There’s another opportunity to enjoy a STINAPA birding event at Bonaire’s LVV facility this Saturday, November 19, 2016.
During the fall and winter months, Bonaire hosts many migratory birds who visit the island for either over-wintering, or as a resting spot before they continue a longer migration. Many of these special bird species can be found at Bonaire’s LVV wastewater treatment plant, as there is always a fresh water supply for them.
STINAPA will lead another birdwatching trip at LVV.
This Saturday, from 4:30 to 6:00 PM, there is another opportunity for bird watching with STINAPA at this location just off Kaminda Lagoen. Very rare species of birds for the ABC islands have also been spotted in this area. During just the last weeks, the Southern Lapwing, Northern Waterthrush and the Sora were spotted in the area. During last month’s birding event, about 30 Yellow-billed Cuckoos were spotted.
What to bring.
Bring binoculars (if don’t have binoculars, STINAPA can provide you a pair to use), drinking water, and good walking shoes.
Register your participation.
Please call STINAPA at 717-8444 to make your reservation. There are no costs involved, but donations are always welcome. Meet the leader next to the wastewater tanks.
(Source: STINAPA via Bonaire Insider on InfoBonaire.com)
Why does Bonaire need to continue reforestation efforts?
Many terrestrial animals, introduced to the island hundreds of years ago, consume the native plants on Bonaire. When droughts occur, as Bonaire has experienced over the last two years, the munching of the plants can far outweigh the plant’s ability to grow and develop, many times causing native plants to die, and then allowing more invasive species to take over. Over time, deforestation of the island’s natural flora can cause weather changes–making the island hotter and drier, simply exacerbating the problem. To combat this, Bonaire has been involved with reforestation efforts for several years now.
Reforestation on Klein Bonaire.
Over the past several years, STINAPA has been at the forefront of reforestation efforts on Klein Bonaire. Volunteers have worked hard, carting water to Klein Bonaire in boats to water the baby plants until they become self-sufficient. The efforts have been successful, and it is hoped that the skyline of Klein Bonaire will soon start to be higher and greener.
Reforestation on Bonaire.
But what about the main island? Here, grazing goats, pigs, and donkeys consume native plant species at an alarming rate. STINAPA has held Tree-Planting Festivals in Washington Park for several years now, and this year’s event is coming up later this month. But it’s not enough and the island needs greater efforts.
Echo Foundation and the Dry Forest.
Bonaire’s lora, the Yellow-Shouldered Amazon Parrot
Echo Foundation is well known now for its monumental efforts to help save Bonaire’s Yellow-Shouldered Amazon parrots, more commonly known locally as loras, as the species is vulnerable to poaching and habitat destruction. To assist the parrots, and also the prikichi, the Brown-Throated Parakeet found on Bonaire, Echo is doing its best to help reforest the naturally occurring Dry Forest Ecosystem on the island.
How to reforest the Dry Forest?
With a mandate, support, and funding from Bonaire’s island government, Echo has plans to accomplish this lofty goal by reforesting 20,000 trees in ten reforestation areas, from which all exotic herbivores (goats, donkeys and pigs) are excluded.
The young trees are ready to be planted.
Bonaire’s visitors can help with the reforestation efforts.
Now, with the rainy season upon us, Echo is actively planting the young trees it has been nurturing for some time. On Saturday, November 19, 2016, from 8:00 AM until 12:00 Noon, they will host a Tree Planting Day in Washington-Slagbaai National Park.
Join in Echo’s tree-planting day in Washington-Slagbaai National Park.
To join in and have some good, old-fashioned fun at the same time, meet at the entrance to Washington Park at 8:00 AM. Transportation will be provided from the entrance of the park to the work site, or just look for Echo’s vehicle. Refreshments and snacks will be provided to all planters, but those participating should wear closed-toe shoes and bring sun-screen, a water bottle, and gardening tools, if you have them.
Register your participation.
