Feb 122017
 

The heavier rains that graced the island in December and early January have eased up considerably.  The island has been sunny, breezy and, well, just about perfect.

This week we have hosted family from the US. It’s been a busy and fun week of exploring and playing tourist, as well as a great reminder of everything this island has to offer.

Bananaquit at Cadushy Distillery.

Bananaquit at Cadushy Distillery

Steve with my step father Frank at Boka Onima

Steve with my step father Frank at Boka Onima

Entrance to Germaine's studio at GN Art

Entrance to Germaine’s studio at GN Art

Garden at GN Art

Garden at GN Art

Bird sanctuary area at Gotomeer Lake

Bird sanctuary area at Gotomeer Lake

The shoreline in Playa at downtown Kralendijk

The shoreline in Playa at downtown Kralendijk

With my mom in Playa

With my mom in Playa

Sailing with Blue Bay Boat Rentals Bonaire

Sailing with Blue Bay Boat Rentals Bonaire

Rainbow over Kralendijk

Rainbow over Kralendijk

Tui Dreamliner landing at BON

Tui Dreamliner landing at sunset

Sailboat at sunset

Sailboat at sunset from Rum Runners at Captain Don’s Habitat

Here are some links to the highlights of the week-

Drinking a cactus at Cadushy Distillery in Rincon – It is worth a trip to Rincon to taste their handcrafted spirits and relax in their garden.

Sailing with Blue Bay Boat Rentals – we had a great trip with this operation.  I highly recommend them for a sunset sail, snorkel sail or a daily boat rental.  The owner and crew area very friendly and professional, and the boat was in great condition.

Art shopping with Germaine at GN Art – Germaine’s driftwood art is unique and beautiful, and she is a delight.

Jan 052017
 

bachelors-pano-4-3-3

How much would you be willing to pay for a full year of access to:

  • The best shore diving in the Americas, as voted by the readers of Scuba Diving magazine for 24 consecutive years.
  • Over 350 recorded species of fish and 57 species of coral.
  • Prime windsurfing locations, home to five “Top 10” world champion windsurfers
  • Beautiful white and pink sand beaches, which are home to more than 100 nesting areas for 3 endangered species of sea turtles.
  • Swim in tranquil turquoise water that stays between 78 and 84 degrees F (25-29C) year-round.

Plus, access to nearly 14,000 acres (6,500 hectares) of national park, rich in biodiversity, and home to many endemic species including:

  • More than 200 of the island’s 210 known bird species, including large flocks of Caribbean flamingos and Yellow-shouldered amazon parrots.
  • Over 9 miles (15 km) of shoreline, with sandy beaches plus salt flats, mangroves, cactus scrub, caves, and dry forest
  • A network of nature trails that you can hike to the highest point on the island
  • Opportunities to kayak, mountain bike, picnic and more

How is this possible? With a one-year nature tag, which provides access to both the Bonaire National Marine Park and Washington-Slaagbai National Park. It is available from non-profit STINAPA, who manages and protects the parks, as well as from local dive shops and the Tourism Office in Kralendijk.

The price? Only $25 USD, for a whole year. $10 day passes are also available.

stinapa-tag

This is among the greatest bargain in the Caribbean and the world.

We just bought our tags for 2017, and look forward to new adventures in the parks. What are you waiting for?

Dec 312016
 

As 2016 comes to a close, we want to thank you for sharing our adventures with us.  We wish you all a happy and healthy 2017 filled with love and adventure.

Rain, rain and more rain.  That’s been the weather forecast on Bonaire for the past month.  But we’re not complaining.  This desert island, along with its flora and fauna, welcome the life-giving H20.

The increased rains also mean that dive and snorkel conditions have been less than optimal.  But it’s still Bonaire, which means that the diving is still incredible.

Here are some scenes from the island this week.

tattoosh super yacht

Paul Allen’s Tatoosh has been docked in town for several days. She is 303 feet of super yacht complete with a helicopter and two 46 foot boats.

Tattoosh from her stern

Tatoosh from her stern

The Courtyard Marriott has been completed and is open for business.

The Courtyard Marriott has been completed and is open for business.

