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Community Service

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Have Fun and Help With a Good Cause This Saturday, October 24, 2015

Bonaire is well known for its famous yellow-painted rocks……they have been employed to mark dive sites for decades, but more recently have been also used to mark areas of no-access to keep vulnerable habitats secure.

This Saturday, CIEE will be painting and placing “Do Not Enter” rocks at Gotomeer to help keep this important natural resource pristine.  If you are on Bonaire, and want to spend a few hours helping out for a good cause, either meet at Gotomeer at 10:00 AM, or arrive at CIEE’s headquarters at Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot by 9:15 AM for carpooling.

Water and snacks will be provided.  Please come out and join, and have some fun while you do! (Source:  CIEE)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 22, 2015 at 12:04pm AST
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Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Bruce Bowker’s Carib Inn Launches Monthly Lionfish Removal Trips to Klein Bonaire

As most visiting divers to Bonaire already know, a battle against the highly invasive Pacific Lionfish has been waged for several years now.  Bonaire’s lionfish hunters have done an excellent job of removing these predatory fish from the waters.  Klein Bonaire, with only boat access, has proved to be more difficult, and so Bruce Bowker’s Carib Inn has just launched monthly lionfish removal boat dives to help alleviate this problem on Klein Bonaire’s reefs.

These special removal dives are for certified lionfish hunters only (each hunter may bring one “spotter” as well)and will take place on the first Saturday of each month at 9:30 AM. The divers need to provide their own tanks.

Please note that only Bonaire residents with their own E.L.F. (Eliminate LionFish) from STINAPA may join the hunt.  Cost to cover expenses is $10.00 per person, and there is a 6 person minimum and a 12-person maximum for each trip.  It’s the desire of the crew at Carib Inn that these efforts help to keep Bonaire’s reefs healthy by eliminating as many lionfish as possible.

Upcoming lionfish removal dives are Saturday, November 7th, 2015 at 9:30 AM and Saturday, December 5th, 2015 at 9:30 AM.

Email info@caribinn.com to reserve space.  Dates are also posted on their web site at www.caribinn.com.  And lionfish on Bonaire are never wasted, so be sure to check out Lionfish Recipes for after the dive!  (Source:  Bruce Bowker’s Carib Inn)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 07, 2015 at 11:40am AST
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Tuesday, October 06, 2015

CIEE Offers Opportunity to Learn About Bonaire’s Seafaring Past

In olden days, many men on Bonaire supported their families by taking to the sea.  In fact, Bonaire seamen were duly noted for their abilities to handle boats in any type of conditions.  Even components of Bonaire’s flag recognize its men’s abilities on the seas of the world as there is a black ring with the four points of the navigation-compass.

Today, sadly many of these sailing traditions are not being carried forward, as our modern-day conveniences do not mandate the same innate knowledge of the seas or of boat-building.  However, there is currently one effort being carried forth on Bonaire to keep that tradition alive–-the renovation of the sea-cargo sailing vessel, Stormvogel.

CIEE will provide an informative presentation this Thursday, October 8th, 2015 from 7:00 to 8:00 PM on the Stormvogel. The talk will be given by Johnny Craane and Patrick Holian and will be about Bonaire’s rich boat-building past, the history of Stormvogel, and the community effort to save Stormvogel, the last sailing cargo boat of the ABC Islands.

As always, CIEE’s presentations are free to anyone who wishes to attend, and the talk will be given at their offices at Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot #26. (Source:  CIEE and Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 06, 2015 at 1:32pm AST
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Thursday, October 01, 2015

Attend Bonaire’s Pink Zumba for Breast Cancer Awareness

October is the designated “pink” month, as it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Bonaire joins the rest of the world in raising awareness for this terrible disease, which can affect 1 in 8 women in the western world, by offering a free, Pink Zumba on October 24th, 2015.

Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend this free Zumba class.  The dress code is, of course, pink, and the fun will begin at 7:00 PM at El Mundo Restaurant.

Bonaire’s Pink Zumba is offered by Dance, Fun, Fitness in cooperation with Prinses Wilhelmina Fond and CancerFunds Bonaire.  No need to pre-register, just show up in pink. (Source:  Dance Fun Fitness)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 01, 2015 at 11:38am AST
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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Bonaire’s Lionfish Population Takes a Big Hit During Marine Reserves Hunt

Last Saturday in the area between Karpata and Slagbaai, 288 invasive lionfish were removed from the reef by 31 certified hunters.

On Saturday afternoon, August 22nd, STINAPA Bonaire organized a two-tank dive in the marine reserves where divers are normally not allowed. The 31 divers were split between two boats, both of which returned before dark with a huge load of lionfish. A total of 288 of this invasive species were taken out in one afternoon.

Lionfish ready to be cleaned and eaten!Until 2009 the lionfish didn’t exist in the waters surrounding Bonaire. Because of this, lionfish do not have natural predators and are not being hunted by any marine creatures. Since the first lionfish was spotted in October 2009, they have reproduced rapidly and have spread throughout Bonaire and the rest of the Caribbean. Lionfish specifically target the young marine animals on our reef and can very quickly eat a lot and reproduce often. The lionfish is a threat to the biodiversity on our reefs and should be removed as thoroughly as possible. They are very tasty and several restaurants on Bonaire have lionfish on their menus.