Please let Echo know you will be helping out. Simply telephone them at 785-4128 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We live by our nature; let’s work together for the sustainable development of Bonaire.”
Can’t plant, but want to know more?
For those who can’t join in the planting, but would like to know more about Bonaire’s reforestation efforts, everyone can join in a free, informative evening at CIEE on Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 at 7:00 PM. During this presentation, Quirijn Coolen (Reforestation Warden at Echo) and Johan van Blerk (Nursery Manager at Echo) will be explaining the foundation’s part in the reforestation project and provide additional information about the planning, management, and community involvement in this important project.
(Source: Echo Foundation, CIEE Bonaire via Bonaire Insider on InfoBonaire.com)
Marilyn is the winner in Carib Inn’s Yearly Photo Contest
Carib Inn is happy to announce that Marilyn Forshey Pollock has won the Yearly Photo Contest with her beautiful image of a seahorse. She has won two unlimited shore dive packages for her next visit to Bonaire.
Interesting facts about seahorses:
Why are they called seahorses?
Seahorse is the name given to 54 species of small marine fishes in the genus Hippocampus. “Hippocampus” comes from the Ancient Greek word hippos meaning “horse” and kampos meaning “sea monster”. The word “seahorse” can also be written as two separate words (sea horse), or hyphenated (sea-horse). Having a head and neck suggestive of a horse, seahorses also feature segmented bony armor, an upright posture and a curled prehensile tail.
Where can I find seahorses?
Seahorses are mainly found in shallow tropical and temperate waters throughout the world, from about 45°S to 45°N and live in sheltered areas such as sea-grass beds, estuaries, coral reefs, or mangroves. Four species are found in Pacific waters from North America to South America. In the Atlantic, H. erectus ranges from Nova Scotia to Uruguay. H. zosterae, known as the dwarf seahorse, is found in the Bahamas.
Physical aspects of seahorses
Seahorses range in size from 1.5 to 35.5 cm (0.6 to 14.0 in). They are named for their equine appearance with bent necks and long-snouted heads followed by their distinctive trunk and tail. Although they are bony fish, they do not have scales, but rather thin skin stretched over a series of bony plates, which are arranged in rings throughout their bodies. Each species has a distinct number of rings. Seahorses swim upright, another characteristic not shared by their close pipefish relatives, which swim horizontally. Razorfish are the only other fish that swim vertically. They swim upright propelling themselves by using the dorsal fin. The pectoral fins located on either side of the head are used for maneuvering. They lack the caudal fin typical of fishes. Their prehensile tail can only be unlocked in the most extreme conditions. They are adept at camouflage with the ability to grow and reabsorb spiny appendages depending on their habitat.
Unusual among fish, a seahorse has a flexible, well-defined neck. It also sports a crown-like spine or horn on its head, termed a “coronet,” which is distinct for each species.
Seahorses swim very poorly, rapidly fluttering a dorsal fin and using pectoral fins (located behind their eyes) to steer. The slowest-moving fish in the world is H. zosterae (the dwarf seahorse), with a top speed of about 5 ft (1.5 m) per hour. Since they are poor swimmers, they are most likely to be found resting with their prehensile tails wound around a stationary object. They have long snouts, which they use to suck up food, and their eyes can move independently of each other like those of a chameleon.
Time for some fun at the Bonaire Regatta Boat Party!
Last night, while I was grilling something for dinner and pouring some wine, I received so many calls from dear friends giving me the heads up about the Regatta Boat Party!! Even while having dessert 🙂 my landlord’s nephew walked by with his wife and invited me to his yacht for the event. I started to think, then it must be my destiny to go and have fun!
But duty called, as I was scheduled to begin an AOW course the very next morning.
But the next day I was scheduled to start training 13-year-old Delaney with her PADI Advanced Open Water course. Delaney has been visiting Carib Inn since before she was even born, as her family is one of our dearest and oldest friends here at The Carib Inn. Delaney is cool and a smart kid, big time.
