Bonaire Insider Dining Review–Sebastian’s Italian Family Sunday Dinner

Dining review of Sebastian’s first Italian Family Sunday Dinner.

Last week, the Bonaire Insider shared the announcement of Sebastian’s Restaurant new Sunday open hours and special Italian menu, featuring pasta and pizza.  This reporter immediately made a reservation to try out the new fare, and it was certainly a good thing, because the restaurant was packed!

The new Italian Family Sunday Dinner is a bit of a departure from the restaurant’s normal fine dining menu available Monday through Saturday. The restaurant was a bit more boisterous, as everyone at tables and at the bar were munching on their chosen Italian meal and just having a great time.

The special menu features pizzas and pastas.

The menu features a variety of pastas or pizzas, any one only $16.00. There are add-ons for appetizers and desserts, as well as special pricing on Italian wines.

My dining companion and I started with two appetizers, which we each shared to get a taste. The Caprese salad was traditional Italian with fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil.  The octopus carpaccio is always a favorite, and it’s served with just a tad of heat.

We had ordered two pizzas, as we thought they would be the smaller, personal sized pizzas. We were wrong!  When the pizzas arrived, they dominated our table and we looked at each other with wide-open eyes!  There was no way we could eat them both!  But we sure had fun trying!

Great flavors are presented with garlic/shrimp and blue cheese/salmon.

Starting with the garlic shrimp pizza, we devoured it. The dough is hand-made by Sebastian and Janos, and is thin, crispy, and light. The shrimp pizza made for a delightful meal (my favorite) and it was soon gone. We turned our attention to the salmon-gorgonzola pizza.

Heart-shaped, this pizza was a bit heavier because of the gorgonzola blue cheese. Cheese lovers will revel in all that cheese, and my dining companion stated it was definitely his favorite of the two!

As much as we tried, we just couldn’t consume both pizzas, so we went home with a carry-out box for our left-over salmon-gorgonzola pizza. My dining companion had plenty for lunch the next day!

Traditional Italian desserts.

We specifically left room to try out some of the desserts. Sebastian’s tiramisu is legendary, and always a favorite, but we wanted to try out the new desserts on the Italian menu–profiteroles and semifreddo lime.

The semifreddo lime is a half-frozen dessert, with a consistency somewhere between a mousse and ice cream. With the lime flavoring it was extremely light, and really worked well to cleanse the palette–just in time to savor the profiteroles!

Four profiteroles were served, so we each could enjoy two. Covered with a chocolate ganache, they were the perfect sweet ending to another great meal.

Pick up a pizza and head to one of Bonaire’s beaches.

As we were leaving, we noticed that there was a very brisk take-out trade going on, Sebastian was working that pizza peel and quickly loading the pizzas in boxes stacked four-high, for those who were doing take-away. What a great idea for Sunday dinner–pick up a pizza, and take it to the beach for sunset.  I’m sure going to do that this Sunday! I think Sebastian’s Hawaiian pizza sounds just about right for a beach sunset!

Definitely do make a reservation if you wish to dine in the restaurant.  Pizzas are available for take-out by telephoning +599 717-1697.

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

 

 

 

 

 

Caribe Car Rental Expands Fleet with New Vehicles

Caribe Car Rental adds new vehicles to its fleet, especially suited for the leisure traveler to Bonaire.

 

Suzuki Swift and Hyundai Creta added to fleet.

Caribe Car Rental takes delivery of their new vehicles.

Caribe Car Rental takes delivery of their new vehicles.

Recently, Caribe Car Rental took delivery of some new vehicles, which will add to the modern fleet they already operate.  The rental car company has added a Suzuki Swift and a Hyundai Creta SUV.

These vehicles are perfectly suited for the leisure traveler to Bonaire, providing either sub-compact economy or SUV-style comfort for those tootling about the island on vacation.

Pickup Trucks are available for rent as dive and snorkel vehicles.

