Author Archives: Carib Inn

Terramar Museum Opens on Bonaire

Bonaire Has A New Museum.

Several years in the making, the new Terramar Historical and Archaeological Museum just opened this month.

Located in Kralendijk, the new museum offers a glimpse into the Caribbean’s rich past, with a special focus on how Bonaire was affected through the ages.

A Caribbean Timeline


Caribbean Historical TimelineThe main exhibit gives an extensive timeline, going back centuries.  It’s an excellent way to get an informative snapshot of events in the Caribbean, prior to looking into the exhibits highlighting Bonaire’s past.  This museum utilizes a variety of the latest technology to present their exhibits, and an animated floor exhibit in the timeline room keeps one mesmerized.

Terramar's Upstairs Gallery ExhiibitVisitors can exit out of the timeline exhibit through several doors, and then step back into a world long gone in the side exhibits, many of which are relevant to Bonaire, but also cover life in the Caribbean through the ages.

Museum director Ruud Stelten, who has been involved with the project from its concept to full realization, says this about the new museum:

“Terramar Museum will guide the visitor through 7,000 years of Caribbean history, informing both tourists and locals about many aspects of the region’s fascinating past.”


Terramar Museum Combines New with the Old

Exhibit indicating life in the Caribbean in centuries past.There is a wonderful fusion of old and new at the museum.  As one steps into the historical building, one is immediately immersed in the creative exhibits, utilizing the latest technology. Yet, traditional exhibits are interspersed.  The result keeps one’s interest high as the exhibit areas are walked.

A visit to Bonaire’s new Terramar Historical and Archaeological Museum should be on everyone’s list of “have-to-do” when next visiting the island.  More information is available, including open hours and entrance fees, by clicking here.

Bonaire has a wealth of other museums as well, information about these options are available on InfoBonaire’s history page.

(Source:, used with permission)

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Underwater Photography Tips & Resources from Carib Inn’s JC Blanco

Underwater Photography on Bonaire


Taking images underwater on BonaireToday we are sharing with you lots of tips, resources, and amazing sites about underwater photography. As you know, diving on Bonaire is much about self-exploration, experiencing habitats, and mastering skills, always taking into consideration that the solution for a single situation can change for each individual.  In other words, each individual may have different ways to overcome, succeed, or achieve in different circumstances.

Diver Safety When Photographing Underwater

For those who wish to excel in underwater photography, we recommend  that you read, read, and read about photography, filming, biographies, or even about incidents regarding diving and carrying photography or filming gear.  You might be surprised that people often make the big mistake of putting their images over their own safety.

The Divers Alert Network website will provide you with very important information about how to stay safe while enjoying your diving adventures.

Some great resources, which can be also purchased on Amazon, including:

  • Scuba Diving Safety by Dan Orr and Eric Douglas
  • Diver Down by Michael Ange

The First Steps in Underwater Photography

Jellies are underter denizonsAfter perusing this information, you will know the risk and understand that probably it is better to hire a professional to guide you through the first steps, or at least the first adventures. You need to know more about diving equipment and gear, underwater light refraction and composition, skills, and animal behavior. All of these components are important to getting fabulous underwater images, but diver safety always comes first before any of these components.

Equipment and Gear for Underwater Photography

Regarding gear only, one could spend a whole week or more reading on specifications of cameras, cases, lights, strobes, lenses, etc, and so my advice is to sit down, relax, and grab some snacks with your iPad or computer in a quiet place with a good WiFi connection. Start navigating and do some research BEFORE you enter a retail store, so you have more knowledge about what you will be looking at.

Here are some useful links:

Once you have figured out your initial gear (and notice I mention “initial” because based on my experience, I bet you will try different set ups until you find the appropriate one for you and the end product you want to obtain), I have to say, that for this specific reason, you should learn proper technique to maintain your photography gear if you want to get top dollar when you are ready to sell it.

Learning the Basics of Underwater Photography

Next, you will have to understand certain principles that affect or differ the way you take images underwater versus above water.  Two of these factors are composition and refraction.

Composition is an art, not a science. These rules and ideas for composition are meant to give assist you to creatively compose your shots; they shouldn’t lock you into rigid rules. The best composition for a subject will depend on your personal preferences. As your underwater photography progresses, good composition will become more natural and intuitive. However, even experienced photographers can benefit from trying new ideas in composition.

