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Friday, October 31, 2014

Explore the Mondi Suit at Sunrise in Washington-Slagbbai National Park on Sunday, November 9th, 2014

On Sunday, November 9th, 2014 STINAPA is offering the possibility to go for a walk at sunrise at the Mondi Suit in the Washington-Slagbaai National Park, an area that just opened to the public a little while ago.  The walk has a duration of 2-1/2 hours and is an easy walk as there is no climb in it.

There is space for 20 participants. Secure your spot and register by calling 786-5229 or send an email to washingtonpark@stinapa.org. Registration is required for participation. Children from 10 years may participate if accompanied by their parents or an adult. Put on hiking shoes and bring your own water bottle and a snack and also a flashlight. Admittance fee for this walk is $10 per person.  Participants should be at the entrance of the park no later than 5.30 AM. Everybody will be back at the entrance around 8 AM.  Come and listen to the birds waking up and see the sun rise. You can listen to George “Kultura” sharing his interesting stories.  (Source:  Bonaire Insider)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 31, 2014 at 4:49pm AST
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Thursday, October 30, 2014

STINAPA Hosts Malicious and Delicious to Celebrate the Bonaire National Marine Park’s 35th Birthday

In connection with the 35th Anniversary of the Bonaire National Marine Park, STINAPA Bonaire is launching a lionfish derby and degustation. The event will take place on November 29th and 30th and will culminate in a celebratory Sunday afternoon party open to the public. The party will have the Bonaire Culinary Team present their signature Lion Fish Ceviche dish in an awareness-building event at Sunset Beach.

BNMP-certified lionfish hunters are invited to form teams of a maximum of four hunters for entry into the Malicious & Delicious Derby by removing the invasive lionfish. Different prizes will be awarded for different categories of catch (most caught, biggest, smallest). Download the event rules by clicking here.

The Bonaire Culinary Team will prepare three lionfish dishes to be offered to the general public. They will also be serving three goat dishes prepared with goats from the Washington Slagbaai National Park. All food dishes offered will be free of charge.  However, in order to raise awareness of sustainable practices, it will be the object of the event to reduce (plastic) waste. For that reason, guests will be requested to come with their own wares and cutlery in order to receive free food. For those who do not bring their own wares, there will be biodegradable and compostable wares for sale, and re-use of these items will be promoted.  CIEE Foundation and Karko Bonaire will participate with an information and awareness booth presenting the latest research on lionfish on Bonaire.

There will be music provided by Equal Rights & Justice, as well as DJs for the duration of the Sunday afternoon event. Activities for children will be organized, as well as a raffle for the general public.  Prizes for the varying competitions and raffle are donated by local and international organizations.  Thanks go to all the sponsors for helping make the Bonaire Marine Park’s 35th Anniversary a celebration:  Bonaire Culinary Team, Cressi, Amcar, Bopec, Budget Car Rental, Divi Flamingo, Bonaire Food Group, Rum Runners, Sand Dollar Condominiums, Den Laman Apartments, Goooddive, Toucan Dive, Wannadive, WWF Holland, Zookeeper, Spice Beach Club.  (Source:  STINAPA)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 30, 2014 at 10:41am AST
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Monday, October 27, 2014

117 Dive Friends Bonaire Volunteers Clean Up Under Bonaire’s South Pier

On Saturday, October 18, 2014, one hundred and seventeen volunteers gathered at Dive Friends Bonaire @ Dive Inn for the last quarterly clean up dive of 2014. The area to be cleaned was the Kralendijk South Pier. The pier is normally off-limits to divers due to boat traffic, but it needs to be targeted regularly for clean ups because it is a popular destination for fishermen as well as the main pier used for cargo deliveries and cruise ships.

Carolyn Caporusso 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. She 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 in front of Dive Inn and swam the short distance over to the South Pier. 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.

Volunteers collected 278 glass beverage bottles, 94 plastic cups, 75 cans, 153 pieces of dangerous fishing line, 79 plastic fragments, 1 big tarp, 27 plastic bottles, 45 cardboard fragments, 4 shoes, 10 pieces of rope, 19 items of clothing and much more. A total of 1,034 items were removed from the marine environment. There were also several lionfish hunters along on the dive. This invasive species is actively being culled from the Bonaire Marine Park.

All participants and their families were welcomed back for a sunset BBQ and raffle at Dive Friends Bonaire @ Hamlet Oasis. Dive Friends Bonaire and sponsors provided drinks and main courses, while participants supplied the pot luck side dishes. In keeping with the spirit of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” Dive
Friends Bonaire does not use disposable plates and cutlery, so the instructors and dive masters also spent a lot of extra time cleaning up after the clean-up.

