Category Archives: Snorkeling

Bonaire’s Salt Pier Temporarily Closed for Diving Due to Scheduled Repairs

Salt Pier is temporarily closed for diving during repairs.

Cargill has announced that repairs are scheduled to be made to Bonaire’s Salt Pier.  These repairs will be conducted between April 3 and May 15, 2017.

Bonaire's Salt Pier on the premises of CargillRestrictions on activity at the pier during renovations.

During this time-frame, no ships will be docked at the pier, but also, for their own safety, divers will not be allowed under the pier while renovations are taking place.

Find other shore diving options.

Divers need not despair, there are plenty of other shore diving locations along the leeward shore.  Check out the dive and snorkel site map.

(Source:  Cargill)

 


Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer.  She also enjoys writing on The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog.


 

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Carib Inn Expands Retail Store

Carib Inn augments their selection of quality dive equipment on Bonaire with the expansion of their retail store.

The retail store at Bruce Bowker’s Carib Inn has always been well known on Bonaire for great prices on quality dive and snorkel equipment.  The store is entirely staffed by PADI instructors, insuring that shoppers will receive a perfect fit or advice on best equipment for their own personal needs.

Knocking out walls leads to more space and display areas.

Now, Carib Inn has expanded their retail store, so there is even more opportunity to have great dive gear stocked on Bonaire at good prices.  After spending quite some time on calculating how to expand the store, it was finally decided to tear down a wall.  It took a few days of planning, and a few evenings of work, so as not disrupt daily services, but it is done and is looking spiffy.  The biggest challenge was keeping the dust contained when breaking the concrete wall, but all went well.

Wetsuits are featured in the new alcove.

The store now has a much more open feeling and a lot more space. The new area features all the wetsuits and related items with women’s on the left side and men’s on the right. When I visited recently, I was informed that additional new displays and lighting are ordered and on their way to Bonaire.

We found a great value on booties!

While in the store, we found a really great value, and so we want to share it with our Bonaire Insider readers.  Currently, Carib Inn has booties for snorkeling or diving at only $39.00, but with a buy one, get two special. Different sizes can be purchased on this special, effectively making the price $19.50 per pair! If you are on Bonaire, and need some foot protection for shore diving or shore snorkeling, check out the thick-soled booties at Carib Inn. Be sure to bring your fins to check the fit.

Carib Inn is conveniently located at J. A. Abraham Blvd 46, with ample parking.

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

 


Susan Davis, Bonaire InsiderSusan Davis has been living on Bonaire for over 25 years. She is a PADI Master Instructor, and an underwater and topside photographer.  She also enjoys writing on The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog.


 

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Precautionary Advisory for Jellies (Jellyfish) on Bonaire

The season of jellyfish on Bonaire–take precautionary measures in the coming weeks.

March and April are normally the months when more jellies (also commonly referred to as jellyfish, although they are not fish) can be encountered in the waters surrounding Bonaire. This year, it appears the season of jellies is starting earlier than normal.

Why are jellies more prevalent at this time of year?

Recently, through a combination of plankton blooms, which attracts jellies, and light wind reversals, large numbers of jellies washed up on Bonaire’s leeward (west) coast, including some that have painful and nasty stings. Luckily, plankton blooms are rare and short-lived and they mainly occur in colonies on the South American coast. Due to recent reversal of winds, they have been swept toward the ABC islands. The good news is that plankton and jellies are favorite foods for many turtles, rays, and whale sharks.

Jellies which can be found on Bonaire during jelly season.

Portuguese Man-of-War.

In mid-February, a Portuguese Man-of-War was spotted on the beach at Sorobon. It is a cnidarian with a float of up to 9″/25 cm, filled with a gas. This “float”catches the wind to “sail.” These jellies have very thin, very long tentacles which can reach quite deep. Usually the Portuguese Man-of-War lives in colonies far out to sea. During wind reversals they can be swept in closer to the coastline. A sting is extremely painful.

Bonaire Banded Box Jelly.

In February, the full moon occurred in conjunction with a plankton bloom and slight wind reversals, and these coinciding events hearkened the mating period of the box jelly, Tamoya Ohboya. These jellies mate in the evening near the coast, and swimming is not recommended during these times. Tamoya Ohboya is a translucent “balloon” swimming sideways. The sting is very painful and can be dangerous. Each month, during the first 10 days after the full moon, a few of these box jellies spotted on Bonaire.

Comb Jellies.

