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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bonaire Bids Farewell to Diving Legend and Island Icon, Captain Don Stewart

It is with much sadness that we report the passing of Captain Don Stewart today.  Captain Don was a legend and pioneer of diving tourism on Bonaire.

To many, Captain Don was synonymous with Bonaire diving.  After his arrival on Bonaire, 52 years ago just last week, he pioneered diving tourism on the island.  After introducing dive tourism to several resorts, he founded Captain Don’s Habitat, now one of the island’s premier dive resorts.

It was through Captain Don’s efforts to begin conservation of Bonaire’s reefs that the mooring system began in the late 1980s.  In fact, this system became the benchmark for marine parks all over the world.  Furthermore, Captain Don led the campaign to ban spearfishing on Bonaire.

His accolades are many over the years, and in 2005 he was inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame.  Bonaire will surely miss this man who spent so many years of his life in support of Bonaire.  Our heartfelt condolences go out to Janet Thibault, Don’s “first mate” in life.  Good bye, Don, rest in peace, and thank you for all you have done.  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 28, 2014 at 4:21pm AST


Monday, May 26, 2014

The Dutch Defense Platoon Assists STINAPA on Klein Bonaire

Over the past half year, STINAPA continued with its reforestation project on Klein Bonaire.  During this time, 900 trees were planted to bring Klein Bonaire’s natural flora back to a more original state.  Three times each year, the Dutch defense platoon conducts field exercises on Bonaire, and they always get involved with assistance for good causes.  55 persons of this platoon recently helped with preparations for the next rainy season for the reforestation project.

At “Pos di Kas,” the group cleaned up the well by removing rocks and mud around it. They did restorations on the superintendent’s house and dug more holes with an excavator in the area where new trees will be planted during the next rainy season.  Some invasive plants on the coast were removed because they were interfering with the development and growth of the native species.

Around the recently planted seedlings stones were laid as a windbreaker but also to allow some cool breeze against the harsh drought of the dry months.  Thanks to all the men and women who helped out with this important project!  (Source:  STINAPA)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 26, 2014 at 4:55pm AST


Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Cadushy Bonaire International Dance Festival is June 5th through 8th, 2014

Each year as we tear off the May calendar, the first thing that welcomes Bonaire to the month of June is the annual Bonaire International Dance Festival, with Cadushy being this year’s major sponsor.

This is the time to learn those Latin rhythms that make the feet tap and the shoulders move, as the festival will feature workshops covering Bachata, Rueda, Kizomba, and, of course, everyone’s favorite, Salsa. There will be a special Kizomba Boot Camp by Taiti and Christel, and festival parties and performances throughout the four-day event.

Ticket passes can be purchased for all events, including all workshops, the Kizomba Boot Camp, and parties for only $100.00 per person.  Or, purchase 8 workshops for $65.00, 4 workshops for $35.00, or 1 workshop for $10.00.  Entrance into the parties is free if before 11:00 PM, or $5.00 per person after 11:00 PM.  The Kizomba Boot Camp is $65.00.

For additional information into this unique festival event, call 782-1131 or 785-0027.  (Source:  Bonaire Dance Festival)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 22, 2014 at 2:21pm AST


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Coral Spawning Predictions for 2014 Now Available

Many visitors in the months of August, September, or October are pleased and surprised to find they are on Bonaire during spawning activities of corals and other invertebrates.  Other visitors plan their trips to Bonaire specifically for the chance to glimpse this unique event.

Although certainly not an exact science, it is well documented that various species of coral and other marine invertebrates spawn in cycles that are closely tied to the full moons in the months of August, September, and October each year.  After years of studies, we have predictions which are the best guesses as to which species will spawn when.  The best way to enjoy this unusual phenomenon is to plan to spend lots of time making night dives when here during the spawning season.

The 2014 schedule of spawning predictions for the southern Caribbean has just been published, so if you have a visit planned for the months of August though October this year, do check out the schedule to see if you will be on Bonaire during predicted spawning times.  Click here to view the 2014 predictions schedule (available in PDF).  (Source:  Carmabi)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 21, 2014 at 5:46pm AST
NatureScuba DivingWater SportsPermalink


Friday, May 16, 2014

KLM Launches Transatlantic Biofuel Flights from Amsterdam to Bonaire

In 2009, KLM commenced with research as to the viability of servicing its Caribbean routes with biofuel, instead of utilizing normal jet fuel (see the Bonaire Insider story about this by clicking here).  Now, this weekend, KLM will launch a series of biofuel flights to both Bonaire and Aruba that will extend to over a six-month period, operating an Airbus 330-200.  This marks another step forward on the journey to more sustainable aviation, by reducing CO2 emissions and fuel consumption through enhanced engine performance and utilizing lighter, more efficient aircraft.