While on my way to work the next morning, I decided to talk with her and then schedule the two planned adventure dives beginning early in the morning. This way we would be done by around 2:00 PM, and I would be OK with both Delaney AND my friends at the yacht. So, off I went on my scooter, playing Jack Johnson to help smooth the ride.
At the end of this dive log, you will understand why it’s funny that this song was randomly played by the phone.
Adventure Dive #1
The truth is that our first dive went so well, even a spotted eagle ray came and observed our mastering some Peak Performance Buoyancy skills! Once we were out of the water, I saw all the happiness and excitement about the experience glowing on Delaney’s face. Of course, I couldn’t tell her all I had maneuvered in order to get the afternoon off. After all, there’s no bigger joy than giving, right?!
We debriefed and went for lunch and planned to meet again at 1:00 PM. I had already convinced myself that I would be 1000% on the dive with Delaney, and whatever happened after that would be welcome. Que sera, sera! What will be, will be!
Adventure Dive #2
We briefed and got the gear ready. At this point, I was more excited than Delaney, I’ve analyzed my feelings, and I know that I’ve been given an opportunity and a blessing to pass my passion for diving to a new generation of divers, specially one like her.
We headed down to the water to do underwater navigation, and, during the briefing, I explained to her that on Bonaire, navigation is way easier than most places, but the skills can still come in handy if one day you follow something amazing and end up away from the reef in the big blue, or, if making a deep water entry, and then following the compass to the reef. I’ve used my navigational skills here on Bonaire many times to explore the reef system here.
So what could surpass the morning’s dive? Well, our friend, the eagle ray, decided to come and visit again after our skills session was complete. We then decided to head away from the reef into the deep blue staying at 12 meters/40 feet, and navigating to the shore using the compass.
Here’s where the underwater madness started! First we spotted a fish bowl, and if that wasn’t impressive enough, a massive yellow fin tuna started striking the bowl! When I say massive, it’s because the tuna was bigger than Delaney and I put together! We watched this amazing creature behave as if we didn’t exist, and, when it took off, we took a deep breath and started to navigate to shore.
But suddenly two wahoo came swimming by and showed off by turning around right about 3 meter/10 feet in front of us! But we kept onward, and soon the tarpons came along, too!
Delaney looked at me, and right through her dive mask, I could see her intense happiness.
A sweet finish to the dive.
We headed up to 5 meter/15 feet to do the safety stop, and there she was: a Great Barracuda of approximately 1.5 meter/5 feet, once again bigger than Delaney. We got a bit closer, and, as if it wasn’t enough already, another Great Barracuda of the same size–if not bigger–came close and the two of them started swimming circles around us before taking off in different directions. I have to admit–I’m a bit nervous around barracudas, so with my heart pounding, Delaney got back to the compass and took us straight back to the ladder of the pier! We gave each other the signal to ascent, and once on the surface, we both just took our masks off and simultaneous said, “Whaaaaaaaaaaaatttttttt!!!!!”
The day’s dive were amazing and completely worth the time we spent underwater. I wouldn’t have changed the day at all. We finished about 4:00 PM, and I went off to Coco Beach to meet my friends on their yacht. But nobody was answering the phone, so I decided to ask a friend to zoom his camera onto the boat and figure out where they were. The first boat in the viewfinder happened to be my friend’s boat, so I arrived at just the best moment. We had a great time at the Boat Party, and, best of all, I had a great story to share with everyone!
Here’s a little video about the Boat Party made by my friend with the camera.
Jean Carlos Blanco, from Panama, joined the Carib Inn staff in August 2015. He has been a PADI Open Water instructor since 2012. His favorite courses to teach are Deep, Night, Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Dive Master and Rescue. His special interests are ship wrecks, exploration dives and night diving.
If you enjoyed reading JC’s dive log and wish to receive future editions, sign up for the Carib Inn News!
Bonaire’s Monthly Cultural Market at Mangazina di Rei provides a fun opportunity to learn about the island’s history and culture.
