Carib Inn’s Yearly Photo Contest Winner is Marilyn Forshey Pollock

Congratulations to Marilyn Forshey Pollack!

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.

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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.

Seahorse locomotion

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.

Learn more about this unique creature at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seahorse.


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JC’s Dive Log–Karma

JC’s Bonaire Dive Log: Karma.

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

eagle_ray_feedingThe 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.

barracuda

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!!!!!”

True karma.

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.

 


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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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Mangazina di Rei’s October Cultural Market Focuses on Health

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.

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

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.

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!

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)

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Learn About Bonaire’s Bats

On Bonaire, bats are good.

Bats eat mosquitoes and pollinate plants.

Many of Bonaire's bats pollinate cactus and other plants.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 venue.

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)

 

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New Sherwood Masks, Snorkels, and Fins Have Arrived at Carib Inn

New Sherwood Scuba Masks, Fins, and Snorkels at the Carib Inn Retail Store.

As the busy season approaches, as well as the pre-holiday shopping time, the shelves in Carib Inn’s Retail Store are starting to bulge with new items!

Just arrived and ready for sale are the latest masks, fins, and snorkels from Sherwood Scuba.

Sherwood VIDA mask.

Sherwood VIDA mask.

Masks:

The VIDA mask comes in a variety of colors, and is the perfect size to double as a stocking-stuffer for your favorite diver.

The VIDA comes with either a clear or black skirt, and the frame comes in blue, aqua, or yellow.

How to Insure a Good Fit.

And don’t forget to read Bruce’s inimitable tips on how to properly fit your mask.


Sherwood TIGA snorkels.

Sherwood TIGA snorkels.

Snorkels:

The TIGA snorkels by Sherwood come in color-coordinating colors, so not only do you have efficient breathing on the surface, but you will look good, too.

The self-draining dry snorkel comes in black, blue, clear/white, and yellow.

 

 


Sherwood ELITE foot pocket fins.

Sherwood ELITE foot pocket fins.

Pocket Fins:

Sherwood Scuba’s Elite Fins have been a diver favorite for several years. Now this outstanding performance fin is also available in a full foot pocket version for the traveling and warm water diver.

Available in five (5) sizes (XS-XL)
Colors: Black and Blue

 

 

 

 


Be sure to stop in and see the latest arrivals!

(Source:  Carib Inn Retail Store)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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See Migratory Birds at the Next STINAPA Birdwatching Event

Bonaire Birdwatching Event.

Migratory birds are arriving on Bonaire.

The reddish egret in breeding plumage.

The reddish egret in breeding plumage.

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.

The Venue.

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)

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JC’s Dive Log–Something Special

JC’s Bonaire Dive Log: Something Special.

It’s September 16, 2016.  As I open my eyes, all I see is rain. What a way to start the day. But, in the end, it is good for Bonaire’s green areas and as Bruce will say, “we really need this rain!”

Carib Inn from the sea

Destination:  Something Special Dive Site.

In my drive to work the sun already started to shine by 8:00 a.m. My mood wasn’t the best. Things between me and D haven’t being the best lately. (I have to say because I promise to be 100% honest at the moment of writing this log, so there you go.) Got the boat ready for the morning dive, just 2 people this time. Destination – Something Special and I needed something special indeed. Something was telling me inside God was going to make this day batter for me and the ones with me on the boat.

We briefed and agreed on looking for miniature life throughout this dive. Once the divers were safely in the water, I jumped in. As I descended I saw them heading straight down to approximately 18 meters/53 feet. They were heading to the gravel area we talked about in the briefing but a bit faster than I expected.

An eagle ray graced us with his presence.An eagle ray came swooping in to say hello.

As I was tying the safety rope a beautiful eagle ray came by announcing this would be a good dive. It glided in the water for around 1 minute and headed toward the divers. I could clearly still see their bubbles but I didn’t want to bang on my tank and scare the ray.

As I approached them as inconspicuously as possible, I couldn’t stop admiring the abundance and the excitement of being almost alone and invisible to what was surrounding me. My two divers were very experienced and photographers.Garden eels can often be found hiding in the sand.

Garden eels, Horse Eye Jacks, and Striped Mullets.

All these creatures were coming to me, and l was able to get very close to almost everything around me. I had a nice interaction with a sharp tailed eel. It was showing a special curiosity about me. Then I headed toward the direction of The eagle ray came quite close to our group.the divers, of course passing by the sand pit where the garden eels were doing their dance, kept going up until I met the guys on the gravel and guess who came to show off? The same Eagle Ray I saw at just the beginning of the dive! I kind of knew that it would head into that direction because the last time I saw it she was heading to the marina entry.

We swam along the rope on the bottom and were suddenly surprised  by an encounter with a school of striped mullets, around 100 of them. We kept going on the line until I made it to one of the Coral Restoration Gardens. After that, we followed the line to a small ship wreck. I was told by Larry the name is “Our Confidence.” It is rather faded, but still beautiful with a small school of juvenile Horse Eye Jacks swimming around it.

