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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Coco Beach Opens October 1st, 2015

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Coco Beach, a new beach bar and restaurant, is rising from the ashes of the old Sunset Beach Hotel.

The new bar and eatery is scheduled to open tomorrow, October 1st, 2015, just in time to also celebrate this year’s Regatta, which will take place at Coco Beach.

Coco Beach will be open seven day s a week, from 9:00 AM until 11:00 PM, and it will offer a variety of lunch, dinner, and snack options, as well as fresh-made cocktails, ice-cold beers, and your favorite mixed drinks.  It’s a great place to watch Bonaire’s fabulous sunsets, with your toes in the sand and your favorite beverage in hand.  Enjoy!

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 30, 2015 at 11:28am AST
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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Bonaire Designates 15 New Official Monuments on Monument Day

Although many of Bonaire’s visitors come for the island’s well known watersports, there is a history to the island as well, which is often overlooked.  In recent years, the Bonaire Monument Foundation has held an annual event each September, Monument Day, during which many of Bonaire’s historic buildings have been designated as monuments.

This year’s event on Sunday, September 27th gave Bonaire fifteen new official monuments.  Many of these historic edifices have been restored and now house governmental or private business entities, or still private homes, but their structures can provide an interesting glimpse into life on Bonaire in earlier centuries.

The majority of these monuments are in Kralendijk and can be easily viewed via a self-guided walking tour, lasting about two hours and it’s an enjoyable way to mix shopping in town with a bit of history.

View some of these newly designated monuments by clicking here, many of which offer beautiful examples of Bonaire’s neoclassical architecture.  There is also a map which is helpful in planning your walk to see these edifices yourself on your next trip into Kralendijk.  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 29, 2015 at 1:47pm AST
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Friday, September 25, 2015

It’s Almost Time for Regatta–Bonaire’s Annual Sailing Event

For almost 50 years, Bonaire has continued to celebrate its sailing tradition by hosting the International Sailing Regatta, held each year in October. Sailors in all classes come to the island to race each other in various venues with even a category for 5- to 10-year old sailors. This age bracket competes in small craft and windsurfing events.

There are parties, races and dancing, as well as music, food, and drink. The entire island takes on a festive atmosphere and visitors from all over the world are welcome to participate as crew or spectators.

Starting in 2015, the event is going back to its roots–that is, the festivities will take place at Coco Beach, formerly known as Sunset Beach.  Sailing races will take place from the area in front of Coco Beach, providing onlookers with a great atmosphere in which to spend the day enjoying the event.  All day long there will be live music and entertainment from local and international artists, and a food court, a kids playground, sports and games.

The sailing races are held in between the main island and Klein Bonaire or on the north side of Klein Bonaire. For most of the sea -going sailing yachts, there will be two shorter courses in the morning and a longer race in the afternoon. For small categories like the Optimist and Sunfish, there will be races in between the islands.

It’s a wonderful way to spend a day, or two, or three, on the beach with family and friends.  See this year’s event schedule, as well as information on bands and festivities, on InfoBonaire’s Regatta page(Source:  Regatta 2015 Website)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 25, 2015 at 3:27pm AST
EventsMusic and PerformancesWater SportsYachtingPermalink
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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Bonaire’s Monument Day is Sunday, September 27, 2015

In connection with Bonaire’s annual Monument Day, this Sunday, September 27, 2015, the island government and the Bonaire Monuments Foundation will jointly organize an event.

This year’s program will consist of the opening of a number of monuments in the historical inner parts of Kralendijk.  The tour begins in Wilhelmina Park and will end in the Parke Tului Domcassé, beginning at 10:00 AM and ending at 1:00 PM.

To register for the program in advance, visit the offices of SKAL at Kaya Jan N.E. Craane #34.  (Source:  Public Entity of Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 23, 2015 at 10:12am AST
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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Upcoming Lunar Eclipse is Visible From Bonaire

There will be a total lunar eclipse on September 27 and 28, 2015.  This eclipse will be visible in totality from Bonaire and the surrounding region.

The partial phase of the eclipse will begin on September 27th at 9:07 PM (21:07) and will end at 00:27 AM (00:27) on the 28th. Totality will occur on Bonaire at 10:11 PM (22:11) and will end at 11:23 PM (23:23), with the greatest eclipse occurring at 10:48 PM (22:48).

Bonaire’s normally clear skies should hopefully provide a great opportunity to view this infrequent lunar event.  It also provides a unique opportunity for those who enjoy photography to capture something unusual.  A total lunar eclipse occurs when the entire moon passes through the Earth’s umbral shadow. During the total phase (totality), the moon turns a vibrant red color. These are easy to see as well, with the unaided eye and shows just why these special moons are called Blood Moons.

