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.


 

Weekend Events Include Birding at Lac and the Annual Jong Bonaire Fun Walk

Weekend events include birdwatching at Lac and the Jong Bonaire Fun Walk.

There are so many weekend events on Bonaire these days, that one can stay constantly busy. This weekend, enjoy a birding event at Lac Bay, hosted by STINAPA, as well as the annual Jong Bonaire Fun Walk.

Birding at Lac.

On Saturday, March 25th from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM, STINAPA is offering a guided birdwatching activity at Sorobon at Lac Bay.

It’s seasonal migration time for birding on Bonaire.

reddish egret hunting in the shallows on BonaireMarch and April are exciting months for birders on Bonaire, because many birds are stopping over during their seasonal migrations. This weekend’s excursion will depart from fishermen’s pier at Sorobon, and this event is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Bonaire’s birds. STINAPA staff will meet you there with binoculars and bird id guides (if you have your own binoculars, please bring them). This activity is free-of-charge, but donations are always welcome. Group size is limited 15 people, so you must register by Friday afternoon by calling STINAPA at 717-8444.

Jong Bonaire’s annual Fun Walk gives some quality fitness time as well as fun.

2017 is the ninth consecutive year that Jong Bonaire hosts its fundraising Fun Walk (and Bike) event, and it’s this Sunday, March 26th, 2017.

When, where and how to join?

routes of the 2017 Jong Bonaire fun walkStarting time is an early 6:00 AM, but it’s much cooler than later in the day.  There are two routes, both starting and finishing at Jong Bonaire, the shorter route is 20 km, the longer route is 37 km.  Tickets are available at Jong Bonaire, and the entry fee of $10.00 per person ($6.00 for kids under 12) includes an event t-shirt, water bottle, drinks, lunch, and fruit.  What a deal!

The planned routes:

Jong Bonaire, Kaya Simon Bolivar, Abraham Boulevard, Kaya International (to Belnem), Kaya Statius van Eps, Kaminda Sorobon, Kaya Nikiboko Zuid, Kaya Betico Croes, Kaya Simon Bolivar, Jong Bonaire.

Bikes can follow the long southern route and join in at Sorobon.

 

Enjoy your weekend on Bonaire, no matter what you do!

(Sources:  STINAPA, Jong Bonaire)

 


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.


 

More Protection for Sharks in the Waters of the Dutch Caribbean

Major steps taken for international protection of Caribbean sharks

Yarari Marine Mammal and Shark Sanctuary

In September, 2015, the Dutch State Secretary of Economic Affairs opened the Yarari Marine Mammal and Shark Sanctuary, creating the eleventh shark sanctuary in the world. Since that time, additional work has been done to enact further protection for sharks in the waters of the Dutch Caribbean.

Eight shark species are added to SPAW

Just this week, on March 13th, 2017, it was officially decided to protect eight shark species under the international Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) Protocol following a proposal by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs in cooperation with a team of shark experts. The SPAW protocol is the only cross-border legislative instrument for nature conservation in the Wider Caribbean Region.

Political representatives of 14 Caribbean countries (the Netherlands represents the Caribbean islands Saba, St. Eustatius and Bonaire) came together in Cayenne, French Guiana to vote which species would officially be added to the SPAW protocol. Through the SPAW protocol, which is a United Nations initiative, the signatory countries set agreements to protect vulnerable animals and their unique habitats.  The agreements concern trade and fisheries, as well as tourism and coastal development. Until now, no sharks or rays were included in the protocol, despite being an especially threatened animal group, both on a global scale and in the Caribbean region. The main threats to shark populations are over-fishing and destruction of vital habitats such as coral reefs and mangroves.

Threatened species

More protection for sharks in the Dutch Caribbean.The Ministry of Economic Affairs proposed a shortlist of eight shark species for listing on the protocol. This included three species of Hammerhead shark, the Whale shark, the Oceanic Whitetip shark, the sawfish (of which few people know it is a shark), and two manta ray species. All of these species are Caribbean natives and threatened by human interference. Protection is needed to ensure the species are safeguarded for the future. In November 2016, the proposals of all eight species were accepted during a technical meeting in Miami. Today’s vote was the final step towards legal protection.

Together with the shark and rays, another fish, the Nassau Grouper, as well as a bird, the Painted bunting, and the Florida tree snail were also listed for protection under the SPAW Protocol.

