosity in donating time and equipment and to volunteers Hans, Jannie, Marianne, Mike, Gerard, and Jasmin for all their help.  Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire’s mission is to ensure the protection and recovery of Bonaire’s sea turtle populations throughout their range. (Source:  SCTB)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 30, 2013 at 11:29am AST
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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cupid’s Arrow Is Aiming At Bonaire for Romance this Valentine’s Day

With an exciting selection of romance-tempting offers available, travelers will not want to miss Cupid’s arrow this year that he’s aiming at Bonaire.  From mouth-watering romantic dinners, to intimate strolls along the coastline, to great dive vacations with a special buddy, now is the time for sweethearts everywhere to make their plans to spend Valentine’s Day on Bonaire. 

Enjoy these special offerings:

Appetite is offering a five-course Chef’s Tasting Menu on February 14, 2013, which includes a free glass of Prosecco, all for $47.50 per person.  For more information or to make reservations, call +599-717-3595.

The Black Durgon Inn is offering Valentine Packages for sweethearts that are arriving on February 23, March 2, or March 16, 2013, to keep their romance flowing. Package includes seven night’s accommodations (including air-conditioning, fans, and hot water showers), six breakfasts, use of kayaks, swimming or snorkeling instruction, a Bonaire gift and chilled champagne, and a box lunch and directions to small, intimate locations. Book either the Find a Sweetheart Package (for singles) which is $600 per room based on single occupancy, or Sweetheart Package (for couples) which is $700 per room based on double occupancy.  Diving can be added for an additional $120 per diver per week.  Scuba instruction is available at $350 per person.  For more information, or to make reservations, visit www.blackdurgon.com.

At Buddy Dive Resort, love struck visitors can celebrate the day with a romantic, sunset dinner.  They will enjoy the breathtaking views of Klein Bonaire and feel the gentle ocean breeze as their palettes delight in the chef’s special Valentine’s Day menu.  The three-course menu includes a choice of starters and entrées, and ends with a rich chocolate soufflé served with strawberry compote and vanilla ice cream.  After dessert, taking a romantic stroll through the garden to the gazebo or enjoying a walk hand-n-hand on the dock where they can sit back and view the stars, will make this a Valentine’s Day to remember.  For more information or to make reservations, call +599-717-5080, or visit www.buddydive.com.

The secluded, peaceful setting at Caribbean Club Bonaire sets the stage for an ideal romantic escape.  Combined with the convenience of an on-site restaurant and bar, swimming pool with sweeping ocean views, a full service dive shop, and personalized service in a friendly atmosphere, couples can’t help but fall in love for the first time or all over again. In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Caribbean Club Bonaire will serve a special cocktail called “Kiss in Paradise” or “Un Sunchi den Paraíso” in Papiamentu.  It will only be served on February 14, 2013. The resort is an ideal destination for divers, nature lovers, and peace seekers. With studio apartments to full, two-bedroom villas with kitchen and living areas.  For more information or to make reservations, call 1-800-906-7780 or +599-717-5080 ext. 572, or visit www.caribbeanclubbonaire.com.

Caribbean Wind & Sun has teamed up with Windsock Apartments to offer a Romance Package at the small, intimate apartment complex featuring a private beach and pool. Nestled among a mature tropical garden, guests can enjoy casual comfort in an ocean view setting. The Romance Package includes discounted accommodations for seven nights (stay for seven, pay for six), plus a $50 room credit and a $25 dinner credit for use at Kontiki Resort.  The Romance Package for Two, including tax and service, is USD $888 based on double occupancy.  For more information call 1-508-737-5245, or visit www.bonairecaribbean.com.

Flamingo Wedding & Spa Services Bonaire is offering a VIP Massage, regularly $70, for only $55.  This special massage includes a one-hour combo massage (Swedish, Deep Tissue, Shiatsu and/or Tui Na) for one person, and is valid from Monday, February 11 through Friday, February 15, 2013.  For more information or to make an appointment, call +599-785-0006 or +599-717-2972, or visit www.flamingoservicesbonaire.com.

H2O Visions Bonaire offers private, personalized snorkel and photo tours above and below the water and PADI continuing education. To make the day special, a pre-dawn or night snorkel trip can be arranged to see up close how the reef environment changes in early mornings and evenings. In celebration of Valentine’s Day, all night snorkel trips booked during the week of February 10, 2013 will include a bottle of wine to enjoy after the excursion. If folks are traveling with children, and still want to have that romantic interlude, H20 Visions will take the kids for the day for a snorkeling and reef eco-education. Photo tours can be in or out of the water, camera rentals are available, and those with special needs can be accommodated. Transportation, quality snorkel gear, snacks and refreshments are included with all excursions. For more information, call +599-700-4361.