KLM and the Dutch government chose Bonaire and its sister island of Aruba as the best destinations for these flights because both islands have a high sustainability agenda, aiming to be carbon neutral by 2020. The European Commission and KLM will use this series to demonstrate the potential of biofuel for air travel and their contribution towards reducing the environmental impact of aviation.

The European Commission supports the ITAKA** project through research grant funding, aimed at delivering technological breakthrough developments and the first time demonstration of the entire value chain for the production, distribution and use of aviation biofuel, thereby shortening the time to market for new and cleaner solutions. This will bring the commercialization of alternative energy sources for air travel ever closer.  The biofuel for these flights was sourced by ITAKA and supplied by SkyNRG.

** ITAKA: Initiative Towards SustAinable Kerosene for Aviation. A consortium of leading aerospace and fuel companies launched to produce sustainable biofuel for use in aviation. Funded by the European Commission, ITAKA is a collaborative project aimed at producing sustainable renewable aviation fuel and testing its use in existing logistics systems and normal flight operations across Europe.

(Source:  KLM)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 16, 2014 at 11:07am AST
Air TravelPermalink


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dive Friends Bonaire Debuts New PADI Sea Turtle Awareness Distinctive Specialty

In cooperation with Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB), Dive Friends Bonaire has created a new PADI Distinctive Specialty that is unique in the world.  During the two dive specialty, students will learn more about Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire, sea turtle behavior, nesting, identifying characteristics of the different species, threats to sea turtles and their habitats, and how to help.  The course will also provide student divers the tools to accurately report details of their sea turtle sightings to STCB.

In order to increase divers’ likelihood of sea turtle sightings, the two required training dives are provided by a partnership between Dive Friends Bonaire and Bonaire East Coast Boat Diving.  The east coast of Bonaire is known as the “Wild Side” because sea conditions frequently make diving only accessible by boat.  The east coast is famed for its higher frequency of larger pelagics such as sea turtles, rays, and sharks.

The idea was conceived by Richard Willis who is both an instructor for Dive Friends Bonaire as well as a volunteer for Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire.  He says,

“All of our divers love seeing turtles on their dives and have a lot of questions about them, so I wrote this specialty to give them a greater understanding of how to help.”

The inaugural course with student Maurius Westerhuis was a great success and Dive Friends Bonaire is looking forward to raising the awareness of more divers about sea turtles.  Students are supporting Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire simply by taking the course because a portion of the proceeds are donated to the program.

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

Posted by Susan Davis on May 15, 2014 at 4:08pm AST
Scuba DivingWater SportsPermalink


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Save These Dates for the Bonaire Heineken Jazz Festival--August 1st through 3rd, 2014

The tenth edition of Bonaire’s Jazz Festival will take place from August 1st through 3rd, 2014.  With an attendance of over 2000 persons in 2013, 2014 promises to be an event not to be missed.

Due to the number of people attending events, this year, all events will take place at Plaza Resort Bonaire.  For the opening night, enjoy the music of world-famous singer, Oleta Adams.  This American soul, jazz, and pop singer scored several top 10 hits and has appeared with more Tears For Fears. In the preliminary program on Friday, be sure to listen to DJ Maestro (with trumpeter Rob van de Wouw ) and direct from Aruba, the Charles Brewer Band.

On Saturday, the festival is dishing up the English band Matt Bianco on stage with pop music with a touch of jazz and Latin.  The band was best known in the mid-80s for singles like Whose Side Are You On and Do Not Blame It On That Girl and worked with Emilio Estefan. The Saturday evening will conclude with the man who four years ago first turned Bonaire upside down, the prince of bachata:  Frank Reyes! Also performing on Saturday is a surprise with home-grown singer, Anne Marie Kors, with her band.

On Sunday, the festival will conclude with a performance of The Original Wailers, led by Al Anderson, this group performs the biggest reggae hits by Bob Marley.  It’s a great way to finish up the weekend of music with the traditional beach BBQ and the Jam Fest, a jam session with the participation of both local musicians and stars of the festival.  And, last but not least, the youth of Bonaire have a special role to play this year, when each night their own stage is provided.

Be sure to be there on the beach!  <(Source:  Bonaire Jazz Foundation)>

Posted by Susan Davis on May 14, 2014 at 3:37pm AST
EventsMusic and PerformancesPermalink


Monday, May 12, 2014

CIEE Offers a New Lecture This Evening Focusing Upon Coral Reefs

This evening, CIEE will host a free public lecture by Dr. David Unger, a professor from Maryville College; his talk is entitled, “The Future of Coral Reefs” and there will be a high emphasis placed on reefs from the Caribbean.

Anyone with an interest may attend, free of charge.  The lecture will take place at the CIEE Research Station from 7:00 to 8:00 PM, at their headquarters at Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot #26 in Kralendijk.  All are welcome!  (Source:  CIEE Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on May 12, 2014 at 3:44pm AST


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