The Salt Pier - one of the most interesting dive sites on the island

The Salt Pier – one of the most interesting dive sites on the island

A panoramic view of the Salt Pier

A panoramic view of the Salt Pier

Dancing beak to beak in Gotomeer Lake

Dancing beak to beak in Gotomeer Lake

Another pair of flamingo mates at Lake Gotomeer

Another pair of flamingo mates at Lake Gotomeer

Eared Dove atop cactus near Rincon

Eared Dove atop cactus near Rincon

A Blue-tailed emerald hummingbird shimmers on its perch

A Blue-tailed emerald hummingbird shimmers on its perch

How are you celebrating the new year?  As tradition dictates, Bonaire will have multiple fireworks displays on the waterfront tonight.

Nov 272016
 

This summer we had the good fortune to watch a Hawksbill Sea Turtle nest hatch in Bonaire.  We have long been curious about this phenomenon, and luck was on our side that evening.

Hawksbill turtles, like most sea turtles, return to the same beach each year to lay eggs.  The female turtle digs deep into the sand to lay her eggs.  Hawksbill can lay up to 150 eggs in a single nest, after which the incubation lasts for a period of around two months.

Please note:  We happened upon this nest hatching late at night and had no camera gear other than iPhones. Please excuse the quality of the pics.

Hawksbill Turtle Eggs

Hawksbill Turtle Eggs

When the eggs are ready to hatch, the hatchlings dig out of the hole as a group, generally at night.  Once they emerge, they head towards the brightest location they find.  Ideally, this would be the ocean, but in populated areas they often head in the wrong direction.  Hatchlings that fail to find the ocean quickly often die, and only one in a thousand baby sea turtles survives until maturity.

Newly hatched hawksbill turtle. It is being held by an experienced biologist who is gently shielding its eyes from the light to ensure the proper species ID. Once a photo is taken, all light sources must be removed.

Newly hatched hawksbill turtle. It is being held by an experienced biologist who is gently shielding its eyes from the light to ensure the proper species ID. Once this ID photo was taken, all light sources were removed.

Excavating the nest

Excavating the nest

This is where sea turtle conservation groups like Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) come into play.  This amazing organization has a mission to ensure that Bonaire’s turtles have a secure future.  Turtle nest monitoring is one of many valuable functions that STCB performs. In Bonaire, there are an average of 75 turtles nests each year.

STCB monitors each known nest in Bonaire and oversees the emerging hatchlings to ensure that as many as possible make it to sea.  Part of this process entails excavating the next to check for survivors and count the eggs.

The nest excavation

The nest excavation

After the excavation is complete and the eggs are counted, the baby turtles are taken to a dark location on the island and carefully placed into the sea.  This gives them the best possible chance to survive their entry into the world.

STCB does incredible work to ensure the health of Bonaire’s sea turtle population.  Please consider supporting this organization so that it can continue to make a difference.

Donate to STCB

Volunteer with STCB

Purchase STCB merchandise on Bonaire

Aug 172016
 

“The Heat is On”.  That’s my theme song this week.  Today it is 90° F/32° C with 64% humidity.  The bathwater sea is currently a lovely 83° F.

We had a really nice dive at Front Porch with a good friend on Sunday.  We bounced down to the wreck of the tugboat New York.  We expected to find lionfish under the wreck, but they were absent.  Another testament to the dedicated team of hunters we have on the island, which is doing a fantastic job keeping the population down.

Sand Canyon Goby in the rubble at Front Porch

Sand Canyon Goby in the rubble at Front Porch

Peacock Flounder at Front Porch

Peacock Flounder at Front Porch

Honeycomb Cowfish at Front Porch

Honeycomb Cowfish at Front Porch

Squirrelfish at Front Porch

Squirrelfish at Front Porch

Christmas Tree Worms at Front Porch

Christmas Tree Worms at Front Porch

Sailfin Blenny at Front Porch

Sailfin Blenny at Front Porch

Juvenile French Angelfish at Front Porch

Juvenile French Angelfish at Front Porch

I go to the beach almost daily to swim and photograph waves.  Lately I’ve been enthralled by the small things I find near the sea.

Today I was fascinated by this chiton that I found while sitting in the waves.  A chiton is a marine invertebrate that typically lives on rocks near the sea (tidal zone) and feeds on algae.  This particular chiton was about an inch in length (2.54 cm).

Squamous Chiton in Bonaire

Squamous Chiton in Bonaire

This is a Nerite Snail, and it is a common sea snail found in the inner tidal zones.  They are often seen clustered on rocks in full sun.  Like the Chiton above, this species is an algae eater.

sea snail bachelors

Nerite Snail in Bonaire

Nerite Snail in Bonai

And finally, here’s a pic of the wave action I was trying to capture while admiring the chitons and snails.

beach in Bonaire

What have you seen/done/heard in Bonaire this week?