Understanding how light changes underwater is key to good photographyOther factors of taking images underwater include loss of color underwater, the color compensation that your brain does, understanding color temperature, and reflected light. Water absorbs different wavelengths of light to different degrees. The longest wavelengths, with the lowest energy, are absorbed first. Red is the first to be absorbed, followed by orange and yellow. The colors disappear underwater in the same order as they appear in the color spectrum. Even in water at a depth of 5 feet (1.5 meters), there will be a noticeable loss of red. For this reason, strobes are usually used to add color back to subjects underwater.

Carrying a Camera System Underwater

There is another consideration when you begin your underwater photoraphy:  You will quickly realize that you camera set up adds certain weight and drag on you buoyancy, as well as, of course, added distraction.  With a camera system in your hands, it is not just about being neutrally buoyant, spotting marine life, monitoring your air, and checking you bottom time and your buddy, now you need to check battery life, strobe lights set up, memory space, lenses, white balance, etc!  It is for these reasons that my recommendation is that you have as close-to-perfect buoyancy control by the time you start your endeavors in underwater photography, even if you elect to use a simple system, such as a Go Pro. I personally advise my divers to reach their advanced level and include on their adventure dives the peak performance buoyancy dive (or take the specialty for additional skills).

Another excellent adventure dive can be the Fish ID, so you can learn the best way to avoid harming delicate aquatic life, or damaging your gear or your own safety.  Once you know more about the animals you wish to photograph, and their specific behaviors, your images will become better!  Carib Inn offers many PADI continuing education dive courses.

Know Your Subject for Fantastic Underwater Images

Knowing the normal behavior of turtles helps get the right shot.And last, but not least, the animal behavior is simply knowing what are you looking at and how the animal will behave.  It is rather difficult to get a nice shot of marine life if you are not ready, or at least have an idea of what the animal will do, where you can find it, its feeding habits, or even if their represent any risk to you or you for them. After all, you wouldn’t like someone with blinding flashes taking pictures of you while you sleep, mate, eat, or give birth, right? It’s always important to understand that we are entering their world and, as good guest, we need to know the rules and customs of the underwater realm to avoid being known as an idiot abroad.

The best way to get this knowledge is to take the PADI Fish ID specialty course.  There are also numerous books as well as many downloadable apps for use with a smart phone.  The first step is to learn more about our under friends.

I hope you enjoy and learn from this tutorial.  If you have questions, or if there I can guide you further in your underwater photography, feel free to email me at

See you underwater!




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.



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Carib Inn Announces Dates for 2017 Low Season Specials

Those who plan their Bonaire vacations well in advance can take advantage of the low-season specials at Bruce Bowker’s Carib Inn.  Dates have just been announced for the summer season of 2017.

Low Season Specials

Between May 6th and July 1st, 2017, those who book now can take $20.00 off per night on any non-seaside room or both houses.

The same special is still in effect for this year, for reservations from August 27th through November 5th, 2016.

Group Special

Families and friends who travel together can take advantage of the group special.  Simply reserve Carib Inn’s 3 or 4 Bedroom House for 6 or more people and get a reserved dive boat for your group for the entire week!
Make this trip extra special by having a Carib Inn boat and divemaster all to yourselves! Your group of 6 or more can choose your own destination, divemaster, and departure time for your daily 2-tank dives. Also includes unlimited air fills for shore diving.

Both the 3- and 4- bedroom houses are adjacent to Carib Inn with full use of all facilities which include pool, seaside gazebo, BBQ, dock, and dive shop. Each has a large, private, fenced yard and parking. Full kitchens, air conditioned bedrooms, daily maid service, cable TV and free WiFi.


  • Based on 6 people – $659.50 pp
  • Based on 7 people – $636.50 pp
  • Based on 8 people – $619 pp

Prices include 7 nights accommodation, room tax, 6 days of 2-tank reserved boat diving and unlimited air fills.

Last Minute Openings

For those who decide to travel on short notice, Carib Inn usually has some availability with great rates for Last Minute Openings.  These select dates offer great savings, but are open only for the specified dates and room types.  Currently Last Minute Openings provides dates for stays now through the end of the year.

Check Availability Online

It’s always easy to check availability online.  Simply click here and fill in the online form. Remember that it is only an availability check and does not automatically make a reservation.  If your desired dates are available, we will be back to you with information to confirm the booking.


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Bonaire’s Wastewater Treatment System Reaches a Milestone

Bonaire's Wastewater Treatment System Reaches a MilestoneWith the ongoing use of Bonaire’s recently installed sewer system for properties near to or adjoining the coastal areas of Kralendijk, the Waste Water Treatment Plant reached a milestone last week when they processed the 1000th batch of wastewater on August 1st, 2016. This equates to more than 276,050 cubic meters of treated wastewater since its launch in early 2015. The treated water is distributed daily for use in irrigation.