Although these new vehicles are not intended for diving, those who plan to dive and snorkel on Bonaire will welcome the fleet’s variety of pick-ups, offering easy gear storage in the back bed and a more rugged vehicle to handle Bonaire’s shore diving and snorkeling locations.

Caribe Car Rental offers exceptional service.

Caribe Car Rental is a small rental company, with customer service as a top priority.  The fleet is made up of mostly new vehicles, the majority only being one or two years old.  A representative from Caribe Car Rental will pick you up from any location on Bonaire to bring you to the office for your rental.  Upon your return back, they will drive you onward to the airport, or back to your resort or hotel.

Caribe is located just off the traffic rotary at the intersection of Kaya Industria and Kaya International.  They are within an easy walk of many of the popular small resorts in this area.

For additional information, to check prices for your next Bonaire vacation, or to make a reservation, visit the Caribe Car Rental website.

(Source:  Caribe Car Rental)

 

Update on Insel Air Operations

Update on InselAir Flight Operations.

InselAir landing on Bonaire.

InselAir landing on Bonaire.

InselAir is currently experiencing delays and interruptions in service due to the maintenance inspections on some of their planes.  On January 31st, 2017, InselAir posted the following information to provide passengers with the proper contact information, should their flights be affected.


The following information is quoted from InselAir:

Update on InselAir flights

“The inspections by the Department of Civil Aviation of Aruba (DCA) on 3 of our aircraft is directly impacting our operations (press release). We realize that this is a very unpleasant experience for our passengers and for our staff and we are doing our utmost to resolve this matter as quickly as possible. However, at this moment we do not have a specific date and/or time when we will be fully operational again. In cooperation with DCA we trust to have our aircraft back in the air again shortly.

Fokker 50 and 70 operational

The inspections do not concern our Fokker 50 and Fokker 70 aircraft; these flights are operational according to the regular schedule. Fights from Curacao to Sint Maarten (and v.v.) are, in absence of 3 of our MD type of aircraft, being operated by Dominican Wings (wet lease) and flights from Curacao to Miami (and v.v.) are being operated by Swiftair.

Information for our passengers

Passenger who are affected will be contacted by our Customer Care Agents via:
1. the email address or phone number provided upon reservation/booking
2. www.fly-inselair.com at the Flight Status section
3. our staff on the airport of your departure
4. the travel agent through which you purchased your ticket

In case you did not provide any contact details upon your reservation/booking, we advise you to contact InselAir via the contact details below.

How can I contact InselAir?

  • Contact Center Aruba: (Mon – Fri 7AM – 8PM/Sat – Sun 8AM – 8PM ) +297 582 1200
  • Contact Center Curaçao: (Mon – Fri 7AM – 8PM/Sat – Sun 8AM – 8PM ) +599 9 737 0444
  • Contact Center USA: (Mon – Fri 7AM – 8PM/Sat – Sun 8AM – 8PM ) +1 855 493 6004
  • Contact Center Venezuela: (Mon – Fri 7AM – 8PM/Sat – Sun 8AM – 8PM ) +58 212 720 4787


(Source:  InselAir)

 

 

Where Have All the Parrots Gone?

Fewer parrots counted in 2017 on Bonaire.

Last Saturday morning, over fifty nature-lovers left the comfort of their warm beds in the wee hours of the morning to spread out over the northern section of Bonaire and count the island’s loras (parrots) as they left their roosts.

Vounteers take a census of Bonaire's parrot population each year.

Volunteers take a census of Bonaire’s parrot population each year.

After a season of more and heavier rains following a multi-year drought, the loras seem to have dispersed around the island, making them more difficult to find and count. During the annual parrot roost count this year, nearly 700 parrots were counted. That is fewer than in previous years, but it is not because they are not here, but rather that they may now be sleeping in locations which are more difficult to access and observe. Therefore, it is the opinion of Echo Foundation, the organizer of the lora count, that not all loras have been counted. The count takes place on the last Saturday of January every year and gives an estimate of the minimum number of parrots on the island.