A tree of juvenile corals, part of the Coral Restoration Foundation on Bonaire.

Image courtesy of Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire.

By now it was time to turn around and to my surprise an even bigger school of striped mullets. More than a hundred this time. The other two divers were corralling a school of smaller species of silvery fish that I couldn’t manage to identify just at the entry of the marina at less than 10 meter/ 30 feet.

Barracuda, Scorpionfish, Mantis Shrimp, and Blennies Galore!

 

Of course, the opportunist barracudas, three of them to be precise, were a medium size, the biggest being about 3 feet.  They were calmly waiting for the right moment to strike. Farther on, two good sized scorpionfish were almost invisible with their perfect camouflage, patiently waiting for their prey.

Some of the tinest finds were blennies and yellow-headed jawfish.

A mantis shrimp just outside his "home."Going bit shallower, to about 5 meter/ 15 feet, a majestic show of blennies including sailfin, spinyhead, redlips, and yellowheaded jawfish. Back under the boat a mantis shrimp was keeping itself busy and as I got closer those exotic eyes and capacity of moving them like a gyroscope was just a bit creepy! Yellowline gobies were around, too.

And to finish the dive, a green turtle.

When we finally headed back to the surface, the same way I was greeted on my entry with A green turtle happened by to say "so long."an eagle ray, I was graciously said “so long” by a green turtle. FYI, I made it to the surface with my mask half flooded and not because of a beard, I had just shaved a couple of days ago, but for the huge smile I had on my face.

Thank you, God, for a better day indeed.

 

 

 


JC-150x150

 

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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The New Line of Aqualung Dive Computers Has Arrived at Carib Inn

Aqualung Dive Computers Now Available at Carib Inn.

Carib Inn is happy to announce that the new line of Aqualung dive computers has arrived on Bonaire, and three models are now available in the retail store.

This line carries three options, and all are very competitively priced. Click here to request a price quotation on any of these dive computers.


Aqualung i300 Dive Computer

Aqualung i300 Dive ComputerThe i300’s uncomplicated, effortless approach and rugged design defines its place in the dive world.  It’s available in wrist-mount, 2-guage console, or 3-guage console in black/grey or black/blue.

Its effortless approach and versatility give you the ability to dive right in. It exceeds expectations—with many features such as its easy-to-use interface, flexible operating modes, built-in backlight and user-changeable battery with data retention. The i300 carries all of these features with a ruggedness that you can count on. And with effortless design, such as a water-activated on switch, it gets you right in the water and descending to your next adventure.

View the included features of the Aqualung i300 Dive Computer.


Aqualung i450 Dive Computer

Aqualung i450 Dive ComputerThe i450T is a features powerhouse that suits a world of diverse diving adventures. Intuitive and sporty, it’s the perfect wrist computer to take you to new places.

Designed for the active diver and the travel diver, the i450T has flexibility and intuition packed into an attractive design. Its features were crafted to be intuitive and easily navigated for an optimal dive experience. The optional hoseless gas integration de-clutters your dive for a more streamlined feel. Even small but thoughtful details were considered– once you pair your transmitter, you’ll never need to pair it again. For all its meaningful engineering, the i450T hasn’t forgotten aesthetics – its sporty eye-catching design is easy to wear through life’s everyday adventures and is available in either black or blue/white.

View the included features of the Aqualung i450 Dive Computer.


Aqualung i550 Dive Computer

Aqualung i550 Dive ComputerThe i550 is an easy-to-use, rugged and versatile dive computer perfect for both new and seasoned divers alike. Equipped with a comprehensive suite of features, including gas integration, Nitrox and Gauge modes, backlight technology and gas time remaining in an easy-to-read, large face console, it allows you to focus on your dive. The i550 is easily customizable, with an optional quick disconnect for convenient storage and a top mount compass, making this computer the sure choice for your dive kit.
(Source:  Carib Inn Retail Store)

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Taste of Bonaire–International Edition–is Saturday, September 24, 2016.

International Edition of Taste of Bonaire is Saturday, September 24, 2016

This Saturday marks the fifth edition of the 2016 Taste of Bonaire events, all of which are hugely popular both with residents and visitors.

There’s always great food, local music, arts and crafts available for purchase, and great camaraderie!

Taste of Bonaire on September 26, 2016

 

Performances & Entertainment at this month’s event.

This event will highlight performances by Dance Sensation and Dominican Dancers.  Music will be by Son Boneriano Band and DJ Proyecto 2000.

The fifth 2016 edition of Taste of BonaireDishes will have an international flair.

There’s some great food in store that is definitely in keeping with this month’s international theme.  Those attending can choose dishes with a local menu, or Venezuelan, Colombian, Dominican, Surinamese, Dutch, Chinese, Indian, Vegetarian, and others.

Taste of Bonaire’s Venue.

The September event is Saturday, September 24th, 2016 and will be held at Wilhelmina Park in Kralendijk from 6:30 to 10:30 PM.  Be sure to stop by and enjoy the evening!

(Source:  TCB via InfoBonaire.com)

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