About sharks and rays

Sharks and rays belong to the animal group of Elasmobranchs, a subclass of the cartilaginous fish. As large predators, elasmobranchs keep our largest and most important ecosystem healthy and productive. They are also key contributors to maintaining the natural balance of coral reefs, adding to their biodiversity and durable function. All available evidence points to a strong local decline in shark numbers in the Caribbean, mirroring the dramatic decline of sharks globally. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) currently estimates that one-quarter of all shark and ray species are threatened with extinction, mainly from over-fishing and habitat destruction.

(Source:  RCN)


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.


 

It Rains Fishes Restaurant Goes Indonesian with Toko Bali Buffet Night

It Rains Fishes Restaurant’s special Toko Bali Buffet Night.

On March 29, 2017, there will be a very special opportunity to enjoy real Indonesian food in a waterfront setting, when It Rains Fishes presents their Toko Bali Buffet Night.

What’s on the buffet for Toko Bali Night?

With two seatings (6:00 PM and 8:30 PM), everyone can enjoy the magical carpet ride to half-way around the world with the following menu items:

  • Daging Rendang
  • Ajam Opor
  • Babi Kecap
  • Sate Ajam
  • Sate Kambing
  • Dische Babi Pangang
  • Pepesan
  • Indische Foe Yong Hai
  • Tahu Telor
  • Sambal Goring Boontjes
  • Gado Gado
  • Nasi Putih
  • Bami Goreng
  • Nasi
  • Krupuk
  • Emping
  • Seroendenig
  • Atjar Tjampur
  • Konkommer Zuur

So who is preparing this sumptuous Indonesian feast?

Tino Exposito grew up in the kitchen, and his Indonesian origins have taught him that consuming a meal together, brings people together and creates moments of happiness.
Indonesian culture is one of socializing with family and friends, with food always being central. The recipes that Chef Exposito will prepare date back to his own grandmother, when as a young boy, he looked in all the pots and tasted everything his grandmother cooked.  With such hands-on training, he studiously remembered all the different flavors.

Now, for this special event on March 29th, Chef Exposito will transform It Rains Fishes into an Indonesian restaurant and together with the restaurant’s own Chef Giovanni, they will lead you through the mouthwatering Indonesian rice table.

Advance reservations are highly recommended.

Cost is only $29.50 per person, but advance reservations are strongly recommended.  To make a reservation, telephone It Rains Fishes at 717-8780.

Bonaire's Calendar of Events

(Source:  It Rains Fishes Restaurant)

 

 

 

 

Eat ‘Til You’re Full at Taste of Bonaire, Walk it Off on a Full Moon Hike

Taste of Bonaire and a full moon hike top the charts for weekend events.

This week has two ever-popular events, and they are timed just right!  On Saturday evening, be in Wilhelmina Park for the Bon Topa (Let’s Meet) Edition of Taste of Bonaire, from 6:30 PM until 11:00 PM.  On Sunday, get in some healthy exercise with STINAPA’s Full Moon Hike of the Lagadishi Trail.

Ban Topa (Let’s Meet) Edition of Taste of Bonaire in Wilhelmina Park.

This is a very special Taste of Bonaire because anyone attending will have the opportunity to provide Bonaire’s tourism office with their ideas and feedback on a special survey about the future of Bonaire’s tourism and the island’s tourism strategic plan.

Music, performances, arts and crafts, and food.

But of course, there will be music, dancing, arts and crafts stall to peruse, and the main event, food!  Both local and international foods can be sampled while enjoying music from
Grupo Kariño, FMK Formashon Musical Krioyo, and Projekto 2000.

Special performances and a new debut single by Jeon.

There will be performances from the Dominican Dancers, local dance artist Semi Marten–together with her dance partner from Curacao– and, direct from Aruba, we’ll be enjoying Jeon (Biggy Boy). At this special event, Jeon will also debut a new single dedicated to Bonaire.

Full moon hike of Washington Park’s Lagadishi Trail.

And, should you overindulge in all of the great variety of foods on Saturday evening, STINAPA gives you the opportunity to walk off those extra calories on their Full Moon Hike of the Lagadishi Trail in Washington Park on Sunday, March 12th, 2017 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

What you’ll see on the Lagadishi Trail.

