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Friday, December 13, 2013

Bonaire Insider Review--Touring The Cadushy Distillery in Rincon

For those visitors who take a bit of time from their diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, or kiteboarding activities, Bonaire is filled with a treasure-trove of hidden riches which offer fun and insight into the island’s rich cultural heritage.  Taking a tour at the Cadushy Distillery in Rincon is certainly one of these treasures!

Having opened their doors just over four years ago, the Cadushy Distillery wowed the Bonaire beverage industry when it premiered, on Dia di Boneiru, its Cadushy of Bonaire Liqueur, which, with a green liqueur in bottles reminiscent of Bonaire’s obelisks, is now a familiar sight in many of Bonaire’s supermarkets and shops.  In actuality, Cadushy of Bonaire is just one of seven specialty liqueurs that the distillery has created.  The others include Kukui of Aruba, Calbas of Curacao, Gold of Statia, Spices of Saba, and, to honor the Dutch Kingdom, Orange of Orange.  Just released is Cadushy Royal, to pay homage to Bonaire’s new King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima.

But that wasn’t enough for the distillery, so owners Eric and Jolanda started experimenting with new products, and just about one year ago, a new line of spirits were born:  The Spirits of Bonaire.  These include Rom Rincon, Cadushy Vodka, and Captain Don’s Whiskey.  In between all of this innovation, the couple and their assistants have been kept very busy mixing up a variety of teas and even a dried cactus soup mix, which comes with instructions on how to make Bonaire’s traditional cactus soup--either the traditional way, or with a more modernized approach.

But as wonderful as these products are, they are readily found in and about Bonaire, so locating them for purchase is never a problem.  However, those who purchase their Cadushy favorites at many of Bonaire’s retail outlets are missing out on an interesting couple of hours.  It’s definitely a “must do” to take one or two hours when returning from Washingon Slagbaai National Park, or diving to the north, to make a stop in Rincon at Cadushy Distillery for a tour. 

The Cadushy Distillery is open each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM.  It’s easy to find once you’re in Rincon, just follow the many signs which will lead you right to their door.  What’s great is that there is no entrance fee, or fee for the tour, so it’s an economical way to while away a few hours while learning how these unique products are made.

Your guide will explain the process that is used to distill the liqueurs and spirits, and even the old-fashioned still can be viewed, which is still used to make every drop of their products.  The tour takes about 30 minutes and features many images of cactus being harvested from old-time Bonaire.

Of course, everyone’s favorite part of the tour comes at the end, when the taste-sampling begins.  The folks at Cadushy will keep you supplied with tastes of whichever liqueurs or spirits you wish to try, or go all out and ask for their cocktail of the day.  The dried teas and cactus soup mix make great presents for those back home.

Another reason to visit the distillery for a tour is that it is also the home of the Bonaire Heritage Foundation, so visitors can peruse many historical images of both Rincon and all around Bonaire.  The foundation also offers either a self-guided or guided tours (advance reservations are necessary for guided tours) of historic Rincon.

What great holiday presents these items will make.  Imagine the green of Cadushy of Bonaire peeping out of a red stocking!  Or celebrating New Year’s Eve with Cadushy Royal!  All good boys and girls will definitely appreciate any of Cadushy Distillery’s products in their visit from Santa this year! 

For those who would like to purchase Cadushy products without making the trip to Rincon, the folks from Cadushy Distillery will be at the Club Roomer Christmas Market this Sunday, at Hotel Roomer, from 5:00 until 9:00 PM.  For more information, visit their web site by clicking here(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 13, 2013 at 2:23pm AST


Thursday, December 12, 2013

There Are Lots of Upcoming Fun Weekend Events on Bonaire

There’s a full schedule of planned activities for this weekend on Bonaire, so there’s surely something for everyone’s tastes.  Be sure to take the time to enjoy some of these special activities.

