Saturday, July 24, 2004

Friday Snorkel Adventure

We snorkeled at Andrea II on Friday evening.  We saw some big fish again and took a few pictures, although the sun was getting too low in the sky for good lighting.  We saw a green flash as the sun set over the hills behind the oil terminal.

This Tarpon came cruising by us a number of times. He is probably about four feet long. Posted by Hello

You can click on any of these pictures to see them bigger.

Tiger Grouper Posted by Hello
I kept expecting these baitfish to form pictures as in Finding Nemo. They were facinating to watch as they moved in formation. Posted by Hello
The late afternoon sun makes nice shadows on the fire coral. Posted by Hello
Here is a four eyed butterfly fish in front of a gorgonian coral. The fish's head is on the right and tail is to the left. Posted by Hello

Friday, July 23, 2004

Thursday Snorkel Report

We did another sunset snorkel on Thursday after work.  This time we went in at Andrea 1 and went as far as Andrea 2.

The water was again quite calm and pretty clear, but not as clear as on Tue. and Sun.  We saw a big grouper that hangs out there, a turtle, squid, eels, some very large parrot fish, some chubby chubbs, and a small shark.  There are some sharks that hang out between Andrea 2 and the Sabadeco pier, that many people have seen.  We even saw one when we went by on the Aquaspace glass bottomed trimiran sailboat.   This was one of the small ones, and he was quite active, swimming to and fro in 10 to 15 feet of water.

The 5 chubbs were big enough that I started wondering about what would happen if they turned mean, as I hovered just a few feet away from them.   Most reef fish are "cute", but these guys had more of a presence.  I guess I've seen too many movies.


Tuesday snorkel report

We snorkeled from Oil Slick Leap north to the section where the tourist road hangs right over the water.  We went from about 5:30 to 7 pm.  (sunset time down here)

The water was clear and glassy smooth, because the wind pretty much died that evening.  The part just north  of oilslick was a little blah, but then it got very very pretty.  Probably another one of the best shallow water snorkels on Bonaire.  There were some very small juveniles hanging out within the corals, which were just a foot or two below the surface of the water.    We saw a turtle, and also a sting ray, as well as all the usual Bonaire stuff.  (ie. zillions of fish)

What is especially cool about this snorkle is how pretty the view towards the shore is, both in and out of the water.

Monday, July 19, 2004

New Comments Feature Added

I think I have successfully enabled a feature that lets you post comments about my blog articles.  From now on, at the bottom of each article, you'll see a little link telling how many comments have been registered.  Click on that and you'll find a link to let you post a comment.
At least that is how I think it works.  I'll give it a try to be sure.  I think I can delete any comments that I find objectionable for some reason.   Whoo whoo, such power!

Outdoor Adventures

Now that cousin Bud Gillan is here visiting us, we're getting some quality time out and about in the nature wonderland that is Bonaire.
Saturday morning found me out on my road bike on wet roads, enjoying a rainbow over Rincon, a pig in the road by Dos Pos, and "electric pink" Flamingos on the road at Gotto Lake. 
Sandra and Bud saw some HUGE fish on their afternoon snorkel at Andrea II.
On Sunday afternoon, we had a great snorkel from Oil Slick Leap south to the dive site marked Barkadera.   I'd highly recommend this as one of the best shallow water snorkels on Bonaire.  On yesteday's visit, the water was very clear, and although the wind was generating chop, there was little current.  I may see if I can drag Bud back there and see if I can get some pictures with our cheapo underwater camera.
We then stopped by the beach at Eden Park, the new home of the Bonaire Webcams, and saw a great green flash as the sun set.
After that, it was on to China Nobo for some great Chinese takeout, which we ate out at the Willemstoren light house at the South point of Bonaire.  There was a teeny tiny sliver of a moon that quickly set, and then the sky was about as dark and clear as it can get here on Bonaire.  The Milky Way streched from horizon to horizon, showed lots of dark lanes and structure, and a bunch of Messier objects were easily spotted with the naked eye.
Topping it all off were a couple of super low slow bright meteors.  One was orangy in color and the other was magnesium white and left a trail. 