A lunar eclipse begins as a small notch slowly appears along one edge of the moon. During the next hour, the moon gradually dips deeper into Earth’s dark umbral shadow. If the eclipse is a total one, the last remaining minutes of the partial phases can be quite dramatic. The crescent of the moon grows thinner as darkness propagates through a night sky now deprived of moonlight. If you’re away from the lights of town, the Milky Way can become bright and beautiful as the total phase begins.

No matter what kind of camera you own, there are a variety of techniques that you can use to photograph a lunar eclipse: wide-angle, telephoto, multiple exposure and star trail. Nikon’s “Mr. Eclipse,” Fred Espenak, offers a variety of tips for photographing eclipses.  For those using Nikon camera systems, view his tips for the upcoming lunar eclipse by clicking here, or visit his web site for more general tips by clicking here(Source:  Meteo and Nikon)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 22, 2015 at 1:22pm AST
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Monday, September 21, 2015

The Heat is On--Divers Can Help Monitor Coral Bleaching

STINAPA and the Bonaire National Marine Park are asking divers for their assistance and cooperation during the next months, as seawater temperatures heat up.  NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch has just added the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao) to their Coral Bleaching Warning areas. 

On Bonaire, divers are asked to report any suspected bleaching by submitting an image to STINAPA (marinepark@stinapa.org) along with the following information:
◾Dive Site
◾Depth
◾Severity of bleaching
◾Date
◾Anything else that might be relevant.

Divers are further asked to be especially careful during this time to avoid any contact with the reef, as the corals can be extremely vulnerable.  Be sure to control buoyancy and avoid touching corals.

When corals are under stress, often caused by rising sea surface temperatures, the symbiotic relationship between the corals and their zooxanthellae (unicellular algae) breaks down. The zooxanthellae, which give pigments to the corals, slowly leave causing the coral to become paler and paler. In severe bleaching events, all of the zooxanthellae leave and the coral becomes white, thus the term bleaching. On coral reefs, zooxanthellae contribute food in the form of sugars to their coral. When corals bleach, they are not getting enough energy. Coral may live for several weeks in this condition, but if the stressor doesn’t go away (i.e., if the sea surface temperature doesn’t decrease), then the coral will slowly starve to death. If however, the stressor does go away, the zooxanthellae may repopulate the corals and the corals may survive. It is thought, however, that corals are more prone to disease shortly after recovering from a bleaching event.


Caption:  Comparison of healthy (left), paling (middle), and bleached (right) brain coral, Colpophyllia natans.
Image: Mote Marine Laboratory

Bleaching is often a result of elevated sea surface temperatures but may also be caused by chemical pollutants, high light levels, exposure to air, or other stressors. An extremely severe coral bleaching event occurred in the coral triangle in the Pacific Ocean in 1998 due to high sea surface temperatures. Similarly, the Caribbean suffered an extreme bleaching event in 2005, where some reefs lost as many as 30% of their shallow corals.


Caption:  Caution: If the coral is complete white and the surface looks damaged or abraded, then it’s probably parrotfish biting instead of bleaching.

To help provide more information into how a bleaching event can affect Bonaire’s corals, Caren Eckrich (a biologist with STINAPA), will be giving a lecture titled, “Coral Bleaching, Disease and Parrotfish Biting – What’s What on the Reef.” In her presentation, she will discuss a short history of recent bleaching events, the causes and biology of bleaching, and how to identify bleaching. She will discuss other disturbances such as parrotfish biting, disease, etc. that are often confused with bleaching and end with a short description of STINAPA’s monitoring protocol.  This free, public presentation will take place at CIEE’s headquarters at Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot #26 on Thursday, September 24th, 2015 from 7:00 to 8:00 PM.

(Sources:  STINAPA, CIEE)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 21, 2015 at 3:13pm AST
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Friday, September 18, 2015

15th Annual Jong Bonaire Swim to Klein Bonaire Is October 4, 2015

This year’s annual Jong Bonaire Swim to Klein Bonaire is very special as there are actually two swims during the event!

Everyone will gather at the beach at Spice Beach Club at Eden Beach Resort on Sunday morning, October 4, 2015.  Registration is at 8:30 for the public swim, which will take place at 10:00 AM after an official “DJ” warm-up session at 9:30 AM.  This fun swim, suitable for anyone of any age, is not a race. 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.