Parrots heard but not seen.

Once again this year, several teams reported hearing loras or seeing them flying nearby, but not within the area that they were surveying. Two sites near residential areas which last year had nearly 300 loras each, had much less this year. In the area of Sabadeco, for example, the total number dropped from 229 to just 11! Also in the Washington Slagbaai Park, the total count has declined for the second year in a row, with this year having just over 50 birds counted. However, the Park Manager, Paulo Bertuol, suspects there may be new roosts forming and these areas will be included in the surveys next year.

17 different locations were surveyed, in addition to Washington Park.

There were roost sites included this year which haven’t been counted in many years, but which are now showing activity, proving that the loras are regularly moving around the island and periodically changing their roost location. This unpredictable behavior of the loras makes it challenging for the participating volunteers to count them each year. The staff of STINAPA counted inside the Washington Slagbaai Park. Outside the park, over 50 volunteers visited 17 different sites.

How is the census taken and the parrots counted?

The Yellow-shouldered Amazon Parrot on Bonaire.

The Yellow-shouldered Amazon Parrot on Bonaire.

The loras are counted in a simultaneous count, which requires everyone to set off in the very early morning (pre-dawn) hours to locations all over the island. As the loras wake up and depart from the tree where they’ve been sleeping, they are counted. Each lora is only counted once. By adding the numbers which have been simultaneously counted across all the sites, the organizers are able to get a sense of the minimum number of loras on the island. This annual census is important for parrot conservation on Bonaire and for protecting the Yellow-shouldered Amazon Parrot (Amazona barbadensis) globally.

This year’s count was the twenty-second count overall and the twelfth consecutive count. It was organized by Echo, STINAPA, and the Department of Environment and Nature of the island government. To learn more about the loras,  visit www.salbanoslora.info.

(Source:  Echo Foundation)

 

The Candy Striped Crab, a New Marine Species Discovered on Bonaire by Ellen Muller

The Candy Striped Crab, discovered and documented by Ellen Muller, has been officially listed as a new species.

Those who think they have seen it all while diving on Bonaire, they need to re-think that! Talented Bonaire photographer, Ellen Muller, has another new marine species under her weightbelt, with the official recognition of Pylopaguropsis mollymullerae, or otherwise now known as the Candy Striped Hermit.

Ellen’s first new species was a nudibranch.

In August 2007, the Bonaire Insider published an article about a new nudibranch species discovered in Bonaire by Ellen which was later officially added as a new species.  The nudibranch was named Trapania bonellenae, a combination of Bonaire and Ellen.

Ellen’s latest discovery, a new crustacean.

The Candy Striped Crab is a new species found on Bonaire by Ellen Muller.

The Candy Striped Crab is a new species found on Bonaire by Ellen Muller. Pictured here with a Flaming Reef Lobster.

And now, the Candy Striped Hermit has been officially confirmed.  Ellen tell us this about her latest discovery:

On a night dive, in December of 2015, I took some photographs of a Flaming Reef Lobster (Enoplometopus antillensis). Back home, when I looked at the photos on my computer, I noticed an unusual looking, extremely small hermit crab with coloring unlike any that I had seen before. I sent the photo to a crustacean expert, Arthur Anker, who suggested that I forward the photo to Rafael Lemaitre who specializes in hermit crabs. Neither had seen anything like it but the detail in the photo was too poor to make a positive identification. I was told to try and get some better close up photos.

 

Ellen thought to herself that this would be an impossible task, akin to finding a needle in a haystack.  However, she went back to the area where she photographed the lobster, and, lo and behold, she found three of the hermit crabs and got some decent photos and she sent them back to Rafael.

His response?

“This is amazing, shows how little we know of the Caribbean. I still can’t be sure, but even with your earlier photo I had the suspicion it might be a species of Pylopaguropsis, of which several species in the Pacific have similar striking color patterns. There are 16 described species worldwide, but only one is known from the western Atlantic (and it is not that one on just color differences). The species in this genus tend to have very massive right chelipeds, with a flattened chela, much like it appears to be in the photos you just sent. All subject to confirmation by examination of specimens.”

