Category Archives: Videos

Today is Bonaire Day, Dia di Bonaire, Dia di Boneiru! Enjoy Bonaire’s Flag Day!!

Bonaire’s Flag Day is September 6th each year.

Today, September 6th, is Bonaire’s Flag Day, a day which is filled with reminders of our unique culture and heritage.

The day was officially opened with the traditional flag-raising ceremony.


View the entire schedule of events.

Prayers go to our sister islands.

While we celebrate today, our festivities are tempered by sadness for our sister islands, Sint Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius, as they struggle with Hurricane Irma. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in the path of this storm.

Bonaire Folkloric Dancers.


The Maskarada makes a mid-year appearance!

The Bikers’ Parade.


(Source:  Bonaire Insider reporter)

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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 for The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 




Bonaire Videos from the 1950s and 1960s

Have you ever wondered what Bonaire was like before you first visited?

Many visitors to Bonaire return year after year.  In fact, these days, it is not unusual to hear of some repeat guests celebrating 30 years of visits, or even 40 years!  These visitors have truly witnessed lots of changes on Bonaire, as it has transitioned from a sparsely populated island, to a less-sparsely populated island.

Bonaire from the 1950s and 1960s.But even those visitors who first came in the 1980s, when dive tourism to Bonaire was taking off, still can’t imagine what Bonaire was like in earlier decades.  The Bonaire Insider has located some videos online that were taken on Bonaire in the 1950s and the 1960s, and we thought you would enjoy seeing them as much as we did.

Bonaire Video from the 1950s.

Sometime in the early 1950s, Polygoon-Profilti, a Dutch production company, produced a short documentary about Bonaire, entitled “Eiland van rust” (Island of Rest). The film shows fascinating scenes of life on Bonaire from over half a century ago, documenting salt harvesting, charcoal creation, aloe farming, boat building, and traditional fishing from locally crafted sail boats. One can see the roots of today’s festivals of Simadan and Maskarada. The video is an amazing look at a Bonaire we no longer see. Narration is in Dutch.

Bonaire:  Island of Rest.

Bonaire Video from the 1960s.

Just a short decade later, Bonaire’s personality was already changing.  It’s distinctive green license plates were already in place, as were the hills of conch shells, locally known as karko, at Lac Cai.  Today these hills of conch shells still can be seen, but they no longer grow larger, as conch is now a protected species.  And, of course, we no longer traipse through the nesting areas of Bonaire’s iconic bird, the flamingo, as we now know that such activities disturb the birds’ natural behaviors.

In this twenty-minute film, we follow a Dutch family who spent two vacations on Bonaire in 1964 and 1966.  At a time when tourism to Bonaire was only beginning, it is a special treat to be able to travel back to this period and see the island as it was, including a glimpse of Bonaire’s first Flamingo Airport!


Bonaire:  Island of the Flamingos.

Learn more about Bonaire’s history!


(Source: Youtube Videos)

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 for The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 

Trans World Radio Underwater Mural is Beautiful Once Again

Trans World Radio renovates its famous underwater mural on Bonaire.

Trans World Radio (TWR) has recently completed the renovation of their famous underwater mural, first painted twenty years ago in 1998.  After many years of Bonaire’s strong sunlight, the mural had become faded and lackluster.  Today, it is back to its former glory, and even more appropriate with sea life that is found here on Bonaire.


The first underwater mural, from 1998.

The original plan, way back in 1997, was to have world-famous mural artist, Robert Wyland, paint one of his “whaling walls” on the premises of Bonaire’s Trans World Radio. Although discussions looked initially positive, Robert Wyland was already booked for so many murals, that it would be years before he could do one on Bonaire.  So, TWR looked for another option.

Trans World Radio's first underwater mural on Bonaire, from 1998.Instead, Paul and Joellen Gallo created an underwater mural as a gift to Trans World Radio and the people of Bonaire.  The scene included sea life from around the world, and, in hindsight, seemed to be weirdly prophetic, as it appeared to foretell the arrival of the invasive Pacific Lionfish, since it was included on the original mural (lower left).

Staff from Trans World Radio also got in on the action, helping mural creators Paul and Joellen. Some even had to overcome their fear of heights in order to paint their assigned area.

Once completed, the mural needed something more, and so, to connect the beauty of the underwater world with Trans World Radio’s purpose for being on Bonaire, an appropriate Bible verse was added.