But it is not all bad news!  Comb jellies are oval-shaped jellies with a brightly striped “comb” which is used to propel themselves.  These jellies do not sting and they are favorite food for sea turtles! The spot winged comb jelly glows in the dark when something moves–just wave your hand in the water when you see them. A beautiful sight!

Avoiding stings from jellies.

Be aware of the jelly season, and try to avoid being in the water during prime mating time (in the evening hours ten days after a full moon).  When diving or snorkeling, be sure to wear a wet suit or skin. If you observe any Portuguese Man-of-War or any box jelly, do exit the water as soon as possible.

Medical assistance and first-aid for jelly stings.

If you do receive a sting from a jelly, first-aid procedures may include immersing the area in hot salt water or dousing with vinegar (although this is not recommended for the sting of the Portuguese Man-of-War).  Many dive shops also have Sting No More available in their retail stores.  Do not use urine or fresh water, and do not scratch or rub the afflicted area.

The San Francisco Hospital on Bonaire (telephone: (+599) 715-8900) also has protocols in place for bites and stings, including those of jellies.  If necessary, do report to the emergency room at the hospital for treatment and assistance.

(Source:  STINAPA)

 

 

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Reef Collapse at Keepsake Dive Site, Klein Bonaire

Keepsake dive site at Klein Bonaire experienced an underwater collapse in January, 2017.

At Keepsake on the southern side of Klein Bonaire, a large section of the reef recently collapsed in an underwater landslide. On the morning of January 20th, 2017, STINAPA personnel investigated the site and made their assessment.

Precautions should be taken when diving and snorkeling at Keepsake.

The site is unstable and STINAPA advises that divers and snorkelers stay away from the area both to protect people as well as prevent further collapse of the reef.

underwater avalanche at Keepsake, Klein Bonaire dive siteDetails of the underwater landslide.

The collapsed area is approximately 65″/20m southwest of the mooring buoy, starting at a depth of 40″/12m. The collapsed zone extends to a depth of at least 130″/40m. The total length of the collapsed zone is at least 100″/30m, if not longer. The width of the collapse is approximately 52″/16m near the top, and 92″/28m wide at a depth of 75″/23m, widening further at deeper depths.

Unfortunately, there were very few living corals left within the affected area. STINAPA personnel attempted to right a few toppled corals that remained, but deemed that the area was too unstable to work safely, as there is a risk of further reef collapse.

Reasons why reefs may collapse.

These types of reef collapses on steep slopes are a natural occurrence on such sloping reefs as at Keepsake, and they are most likely caused by reef bio-erosion. Living organisms such as sponges, worms, urchins and fish break down coral structures by boring, drilling, rasping and scraping the reef. There is speculation that sound waves from large passing ships may exacerbate this reef instability and trigger the collapse. However, there is no evidence to support this claim at the moment. Another attributing factor could be a 4.8 magnitude earthquake that occurred east of the ABCs on December 28th, 2016 at a depth of .27 mile/440m, which may have played a role in destabilizing the reef shelf. At the moment there is no singular, clear cause of this collapse.

Specific measurements of collapsed area.

The collapse begins at depths ranging from 40-43″/12 to 13m, and extends beyond 131″/40m. There is an outcrop of coral that divides the start of the collapsed zone; the northwest side is 20″/6m wide, the dividing coral ledge is 13″/4m wide, and the southeast side is also 20″/6m wide (these measurements were taken at a depth of between 42-46″/13 and 14m). STINAPA personnel measured the width of the collapsed area at 60″/18m where the collapsed zone was 85″/26m wide, and at 92″/28m where the collapsed zone was 75″/23m wide.

Once again, the reef at Keepsake dive site at Klein Bonaire is not considered stable at this time due to the collapse.  For their own safety, as well as the reef area, it is recommended that divers and snorkelers avoid this dive site for the time-being.

(Source:  STINAPA)

 

 

 

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Upcoming Nature Events with Washington Park Hike and Reef Fish Identification

Washington Park Hike and Reef Fish Identification Course offer fun and education.

Hiking in Washington Park on Sunday, February 26th, 2017.

Join STINAPA on Sunday February 26th at 7:00 AM for a Mondi Sùit Hike in Washington Slagbaai National Park. Participants will meet at the park entrance at 7:00 AM.

What will I see?