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Baptism Service

Just as people come to Bonaire to get married in beautiful surroundings, Erica decided it would be a great place to be baptized, while she was here visiting her parents on her schools summer vacation. Posted by Hello

I'd say that she was right.
Baptism is a public testimony that one has put one's faith in Jesus Christ, and the actual process of baptism illustrates a believer's identification with Him in his death, burial, and resurrection.

Here is a shot of Rich Fuller, with the four young people who were baptized. Posted by HelloYou can click on the pictures to see them bigger.

More scenes from the seaside baptism can be found on my Club Photo site here.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Hooray! I can post pictures again.

The utility that lets me insert pix in my blog seems to be working again.

Here is an image that I sometimes use as Windows Wallpaper. Anyone who has climbed Brandaris to the highest point on Bonaire will probably recognize this survey marker. Posted by Hello

You can click on any of the pictures to see them bigger.
More pictures from some of our Brandaris climbs can be found here and here, and even here if you scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Planet Venus Update

After Venus passed in front of the Sun back on June 8, it moved from the evening sky into the early morning sky. Any early birds out there? Here is the latest on Venus from

"On Wednesday, July 14, Venus comes up in total darkness while shining at its greatest brilliancy (magnitude -4.5). To give you an idea of just how radiant Venus is, it's now over 17 times brighter than Sirius, the brightest of all stars. In fact, it's so bright that you might try spying it on very clear days with the naked eye after sunrise. If you can keep track of where the planet is through sunup, you should still be able to see it as a tiny white "speck" against the blue sky.

As a bonus, a lovely crescent Moon slides well to the north and east of Venus on the mornings of July 13 and 14. By the end of July Venus rises well over an hour before the first glimmer of dawn."

If we have clear skies here on Bonaire next week, I definitely plan to check out Venus at its brightest. In the past, I have indeed been able to spot Venus with my naked eye all morning, until lunch time, once I had an idea of where to look for it. The moon could serve as a good reference point for keeping track of Venus during the daytime next week.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

TWR Paraguay Trip Report

In a blog on May 25, (see the archives) I mentioned that a group of women representing TWR's Project Hanna - Women of Hope visited Paraguay. They had a great trip and ministered to a variety of groups of women; ranging from a women's prison meeting, to one with the wives of government cabinet ministers.

Oh, the utility that allows me to stick photos right in my blog doesn't seem to be working, so you'll have to click on the links to see the trip photos, like in the early days of my blog.

And I have no idea how to spell some of the proper names you'll find in this posting. I gave 'em my best guess, but if anyone can help me out, just drop me an email, thanks.

Here we see some of the TWR team with a group of Nee-Va-Klay indian women who traveled 800 kilometers, on very sketchy roads, to discuss the possibility of producing Women of Hope in their language. Erma Hein (back row on the right) has spent her whole adult life ministering to this indian group in the Chaco area of Paraguay.

Here is Peggy Corcoran with two members of the TWR Paraguay team. The young lady on the left produces a kids radio program. Most all of the TWR staff in Paraguay are quite young, which is only fitting, since 41% of the population is under 15 and 60% is under 25 years of age.

The Guarani language version of the Women of Hope radio program has had a great impact in Paraguay. Guarani, the heart language of most of the people, is one of the two official languages of Paraguay. Here is the team that produces the Guarani version of Women of Hope.

I recently posted a picture of a Project Hanna prayer group that I lifted from the Dutch TV show about Bonaire. Here is a Project Hanna prayer group that meets in Paraguay.

Monday, July 05, 2004

That's Not a Sport

Back when our son, Richard, was gutting out his 50 mile training rides and racing bicycles for Bucknell in the dead of winter, we often heard this indignant comment about some recreational activity/sport...
"________'s not a sport!"

As Lance Armstrong begins his quest for an unprecedented 6th straight yellow jersey in the Tour de France, a new sports legend has been minted in good old Coney Island.

"I think he has proven, once again, that he is one of the finest athletes of any sport in the world," said Richard Shea, a spokesman for the contest.

I think not.... but you can decide for yourself here.