The annual Geminid meteor shower, one of the busiest of the year, will peak on the night of Friday, December 13th. Unfortunately, the event will be lackluster because that night the moon will be in its full phase, but according to experts, the brightest meteors can be observed anyway, providing the skies are clear. The activity can reach 120 meteors per hour, up to 36 hours and stay at that level. The Geminid is a meteor shower that produces meteors of moderate speed, which are bright in many cases and that can be seen almost from dusk onward. To observe this phenomenon, experts recommend “getting away from the brightly lit town areas to avoid light pollution, get a reclining chair or a hammock and be patient.” (Source: Caribbean Weather Center)

The building of the island’s sewage system has long been in the news, and was much awaited to help keep nutrient-rich water off Bonaire’s reefs.  Yesterday, December 11th, 2013, the final construction of the water purification system was completed and it’s planned for the system to be in service for 2014.  To celebrate, the Island Government, in cooperation with WEB and MNO-Vervat, invite everyone to come to the premises of LVV on Saturday for an open house between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM.  Visitors can ask questions and receive a better understanding of how the system operates.  This will be the only opportunity for visitors to tour the facilities, as once it’s in working order, the facilities will not be open to the public.  (Source:  Bonaire Island Government

Also on Saturday, be sure to stop by Addo’s Books & Toys (Kaya Grandi #36) at 4:00 PM for the official launching of the newly published Bird Guide to Washington Slagbaai National Park. This beautiful, full-color book features detailed descriptions of commonly seen birds in the park along with the birding areas within the park and around Bonaire.  The Bird Guide to the Washington Slagbaai National Park has 115 pages with many images and illustrations and is a publication of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) and STINAPA Bonaire.  The cost is nominal, only $17.50 per copy, and those attending the launch on Saturday will have the added benefit of hearing an introduction by Elsmarie Beukenboom (STINAPA Bonaire), as well as a presentation by well known Bonaire biologist, Jerry Ligon (Biological Tours of Bonaire) about the birds of Bonaire. (Source:  STINAPA)

And it’s always a festive annual event when Antillean Wine Company receives the new shipment of Beaujolais Nouveau from Chateau Cambon.  Taste it by the glass ($4.00) or by the bottle ($18.00) at the Saturday evening wine-tasting on December 14th, 2013 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at their shop on Kaya Industria #23. (Source:  Antillean Wine Company)

Also it’s a holiday tradition that Bonaire plays for Bonaire, when the Classical Music Board Bonaire presents their annual Christmas concert, also Saturday evening, December 14, 2013 starting at 8.00 PM at the Cacique Hall of the Plaza Resort.  It is promising to be a wonderful evening with a lovely Christmas atmosphere. Elaine Marchena will entertain on the violin, with music by the Russian composer, Tschaikovski. The New Children Choir of the San Bernardo Catholic Church will perform (Bonairean) Christmas songs, and Anne Marie Kors will sing Jazz Ballads, with Hans Faassen on the piano.  Sylvia Ploos will play sax and flute, with Ann Hoemakers on the piano.  The concert ends with a musical grand finale......Then stay for an After Show Party with the well known Bonairian band “Creme de la Creme.” Advance tickets are $20.00 (available at Plaza Resort Bonaire, Addo’s™ Bookstore, Flamingo Bookstore, Chat€™nBrowse and Valerie’s Airportshop) or $25.00 at the door.  Entry for students with ID is $10.00 per person.  (Source:  Classical Music Board Bonaire)

On Sunday, December 15th, 2013 from 5:00 PM until 9:00 PM, Club Roomer will host their annual Christmas Market with lots of local arts and crafts, as well as a variety of other items.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to find just that right holiday gift for everyone still on the holiday shopping list.  The market will be held at Hotel Roomer at EEG Boulevard #97.  Entrance is free.  (Source:  Club Roomer)

And finally, from Friday through Sunday, Bonaire will be hosting the 2013 World Championship in Bossaball!  For those not familiar with this new sport, view a short video about the championship on YouTube.  For those who want to play spectator to this fun event, be sure to come and support your favorite team at the Plaza Resort Bonaire.  View the team schedule, available by clicking here, in PDF format. (Source:  TCB-Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 12, 2013 at 11:26am AST
EventsGovernmentMusic and PerformancesNaturePotpourriRestaurants and DiningPermalink


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bonaire--The Island Time Forgot, a Photographic Journey Around Bonaire Now Available

There is a new coffee table book just released entitled Bonaire:  The Island Time Forgot.  This pictorol essay highlights Bonaire’s nature, its landscapes, flora, and fauna, as well its history, culture, and annual events, and of course, Bonaire’s famous underwater marine life.

