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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima Visit Bonaire on Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Governments of Bonaire have set a program where it is possible for as many people as possible to meet the royal couple.  Some parts of their itinerary are closed, but noted below are the planned meetings when residents and visitors to Bonaire are welcome to join.

After the official reception at Flamingo International Airport, the royal party will arrive at Wilhelmina Plaza at 10:20 AM in the parking area of the Executive Council, and where they will attend the finish of the runners of the Special Olympics. They will then tour various sports demonstrations, including chess, volleyball, BMX, judo, and karate, as will as kick off the new campaign of Youth Who Know Appropriate Weights. After that, they will meet with various schools and foundations who will introduce their organizations to the royal couple.

Pier Chicu Mercelina
While in the area, the King and Queen will watch demonstrations of watersports such as kite surfing, windsurfing, and sunfish sailing. Bonaire-born Kiri Thode, the World Champion in Freestyle Windsurfing, will explain the sport and windsurfing activities that will be demonstrated.

The road to/from Rincon and Cocari
At approximately 11:30 AM, the royal party will drive to Playa Rincon and Cocari, with a planned arrival at 11:50 AM.  Here the royal couple will tour the newly renovated grounds and facilities for the elderly, which is open only to guests of Cocari.  At 12:15 PM, the entourage will head back to Kralendijk, with a stop at Mentor in Antriol along the way so that the royal couple may receive information about Bonaire’s historical monuments.

Jong Bonaire
At 1:20 PM, the King and Queen will arrive at Jong Bonaire, where the Caribbean Netherlands Photo Exhibition “Dare to Share” will be officially opened by his Majesty King Willem-Alexander.  The opening of this exhibition and the reception that follows are for invited guests only. The royal party leaves at 5:10 PM for Bonaire’s Flamingo International Airport.

(Source:  Island and National Governments of Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 30, 2013 at 1:23pm AST


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Insel Air Flight From Miami To Bonaire No Longer A Non-Stop Flight

The Bonaire Insider has just learned that beginning Saturday, November 9, 2013, Insel Air will no longer operate a non-stop flight between Miami and Bonaire or Bonaire to Miami. 

Starting November 9th, all flights between Miami and Bonaire will have a seamless connection in Curacao. Although Bonaire-bound passengers will have to switch aircraft in Curacao, all luggage will be checked through to the final destination in order that passengers do not have to worry about picking up their luggage while being in transfer.

For additional information, visit Insel Air’s web site at www.fly-inselair.com for more information on flights, flight numbers, and flight times between Miami and Bonaire.  (Source:  TCB-North America)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 29, 2013 at 4:35pm AST
Air TravelPermalink


Dive Friends Bonaire Quarterly Clean Up Volunteers Give a Little Love to Bonaire’s Te Amo Beach

On Saturday, October 12, 2013, 108 volunteer divers collected their tanks from Dive Friends Bonaire @ Port Bonaire and headed over to Te Amo Beach.  This is the beach that was recently made famous online when volunteers from Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire formed a human wall during a hatching to keep the baby sea turtles from being disoriented by the lights from Bonaire’s Flamingo Airport.

Te Amo Beach is not only popular with sea turtles; it’s also a popular site for parties and BBQs.  The jetty and the fuel pier are both used frequently by fishermen.  Therefore, the beach and dive site were definitely in need of a little love from the mix of local residents and visiting tourists who all wanted to help the environment of Bonaire.  Asko Zuidam of Dive Friends Bonaire provided a safety briefing to address what items should be collected and explained that anything with coral growing on it or creatures living inside of it should be left behind.  He also gave an explanation of how to carefully remove fishing line so as not to damage delicate sponges or corals.

After the briefing, the divers entered the water at the beautiful sand beach.  Some divers swam over to the Fuel Pier and some divers cleaned around the jetty.  When their bags were filled with marine debris, they brought the bags to the surface and handed them over to the Dive Friends crew who were working as shore support.  Volunteers checked once again to be sure that no marine creatures had been inadvertently included.  Then, everything was counted, tallied for Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris program, and disposed of responsibly. 