Full moon hike on the lagadishi trail.The Lagadishi Trail takes one along the windward coast and back. You’ll see a limestone plateau that provides a complete spectrum of Bonairean windward scenery: historic sites, xerophytic vegetation (plants such as cactus, which are adapted to dry habitat), sand dunes, mangroves, a salt pan (a shallow seawater lake, which evaporates seasonally leaving a residue of salt), blowholes, and a true oceanic beach are some of the components of this trail. Flamingos are frequently seen in the salt pan. Interpretative signs are provided on this trail.

Items to bring on the trail.

Don’t forget to put on some walking shoes that are comfortable. Bring a flashlight along, because even if it is full moon you do want to see what’s on the ground right in front of you, as you don’t want to hit your toes against rocks or even cacti. Don’t forget to bring your own bottle of water and snacks if necessary.

Register your participation.

To participate, please call STINAPA at 717-8444 before 4:00 PM today. There is space for 25 people, and the entrance fee is $10 per person.  Meet at the entrance to Washington Slagbaai National Park at 5:00 PM.

 

Enjoy your weekend!

Bonaire's Calendar of Events

 

(Source:  TCB, STINAPA)

 

 

 

KLM Has Bonaire on Sale, Book By March 13th, 2017

News Flash:  KLM fare sale to Bonaire.

KLM has announced a five-day fare sale, and roundtrip Amsterdam-Bonaire-Amsterdam can be as low as €599.00.  All travel must be booked by March 13th, 2017 to receive the sale fares.

KLM fare sale to BonaireLowest available fares, including taxes and surcharges, excluding €10 booking fee (credit card surcharge may apply) are provided when you check your travel dates. Prices shown may vary depending on fare availability. You will see the exact total price when selecting your payment method.

For additional information, or to check costs for your travel dates, visit KLM’s website.

View information about which airlines fly to Bonaire.

(Source:  KLM)

 

 

 

 

InselAir Temporarily Suspends International Flights

InselAir is only flying within the Dutch Caribbean.

As a direct result of the continued grounding of a part of its fleet by the Aruban Civil Aviation Authorities since January 26, Curaçao-based InselAir says it has no choice but to temporarily suspend flights to all destinations outside of the Dutch Caribbean effective Wednesday, March 8.

International flights are temporarily suspended.

The measure includes service to Barquisimeto, Caracas, Georgetown, Haiti, Kingston, Las Piedras, Manaus, Medellin, Miami, Paramaribo, Port of Spain and Santo Domingo. Inter-island services to Aruba, Bonaire, and St. Maarten will remain in place. As soon as aircraft become available again, the carrier will look into re-launching some of its routes. In this case, passengers will be informed accordingly. Management expects to return to regular operations again by June of this year.

InselAir suspends international flights.Passengers are being protected or refunded.

Passengers who are in possession of a ticket purchased via an InselAir ticket office or online via fly-inselair.com, will be granted a full refund, and will be contacted by the Customer Relations Department. Passengers who have purchased a ticket via a travel agent are strongly advised to contact their travel agent to have the refund processed.

Passengers who have already started their journey will be transferred to another airline and will be informed accordingly.

How can passengers contact InselAir?

The InselAir Customer Relations Team will use the contact details that passengers have provided upon their reservation/booking. Travel agents will also be informed by InselAir.

In case passengers did not provide personal contact details upon their reservation/booking, it is advised to contact InselAir via +599 9 737 0444 (Monday through Friday 7AM – 8PM and Saturday through Sunday 8AM – 8PM, UTC/GMT-4  local time) or via schedulechange@fly-inselair.com.

InselAir regrets that it is forced to take these measures and sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience caused. InselAir’s teams will do their utmost to inform and support the affected passengers.

 

(Source:  Curacao Chronicle)

Bonbons Bonaire Offers the Fine Art of Chocolate-Making

Bonbons Bonaire provides exquisite chocolates.

A chocolate "lolly" from Bonbons Bonaire.

A chocolate “lolly” from Bonbons Bonaire.

One of the advantages of Bonaire’s burgeoning population is the fact that the island is attracting young entrepreneurs who bring new skills and arts to the island. Both tourists and residents can enjoy the fruits of their labors, and one of these that is especially enjoyable to sample is the chocolates of Bonbons Bonaire, by Pastry Chef Janos Aan Vermaat.

The process of making bonbons is fascinating.