But, at 9:00 AM, there will be an official competition for the Barracudas, Bonaire’s open water swim team.  These competitors will be racing to Klein and back and you’ll be amazed at how fast they will be back on the beach!

Throughout the day there will be music from DJs, a steel band, and Sabor live band from Curacao to help wash down the wonderful BBQ that is planned.  Make a day of it on the beach in Bonaire–it doesn’t get any better than that!  (Source:  Jong Bonaire, image courtesy of Tim Nesselrodt)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 18, 2015 at 9:03am AST
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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Long-time Bonaire Visitor, Alan Zale, Places Again With His Bonaire Photography

Longtime Bonaire visitor, Alan Zale, just took third place in the Canvas Press Close Up Photo contest, with his photo of a Spotted Cleaner Shrimp on Bari Reef. Alan’s photo was one of a hundred images submitted for the competition.

The photo was shot with a Nikon D200 and Nikkor 105mm lens in an Aquatica underwater housing, equipped with a pair of Nikonos SB-105 strobes for light.

Alan’s underwater photography of Bonaire has also appeared in the travel section of The New York Times where he spent most of his award winning photojournalism career as freelance photographer. He started his career at The Riverdale Press and he continues to shoot for his local paper, The Scarsdale Inquirer. Alan also worked on a special photo project for The Drug Enforcement Administration, that is now on permanent display in their headquarters. Alan has been coming to Bonaire for twenty years and has made forty trips to the island.

Congratulations, Alan!  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 17, 2015 at 2:42pm AST
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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sebastian’s Restaurant Welcomes Pastry Chef Janos Vermaat

In the two years since Sebastian’s Restaurant first opened, it has become one of the most popular of restaurants, known for its chic and romantic decor as well as the fine dishes which Chef Sebastian creates using only the freshest of local and high-end imported ingredients.  But now, Chef Janos Vermaat has joined the kitchen crew and he is creating some delectable desserts.

With his arrival, now all pastries at Sebastian’s Restaurant are created by Chef Janos.  He’s a former Michelin-starred pastry chef, and he crafts each and every home-made pastry that is served in the restaurant.  He’s known for his fusion of traditional and new age methods, and he melds many flavors and textures into tantalizing desserts.  The dessert specials now change as frequently as the savory menu, to take advantage of whatever is fresh and in season.

For more information on Sebastian’s Restaurant, visit their website at www.SebastiansRestaurantBonaire.com.

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 16, 2015 at 11:49am AST
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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

InfoBonaire, The Bonaire Information Site, Launches New Website

InfoBonaire.com, one of Bonaire’s leading websites for information about the island of Bonaire has recently launched a new website.  View the site at www.infobonaire.com.

Since 1998, InfoBonaire has been providing the latest news and information about tourism to Bonaire.  The new website continues to include important information on planning a visit to Bonaire, including how to get to Bonaire, available accommodations, or activities for your vacation to the island.  However, the new site also has expanded sections which provide glimpses into a Bonaire that many visitors miss.

For example, the new cultural section includes information about Maskarada, Simadan, and other aspects of Bonaire’s culture where tourists are always welcome to join in with the festivities.

The Activities section has been also expanded and now includes information on hiking within Washington-Slagbaai National Park or taking unique tours which are off the beaten path.  (Source:  InfoBonaire)

Those wishing to check availability and rates for their lodging can use InfoBonaire’s One Stop Quote system to send a request to multiple providers.  With just a few clicks, your request is sent to a select group of accommodations including resorts, private apartments, or small boutique properties.

The News & Events section includes a calendar of events for the next year, information about annual events on Bonaire, such as the upcoming Sailing Regatta, and even The Bonaire Insider shares its news via the InfoBonaire.com site.  Those wishing to subscribe to the free news alerts can do so easily on any page of the site.

And what would Bonaire be without its nature?  Bonaire’s underwater environment is well known around the world, but many visitors overlook the terrestrial habitat, which can be just as stunning.  This section on the island’s nature will keep you informed with the latest information--just like Bonaire’s new Yarari Shark & Marine Mammal Sanctuary.

The new web site has over 200 pages of information about Bonaire, and you are invited to spend a few minutes perusing the site.  Navigation is clear and it is easy to find just the information you seek, either through the main navigation or simply search at the top of any page.  The site is fully responsive, so it displays well on any device from phone to tablet or desktop system.

As always, best efforts are made to insure that information is updated as needed, but your comments are always welcome at questions@infobonaire.com.

Posted by Susan Davis on September 15, 2015 at 1:14pm AST
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