Friday, July 02, 2004

TWR Guam recovers from Storm

TWR broadcasts to Asia from the island of Guam, in the Pacific. Typhoon Tingting dumped a lot of rain there this past weekend, causing mudslides, deaths, and downtime for our radio broadcasts. Guam got 38 inches of rain for the month of June, which was a record. 16 inches of that came on Sunday, with another 5 and a half inches on Monday.

The TWR staff on Guam has been downsized, just like on Bonaire, so when something unusual like this happens, they are really stretched to the limit.

Here is a report from Guam that just came in:

Thanks for praying for us. We went in Tuesday morning to run the morning broadcast shift and couldn't get a single transmitter to run.

We managed eventually to get a transmitter up to run the morning Vietnamese and then it went down and we had to work on it as a big coil was shorting out. We got the next transmitter fixed in time to run the morning Cantonese on it. Then we went through two more transmitters and got them running but never got the last transmitter running for the night shift. After putting in a 15 hour shift and knowing that there wasn't time enough to fix the transmitter in time to get any of the night programming on, we went home for the remainder of the night.

Power was restored to the station around 7 PM so it was out for over 40 hours.

Wednesday morning when we started the morning broadcast shift, our main circuit panel shorted out. We spent the rest of the day working on it and got it back to running just two minutes before the night broadcast shift started. The middle phase in the circuit breaker shorted out to ground. All morning was spent cleaning up the charred insulation and circuit breakers. The afternoon was spent making a new bar for the center phase for the breakers to attach to. A hole bigger than a quarter was blown in the bar and there was just a little on one side still holding the bar together. Doug, who was running the night shifts came in early and worked on transmitter two and got it running.

So now we are back running all five transmitters and have water and power back both at home and at the station. Thanks so much for your prayers. No one was hurt and there doesn't appear to be any antenna damage. Salt water from the ocean and electrical components just don't make a good mix.

Unique astronomy event recorded

About a month ago, (June 8)I wrote an account of our observations of Venus passing in front of the sun for the first time in 128 years.

I've also mentioned seeing the International Space Station pass overhead here on Bonaire, and some of you saw it pass very near Jupiter one evening. (May 12)

Well, a fellow in Bratislava, where TWR has it's European radio program playout center, captured images of Venus and the ISS passing in front of the Sun at the same time!

I've signed up to get an email a couple times a month which tells if the ISS will be passing in front of anything interesting, as seen from tiny Bonaire.

If you would like to know where to find info. about seeing the space station where you live, email me and I'll send you the links to the web sites. (I don't have them in front of me right now)

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Washington Park Conquered

I think I mentioned a few weeks ago that the evil roads in Washington Park ate my bicycles rear wheel. (of course, operator error had nothing to do with it, heh-heh)

Well, I took the wheel and hub apart, cleaned up the chewed up metal on the hub with a Dremel tool, and rebuilt the drive side of the wheel with "new" spokes from my stash of used-but-not-forgotten spokes that are scattered all over our storeroom. So, the wheel is not exactly as good as new, but it is rideable.

I drove to the Park last Saturday and rode around the 18.4 mi. loop as fast as I could. By driving to and from the park, I cut my total biking mileage in half and was able to ride much harder in the park.

I chopped my time from an hour and 45 minutes to a little under and hour and a half. Ta-da.

That's probable as fast as I can go, without some serious hill training. I chopped the 15 min. off of the first half of the ride going in to Slagbai. Riding out in the rollercoaster hills took just as long as usual.

I'll probably try another record attempt next December when the weather is cooler. Overheating in the broiling sun keeps me from going faster at least as much as lack of fitness.

Cool Listener Email

Here is an excerpt from an email that Bill Damick from TWR received just yesterday.

"My grandparents were converted and they listened to TWR from Bonaire in Spanish, French and Portuguese every evening. Since I spent a lot of time with them, I listening to each program with an open Bible since I was around 5 years old. Now I am 43, completing a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible, and will always treasure those evenings with my grandparents listening TWR"

This man's email is a real encouragement as we celebrate 40 years of gospel broadcasting from Bonaire and trust the Lord for an equally fruitful ministry in the days and years to come.