A total of 16 farmers (kunukeros in Papiamentu) now receive the water for use on their farms. The quality of the irrigation water meets the standards set by the Public Entity Bonaire, and, even more impressive, the quality is higher than the requirements imposed by the Netherlands for purified wastewater that gets placed as surface water. Bonaire has access to safe and high-quality irrigation water for agriculture and landscaping.

The Public Entity Bonaire and WEB (Water & Electricity Bonaire) are currently preparing for the 10th EDF (European Development Fund) of the sewerage project Kloaka, in which parts of Hato and Belnem will be connected, providing even more treated water that can be used for irrigation.

Every cubic meter of wastewater which is treated is helping keep Bonaire’s reefs as free as possible from nutrification (when excess nutrients from a variety of sources–primarily sewage in Bonaire’s situation–set off a cascade of environmental changes). These changes can cause an over-abundance of algae growth, which competes with corals and other marine creatures for living space on the reef.

(Source: WEB via The Bonaire Insider on

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Welcome, Wijnand de Wolf, New Manager of Bonaire National Marine Park

STINAPA welcomes a new marine park manager, Mr. Wijnand de Wolf, who joined the organization as the new manager of the Bonaire National Marine Park.

bmp_managerWijnand began his new duties on August 1st, after completing work with the island government, involved with environmental issues.  He studied Aquatic Eco-Technology at the Hogeschool Zeeland, and he first acquired work experience at two municipalities and a consultancy firm in The Netherlands.

Wijnand will succeed Sabine Engel. Sabine Engel was the interim manager of the Bonaire National Marine Park in the previous year. Sabine will stay closely involved with STINAPA as the project leader of Lac.

(Source:  STINAPA via Bonaire Insider)

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The Bonaire Blue Bottle Project is Beginning for Drinking Water

Bonaire strives to be at the forefront of green technology, as it is well known on the island that our nature is a precious natural resource.  For many years, the plastic refuse from bottled water has been a detriment, filling up the landfill with trash which will take centuries to bio-degrade.  Many recycle plastic waste, but that is costly on a small island.  Now there is a new initiative that will remove the plastic waste of bottled water from Bonaire’s waste management and recycling efforts.  The Blue Bottle Project is beginning.

bluebottle1Last week saw the introduction of this new, “green” project as a number of waterpoints are being opened around the island as part of a larger project. These waterpoints will be located at bars, resorts, dive shops, and restaurants, and they give the user the possibility to fill up–for free–their Blue Bottles with drinking water with the best water quality. 

So how will it work?  The Blue Bottle is specially designed for use in the Caribbean, utilizing a vacuum insulated stainless steel bottle (20 fluid ounce/0.6 litre) which has a soft coated, non-drip cool body and will keep drinks cool for at least 12 hours. Even fully filled, it will float when accidentally dropped in the ocean, so recovery is easy.  At night you can use it on the porch or balcony as a cup and it will keep drinks frosty cool the whole night. The bottle cap is made of a “green” BPA-free plastic and the bottle is 100% recyclable. 

Upon arrival on Bonaire, visitors can purchase the Blue Bottle at the airport or cruise terminal for just $10.00.  It will also be available at waterpoints and other locations for $15.00, so there is a savings to jump on board when you first arrive. Waterpoints will be identified by easy-to-see posters.  At restaurants and bars, table markers will inform patrons of the free drinking water project.  All the information will be in English, Dutch and Spanish.

So be sure to be on the lookout and purchase your Blue Bottle when next arriving by plane or via cruise ship.

(Source:  The Blue Bottle Project via The Bonaire Insider)

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Book Now and Take Advantage of United’s Fall Airfare Sale

United Airlines has just announced it is offering airfare as low as $447 on their non-stop Houston-Bonaire flight, for travel during September and October, 2016.  Once you have secured your flights, be sure to check Carib Inn’s Last Minute Openings for special savings on your accommodations.

unitedThe southbound Bonaire flight departs George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) on Saturdays at 1:00 PM, arriving in Bonaire International Airport (BON) at 6:50 PM. The northbound return flight departs BON on Sundays at 7:30 AM, arriving in IAH at 11:35 AM.