The debris collected by volunteers definitely reflected the beaches popularity with revelers and fishermen.  Over 3,279 items of marine debris were removed.  The most significant items removed were 223 pieces of fishing line.  Other items included:  788 cigarette filters, 163 items of plastic cutlery, 33 food wrappers, 51 plastic straws, 264 plastic fragments, 83 glass bottles, 68 cans, 784 bottle caps, 72 pieces of rope, 65 fishing hooks and much more.

Discarded fishing line poses a serious threat of entanglement and drowning to endangered sea turtles, as well as other marine life.  Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire is targeting the issue with additional “line clean up dives” with tanks supplied by Dive Friends, but it requires constant vigilance around all of the piers of Bonaire. 

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.  Hamlet Oasis is also the location of the Debris Free Bonaire plastic collection container, so volunteers learned more about the coastal clean-up initiative targeting marine plastic that washes ashore on Bonaire’s east coast.

One of the volunteers was pregnant and therefore unable to scuba dive.  She spent the day helping out by assisting with counting the marine debris and keeping the beach safe for baby sea turtles.  Later on that evening, she left the BBQ early and delivered a healthy baby boy.

Sponsors for the event include:  Bonaire Food Group, At Sea Restaurant, Ouray Sportswear, Bonaire East Coast Diving, Deep Blue Gear, Bonaire Marine Park, Selibon, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire, Reef Safe Suncare, Your Scuba Store, Body Glove, Native Outfitters and Reef Footwear.

The next quarterly Dive Friends Bonaire underwater cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, January 11th, 2014. (Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 29, 2013 at 3:23pm AST
Community ServiceEventsNatureScuba DivingSnorkelingWater SportsPermalink


Monday, October 28, 2013

Yesterday’s Bonaire Duo Xtreme Mountain Bike Race Was Another Resounding Success

Yesterday, Sunday, October 27, 2013, cyclists from many areas all gathered together in the pre-dawn hours readying themselves for the upcoming starting gun in the Fourth Edition of the Bonaire Duo Xtreme Mountain Bike Competition.  View images from a variety of vantage points during the race on the Bonaire Insider Photo Gallery at http://bonaire.me/Z768.

While some just chilled in advance of the starting gun, others did some yoga asanas as a warmup.  At 6:30 AM sharp, the race was begun, and members of Bonaire’s Police Bike Corps escorted the group of about 70 cyclists north toward Bon Bida Spa & Gym, where the race was then on!

There were two routes, one going way north passing inside Washington Slagbaai National Park, and then onward toward the eastern coast of the island, while the shorter route skipped the northern park, instead focusing upon heading east.  Those on the long route passed Gotomeer before heading into the park, and then upon exiting the park, began the cross along the eastern coastline, underneath the wind turbines, passing Boka Onima, before joining up with the those on the shorter route passing along the north edge of Lagun before heading back to Kralendijk. 

Even Bonaire’s donkeys caught the spirit of the race, joining the riders for a little romp and gallop.  In fact, the donkeys were actually in the lead, but they were quickly disqualified by race officials as they weren’t wearing the mandatory safety helmets.  Next year, donkeys, be prepared!

A race like this doesn’t come without injuries, although few.  The tremendous demands made on these athlete’s muscles can cause cramping without notice, sending a cyclist to the ground.  Luckily, in most cases, the cramp can be stretched out, allowing the athletes to continue.

Bringing in an amazing time, just about 2-3/4 hours after the start, the winning duo on the long route reached the finish line, tired but very happy!  Congratulations to all those who participated in this race! 

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter, images courtesy of Rolando Marin and Susan Davis)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 28, 2013 at 3:08pm AST


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Announcing Challenge #9 in InfoBonaire.com’s “So, You Think You Know Bonaire” Contest

InfoBonaire.com, The Bonaire Information Site, has just opened its ninth Challenge in the 2013 series, so anyone over the age of 18 and not residing on Bonaire is welcome to try their luck at answering the puzzle. The new challenge can be viewed at http://bonaire.me/Z526

Before revealing the ninth Challenge, the sad news is that there was not a winner in the eighth challenge.  Therefore, the prize will be carried forward to the ninth Challenge, so there are two prizes on this one!  Click here to discover the answer to Challenge #8.

