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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

It’s Time for the Maskarada to Return to Bonaire!

The island is bustling with visitors these holiday weeks, and those who made the trek to spend New Years on Bonaire are in for a treat, as January 1st hearkens the return of the Maskarada (Masqueraders).  On New Year’s Day, as well as Sunday, January 4th, 2015, the Maskarada, made up of a group of musicians and masked characters, will take to the streets of Bonaire!

It’s tradition that the Maskarada begin on New Year’s Day serenading and entertaining Bonaire’s Lt. Governor, but then after that, they will have two full days of visiting families in various neighborhoods of Bonaire.  Those that follow the Maskarada will enjoy the traditional song that always forecasts the masked characters’ arrival.  Then, the colorfully clad characters arrive amid of burst of energy!  While they play out certain skits, not a word is said.  They are fully costumed, so no one knows their identities.  That is, until the end of the day, when they are finally un-masked, and we learn just who has been entertaining us all day!

If you’re on Bonaire, come for one of the performances, or follow the Maskarada all day.  A schedule of their planned performances is available by clicking here (in PDF format).  (Source:  Bonaire Insider reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 30, 2014 at 11:05am AST
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Monday, December 22, 2014

Debris Free Bonaire + Facebook = Chance for a Free Dive Vacation

Since Debris Free Bonaire started in December 2012, volunteers have collectively removed over 180 cubic meters (6,356 cubic feet) of marine plastic debris and it continues to pour in. This coastal clean-up program was designed to provide volunteers, both visitors to Bonaire as well as island residents, the opportunity to assist with coastal cleanups on their own time.

Anyone who wishes to volunteer can visit any Dive Friends Bonaire location to pick up a few mesh gear bags and then collect debris from the east coast at their convenience. Then, they must return the bags to a 10 cubic meter collection container at Dive Friends Bonaire @ Hamlet Oasis. At the debris container, they will pose for photos (or selfies) with their collected plastic to show off how much they’ve collected.

In order to raise awareness about the program, Debris Free Bonaire volunteers have the opportunity to win a free dive vacation. The grand prize will include a 7 night stay at Villa Makoshi Penthouse for two guests and 6 days of unlimited shore diving compliments of Dive Friends Bonaire for 2 divers.  To be entered into the raffle for a free dive vacation, volunteers must post their photos on Facebook and share them on the Dive Friends Bonaire Facebook page between December 21st and January 4th.  The raffle drawing will take place on January 5th. The Dive Friends Facebook link can be found by clicking here.

At all other times of the year, smaller prizes are raffled to volunteers every time the container is filled.  In the end, the environment of Bonaire will be the biggest winner of all! Additional information about the project is available at: www.debrisfreebonaire.com. (Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 22, 2014 at 10:02am AST
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sunrise Hike Up the Brandaris in Washington Park on Sunday, December 21st, 2014

STINAPA invites everyone to another sunrise walk in the park...........this time hiking up Brandaris! 

STINAPA is offering an early morning hike to the highest point of Bonaire.  This walk will take place on December 21st. Participants should be at the entrance of the park no later than 5.15 AM.  There is space for only 20 participants. so secure your spot and register by calling 786-5229 or send an email to washingtonpark@stinapa.org. Registration is required for participation. Children 10 years and up may participate if accompanied by an adult. Put on hiking shoes and bring your own water bottle and a snack. Admittance fee for this walk is $10.00 per person.

Enjoy beautiful Bonaire from the its highest point!  (Source:  STINAPA)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 17, 2014 at 9:53am AST
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Monday, December 15, 2014

Dive Friends to Host Holiday Dive Gear Market on Sunday, December 21st, 2014

For those who missed this past weekend’s Christmas Market, this weekend provides another opportunity for last-minute holiday shopping, either for the diver in your life, or for yourself, when Dive Friends @Hamlet Oasis will host a huge dive gear market from 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM.