Are the fishes coming back? Transitioning to a new mural in 2017.

About six weeks ago, suddenly scaffolding appeared, and the wall was whitewashed, hiding the now-faded original mural.  A little boy was walking by with his teacher and asked, “Are the fishes coming back?”

In answer to that question, it is a resounding, “Yes, and, oh, so much more!” Over the past two months, and similar to what happened back in 1998 when the first mural was painted, cars were slowing down to observe what was happening at the wall of the TWR studio. The mural of reef fish accompanied by a Bible verse had been a landmark on Bonaire for so long, and many stopped to watch the wall come back to vivid color and life.

The second underwater mural, 2017.

Rita Carswell and Jeannie Villacorte are the masterminds behind the newest mural. They are professional mural painters and worked tirelessly in Bonaire’s summer sun on TWR’s new mural.

Preliminary work began back home in the United States.

The preparation took Rita and Jeannie more than two weeks of work, even before the actual painting started. First, they took images of Bonaire’s coral reef and oceanic life. They looked at photos and picked some beautiful and colorful fish that can be viewed when diving or snorkeling on Bonaire.

Next, they put the pictures in a computer program, enlarged them, and composed them into a pleasing montage.  The montage was then overlaid with a grid pattern and each grid square was assigned a number, fifty in total.

Each square, with a piece of the image, was then printed on a special film in black and white. All those films were put into an overhead projector and projected on a wall in 4×4′ sections, while the images were traced onto paper, a process which took Rita and Jeannie two days.

Up close and personal with one of the mural painters, 2017 edition of the Trans World Radio underwater mural.Finally, the preliminary work was done, and the papers were put in order, rolled up, and accompanied the ladies to Bonaire. Once here, they unrolled the images and traced over all the black lines with charcoal. Each sheet of paper was taped on the wall, section by section, and traced over it with pencils. Then on the wall, they used permanent markers to make the charcoal impressions indelible, and, finally, painting could commence.

Painting can finally begin.

Paintings and drawings evolve. Slowly the painting develops and comes to life. First, Rita and Jeannie stuck to their preliminary drawings, but as the painting developed, they could add in their own creativity, using shadows and highlights to bring the sea animals to life.

Mural painters Rita and Jeannie say:

“When TWR asked us to do this, we did not think about snorkeling because painting the mural is already a blessing. However, when we went snorkeling and actually saw the fish we are painting, it was extraordinary! Working at the roundabout is also fun. People from Bonaire are very much involved. They wave and honk. So, now, we feel we are also contributing to the whole community!”

Trans World Radio's second underwater mural on Bonaire, under construction in 2017.

The fishes are back!

After weeks of hard work, the fishes are back, along with myriad other examples of sea life found on Bonaire. Current Trans World Radio director, Bernard Oosterhoff, had this to add about the new mural:

“The new mural will mark a new phase for TWR; after four years of hard work we are increasing the power of the radio masts located at the salt pans and this will double the reach of the transmitter. With the upgraded transmitter, we will be able to reach hundred million people living in Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela, and North and Central Brazil. This is such a milestone that we want to celebrate. The new mural is already a beautiful visual marker of this new era.”

— Bernard Oosterhoff

Take time to stop and view the mural.

The mural is now completed and quite beautiful. When next you visit Bonaire, you’ll pass it by the traffic rotary in Hato. Be sure to pull off the side of the road to spend a few moments enjoying this wonderful Bonaire landmark. There can be no argument that truly one can “See the works of the Lord and His wonders in the deep.”

Trans World Radio has renovated their underwater mural on Bonaire.

(Source:  Trans World Radio)

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 for The Bonaire Insider tourism news blog. 

Mating Seahorse Videos–A Once in a Lifetime Experience?

Is shooting video of mating seahorses a once-in-a-lifetime experience?

Not so, if you are on Bonaire!

Seahorses are high on the bucket list of most Bonaire diving visitors, right along with frogfish, turtles, rays, and other elusive sea creatures. Many are happy to be shown a seahorse by their dive guides, but they are truly delighted when they stumble across one on their own, as the creatures are usually very camouflaged.

So, you can imagine the happiness when your dive takes you to an area of the reef where there are two seahorses! Eureka, you have hit pay dirt! But wait, it gets better, way better, when the two seahorses start the dance of love right before your eyes.