Ellen continued with the proper protocol for confirming her new species.  After obtaining the proper paperwork, a few specimens were sent to the Smithsonian Institution, and it was confirmed that these hermit crabs are indeed a new species. For those who enjoy learning the science behind this, the scientific article can be found here.

The crab is named for her granddaughter, Molly.

As the discoverer of the new hermit crab species, Ellen gets to name it.  She has dubbed this crab Pylopaguropsis mollymullerae after her granddaughter in the hope that Molly will continue the tradition of celebrating and protecting the amazing diversity of marine life in Bonaire’s waters.

Ellen would like to give special thanks to Rafael Lemaitre, who was so enthusiastic about describing this beautiful little crab. Thanks to VIP Diving, Frank van Slobbe, Paul Hoetjes and CIEE’s Rita Peachey and Amy Wilde for their help with this new species.

Congratulations, Ellen, keep it up!  Now, divers have a new marine species to find on their next Bonaire dive trip.

(Source:  Ellen Muller, images and video by Ellen Muller)

 

Sebastian’s Restaurant Hosts Italian Family Sunday Dinner

Re-Connect with Family, Italian Style, at Sebastian’s Restaurant on Sundays.

In traditional Italian families, everyone, young and old, sits down together for Sunday dinner.  It’s a time when families get to re-connect, after a busy week.

Sebastian’s is now open on Sundays.

It’s always been frustrating to dine out on Sundays, as many of Bonaire’s best eateries are closed.  But this problem has now been solved, as at Sebastian’s Restaurant, everyone can have a traditional Italian Family Sunday Dinner, because each and every Sunday, the restaurant offers something different–pasta and pizza!

Home-made Italian pizzas at Sebastian's Italian Family Sunday Dinner

Home-made Italian pizzas at Sebastian’s Italian Family Sunday Dinner

Pizza and pasta–it doesn’t get any better!

Enjoy real Italian pizza, with home-made dough and fresh toppings, with a hint of excellent Italian olive oil. A variety of delicious pastas are available as well.  Please note, the regular menu is not available during the Italian Family Sunday Dinners. The restaurant opens at 5:30 PM and reservations are always highly recommended.

Don’t forget the wine!

And one can’t have a traditional Italian Family Sunday Dinner without a little vino, so those who would like to make their meals complete will enjoy special pricing on the restaurants selection of Italian Corte Giara wines by the bottle.

Phone in your order for carry-out.

Take-away pizza is also available; simply phone in your order to +599 717-1697.

Check out the special menu.

View the special menu for the Italian Family Sunday Dinner and start planning which pizza or pasta you will enjoy next!

Mangia, mangia!

(Source:  Sebastian’s Restaurant)

 

 

Taste of Bonaire Carnival Edition is Saturday, February 4, 2017

Save the date for 2017’s first Taste of Bonaire Carnival Edition on Saturday, February 4, 2017.

The popular Taste of Bonaire events will start early this year, with a new Carnival Edition taking place in Wilhelmina Park on Saturday, February 4th, 2017 from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM.

This event’s program is sure to please, it’s filled with music and shows.  Of course, the food stands will be highlighting Bonaire’s local and international foods, and there will be arts and crafts to peruse as well.

Entertainment will be provided by Grupo ESO, Projekto 2000, Steelband Silver Bullets, and Bonazamba will be performing.

Of special note, this year’s Queen of Carnival 2017 will be presented, and the Prins & Pancho which will be giving their Carnival show.

Be sure to come out and enjoy the evening filled with great cameraderie, music, food, and celebration!

(Source:  TCB)

 

 

 

 

Washington-Slagbaai National Park Re-Opens After Heavy Rains

Washington Slagbaai National Park re-opens after Bonaire’s recent rains.