Enjoy breakfast treats from the ladies of Rincon.
The last Saturday of every month, everyone gathers at Mangazina dei Rei for the fun, and educational, cultural markets.
These markets each have an underlying theme, and October’s theme is health and wellness. Tomorrow, the fun starts as early as 8:30 AM. Stop by the stalls and enjoy some local treats for breakfast from the ladies of Rincon.
Tying the traditional Bonaire head-dress.
At 8:45 AM, the ever-popular scarf workshop takes place. In her inimitable way, Mamita Fox will color coordinate just the right scarf for volunteers from the audience, and magically make beautiful head-dresses in no time at all!
Mamita Fox with her Scarf Workshop
Local music is always popular with Bonaire’s visitors.
But there’s never a Bonaire cultural event without music, so at 9:30 AM the local band, Grupo Ekspreshon Rítmiko will take to the stage.
A traditional “face” of Bonaire.
The Kunuku lifestyle.
But this month’s theme is about health and wellness, so be sure to stay for the educational talks. At 10:15 AM, we’ll learn about the Kunuku Lifestyle Challenge from Heleen Quartel. This challenge is an educational program on gardening while creating a healthy lifestyle and entrepreneurship.
Using local herbs for health and wellness.
At 11:30 AM, Dinah Veeris will give a presentation on how local herbs can be used for health and wellness.
At 12:15 PM, the local band Grupo F.M.K., a group of local kids and youth who specialize in folkloric music, will be providing entertainment.
Learn how easy it is to tie those head-dresses!
The making of traditional cactus soup.
Of course, there is never a cultural market without some focus on Bonaire’s culture, and tomorrow everyone can enjoy the demonstration of making the traditional cactus soup!
Mangazina di Rei does a wonderful job in creating these unique cultural events. The activities keep one’s interest, and it’s nice to enjoy the day on Mangazina di Rei’s patio. The event will be open through 2:00 PM. Be sure to come and enjoy it!
(Source: Mangazina di Rei via Bonaire Insider on InfoBonaire.com)
Many people cringe when thinking about bats, the only mammal in the world with wings. But bats provide a wonderful service, especially in tropical locations such as Bonaire. Why? Because many of them eat pesky mosquitoes. Others pollinate our cactus and other plants.
Learn about Bonaire’s bats.
As part of STINAPA’s Connecting People with Nature series, there will be an evening to learn all about these wonderful mammals on Saturday, November 5th, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
The evening will begin at STINAPA’s headquarters at Barcadera, with a visit to a nearby cave afterwards. Participants will be treated to a demonstration on how scientific research is conducted on bats.
What to bring.
Participants need to bring a flashflight covered with a red piece of cloth or paper, as bats don’t like light, sneakers in which to climb up and down the cave, and a bottle of drinking water.
Be sure to pre-register.
There are no costs to participate (but donations are always welcome), but participants much register in advance by calling 717-8444.
(Source: STINAPA via Bonaire Insider on InfoBonaire.com)
Bonaire boasts of an amazing number of birds, and in the last months of the year, the number of species grows, as Bonaire is an important stopping off, or wintering, area for many migratory birds.
STINAPA Connecting People with Nature Birdwatching Event.
STINAPA is once again hosting another special birdwatching event on Saturday, October 22, 2016 from 4:30 to 6:00 PM at the LVV facility just off of Kaminda Lagoen.
This area has a constant supply of fresh water which attracts an abundance of bird species. Very rare species of birds for the ABC islands have also been spotted in this area. During the last weeks, the Black-bellied Whistling Duck was seen in this area.
What to Bring.
Bring binoculars (if you do not have any, STINAPA can provide a pair to use), drinking water, and good walking shoes.
Make your reservation.
Please call 717-8444 to make your reservation. There are no costs involved, but donations are always welcome. The meeting point is at the office building next to the wastewater tanks.
(Source: STINAPA via Bonaire Insider on InfoBonaire.com)