The fish caught during this hunt will be offered to Rum Runners and the Bonaire Culinary Team as their specialty dish “ceviche” at the event Smaak of Bonaire (Taste of Bonaire) on September 10th in Scheveningen, Netherlands.

Scores:

Three STINAPA rangers ended up catching the most fish. They caught more than 25 fish per person during two dives! They were not participants in the competition so prizes went to:

Most fish:  21 caught Susan Porter

Largest fish:  44 cm Kevin O’Brien

Smallest fish:  7.5 cm Cassandra O’Neal

(Source:  STINAPA)

Posted by Susan Davis on August 25, 2015 at 3:25pm AST
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Monday, April 20, 2015

Dive Friends Bonaire Volunteers Dive Against Debris Under Bonaire’s South Pier

On Saturday, April 11, 2015, 117 volunteer divers gathered at Dive Friends Bonaire @ Dive Inn for the famous quarterly clean up dive. Many STINAPA Junior Rangers and Sea Turtle Conservation volunteers were in attendance, as well as local and visiting divers. The dive site being targeted for a “spring cleaning” was the South Pier. South Pier is frequently in need of a clean-up dive because it is a popular area for fishermen as well as being the main pier used for cargo deliveries and cruise ships.

Asko Zuidam 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. He also gave an explanation about 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 164 glass beverage bottles, 17 cans, 96 pieces of dangerous fishing line, 1 cruise ship pass, 141 plastic fragments, 15 cardboard fragments, 5 shoes, 16 pieces of rope, 1 fishing net, 1 hammer, 4 tires, 1 cheese grater, 1 toothbrush, 26 items of clothing (including one pair of Superman underpants!) and much more. A total of 987 items were removed from the marine environment.

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, Bonaire East Coast Diving, Pasa Bon Pizza, Van Den Tweel, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire, STINAPA Junior Rangers, Selibon, Deep Blue Gear, Reef, SubGear, Mares, Trident Dive, Esko Diveworld and Intova.

The next quarterly Dive Friends Bonaire underwater cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, July 18th, 2015.  Additional information about the cleanups is available at by clicking here. All are welcome to join in.  (Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 20, 2015 at 11:28am AST
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Thursday, April 09, 2015

Dive Friends Bonaire Hosts Next Underwater Cleanup

On Saturday, April 11th, 2015, Dive Friends Bonaire will host another quarterly Clean Up Dive.  They would like to invite everyone to come by and help keep Bonaire blue and beautiful!

Check in for volunteers will begin at 9:45 AM at the Dive Friends @ Dive Inn location, with a briefing for all volunteers at 10 AM.  Please don’t forget your certification cards (if they are not already on file with Dive Friends).  The plan for this event is to clean around Bonaire’s South Pier.  Please insure that you also bring your dive tag with you, as required.  Lionfish hunters are welcome to bring their ELFs!  There will also be an effort to collect as much fishing line as possible, so please bring along a dive knife or shears.

Those who do not dive are always welcome as well to assist with a shoreline clean-up and to log the items removed from the water for PADI Project AWARE.  It’s always fun for the whole family.

At 6:00 PM, there will be a potluck BBQ for all the volunteers at the Dive Friends @ Hamlet Oasis location.  It’s a potluck, so please bring a snack, side-dish, or dessert to share and Dive Friends will provide the main course and one beverage.  For additional information, telephone 717-2929. (Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 09, 2015 at 3:47pm AST
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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Special Olympics Annual Walk-a-thon this Sunday, March 8th, 2015

This Sunday morning brings a popular annual event, the Special Olympics Walk-a-Thon.  This year’s event will provide funding to send Bonaire’s athletes to the World Games 2015 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

The route begins at 5:00 AM at the slave huts in the south, and will end at FKPD in Rincon.  The distance for walking is 30 kilometers, and for cycling, it is 40 kilometers, although there is no obligation to complete the entire route. 

Those wishing to participate should meet at the stadium at 4:15 AM, and at 4:30 AM, a bus and pickup will transport those without transportation to the south starting area.  As usual, there will be some revitalizing juice, fruit, and water stops along the route. 

Entry to participate is $15.00 per person and includes an event t-shirt, and soup and lunch at the end in Rincon.  Advance registration is necessary.

Spend Sunday morning enjoying a cool walk and Bonaire’s sunrise, and also help out a good cause!  (Source:  Special Olympics Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on March 04, 2015 at 2:00pm AST
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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Come and Join in Dive Friends Bonaire’s Next Underwater Cleanup, Saturday, January 17th, 2015

Dive Friends Bonaire will once again host their quarterly underwater cleanup this Saturday, January 17th, 2015.  Everyone--divers, snorkelers, or shore support volunteers--is welcome to join in to keep Bonaire beautiful.

Those interested should meet no later than 10:00 AM at Dive Friends @ Yellow Submarine for the briefing.  After check-in and the briefing, everyone will move to Karel’s Pier to do a cleanup in that location. 

As always, a potluck BBQ will be hosted at Dive Friends @ Hamlet at 6:00 PM for all participants.  Bring a side dish or dessert to the BBQ, as Dive Friends and other sponsors will be providing the main course and one drink.  (Source:  Dive Friends Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on January 15, 2015 at 10:43am 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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