The weekly round-trip flight provides more options for visiting Bonaire and taking advantage of low season savings from the following connecting gateways:
  • Denver (DEN): $425
  • Chicago (ORD): $451
  • Los Angeles (LAX): $493
  • San Francisco (SFO): $523
  • Phoenix (PHX): $577
These fares were valid as of Monday, July 25, 2016, but all rates are subject to change. To check availability and fares from your gateway city, visit United’s website.
(Source:  TCB)

Repeat Visitors are Honored as Ambassadors at Carib Inn

Last Friday, Carib Inn was delighted to have some of their long-time repeat visitors honored by the island’s tourism board as “Bonaire Ambassadors.”

Burton Ogle and Tracy Zontek have been visiting Bonaire for 25 and 15 years respectively, and they cherish memories of the friendly Bonaireans, spectacular dives, and their dear friends at the Carib Inn. They both honed their diving skills from Bruce Bowker‘s buoyancy workshops. They state,

“These entertaining and informative classes made a huge difference in our dive enjoyment. Kitty and Bruce have done an amazing job making the Carib Inn the most comfortable, relaxed vacation we could imagine. Our Carib family of the Poduskas, Wagners, Mumpers and others through the years are simply “family”–we can’t wait to see them each year. This to us is why Bonaire is truly a “Divers Paradise.”

Larry and Karyle Mumper have been staying at Carib Inn for 15 years.  Years ago, they saw an advertisement in Skin Diver Magazine showing a picture of Bruce Bowker with his two Dalmatians.  They said,

“We thought that this had to be a great place, if the owner puts his dogs in an ad!  We came and discovered that Bruce and all his staff are professionals and have made and continue to make our trips to Bonaire really special.  Carib Inn is the most professional and well organized dive operation in the Caribbean. We have been to quite a number of other islands diving and we find that this is #1.  Everything is right here: clean rooms, fresh water pool, close to downtown and the market, a few steps down their walkway to the boats, and then a professional and “safety first” divemaster for your short ride to one of many gorgeous reefs.  It is truly a Bonaire family here, and we have met many close friends whom we continue to dive with each year from all parts of the world.”

Congratulations, Burt, Tracy, Larry, and Karyle, from all the crew at Carib Inn for becoming true tourism ambassadors to Bonaire.  We look forward to enjoying your company for many years to come!



Did You Know? All About Parrotfish

All About Parrot Fish

Queen-Parrotfish-IP_-scarus-vetulaDid you know that there are 99 known parrotfish species worldwide? You may also hear them called gutu (Papiamentu), papegaaivis (Dutch) or pez loro (Spanish). Parrotfish are named for their beak-like front teeth, which they use to scrape algae of the reef for food. Coral and algae compete for space and light on the reef. In recent decades the amount of reef algae has increased considerably, which harms corals by cutting off their access to light and oxygen, preventing coral recruitment, and competing with helpful bacteria.

Parrotfish are key to keeping out reefs healthy because they keep algae levels in check, helping to maintain a healthy coral population on our reef. Fishing is one of the main threats to parrotfish – both intentional harvest and unintentional bycatch (especially in gill nets and fish traps).

In 2010 the government enacted an island-wide ban on parrotfish harvest to safeguard these important herbivores and better manage our coral reefs.

(Source:  STINAPA)


The Poduska Family Celebrates 30 Years of Bonaire Visits at Carib Inn

Carib Inn was recently honored to have a special celebration last week with the Poduska Family, as they celebrated their 30th year of visiting Bonaire and the Carib Inn.

Here’s the story, from Mom (and now Grandma) Donna Poduska:

Thirty years ago, the Poduska family from Fort Collins, Colorado, were told by friends from work about a place called Bonaire.  Not only were they told the scuba diving was the best in the world but there was a place to stay called Bruce Bowker’s Carib Inn that was amazing.  The personalized treatment that you received as a guest at this place was unbelievable.  This was the beginning of what became an annual vacation that has lasted 30 years.  Always we have stayed at Bruce Bowker’s Carib Inn and they have become “family.”

Paul Poduska, the father, was the only certified diver when the Poduskas first started coming here, but throughout the years both the daughter and son were certified.  The son is an advanced diver while the daughter is a divemaster.  Then came the three grandchildren–one is certified and the 10-year-old twins this year did Discover Scuba Diving and will become certified next year.  The most amazing thing here is that they all have been certified in the different levels at “Bruce’s.”

Bonaire has become a place that offers everything that all ages can enjoy–rest, fantastic diving and great friends.  The Carib Inn is the place that allows great freedom, individualised attention and great instructors. The Poduska family will continue coming here because it is truly their “Second Home.”




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