Hiking in Washington Park, Bonaire

Hiking in Washington Park

This will be a hike of approximately 6 km/3.75 mile, and is rated as an easy hike. It’s also a hotspot for bird-watching. During the hike, participants will have a view of Boka Chikitu and Seru Grandi. You will also pass alongside Saliña Matijs, which many times provides views of Bonaire’s flamingos.

How do I register?

If you would like to participate, please call STINAPA at 717-8444 to reserve your spot. There is space for only 25 people and the participation fee is $10.00 per person. Remember to wear good hiking shoes and a hat, wear sunscreen, and bring your water bottle.


Reef Fish Identification at CIEE on March 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th, 2017.

Each year, CIEE offers a fun and educational lecture series on Reef Fish Identification, and it is especially suited for divers and snorkelers who want to gain a better knowledge of all those fish they see while enjoying Bonaire’s reefs.

Reef Fish Identification Course

Slender File Fish

This is a four-part lecture series taking place at 6:30 PM on March 6th, 13th, 20th, and March 27, 2017. CIEE lectures are held at their headquarters at Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot #26. All presentations are free, and many fill up quickly, so be sure to arrive with plenty of time.

Bonaire's Calendar of Events

(Source:  STINAPA and CIEE)

 

 

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STINAPA Presents Public Presentation About Shark Research and Coral Bleaching

STINAPA Connecting People with Nature lecture series about shark research and coral bleaching.

Shark research on Bonaire.

Sharks and rays on Bonaire are the subject of recent scientific research.

Sharks and rays on Bonaire are the subject of recent scientific research.

Last September, the Bonaire Insider shared some information on new shark research being conducted on Bonaire. STINAPA and IMARES collaborated to assess the current diversity and distribution of elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) in Bonaire’s waters. This study is part of a three-year “Save Our Sharks” research and outreach campaign.

Sharks are natural regulators of fish populations on Caribbean reefs. Learn more about how sharks help keep fish populations healthy, as well as the results of the September survey about the diversity and distribution of sharks on Bonaire by attending STINAPA’s presentation at CIEE on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.

NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch and effect of coral bleaching on Bonaire.

A second topic discussed will be about the results of STINAPA’s recent project monitoring (December, 2016) on the extent and severity of coral bleaching in the Bonaire Marine Park, in response to a Coral Bleaching Alert Issued for Bonaire by NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch. Luckily, the project found that the extent and severity of the bleaching on Bonaire is not severe. Learn more about why corals bleach, the impact to our reefs, and the efforts STINAPA is taking to protect our reef resilience.

Event Venue.

This presentation is open to anyone with an interest, and is a part of STINAPA’s Connecting People with Nature series.  As always, all lectures hosted by CIEE are held at their headquarters at Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot #26 in Kralendijk from 7:00 to 8:00 PM.

(Source:  STINAPA)

Bonaire's Calendar of Events

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Vote Now in Carib Inn’s Annual Photo Contest

The Carib Inn Photo Contests.

It was twelve short months ago when the Bonaire Insider announced that Carib Inn would commence with weekly photo contests.  Guests could submit their favorite images from their time on Bonaire.

Carib Inn's Annual Photo Contest

A great prize!

The photo contests proved to be a popular way to share great Bonaire images, and, now that the twelve months are up, it’s time to pick the Best of the Best!  The overall lucky winner will receive a 6-day shore diving package for two persons at Carib Inn.

Help choose the winner.

And now, Carib Inn would like your help in choosing a winner!  Simply click here to view the competition images.  Hover over your favorite image, and click on the star to vote.  Only one vote per person, and the contest is over on October 31st, 2016.  Visit back often to see how the votes are being tallied.

Vote Now!

 

(Source:  Bruce Bowker’s Carib Inn)

 

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Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire Receives Government Funding

Bonaire’s Coral Restoration Foundation Receives Government Grant.

The Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire is happy to announce it received a one-time funding from the Dutch Government to further develop the foundation’s activities.

The History of Bonaire’s Coral Restoration Foundation

The CRF Bonaire project started in 2012. The foundation’s main goal is to increase awareness of the need to restore coral on Bonaire. This is done by increasing involvement of the dive community, developing a world-class nursery site to attract international attention, and increase production of corals.  The development of at least four snorkel-accessible sites also increase visibility and generate income for the foundation.  These efforts all will eventually lead to the most important objective: developing a more structured manner of funding and become a financially independent foundation.

