CIEE Hosts STCB this Week for their Public Presentation on Sea Turtles

The bi-monthly Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire on the “Sea Turtles of Bonaire” will be held at CIEE this week and will be held on April 22nd, 2015 from 8:00 PM until 9:15 PM.

The presentation is free and open to the public.  It will be held at the CIEE headquarters on Kaya Gobernador N. Debrot #26 in Kralendijk.  Everyone is welcome!  (Source:  CIEE Bonaire)

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

logo_dive-friends-bonaireOn 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)

 

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A Hurricane Hunter Aircraft Will Visit Bonaire

Next Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015, there is a special treat for all those on Bonaire to enjoy an educational and informative visit to an actual Hurricane Hunter aircraft at Bonaire’s Flamingo Airport.

20150417-HunterHurricane Hunters are special aircraft that fly directly into a tropical storm or hurricane in order that they may collect data about the storm, such as its intensity and wind speed, and send them through to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.  This information is vital to keep safe all those who might be in the path of an impending storm.

Here on Bonaire, the Hurricane Hunter will arrive on Tuesday, April 21 and depart on Thursday morning. On Wednesday, April 22nd, the crew will be welcomed in the morning by Lt. Governor Rijna. From 11:00 AM until 4:00 PM, the plane will be open to the public.  This visit is part of the “Awareness Tour of the Hurricane Hunters,” in which different countries and islands in the Caribbean are visited. (Source:  Island Government)

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Tourism to Bonaire Was Stable in 2014

The RCN has just completed compiling tourism statistics for the island of Bonaire, and all aspects of the island’s tourism were stable in 2014.

In 2014, an average of 11,000 tourists per month traveled to Bonaire by air; for the entire year of 2014, the number was approximately 130,000, around the same number as in 2013. Fewer tourists arrived by plane in June and July than in the same period in previous years, but this was compensated by more tourists arriving in other months of 2014. In 2014, most tourists arriving by air had the Dutch or American (including Puerto Rican) nationality. The share of Dutch tourists has decreased over the last three years.

Day trippers accounted for 13,400 of the approximately 130,000 tourists who flew to Bonaire in 2014 with more than half of the remainder staying for at least one night, the remainder spent seven nights or less on the island, with the highest peak for seven nights. The average number of nights spent by this group of tourists was 9.1. This is similar to the 9.2 nights in 2013. The average length of stay for all tourists arriving by air, including day trippers, was 8.2 nights, both in 2013 and in 2014.

Just as in previous years, in 2014 more tourists arrived on Bonaire by ship than by air. Most–156,000–were cruise passengers. In 2012 and 2013, 158,000 and 142,000 cruise passengers respectively visited the island. In 2014 the average number of passengers per cruise ship was 1,200. Due to small changes in the composition of the cruise ships docking at Bonaire, this average is lower than the 1,500 per ship in 2013. If only comparable cruise ships are taken into account, the average number of passengers per ship in 2014 was similar to that in 2013. More cruise passengers arrived in November and fewer in December than in the same months in 2013. It is not known how many cruise passengers went ashore. The graph below clearly shows that the cruise industry is very seasonal: hardly any cruise ships come to Bonaire in the summer months because of hurricanes. The economic significance of the cruise industry is clearly smaller for Bonaire than that of tourists staying on the island. For example, most cruise ships only stay in Bonaire for one day. In addition, cruise passengers do not use accommodations on the island.

The number of non-cruise ships–motor boats, yachts and other small vessels–that called at Bonaire in 2014 was relatively small: 850, with an average of 3.1 passengers per boat. These boats stayed for 12.7 nights on average. This relatively long length of stay is partly due to the fact that Bonaire has two well-protected harbors: the Harbour Village Marina and the smaller harbor at Plaza Resort. About 50 percent of these smaller vessels stayed in Bonaire for 10 days at the most. (Source:  RCN)

 

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Bruce Bowker’s Carib Inn Launches New Website

Carib Inn has long been one of Bonaire’s most popular small, full-service resorts, offering differing lodging options, boat and shore diving, and PADI instruction.  The inn has just recently launched a new web site, which can be viewed at www.caribinn.com.

20150414-CaribInnAlthough all the same great information is available, such as Bruce’s Page, Last Minute Openings, and of course, Friends Over The Years, the new website offers a fully responsive layout, which means that it can be fully viewed on any and all devices–phones, tablets, laptops, or desktops.  The site will re-size itself to whatever device the user views it upon, offering clear, easy-to-read text and images.

The Last Minute Openings page provides the chance for those making their Bonaire vacation plans on short notice to take advantage of lower rates, due to cancellations or other seasonal openings.  And of course, there’s information on accommodations, diving, instruction, and the retail store.

A new area to the website is the Latest News section, which provides glimpses into the every-day happenings at the Carib Inn.  Now, fans of the inn can follow the latest news on either Facebook, or the inn’s own web site.  Take a few moments and check out Carib Inn’s new website(Source:  Carib Inn)

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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)

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Upcoming Lunar Eclipse Will Be Slightly Visible from Bonaire

Only the speediest of skywatchers will have a chance to see the total lunar eclipse rising Saturday: NASA predicts that the total phase of the lunar eclipse will only last about 5 minutes, making it the shortest lunar eclipse of the century.