This market will include new snorkel gear, and used dive gear that was used in Dive Friends’ rental area, but anyone with dive gear that they wish to sell is also welcome to do so.  For shoppers, this creates an excellent opportunity to hunt for bargains.

Dive Friends will have a tent and tables set up for all those wishing to sell.  Of course, during this event, it will be business as usual at the dive center, with the filling station and shop open.  Please call 717-2524 or email hamlet@dive-friends-bonaire.com for more information.  (Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 15, 2014 at 2:07pm AST
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Friday, December 12, 2014

It’s a Busy Saturday and Sunday on Bonaire with Tree Planting, Wine Debuts, and Christmas Markets

This weekend there’s enough happening on Bonaire to keep anyone happy!  Start the day with a tree-planting with Echo, and then chill later in the day with a great glass of just-debuted wine, before attending a Christmas market on Sunday.

Echo, the foundation which protects Bonaire’s loras and prikichi (parrots and parakeets), is hosting a tree planting at 8:00 AM tomorrow at Dos Pos in the northern region of Gotomeer, near to their headquarters.  This is to help bring back Bonaire’s native forest, decimated hundreds of years ago.  Come and help out, or come and watch!  Bring strong shoes, outdoor clothing, water, and a shovel and pick axe if you have one! 

And always at this time of year, Antillean Wine Company debuts the new Beaujolais Nouveau, after a long sea journey from France.  They assure us it’s a great wine, but try it for yourself tomorrow from 7:00 PM until 9.00 PM, when, instead of their regular wine tasting, they will be serving Beaujolais Nouveau 2014 Chateau Cambon.  Buy a bottle and share with friend at $18.00 per bottle, or try a glass at $ 4.00.

On Sunday from 5:00 PM until 9:00 PM, do your Christmas shopping at the Christmas Market.  There’s free entrance to the local arts and crafts, and lots of other gifts to be perused, along with food and drinks to make it merry.  The market is being held at Hotel Roomer at EEG Boulevard #97.

Have a great Bonaire weekend!  <(Source:  Echo, Antillean Wine, Club Roomer Bonaire Foundation)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 12, 2014 at 3:40pm AST
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Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Farewell, But Not Goodbye, to Ramon de Leon, Bonaire National Marine Park

After over a decade of fighting the good fight to keep Bonaire’s reefs and marine environment in tip-top shape, next year, Ramon de Leon will move on to other pursuits.

Although he will depart from his position as manager of the Bonaire National Marine Park effective March 1st, 2015, Ramon will continue his efforts in nature conservation on both the local level, as well as in the international arena.  Although everyone will miss Ramon’s insight and expertise, we wish him all the best in his next endeavors.  Thank you, Ramon! (Source:  STINAPA)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 09, 2014 at 3:48pm AST
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Thursday, December 04, 2014

Upcoming Events on Bonaire

There are some interesting upcoming events in the next week for those on Bonaire.  On Saturday, the Kriabon Famers’ Market will hold its Christmas Fair.  And, next week, on Wednesday, December 10th, 2014, CIEE will host an interesting discussion about the effects of tsunamis on Bonaire.

Saturday, December 6th, 2014, from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Kriabon’s headquarters will take on a much different look, with a multitude of stands with Christmas items, paper, decorations, and local art.  Of course, this is all in addition to the normal Farmers’ Market stands with locally produced fruit and vegetables, plants, sweets, drinks, and local food.  From 9:30 to 10:30, enjoy live music from the Panchito Choir.  Kriabon is located at Kaminda Jatu Baco #55.

Then enjoy the radio transmission of a live performance of Handel’s Messiah on Saturday afternoon from 2:30 to 6:00 PM, on radio 89.5 FM, courtesy of Trans World Radio.  Pre-concert programming begins at 2:30, and there will be an interview with Dr. Rodney Wynkoop, the music director, at 2:55 PM, just prior to the concert beginning at 3:00 PM (more or less, since it’s a live event!).  What a way to get into the holiday spirit!