This newly released book is 34 pages, in hardcover, with images in full color, and it measures 8.5” wide by 11” tall.  It’s the perfect gift for Bonaire aficionados to give to themselves, or as holiday gifts for any Bonaire lover!  The cost is $42.95 and it can be ordered individually or in small quantities online, and the book usually ships within five days of placing an order.  Click here to preview the book or to make a purchase.

Also, the Pure Bonaire 2014 Deluxe Calendar is still available for a limited time.  This premium calendar features 13.5” x 19” sized pages, coil binding, white interior paper (100# weight), and full-color interior ink.  Major events for the coming year are noted on the calendar. The cost of this deluxe calendar is $23.99 and it also can be ordered individually or in small quantities online, and it ships within five days of placing an order.  Click here to preview the calendar or to make a purchase.

Posted by Susan Davis on December 11, 2013 at 3:51pm AST


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

United Airlines Announces Schedule Changes for Its Houston and Newark Services to Bonaire

Recently, United Airlines announced a major schedule change in their high season (winter) services to Bonaire from both Newark and Houston.  The new schedule, implemented in consideration of the ramifications of the new Federal Aviation Regulations governing crew duty time and rest requirements on the Bonaire service, shows an increase in peak season seats to the destination. 

A chart, available in PDF by clicking here, summarizes United’s new schedule from Dec 31st, 2013, to March 31st, 2014.  The Newark flight departs at 8:29 AM arriving Bonaire at 2:22 PM. The return flight leaves Bonaire at 3:22 PM and arrives back at Newark at 7:26 PM.  The Houston service departs at 1:00 PM arriving Bonaire at 7:52. The return flight leaves Bonaire the following morning at 8:22 AM and arrives back at Houston at 11:42 AM.  United will advise about its services to Bonaire for beyond April 1st, 2014 at a later date.  (Source:  TCB-Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 10, 2013 at 1:27pm AST
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Monday, December 09, 2013

Grupo Tutti Frutti Celebrates Twenty Years of Bonaire’s Musical Heritage

It was December 13, 1993 when Grupo Tutti Frutti first performed on the stage of the Freewinds ship while docked in Bonaire, and now, nearly twenty years to the day, the musical group of Tutti Frutti returned once more to perform an astonishing evening of entertainment.

To celebrate twenty years of keeping the Bonairean musical tradition alive, on Sunday, December 8th, the group of about twenty musicians and singers performed cultural songs and holiday music to a nearly sold-out theatre.  Folkloric dancers interspersed the singing, and guest appearances kept the crowd entertained while Grupo Tutti Frutti took a brief rest.

Many visitors to Bonaire, while perhaps not recognizing the group’s name, would certainly recognize their music, as the group has performed at many Bonaire cultural events, such as Dia di Rincon, Dia di Arte, and others.  The group has even traveled to Holland to perform.  The driving energy behind this group’s success is Emma St. Jago (pictured above), of Rincon, who is founder and head of the Bonaire Art & Culture Foundation.  In an era when the world is getting smaller, and cultures are becoming more homogenous, it’s wonderful that people like Emma work so hard to keep local traditions alive.

Pabien to Grupo Tutti Frutti, may Bonaire enjoy another twenty years of your performances!  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 09, 2013 at 1:19pm AST
EventsMusic and PerformancesPeoplePermalink


Saturday, December 07, 2013

Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) Unveils Newly Renovated Offices

On Friday, December 6th, 2013, the Tourism Corporation Bonaire (TCB) unveiled their newly renovated offices, which were specifically designed to welcome visitors to the island and insure a friendly and helpful hand for those who wish information while on island.

TCB had been in temporary offices since July, while major renovations were made to their offices located at the beginning of Kaya Grandi in Kralendijk.  The offices are now sporting modern equipment, furnishings, and a larger reception area for those visitors who would like additional information about all the various services available on Bonaire.  Future plans include a computer to be available for visitors to use to search for local services and tourism providers.