Here’s the ninth challenge of the year, sponsored by Fox Rent-A-Car:

Challenge #9: Visitors to Washington-Slagbaai National Park can find these structures in various locations. What is this structure, and what is its use?

Challenge #9 Prize: A $50.00 credit for Bonaire travel services as provided by Fox Rent-A-Car. Credit is valid against the rental of a vehicle booked through their services through December 31, 2014, and a $50.00 credit for Bonaire travel services as provided by AB Car Rental. Credit is valid against the rental of a vehicle booked through their services through December 31, 2014.  Entry for Challenge #9 will close on November 7, 2013.

The first two persons to submit an entry that is correct and complete will win the prizes, so don’t delay! Click here to submit your response. Good luck to all. (Source: InfoBonaire.com)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 17, 2013 at 2:42pm AST
PeopleTourism AnnouncementsPermalink


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bonaire’s Mangrove Info Center Rated In Top Seven Best Caribbean Kayaking Locations

Bonaire’s Mangrove Info Center has done it again, this time winning a spot in Caribbean Journal’s Top Seven Places in the Caribbean to Kayak.  Congratulations go to all the crew at the center who work hard to insure all participants have an enjoyable time, as well as learning about the mangrove habitat.

The Mangrove Information Center Bonaire provides excursions into Bonaire’s protected mangrove forests.  Visitors to the center learn about the habitat, one of the most unknown and most endangered environments on our planet.  The mangrove forest of Lac Bay in Bonaire is one of the best-preserved in the Caribbean. Those taking the two-hour excursion can snorkel through a passageway to an open-area “lake”, after having negotiated their way through the branches of the mangroves.  No fins are allowed in this area to keep the fragile environment protected, but those who snorkel can spot many marine animals including baby rays or upside-down jellies.

The Mangrove Info Center on Bonaire was the only site chosen for this prestigious ranking that is located in the southern Caribbean.  Taking a kayak tour or solar boat tour into the mangroves when visiting Bonaire provides those visitors who come to dive and snorkel with a whole different side of the island’s nature.  Visit the Mangrove Info Center’s web site by clicking here(Source:  Caribbean Journal)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 16, 2013 at 9:30am AST
NatureTourism AnnouncementsWater SportsPermalink


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Upcoming Lunar Events on Bonaire

Bonaire is highly attuned to nature and events linked to nature, so lunar eclipses and full moons rank nearly as high in importance as the sun, wind, clouds, and sea conditions.  There are some upcoming events not to be missed for those who might be on Bonaire.

First, there will be a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse on October 18, which will only be vaguely visible in Bonaire. The eclipse will begin at 5:50 PM, reaches its greatest point at 7:51 PM, and ends at 9:49 PM.  Even though this eclipse will only be vaguely visible from Bonaire, STINAPA is organzing a full moon walk at the Washington/Slagbaai National Park, from 6:00 to 8:30 PM, to enjoy the beauty of the park under the full moon.  Bring comfortable walking shoes as participants want to protect feet and toes from rocks or cacti. Bring a flashlight along, and water and snacks if desired.  Entrance is free and everyone is welcome.  Meet at the entrance to Washington/Slagbaai National Park at 6:00 PM.

There will be a Hybrid (Total/Annular) Solar Eclipse on November 3 with a partial phase visible in Bonaire.  Totality will be over the Atlantic Ocean and Equatorial Africa. Event starts at 6:04 AM, reaches greatest eclipse at 8:47 AM and ends at 11:28 AM. The partial phase in Bonaire starts before sunrise (06:28), reaches its maximum at 07:05 (48% of Sun covered) and ends at 08:01 hours.