Washington Park is once again open to all traffic as of today, January 19th.  The park was recently forced to close after frequent rains, which affected the roads throughout the park.

Additionally, STINAPA has announced that the park will be closed on Sunday, January 22nd, 2017, for repair to the roads which suffered damage from the heavy rains.

If you have plans to visit the park in the coming days, give the park a call at 788-9015 to be sure they are open, especially if the rains continue, as the situation can be amended at any time due to the weather conditions.

(Source:  STINAPA)

 

 

 

 

Bonaire Sees a Growth in Population, 2011-2015

Population growth on Bonaire is mainly due to immigration.

Bonaire Sees a Small Population Growth in 2016Between January 2011 and January 2016, the population of Bonaire increased by more than 20% to 19,400 residents. This was largely attributable to immigration. In the period between January 2011 and December 2015, 7,000 immigrants arrived on Bonaire while 4,000 emigrants left. The largest influx was from the European Netherlands, Curaçao and the United States, according to figures recently released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Migration balance on Bonaire in recent years.

Migration Balance on Bonaire, 2011-2015

The 3,000 immigrants from the European Netherlands who settled on the island between 2011 and 2015 formed the largest group. In the same period, 1,600 residents of Curaçao, Aruba and St Maarten moved to Bonaire; nearly 80 percent were from Curaçao.

Among the group who left the island in the same period, over 2,000 moved to the European Netherlands and around 1,100 to Curaçao, Aruba or St Maarten.

Population growth on Bonaire in recent years.

Population growth on Bonaire, 2011-2015

Many moves to the Caribbean Netherlands.

Between January 2011 and December 2015, more people settled in the Caribbean Netherlands (Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius) than left. Net migration stood at 2,700 for all three islands.

In the same period, around 10,000 people moved to one of the three islands while slightly over 7,000 people left the islands. The Caribbean Netherlands is especially popular among residents of the European Netherlands, Central and South America, Curaçao, the USA, and Canada.

(Source:  Central Bureau of Statistics)

 

 

New Efforts at Te Amo Beach Assist Bonaire’s Turtles

Conservation Efforts Continued: New Vegetation on Te Amo Beach.

 

Bonaire’s Te Amo Beach, directly across from Bonaire International Airport, is a popular meeting area for beaching, snorkeling, and picnic-ing.  As much as people like the area, Bonaire’s nesting turtles like it similarly, and it is also a popular location for turtle nests.

New Green Buttonwood Mangroves Planted

New plants to help turtles are planted at Bonaire's Te Amo Beach.Earlier this month, as part of the Ecological Restoration of Lac and the South of Bonaire, 50 green buttonwood trees (a native species of mangrove) were planted along the inside of the fence on Te Amo Beach. Over time, the green buttonwood will form a natural barrier that will replace the existing fence.

The fence blocks light, which helps turtle hatchlings find the ocean.

The fence, which is covered in palm leaves, has been effective at reducing light pollution from the airport, thereby reducing the disorientation of nesting turtles and hatchlings at Te Amo Beach. As the vegetation alongside the fence grows, it will further reduce light from the airport and the road.

The new vegetation will help nesting turtles, such as the critically endangered hawksbill that likes to nest underneath shore plants. The roots of the trees will also bind the sand, which in its turn prevents the sand from blowing away, maintaining one of Bonaire’s precious beaches. The new vegetation is therefore a win-win; preserving the beach for sea turtles and for humans too!

Conservation efforts are in place to restore Lac and the south of Bonaire.

The conservation efforts at Te Amo Beach, for which Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire partnered with WILDCONSCIENCE BV, are part of the Ecological Restoration of Lac and the South of Bonaire: a project that is coordinated by the Bonaire Island Government and funded with “natuurgelden” (nature funds) made available by the Dutch government. In addition, Green Label Landscaping N.V. has sponsored part of the tree planting and also the watering of the plants during their first month to ensure that the buttonwood grows successfully.

Read Bonaire's Latest News About Nature

(Source:  STCB)

 

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