The reception area is beautifully decorated with a variety of montage images of Bonaire, along with a gallery for local artists to showcase their works.  This gallery will focus upon a different Bonaire artist every few months.  To open the gallery exhibition, several paintings of iconic residents are presented by well known Bonaire portrait painter, Henk Roozendaal. 

The offices held an open house all day long on Friday, and finished their unveiling with a press conference in the late afternoon and a ribbon-cutting ceremony with TCB Director, Mr. Ethsel Pieternella, presiding along with his family to cut the ribbon and declare the new headquarters officially open.

Bonaire’s own Kiri Thode, World Champion in Freestyle Windsurfing, arrived to support TCB, and willingly signed autographs for anyone who wished.

Congratulations, TCB!  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter, images by Rolando Marin and Susan Davis)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 07, 2013 at 4:52pm AST
EventsTourism AnnouncementsPermalink


Thursday, December 05, 2013

Saturday is the Last Farmers’ Market for 2013, and It Includes a Christmas Bazaar!

This Saturday, December 7th, 2013 will be the final Farmers’ Market hosted by Kriabon for 2013.  Be sure to stop by between 8:00 AM and 1:00 PM to purchase locally grown or made products, as well as the perfect items for holiday gifts.

Bonaire is already into the swing of the holidays, and this Saturday’s market will be no exception.  At 10:00 AM, there will be children’s performance of SPLASH, and at 11:00 AM, CAYONASO.  There’s food and locally made refreshments to purchase, livestock and plants to peruse, and even poultry from Curacao.  This month’s Christmas Bazaar provides opportunities to find just the right and unique gift for everyone on the holiday list.  It’s a great time to stock up on plants for the garden or local fruits and vegetables for the dinner table.  It doesn’t get any fresher than the Farmers’ Market.

Kriabon can be found at Kaminda Jato Baco 55.  Come and enjoy Bonaire’s freshest!  (Source:  Kriabon)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 05, 2013 at 3:40pm AST


Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Are Bonaire’s Lionfish Removal Techniques Effective?

Lionfish Pterois volitans and P. miles have spread rapidly throughout the Caribbean Sea since 1985, where they negatively impact native fish communities and therefore are considered by some as the most damaging invasive species in the Caribbean to date. To combat further population growth and spread of lionfish and to protect native fish communities, various Caribbean islands have started control efforts. On Bonaire, a removal program based on volunteers using spear guns was started immediately after the first lionfish was sighted in 2009, and a similar program was started on neighboring Curacao two years after.

An abstract on whether the efforts to date have been successful has been prepared and published by CARMABI (Curacao) in conjunction with STINAPA (Bonaire) and other organizations.  This abstract informs us as follows:

To determine the effectiveness of these removal efforts, differences in the density and biomass of lionfish were compared between areas in which lionfish were directly targeted during removal efforts (i.e., “fished” areas) on Bonaire and areas where they were not (i.e., “unfished areas") on both Bonaire and Curaçao. Lionfish biomass in fished locations on Bonaire was 2.76-fold lower than in unfished areas on the same island and 4.14-fold lower than on unfished Curaçao. While removal efforts are effective at reducing the local number of lionfish, recruitment from unfished locations, such as those too deep for recreational diving and at dive sites that are difficult to access, will continuously offset the effects of removal efforts. Nevertheless, the results show that the immediate start and subsequent continuation of local removal efforts using volunteers is successful at significantly reducing the local density and biomass of invasive lionfish on small Caribbean islands.

The study on the effectiveness of lionfish removal efforts in the southern Caribbean was prepared in conjunction with Ramón de León (1), Kim Vane (2), Paulo Bertuol (1), Valérie C. Chamberland (2, 3) Fernando Simal (1), Eseld Imms (4), Mark J. A. Vermeij (2, 3) of the following organizations:
1 STINAPA Bonaire, Bonaire National Marine Park, Barcadera z/n, Kralendijk, Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean
2 CARMABI Foundation, PO Box 2090, Piscaderabaai z/n, Willemstad, Curaçao
3 Aquatic Microbiology, Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, Science Park 700, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands
4 Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, Kralendijk, Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean

(Source:  CARMABI, image by Susan Davis)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 04, 2013 at 11:11am AST
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