Sponsors for the event include: Beachcomber Villas, Addo’s Bookstore, Pasa Bon Pizza, Mares, Intova, SubGear, Deep Blue Gear, Ouray, Van Den Tweel, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire, Reef Safe Suncare, Body Glove, Bonaire East Coast Diving, Reef and Your Scuba Store. The next quarterly Dive Friends Bonaire underwater cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, Jan 17th, 2014. Additional information about the cleanups is available by clicking here. All are welcome to join in. (Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 27, 2014 at 4:10pm AST
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Nature Conservation on Bonaire Earning Global Accolades Once Again

On the evening of October 11th, Nathaniel Miller, Assistant Director of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) received a phone call from Sean Willmore, the President of the International Ranger Federation, notifying him that DCNA’s nominee for the Dr. Jane Goodall--"Hope and Inspiration Ranger Award,” had won. Luigi Eybrecht, a newly appointed Marine Park Ranger for STINAPA Bonaire (National Parks Foundation) and volunteer Commander of their Junior Rangers, was selected by the world renowned primatologist and anthropologist Dr. Dame Jane Goodall herself. Luigi has been invited to attend the World Parks Congress in Sydney Australia this November where he will receive his award in front of 4,000 international conservation delegates on November 15th. 

Willmore, who is also the founder of the Thin Green Line Foundation, had tried to reach Luigi by phone first, but Luigi was, quite fittingly, underwater culling invasive lion fish in the Bonaire National Marine Park.  In his award letter, Willmore wrote,

“It was your (Luigi’s) determination, positive approach and energy that shone through. It was a very strong field, but, in the end, we saw that you embody everything this award stands for and as such we could not think of a more deserving winner.”

Luigi was selected as the winning candidate out of a few hundred rangers nominated worldwide.

In 2009, at 16 years of age, Luigi and two classmates joined the Junior Rangers program, a nature and environmental leadership program for teenagers. Thanks in large part to Luigi’s relentless energy and enthusiasm, the Junior Ranger program today has five levels complete with a wide range of nature education and conservation activities. Luigi and the STINAPA Junior Rangers have changed the face of conservation on Bonaire. These local youths and young adults are taking ownership of their natural resources and engaging the community in discussion about the future of their protected areas and their island’s valuable biodiversity.

As a STINAPA Ranger, Luigi is now paid to do what he loves, but that is certainly not why he does it. In addition to helping control the spread of invasive lion fish in his free time, Luigi assists in monitoring nesting seabirds, endangered sea turtles, over-harvested conch and rare tree species. He helps lead REEF.org fish monitoring groups and has recently joined Coral Reef Restoration Foundation to grow and replant Acropora coral species in the shallow waters of Bonaire.

Luigi is a true ambassador for conservation who loves to share with others his deep appreciation for the parks and nature of Bonaire. Miller wrote the following as part of Luigi’s winning nomination:

“I have known Luigi for the past four years and had a firsthand view of how he has changed the rules of the game for nature conservation on Bonaire. Luigi’s work with the STINAPA Junior Rangers is spilling over to other islands in the region and within the next few years this engaging approach could become one of the greatest achievements for conservation in the Caribbean.  I have not met a young person as dedicated to helping develop healthy environments for healthy people, as Luigi. Awarding Luigi Eybrecht with the Dr. Jane Goodall Hope and Inspiration Award will be a great recognition for Luigi, STINAPA Bonaire and its Park Rangers, the citizens of Bonaire and for conservation efforts across the Caribbean region.”

For more information on Luigi’’ work with STINAPA Bonaire visit: www.stinapa.org or on Facebook at bonaire.stinapa.  (Source:  STINAPA)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 16, 2014 at 4:07pm AST
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fourth Edition of Bonaire Duo Xtreme Mountain Bike Race is Sunday, October 19th, 2014

It’s time for an early Sunday morning to enjoy the fourth edition of the Bonaire Duo Extreme Mountain Bike Face this Sunday, October 19th, 2014.  It’s a fun event to watch, but grueling to participate in!

The contestants will race an extreme and challenging mountain-bike trail of 83 kilometers throughout a large part of Bonaire and they will compete in pairs, hence “duo extreme.” There is also a “pro” course consisting of a race of 51 kilometers.  Participants are to meet on Sunday morning at 5:30 AM at Divi Flamingo Beach Resort, and the start of the race will begin at 6:30 AM.  The finish is also at Divi Flamingo Resort, where many spectators are expected, and a buffet lunch will be served to the participants until 1:00 PM when winners are announced and prizes awarded.  (Source:  Duo Xtreme Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 15, 2014 at 1:51pm AST
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Dive Friends Bonaire to Host Next Quarterly Underwater Cleanup on Saturday, October 18th, 2014

This coming Saturday morning, it’s time to do another good turn for Bonaire by joining in with Dive Friends Bonaire as they host their next quarterly underwater cleanup. 

Check in for volunteers will begin at 9:45 AM at their Dive Friends @ Dive Inn location, with a briefing for all volunteers at 10:00 AM.  Please don’t forget your certification card (if Dive Friends doesn’t already have it on file).  This cleanup will focus upon cleaning around the South Pier.  Please make sure to have your BMP tags along with you, as is required.  Lionfish hunters should bring their ELFs!  The plan is also to collect as much fishing line as possible, so please bring along your dive knife or shears.  Those who do not dive are always welcome to help with a shoreline 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 Dive Friends @ Hamlet Oasis location.  It’s a potluck meal, so please bring a snack, side-dish, or dessert to share and they will provide the main course and one beverage.  For more information, contact Dive Friends Bonaire at telephone 717-2929. (Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 14, 2014 at 12:42pm AST
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Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Staying Safe When Visiting Bonaire

Bonaire is, overall, a safe island.  However, on rare occasions, visitors are subject to less-than-perfect experiences at the hands of unscrupulous persons. Please take this opportunity to familiarize yourself with the following information.