Coming across two mating seahorses.

mating seahorses, image by Ron WilseyThis is exactly what occurred to Ron and Nancy Wilsey back in early November, 2016, at a dive site on the southern leeward side (location has been intentionally omitted to protect the privacy of these seahorses). Nancy first located a yellow seahorse, and, while Ron set up to film it, she found a second seahorse in the area.

A few days later they returned to see if they could find the couple once again, and found the seahorses involved in extreme courtship! The female wrapped her tail around the male and appeared to open his pouch.

Just a few moments later, they met in mid-water, where they went belly-to-belly and eggs were exchanged.

An amazing experience, and one which you’d think could never be repeated again! But not so for Ron and Nancy! Later in the month, friends of theirs shared their find of seahorses at another southern dive site, so off Ron and Nancy went to see if they could find them.

Finding a second set of amorous seahorses.

But this time, it was Ron who found the yellow seahorse. Not to be outdone, Nancy continued to look for a second seahorse, knowing that many times there are two in close proximity. Sure enough, a second, rust-colored seahorse was found. After a wonderful vacation, Ron and Nancy returned to their El Paso, Illinois (USA) home for the holidays, with many memories of wonderful dives on Bonaire.

Returning to find yet more mating seahorses.

But the story doesn’t end there. The Wilseys own a vacation home on Bonaire, which allowed them to return in early 2017 for an extended visit, getting them away from the cold and snow of winter in Illinois.

They quickly set out to check on their two sets of loving seahorses, and unfortunately, the first set had relocated and was not to be found anywhere.

However, Ron and Nancy were delighted to find their second set of seahorses was still in the same area, and, on February 19, 2017, engaged once again in some lovemaking which Ron was able to catch on video!

The chances of seeing this happen once in your lifetime are small. But Ron and Nancy seem to swim upon lots of sex in the sea; we might need to start calling them the Seahorse Whisperers.

But it still doesn’t end there. Yet again, Bonaire’s Seahorse Whisperers said a final farewell to the loving couple with this video of “almost” mating behavior, filmed a few weeks before their departure from Bonaire. At the risk of being anthropomorphic, we can only imagine their communications: “Honey, can we just cuddle today?”

With so much procreation activity happening under the sea, it’s comforting to know there will be many baby seahorses populating the reefs around Bonaire.

Ron and Nancy Wilsey, long-time repeat visitors to Bonaire.

This most recent visit was Ron and Nancy Wilsey’s 29th visit to Bonaire, and they are two-time Bonaire ambassadors. On this season’s visit, Ron and Nancy logged 120 dives together, and they completed a landmark dive, their 830th dive just here on Bonaire.

“You can be accepted and blend with nature if you are patient and approach on nature’s terms.”

— Ron Wilsey

The two work as a team–Nancy is normally scouting for critters, while Ron is filming. Ron uses a Canon G16 with a Fantasea housing. The excellent zoom capability allows Ron to keep his distance so as to not interrupt behaviors or alarm the creatures, but still provide fantastic close-up viewing. With any underwater photography or videography, excellent diving buoyancy skills are necessary.

So, are you going to find your own seahorse couple on your next Bonaire vacation? Sound in on the comment section below!

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter, image and videos by Ron and Nancy Wilsey, used with permission)

View other Bonaire videos


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.


Video and Photo Gallery of Bonaire’s Grand Carnival Parade 2017

Bonaire’s Grand Carnival Parade 2017.

This past weekend took its toll on a lot of folks here on Bonaire–at least those who were dancing down the long Carnival parade route from about 2:00 PM until past 6:00 PM. Meanwhile, those who where on the sidelines sat back and enjoyed the show!

Costumes glittered and gleamed.

Costumes were indeed extravagant, colorful, with lots of feathers, sequins, and other glittering items. Headdresses were so voluminous that one wonders how the wearers manage to keep their heads up straight!

Each Carnival group has a theme.

A variety of Carnival (Karnaval in Papiamentu) groups offered a fun display of themes: There were creatures from under the sea, celestial bodies and the signs of the zodiac, and even a bunch of construction workers who were spreading “asphalt” to fill all the holes in Bonaire’s roads (something truly needed on Bonaire these days!).

Two more Carnival events before the season closes.

There’s only two more events before the Carnival season ends:  Tonight will be a replay of the Children’s Carnival from 5:00 to 8:00 PM, and tomorrow a replay of the Grand Carnival, starting at 7:00 PM, and ending at midnight with the burning of King Momo.