Oasis Guesthouse is offering a special Valentine’s Day package, including seven night’s accommodations in a standard room, double occupancy, for only $699 per room.  This package also features breakfast and includes the tourist tax for two persons.  It can be booked throughout the month of February, 2013, subject to availability.  Oasis Guesthouse is a family-operated Bed & Breakfast, located close to the sea in Belnem.  For more information, call +599-796-0408.

Piet Boon Bonaire is offering their Garden Villas at a special price from January 15 through March 31, 2013 in celebration of Valentine’s Day.  The price of $3,500 per villa per week includes a candlelight dinner for two prepared by a private chef in the villa, as well as round-trip airport transfers, breakfast supplies for day of arrival, gas, water, and electricity, cleaning and change of bed linen twice each week, cleaning of swimming pool weekly, wireless Internet, local telephone calls, and the services of the property manager.  The local team is available to assist with reservations for flights, restaurants, car rental, diving, or other activities. Certain restrictions, conditions, and cancellation penalties do apply, including a damage deposit, and rates do not include a 10% service charge or tourist tax of $5.50 per person per night for those 13 years of age or older.  For more information, call +599-717-6424.

Plaza Resort Bonaire is offering an all-inclusive package from $1,449 per person, including seven nights in a Standard Suite Laguna, seven breakfasts, seven lunches, seven dinners, 11 boat dive package, round-trip transfers, tax and service charge, and yes, drinks, plus a very special Valentine’s Day cocktail to be served only on February 14, 2013. Room upgrades available along with single, triple, quad rates, and an upgrade to the romantic Honeymoon Suite is available for only $2,236 per person.  (Note: tourist tax of $6.50 per person per night and $25 Marine Park tag are not included in the rates quoted.) For more information, call 1-781-821-6016.

Rancho Washikemba offers unique trail rides on horseback through the pristine natural habitat of the areas of Washikemba and Lagun.  And, just for Valentine’s Day, private tours are available for just two persons on either of their two tours.  The Lagun Tour allows riders to walk from the ranch to Bonaire’s eastern coastline to Lagun for an opportunity to swim and play with the horses in the water, (bathing suits recommended).  The Kunuku Tour offers scenic views of Bonaire’s outback, with walks, trots, and canters.  Transfers from hotels can be arranged, and rides last about two hours.  The price is $95 per person, including tax and round-trip hotel transfers.  Advance reservations are necessary.  For more information or to make reservations, call +599-788-8668 or +599-786-7321.

Travelers can indulge in the romance and seclusion of shore diving on Bonaire with Sand Dollar Condominiums and Dive Friends Bonaire.  Partners can enhance their shore diving experience together by enrolling in a Shore Diving Specialty course that is being offered. Upon completion of the course, they will earn a PADI specialty card. During Valentine’s Week, February 9-15, 2013, Dive Friends Bonaire is offering this course to certified divers staying at Sand Dollar on their Ride to the Reef Package on a “buy one get one free” price of $100 for two persons.  Sand Dollar will sweeten that deal by delivering a free bottle of Cava Rosado Brut to all who complete the certification.  Ride to the Reef Packages during the Valentine’s week are $913 per person based on double occupancy Studio accommodations including room tax, six days of unlimited air or Nitrox tanks for shore diving and seven day rental truck.  For more information please call 1-800-288-4773 or the Florida Office at 1-954-453-5025, or visit www.SandDollarBonaire.com.

(Source: TCB-North America)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 29, 2013 at 3:10pm AST
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Monday, January 28, 2013

Dive Friends Bonaire Organizes First Clean Up Dive of the Year at Karel’s Pier

On Saturday, January 19, 2013, Dive Friends Bonaire @ Yellow Submarine filled up with enthusiastic volunteers ready for the first quarterly clean-up dive of the new year.  The crowd primarily consisted of vacationing divers, but there were also a large number of local residents, including a group of Junior Rangers from the Bonaire National Marine Park.  All of the participants collected their free tanks from the dive center and then assembled for the safety briefing.

Asko Zuidam of Dive Friends Bonaire addressed the group of 118 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. He also gave an explanation of how to safely remove fishing line which poses 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. The 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:  1,438 bottles, 286 plastic cups, 38 pieces of fishing line, 885 plastic fragments, 3 pairs of sunglasses, 1 pair of reading glasses, 31 ropes, 14 PVC pipes, 36 metal fragments, a pacifier and 1 mobile phone.  The total number of items collected was 3,043! This is almost 1,000 items more than in 2012.

That evening, all participants and their families were welcomed back for a Pot Luck BBQ and raffle at the recently remodeled Dive Friends Bonaire @ Hamlet Oasis.  Dive Friends Bonaire (with help from our sponsors) provided drinks and main courses, while participants supplied side dishes.  Ricky Thomas provided the music and added a wonderful atmosphere to the evening.  Hamlet Oasis is also the location of the Debris Free Bonaire plastic collection container, so volunteers learned more about the new coastal clean-up initiative targeting floating marine plastic that washes ashore on Bonaire’s east coast.