On Wednesday, December 10th, 2014, from 7:00 to 8:00 PM, CIEE will be offering a free presentation by Max Engel, Jan Oetjen,and Simon Matthias May, who come from the Institute of Geography at the University of Cologne, in Germany.  They will discuss the studies that have been done since the late 1990s, on the fields of massive boulders and coral rubble deposits aligning the coast of Bonaire to prehistoric extreme-wave events such as tsunamis or hurricanes. This research has intensified in the last decade, and it is now accepted that some of the largest boulders and also subsurface sand layers found in some of the bays are the result of one or several tsunamis of the last millennia. By combining information drawn from the sediments with computer models of potential tsunamis reaching the shores of Bonaire, we aim at assessing the risk potential on the island. The talk sums up research activities of the past and provides insights into our initial modelling scenarios.  CIEE is located at Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot #26 in Kralendijk.  All are welcome, but do arrive on time, as the presentations are started promptly.

Enjoy!  (Source:  Kriabon and CIEE Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 04, 2014 at 12:24pm AST
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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Celebrating 35 Years of the Bonaire National Marine Park

Last Sunday, November 30th, STINAPA celebrated the 35th anniversary of the Bonaire Marine Park with a big party at Sunset Beach from noon until 6:00 PM.  There was music during the day, as well as stands with activities for kids and information for adults.  Preparation for the party started on Saturday with lionfish hunting.  A total of eleven teams were hunting lionfish which they brought in to the STINAPA station to be measured and counted before being turned over to the Rum Runners kitchen. There the fish were cleaned and filleted and handed over to the Bonaire Culinary Team, who, in turn, made tasty lionfish ceviche, lionfish soup, and deep fried lionfish. They also prepared and served several goat dishes.

There were fabulous prizes available for teams of hunters and also for individuals in various categories. There were prizes available for the team with the most original name, the biggest average, the most fish, and the least fish. Prizes for the individuals were for the biggest and the smallest fish.

Lt. Governor Edison Rijna also attended the party and expressed his congratulations for the 35th anniversary and remarked that if it wasn’t for the Bonaire National Marine Parks rules and regulation, Bonaire wouldn’t be in the world’s top 5 diving destinations. Ramon de Leon, Marine Park Manager, thanked Mr. Rijna for his kind words and told the audience that a few weeks ago, Mr. Rijna expressed the wish to learn to hunt lionfish. Ramon said:

“You want to learn to hunt lionfish? Well, let’s help you along and start with giving you the correct tools: a zookeeper and an ELF (lionfish elimination device).”

Mr. Rijna was pleasantly surprised with the gifts.

After this, Ramon proceeded in handing out the award to the lionfish hunters. The team with the most original name: W.T.F. (Wack the fish) received dive knifes. The team with the most Lionfish(265) was Kilo Knallers, they received a regulator. Kilo Knallers was also the team with the biggest average (41.22cm), and, for this category, they were awarded dive computers. The Tjerk offs were the team with the smallest average (11.1 cm). Team Lac was the team with the least fish (7). And after all these awards, Cindy Jensen was awarded a zookeeper for the biggest lionfish caught (43.4cm) and Sabine Engel was awarded a zookeeper for the smallest lionfish caught (8.8cm).

There were sponsored prizes that were raffled among the general public, including weekend stays at different hotels on island to dinners for 2 or 4 people, snorkel and masks, and a complimentary car for five days in either Bonaire or Curacao with Budget.

Sponsors for the event were: Bonaire Culinary Team, Tourism Corporation Bonaire, CIEE Research Station, Rum Runners, Amcar, Rocargo, Budget Car Rental, Bonaire Food Group, Cressi, Den Laman, Sand Dollar, Coral Reef Foundation, Spice Beach Club, WWF, Selibon, Divi Flamingo, BOPEC, Zookeepers, Caribe Watersports Bonaire, Divi Dive Flamingo & Toucan Diving. (Source:  STINAPA)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 03, 2014 at 4:46pm AST
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