Awareness is the first step to preventing a potential incident.

It is always wise to be cautious and use common sense while traveling, just as you would at home. Following, is a list of precautions to take during your stay:
◾Lock your hotel doors and windows while sleeping and when you leave your room.
◾Place all valuables in your in-room safe, also during the night.
◾Do not leave items unattended on your porch or balcony.
◾Do not leave valuables in sight in your accommodation.
◾Do not leave valuables in your car.
◾Stay in populated areas while in-town and late at night.
◾If you notice something strange or unfamiliar, call the police at +(599) 717-8000 or +(599) 715-8000.

While it is unlikely, if you do find yourself involved in an incident, please take the following actions:
◾If you are in an emergency situation, call 911 to notify the police and ask for assistance.
◾If the incident takes place at your hotel, notify hotel management immediately.
◾The police can contact the Bureau Slachtoffer Hulp (Crime Help Center) or you may call them directly at +(599) 717-6181. The Crime Help Center was established to attend to every possible need, both emotionally and administratively, for victims of any crime no matter how small.
◾If the incident concerns a traffic accident, you may contact Bonaire Security Force at +(599) 717-7711 or +(599) 795-7711 to take your report, this report is accepted by insurance companies.

When visiting any place, travelers should be careful, and Bonaire is no exception. Nevertheless, Bonaire is a peaceful island that welcomes many visitors back yearly without incident. Enjoy your time on Bonaire, and all of the wonderful treasures that our island has to offer. (Source:  BONHATA)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 07, 2014 at 4:41pm AST
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Friday, October 03, 2014

It’s Party Time on Bonaire, 47th Annual Bonaire International Sailing Festival Kicks Off Now

It’s Regatta Week, so that means it’s time to party and enjoy the 47th annual edition of the Bonaire International Sailing Festival from Sunday, October 5th through 11th, 2014.  There’s a wide variety of events to keep everyone happy, with sailing competitions, windsurfing, kite-boarding, micro-boats, parties in Kralendijk, food, arts and crafts, and more.  Be sure to set some time aside in the coming week to enjoy this signature Bonaire event.

As usual, the week’s festivities will begin with the Jong Bonaire annual Swim to Klein Bonaire.  This sport and social event brings together families and individuals of all ages, with tourists swimming next to local residents, all to support the children of Jong Bonaire.  The Swim to Klein Bonaire is not a race, but a fun swim. For those who do not wish to swim back, there are many boats available to pick up people and return them back to the shoreline. Participants can use fins, masks, or even flotation devices.

After the swim, the Regatta will begin in earnest with captain’s meetings and parties.  The sailing competitions begin on Monday.  View the planned schedule for the week (available in PDF format) by clicking here.

And when everyone is exhausted from a week of burning the candle at both ends by watching the competitions and then partying in town until the wee hours, the folks at Washington Slagbaai National Park have a way to rejuvenate the soul--they will host another sunset hike to the top of Bonaire--Brandaris--on Saturday, October 11th, 2014.  There is space for only 20 participants, so secure your spot quickly and register by calling 786-5229 or send an email to washingtonpark@stinapa.org. Registration is required for participation. Participants must arrange their own transport to and within the park.  Admission is $10, and registered participants must be present at the entrance of the park no later than 4 PM. A good physical condition is important and children 10 years and up may participate if accompanied by parents or an adult. Put on hiking shoes and bring your own water and a snack and don’t forget to bring a flashlight.

Enjoy this special week!  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 03, 2014 at 6:08pm AST
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Thursday, October 02, 2014

Special Farmers’ Market This Saturday, October 4th, 2014

This Saturday is the International Day of Animals, and it also just happens to be the first Saturday of the month, which is when Kriabon, Bonaire’s agricultural organization, holds their monthly Farmers’ Market.  There will be a special market this Saturday, with an emphasis on animals!

The market will take place starting at 8:00 AM on Saturday and run through 12:00 Noon.  It’s located at Kriabon’s headquarters at Kaminda Jato Baco #55 in Nikiboko North.  Using landmarks, drive towards the More for Less supermarket and continue about .5 mile/.8 kilometer past it.  You will see the booths set up on the left side of the street.

The market is a great place to find locally grown fresh fruits and vegetable, all sorts of plants for sale for the garden or herbs for cooking, fresh juice (tamarind and lime), fresh eggs, and local dishes and snacks.  And this month, visitors will also see a lot of animals, including chickens, parakeets and canaries, goats, ducks (domestic), and rabbits.

It’s a fun way to spend a morning.  Get there early for the best selection. (Source:  Kriabon)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 02, 2014 at 1:03pm AST
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