The Bonaire Insider visited with Janos on Valentine’s Day, arguably the busiest day of the year for a maker of fine chocolates, but he was accommodating and told us all about his special atelier du chocolate, located in Kralendijk. We learned exactly how labor-intensive the making of chocolates is, and it is obvious that Janos puts a lot of love into his craft.

Special Valentine's Day BonBons, handmade by pastry chef Janos Aan Vermaat

Special Valentine’s Day BonBons, handmade by pastry chef Janos Aan Vermaat

Learning his craft.

Prior to coming to Bonaire in 2015, Janos learned his pastry craft at the three-Michelin-starred De Librije, considered by many to be the best restaurant in Holland. Working days were long and intense, starting at 8:00 AM and done at 1:00 AM. But with the knowledge he learned and the experience he garnered during this internship, Janos relocated to the Caribbean and started Bonbons Bonaire.

Chocolates require a climate-controlled area, as moisture has to be filtered from the air. The work-space where Janos creates his chocolates has a special air-conditioning unit specifically to keep the air dry and moisture-free.

Currently Janos works with two different applications for his bonbons. The first is the classic “lolly” or lollipop and for this he creates a base, inserts the stick, and then dips each one in chocolate, so it becomes similar to a chocolate truffle. Other bonbons we sampled were filled with white chocolate, Bonaire’s Cadushy, and sea salt, incorporating local ingredients which make for a unique taste. Yet another was filled with blood orange and pure chocolate.

The chocolate truffle lollipop.

The chocolate truffle lollipop.

Premium bonbons require premium ingredients.

The base is very important. Janos only uses premium ingredients in his products. The chocolate is by Valrhona, the exclusive chocolate from France. Their cocoa beans are grown in the Dominican Republic, sent to France where they are made into chocolate, and then Janos imports them back to the Caribbean for use in his bonbons. The dark chocolate is pure, the white chocolate is a mix of different world cocoa beans, so that the product has consistency, and the milk chocolate which Janos utilizes is his own personal favorite (from South Africa).

Chocolate seahorses and shells are in development.

Chocolate seahorses and shells are in development.

The special Bonaire collection of chocolates.

Janos is working on a special collection which Bonaire’s diving and snorkeling fans will enjoy–chocolate seahorses and shells. The making of these chocolates can take 24 to 48 hours to create one batch, depending upon how many layers are incorporated. For example, the initial layer (which is the top) is put into the mold, and then needs to set at least 12-24 hours prior to the next layer being added, and so on. Each layer adds time and attention to the process.

Janos shows how to use his special air-brush gun for decorating his bonbons.

Janos shows how to use his special air-brush gun for decorating his bonbons.

Making the bonbons his own with different ways of customization.

Janos adds individuality in different ways: He might dust the chocolate mold with some special “pixie dust” before adding the initial layer, he might add a color to the mold and then artfully hand draw a design with a toothpick, as in the “heart” chocolates pictured above, or he might even get out his special air-brush gun!

Janos mixes all his colors by hand. He melts down the beurre de cacao, or cocoa butter from the beans, and then mixes in the colors himself so he can get it as light or as dark as he wishes.

When asked which of his bonbons is the favorite, Janos informed me that his white chocolate “snickers” is always popular.  It’s made with a white chocolate exterior and milk chocolate filling. Truly the best of both chocolate worlds!

BonBons Bonaire's special Valentine's Day creation.

Bonbons Bonaire’s special Valentine’s Day creation.

At the end of this instructional visit, Janos shared one of his special Valentine’s Day creations with me, a heart-shaped chocolate tray filled with a variety of bonbons. I can attest that it didn’t last too long, and being able to eat the tray after the bonbons were long-gone just added to the pleasure!

Enjoying the special treats of Bonbons Bonaire.

So how does one enjoy these special treats? At the time of writing, Janos’ very special bonbons can be found at Sebastian’s Restaurant, where you will also find Janos in the kitchen at night assisting with creating savory entrées, Between 2 Buns, and Spice.

Bonbons Bonaire also provides wedding cakes or other special occasion cakes and decadent ice cream cones made with his own hand-made ice creams (such as black pepper ice cream or basil ice cream), with personally created cones.

Be sure to try out one of his special treats on your next Bonaire vacation!

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

 

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)

 

 

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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 2 3 30