Video of Sunday’s parade.

If you couldn’t see it live, sit back and enjoy this video and the photo gallery following.


Photo Gallery of Sunday’s parade.

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)














The Children’s Carnival (Karnaval) Was a Glitzy Pageant of Color and Energy

Bonaire’s Children’s Carnival was in Rincon on Saturday and Kralendijk on Sunday.

Bonaire's Children Carnival 2017This past weekend, over 300 of Bonaire’s youth kept the older population entertained when they performed in the 2017 edition of the Bonaire Youth Carnival Parade in Rincon on Saturday and in Kralendijk on Sunday.

The children were in six themed groups and exhibited a lot of youthful energy as they danced down the street.

Watch the largest group with 125 youth!


A variety of themes were represented in the Children’s Carnival–we had U.S. military personnel in the Army For Peace, navy, butterflies, ballerinas, and even belly-dancers!

Upcoming Carnival Events for the next week.

Bonaire's Children Karnaval 2017For those who haven’t yet observed the many Bonaire Carnival events, the next events will take place on Friday, February 24th, 2017, when there will be the school parade, the teener parade, and even the adults get into the early action with the elderly parade.

Then, next Saturday in Rincon, and next Sunday in Kralendijk, the adults will get to strut their stuff and see if they can out-do the kids when the Grand Carnival Parades take place.

Photo Gallery of Children’s Carnival.

Bonaire's Calendar of Events

(Source:  Bonaire Insider reporter)

VIDEO: Bonaire…Quickly!

A new take on how to spend one’s Bonaire vacation!

Bonaire has long been known for its peace and tranquility–one reason visitors return again and again.  And many of the videos that are viewed from holidays on Bonaire support the “peace and quiet” of Bonaire.

But today we share with you a new take on Bonaire, showing just how much a person can jam into one fun-filled holiday!  Enjoy “Bonaire…Quickly!”

Thanks to Bruce Schnaak for his really fast take on Bonaire!  If you have a video of your Bonaire vacation that you would like to share, upload it to InfoBonaire’s Facebook page.


 View Other Bonaire Videos

(Source: InfoBonaire’s Facebook Page)


VIDEO: Bonaire’s Excellent Diving, Filmed November, 2016

Bonaire visitors, Peter and Kate, shared this excellent underwater video of their Bonaire diving holiday.


We’d like to share this video that Peter and Kate made from their November, 2016 Bonaire vacation, and which they’ve uploaded to InfoBonaire’s Facebook page.

Bonaire’s excellent SCUBA diving

It highlights Bonaire’s unsurpassed diving, and they caught some amazing animal behaviors on video.

Good buoyancy skills are always necessary for good photography or videography.

It’s also refreshing to see the photographers and videographers were making use of excellent buoyancy skills! Congratulations to Peter and Kate on a fine video.  We hope you enjoy this glimpse into Bonaire’s underwater realm as much as we did.


If you have a video of a Bonaire visit that you’d like to share, be sure to post it on our Facebook page.

View Other Bonaire Videos


(Source: InfoBonaire’s Facebook Page)



VIDEO: Octopus Steals Go Pro and Takes Video of Diver!

Divers use many adjectives to describe the feelings they experience when diving on Bonaire:  awe-inspiring, humbling, peaceful, zen.  However, not many actually can say that Bonaire’s underwater denizens have actually tickled their funny bone!

Recently on a dive at Carib Inn, a diver had an unexpected octopus encounter!  We won’t give away the story, so you’ll have to watch the video.

For those readers who have dove at Carib Inn, the diver that got “snookered” was none other than Carib Inn’s own Kitty!  Thanks, Kitty, for a great laugh!


(Source: Bruce Bowker’s Carib Inn)

Fire-Jumping on the Feast Days of San Wan and San Pedro

firejumpingEach year at the end of June, during the Saints Days of San Wan (St. John) and San Pedro (St. Peter), Bonaireans go back to their roots, and this year was no exception.

Residents and visitors were treated to several occasions of fire-jumping.  Along with this festivity, there is always some spontaneous impromptu music, using the traditional cultural instruments, those which hearken back to the days of using farm implements, or other items around the kunuku.  These can include the marimba, wiri (guiro), bari (small drum), karko (an empty conch shell), the triangle, guitar, quarta (a local, four-stringed guitar), and, of course, hand-clapping for percussion.

We hope you enjoy these videos.


(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

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