Sponsors for the event include:  Selibon, Bonaire Food Group, Ouray Sportswear, Reef Clothing, Deep Blue Gear, Reef Safe Suncare, Your Scuba Store, Body Glove, the Bonaire Marine Park, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire, East Coast Diving, Princeton Tec, and Cressi.

The next quarterly Dive Friends Bonaire underwater cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, April 13th, 2013.  Additional information about the cleanups is available by clicking here.  All are welcome to join in.  For more information about the Debris Free Bonaire initiative, click here(Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire)


Posted by Susan Davis on January 28, 2013 at 3:52pm AST
Community ServiceNatureScuba DivingSnorkelingWater SportsPermalink
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Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands to Abdicate Throne In Favor of Her Son, Prince Willem Alexander

Queen Beatrix of the Kingdom of The Netherlands has just announced that on April 30, 2013 she will abdicate the throne in favor of her son, Crown Prince Willem Alexander.

In her speech, the Queen said that 2013 marks several anniversaries, the first being her 75th birthday, and also the 200th anniversary of the Kingdom itself.  As she is still in good health at this time, she feels it is time to retire and allow Prince Willem Alexander to ascend to the throne as King Willem Alexander.  His wife, Princess Maxima, will become Queen, but without official powers.  In her announcement speech, she thanked all the people of The Netherlands, but also she specifically thanked the people of the Dutch Caribbean as well, for the warmth and joy they have shown her in the past on official state visits.  There will be more information about the 200th Anniversary Commemoration Event later in the year.  Starting in 2014, Kings Day will be celebrated on April 27 of each year.

The speech is available (in Dutch) by clicking here.  A video link to the Queen’s speech should be available shortly here via YouTube.  More information will be posted shortly on the Royal House of Orange’s web site(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 28, 2013 at 2:32pm AST
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Friday, January 25, 2013

Next CIEE Continuing Education Series Focuses Upon Lionfish

CIEE will host the next public lecture in their continuing education program on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 when Fadilah Ali will be back on Bonaire presenting, “Lionfish Management in the Caribbean.”

The invasive lionfish has been wreaking havoc throughout the Caribbean, however some islands are still relatively slow in beginning their management strategies. Fadilah Ali, a PhD student at the University of Southampton, in the UK, has been conducting research on lionfish ecology and management in many islands, and she will present her findings on the different strategies applied in these islands and their varying success rates. This public lecture will also introduce the new lionfish research and removal program at Klein Bonaire that is currently underway.

The lecture will take place at the CIEE headquarters at Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot 26 from 7:00 to 8:00 PM.  Attendance is free, and all are welcome.  (Source:  CIEE Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 25, 2013 at 4:47pm AST
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Flamenco is in the Air At Club Roomer This Friday, January 25, 2013

On Bonaire, it’s usually flamingos in the air, but this Friday that will change!  Club Roomer will host a Flamenco concert featuring two noted guitarists, appropriately titled, “Flamencos in the Air.”

Olger Star and Terence de Haseth will begin their Flamenco presentation at 7:00 PM at Hotel Roomer, located at EEG Boulevard #97 in Belnem.  Proceeds from the concert benefit Club Roomer, which provides benefits to the elderly, young, and disadvantaged on Bonaire.  (Source:  Club Roomer)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 24, 2013 at 12:11pm AST
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Princess Cruise Lines Honors Mangrove Info Center, Bonaire Tours, and Seacow Snorkeling

On Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013, Princess Cruise Lines honored several Bonaire companies for the high quality provided to the cruise line’s passengers engaging in shore excursions while in port on Bonaire.  A ceremony was held aboard the Emerald Princess to thank The Mangrove Info Center, Bonaire Tours & Vacations, and Seacow Snorkeling for the excellent service they all provide.

Owner/operator Elly Albers was on hand to receive the award to The Mangrove Info Center for their services provided during last year’s cruising season (2011/2012) for the most popular (by a vote by passengers) Bonaire Low Volume Shore Excursion.  This refers to a shore excursion which is limited to only a small number of passengers at one time.

Owner/operator Eric Witten was also on-board to receive the award to Seacow Snorkeling for the services they provided during last year’s cruising season.  Seacow was honored for being the most popular High Volume Shore Excursion, or an excursion which can accommodate about 32 passengers at one time.

Corine Gerharts was also present to receive the awards on behalf of Bonaire Tours & Vacations, as the handling agent for these shore excursions when ships of the Princess line are in port.

Congratulations to all!  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 23, 2013 at 4:03pm AST
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