Coral Restoration Foundation Today

Bonaire's Coral Restoration Foundation has already transplanted 8000 new corals onto the reef.Today the foundation consists of three partners: Buddy Dive, Eden Beach, and Harbour Village, and it is dependent on the resources of these partners. With the government funding, the foundation can purchase some important basics like a dedicated CRF boat and car and make a big step towards becoming an independent, financially self-supporting foundation.

The first step has been already taken, with the purchase of a dedicated vehicle. Another investment the foundation would like to do with the funding is to set-up a restoration site accessible to snorkelers at the cruise terminal. By creating awareness and extending accessibility, the foundation hopes to involve more tourists, other than only divers. Individual donations and the “Adopt a Coral” program will remain vital sources of income for the further development of the foundation into the future.

Accomplishments to Date

So far the Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire has installed four nurseries, consisting of 70 trees with a hosting capacity of 9000 corals. More than 8000 corals have been already transplanted back to the reef, and, thanks to the Government Funding, the foundation will plant  an additional 4000 corals within the next year. A PADI Coral Restoration Diver Distinctive Specialty Course was developed in order to train volunteers and already 350 divers received their certification. The goal is to increase these numbers and doubling the
transplanted corals in the next couple of years.

Learn more about Bonaire’s Coral Restoration Foundation.

(Source: Coral Restoration Foundation)

 

 

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Ned and Anna DeLoach are on Bonaire from May 28th to June 11th, 2016

Buddy Dive Resort Bonaire is once again happy to announce that Ned & Anna DeLoach, authors of the Reef Fish Identification and Behavior books, will be on Bonaire soon.  Unlike previous years when Ned and Anna would visit Buddy Dive in September for three weeks, this year they will come and stay with Buddy Dive from May 28th until June 11th.

“Over the last years we have been on so many adventures”, Anna says, “but now it’s time to slow down a bit. We always love our visits to Buddy Dive and didn’t want to give this up. This year we will be joining Buddy Dive Resort Bonaire for two weeks during the Coral Lovers month.”

The Marine Life Education weeks at Buddy Dive Resort Bonaire in August and September  will continue. Also the “2nd diver dives for free” special during this period will remain the same as usual.

During their visits over the last years, the Buddy Dive staff has been trained by Ned and Anna DeLoach on Fish & Reef ID.  Ned and Anna are very confident that the Buddy Dive Staff will be able to take over the Fish & Reef ID program they designed. The Buddy Dive guests are in the very capable hands of: Danny, Murphyn, Francesca, Mr G., Lars, Tina, and Bart, all of whom have been working with Ned and Anna since day one.

Last but not least: During the Marine Life Education weeks in August and September, the books of Ned & Anna will be for sale at a discounted rate, so it’s an excellent reason to stop by at Buddy Dive Resort.

(Source:  Buddy Dive Resort)

 

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Upcoming Bonaire Events are Fun and Educational

Bonaire has some excellent opportunities in the next week to have lots of fun (and get some great photo ops!) as well as learn more about the marine environment’s inhabitants.


Start your Sunday off with a bang on April 3rd with a springtime tradition with the 38th annual edition of Bonaire’s kite-flying contest! It’s a fun event for everyone, those flying their kites, onlookers, and those who just want to “chill.”

kite_flyingKites are all home-made and this event shows the amazing creativity of some of Bonaire’s inhabitants. For those on Bonaire, this is a fantastic opportunity for taking pictures of Bonaire’s kids and their imaginative creations for their kites. There are various categories and the kids will be vying to win with the largest, smallest, and most creative kites from both Bonaire and Curacao.

The competition will begin at 8:00 AM in the field behind Kooyman’s and it will run throughout the day. It’s tradition that Bonaire Lt. Governor, if he’s on island, flies the first kite!  It’s a fun event for the entire family with snacks, drinks, and music available for purchase.  Be there early in the morning for the best kite images, as the competitions run back-to-back all morning with various heats.  Afterwards, just chill with the locals and enjoy the picnic-like atmosphere.


On Tuesday evening next week (April 5th, 2016), STINAPA is hosting another presentation in their Connecting People with Nature series.  STINAPA biologist Caren Eckrich will take you beyond fish identification and show you how to recognize the fascinating behaviours of our marine creatures. Courtship, aggression and hunting strategies will be explored.  This informative presentation will be held at the Divi Flamingo Beach Resort at 7:00 PM.  Contact info@stinapa.org for additional information.


View more upcoming events on the InfoBonaire Calendar of Events.

(Sources:  Extra, STINAPA)

 

 

 

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