Early-rising observers on Bonaire should be able to see at least the partial phases of the April 4 lunar eclipse just before the sun rises, if weather permits.  NASA this week unveiled a video detailing the total lunar eclipse, and dubbed the event the shortest lunar eclipse of the century in an announcement on March 30.

This lunar eclipse will be the third of four eclipses in a lunar eclipse tetrad. The first occurred in April 2014, with the second rising in September 2014. The final lunar eclipse in the tetrad will happen on Sept. 28, according to NASA, and will be totally visible on Bonaire.  Lunar eclipses occur when the moon dips into Earth’s shadow, casting an occasionally spooky glow on the natural satellite. A partial phase of an eclipse happens when the moon passes through the outer part of Earth’s shadow, but total lunar eclipses happen only when the darkest part of the planet’s shadow falls across the lunar surface.

“During the eclipse, the moon often looks reddish because sunlight has passed through Earth’s atmosphere, which filters out most of its blue light,” NASA officials said in a statement. “This eerie, harmless effect has earned the tongue-in-cheek nickname ‘blood moon.’”

For those on Bonaire, the eclipse will begin at 6:16 AM on April 4th and end at 10:59 AM, with totality at 8:01 AM.  Unfortunately, the moon will set at 6:29 AM, giving 13 minutes of the eclipse to Bonaire skywatchers.  (Source:  Mother Nature Network, Blood Moon image by Susan Davis)

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Bonaire’s Solar Energy Pilot Project is Officially Launched

Yesterday afternoon, Bonaire’s electric and water company, Water & Energy Bonaire (WEB), officially launched the start of their pilot project in solar energy.  Bonaire is already utilizing wind power, which provides over 30% of the island’s needs, and the hope is that the solar energy project will also contribute to sustainable energy for Bonaire.

This pilot project was constructed at a site near Barcadera, on the island’s northern leeward coast, just near the dive site, 1000 Steps.  The facility actually went online in December, 2014, but it has been testing and reading results so far.  Yesterday, the company officially launched the facility with an informational event and cutting of the ribbon ceremony.

The pilot project consists of 792 solar panels. With this installation, WEB is examining the returns and the impact on the power grid of energy production with solar panels. Additionally, the feasibility of extension to a large Solar Garden is being investigated.  A high quality monitoring system records environmental factors such as irradiance, temperature and wind speed. The impact of distribution of solar energy on the power grid is followed minutely.  Weekly analysis of the measurements gives WEB insight into necessary adjustments, returns, and future possibilities of energy production with solar panels.

If the results are favorable, the pilot project can be extended to a full Solar Garden.  Currently, the pilot project is generating enough electricity to power approximately 70 homes on Bonaire, with results that are relatively stable given the fluctuations due to night-time, cloudy days, or other factors.

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

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The King and Queen Will Attend Rincon Day, April 30, 2015

His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Maxima will, on invitation of the Island Governor of Bonaire, Edison Rijna, attend Rincon Day (Dia di Rincon) on Thursday April 30th.  The Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations, Ronald Plasterk, will be present at these events as well.  As patron couple of the Orange Fund, the King and Queen will make use of this opportunity to visit two projects on Bonaire and Aruba, which are taking part in the Orange Fund Programme Chances for Youth (Oranje Fonds Programma Kansen voor Jongeren), as well as one of the Apple of Orange winners of 2015.

On April 30th, Rincon Day, thousands of visitors from Bonaire and the other islands come to the oldest village of the island, Rincon, to celebrate a party of culture and traditions. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima will, together with the Island Governor, be welcomed to Rincon in the morning by the president of the organizing committee, Francisco Janga. After the flag ceremony, where the Wilhelmus and the national song of Bonaire will be sung and during a drum-roll, the flag of Rincon will be hoisted, several speeches and song- and dance performances will follow. Afterwards the King and Queen will visit the “Stentenstraat”, a sampling of traditional dishes of Bonaire and the museum Chichi Tan, which houses a collection of traditional music instruments. In the afternoon the Royal Couple will attend a parade of customs and folk costumes which will end with the simadan, the harvest in the form of a parade.

One of the Apples of Oranje 2015 was won by the Krusada Foundation, an organization that since 1999 supports people on Bonaire who cannot make it in society. After attending Rincon Day the King and Queen will visit Krusada Foundation. With the programme Chances for Youth-Caribbean the Orange Fund supports volunteer initiatives that are geared towards early school drop outs. The Royal Couple will speak on April 30th with coaches of the Bonaire Youth Outreach Foundation and youth from disadvantaged backgrounds and youth that came into contact with the law and is being coached and trained.  (Source:  RCN)

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37th Annual Kontest di Fli (Kite-Flying Contest) is Sunday, March 29th, 2015

This Sunday marks the 37th annual edition of Bonaire’s kite-flying contest, a springtime tradition!  It’s a fun event for everyone, those flying their kites, onlookers, and those who just want to “chill.”

Kites are all home-made and this event shows the amazing creativity of some of Bonaire’s inhabitatants.  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 a fun event for the entire family with snacks, drinks, and music available for purchase.  Enjoy!  (Source:  Extra)

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