Enjoy these natural events!  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter, STINAPA)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 10, 2013 at 9:32am AST


Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Bill Goodwin Does It Again--Wins First Place in the 2013 Photo Contest of Scuba Diving Magazine!

In December, 2009, we reported that frequent Bonaire visitor, Bill Goodwin, had won a major photographic competition sponsored by National Geographic.  Now, we’re happy to report that he has done it again!  Bill has just recently captured first place (Divers category) in the 2013 Photo Contest of Scuba Diving Magazine. 

In his December 2009 win, he showed his talent with macro of a shrimp sitting on the side of an azure vase sponge, with the sponge backlit.  Now, Bill shows his versatility by winning another major photographic competition of a wide angle diver shot.

The image above is appearing in a two-page spread in the just published September-October issue (pages 46-47) of Scuba Diving Magazine. It features Bill’s wife, Donna, finning across the sand at Tori’s Reef between the ironshore and the reef.  The caption says, “The seemingly empty expanse of sand that separates Tori’s Reef, Bonaire, from the ironshore contains an abundance of life, including razorfish colonies, a large resident barracuda, graceful palometas, bonefish, spotted eagle rays, a rear black brotula--and my wife and dive buddy, Donna.”

Congratulations, Bill!  We will be eagerly awaiting the next winning image taken on Bonaire!  (Source:  Scuba Diving Magazine)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 08, 2013 at 1:52pm AST
PeopleScuba DivingWater SportsPermalink


Monday, October 07, 2013

Next Underwater Cleanup is Saturday, October 12, 2013 at Dive Friends at Port Bonaire

Next Saturday, October 12th , Dive Friends Bonaire will be hosting another quarterly Clean Up Dive.  Everyone--divers, snorkelers, or those who wish to assist with shore support--is welcome to join in.

The area to be cleaned is under and around the Fuel Pier and Te Amo Beach. Check in for volunteers will begin at 9:45 AM at their Port Bonaire location, with a briefing for all volunteers at 10:00 AM.  Divers should remember to bring their certification cards (if they are not already on file with Dive Friends Bonaire).  Please make sure to have your BMP tags along with you, as well, as they are required. 

Lionfish hunters may plan to bring their ELFs!  During the cleanup, it’s planned to collect as much fishing line as possible, so please bring along a dive knife or shears.  Those not diving are always more than welcome as they can help with a beach clean-up and to log the items removed from the water for PADI Project AWARE.  It’ll be fun for the whole family.

At 6:00 PM, Dive Friends will be hosting a potluck BBQ for the volunteers at their Hamlet Oasis location.  It’s a potluck, so please bring a snack, side-dish, or dessert to share and Dive Friends will be providing the main course and one beverage.  For more information, call 717-2929.  (Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 07, 2013 at 1:08pm AST
Community ServiceEventsScuba DivingSnorkelingWater SportsPermalink


Friday, October 04, 2013

Bonaire Travelers Using Aruba Gateway to Return to U.S.A. Advised of Long Delays in Clearing Customs

The Aruba Airport Authority (AAA) has issued an advisory for all passengers flying from Aruba to the United States, due to under-staffing of U.S. Customs and Immigration personnel, an outcome of some U.S. Governmental facility shutdowns.  Those Bonaire visitors who are planning a return to the States via Aruba might be affected.

The AAA has recommended that U.S.-bound passengers flying from Aruba check in three to four hours earlier than normal. 

“The under-staffing causes considerable delays,” AAA-spokesperson Hendrik Croes stated. “"The number of employees of US Customs and Border Protection have been reduced from ten to five and can be even less on some days, which leads to long queues between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM.”

The pre-clearance of passengers to America--an initiative of the government of Aruba--by members of the American government service US Customs and Border Protection is done so that passengers need not go through extensive border control upon arrival in the US. By pre-clearing Customs and Immigration, those on pre-cleared flights are considered as flying “domestically” within the U.S.A. and do not need to go through border control upon arrival in the States.  (Source:  Amigoe)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 04, 2013 at 12:47pm AST
Air TravelTourism AnnouncementsPermalink


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