Monday, May 28, 2007

New Improved Websites

Some of you have probably visited the Bonaire Web Cams. There are now even more Bonaire cams, a total of eight, for your viewing pleasure. You can learn all about them in this article on the Bonaire Insider.

Also STINAPA has a new improved web site. Stinapa is the Bonaire national parks foundation that manages the Bonaire Marine Park and the Washington Slagbaai Park. There is a ton of great information on the new web site and links to even more great sites about many of the things that make Bonaire special. Oh, and you can find out what the acronym, STINAPA, stands for.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Mountain Madness

There is still a lot of snow on the higher mountains in Colorado. In fact, Arapaho Basin was still open for skiing.

While we were hanging out at the top of Loveland Pass, three cyclists arrived at the summit. We passed a half dozen more on the road as well. There were cyclists all over the place in Colorado, but we weren't there long enough for me to get in any riding.

Wedding Bells

Richard, Nancy, Sandra and I flew out to visit my brother, Bruce, and his family, in Colorado. We had a great time and even saw my Nephew, Dan, marry his sweetheart, Erica.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Our daughter in law, Nancy, graduated yesterday from William Patterson University in good old New Joisey, with BS in Nursing.
Here is a shot of Richard and Nancy with Nancy's parents.
The graduation ceremony, with about 1800 graduates and a zillion spectators, was held on the football field. Here is a link to a wide angle shot of part of the crowd.

Bonaire Scenes from the 50s

Some black and white video footage of life on Bonaire around 1950 is available on the Internet. I caught wind of this from a article that Jake Richter wrote on The Bonaire Insider site, and watched it a couple times this am. Jake's article tells you what buttons and links to click in order to see the video, which may come in handy if you don't happen to know Dutch.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Hato Neighborhood Watch

The Hato community association here on Bonaire has just celebrated its one year anniversary. A number of good things have already come about as a result of this effort. I've been to a some of the meetings, but have missed the last couple due to being too tired after my after work bike ride. Must be getting old or something.

Among other things, our community is on the alert for suspicious activity around our and our neighbor's houses. Neighborhood Watch signs are in the works, and these wild stickers are available. We have one our front porch. You can click on the picture to see it in all its gory glory.

BonaireParrot Update

I recently wrote about my Saturday morning with the Parrot People.

Here is a link to the website of this year's parrot research project here on Bonaire. Lots of interesting stuff here, and way way for you to be involved, no matter where you live.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

More Bonaire Birdwatching

Bonaire birdlovers, as well as people who just like to hang out in the great outdoors, can contribute to a science project this coming Sunday, May 13.

STINAPA has scheduled an island wide Bonairian Birdcount that morning.

You can read about it in their press release on the Bonaire Insider, and if you are on the island, you can participate.

Indoor Cycling Update

Remember my 2 posts in Feb. about indoor cycling? Here is a strange followup.

Reuters news service is carrying the story of a man in South Africa, who was super glued to his exercise bike, so thieves could ransack his house. One wag quipped that they added insult to injury when they glued his mouth shut so he couldn't even get in a good workout.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Parrot People

Have I mentioned that Bonaire is participating with 12 other Caribbean islands in the Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival?

Between April 22 to May 22, there are several special events focusing on Bonaire’s birds, especially the Lora (parrot) and the Yellow Oriole. The Bonaire Insider reported that ten biologists will visit Bonaire during the festival.

I met most of them at 5:30 am. at the Washington Park entrance this past Saturday morning! These young and enthusiastic researchers and a few of us Bonaire residents who are morning people, "early birds," fanned out across the park to look for Parrot nests for further study and monitoring. Each of us locals, was paired with one of the Parrot People, who took copious notes of the Parrot activity we observed.

Watching the day dawn from a hillside vantage point in Washington Park was worth the 5 am. alarm clock, even if we hadn't seen any parrots. We saw plenty of parrots, and as it turns out, my eagle eyed partner, Tom, did spot a likely looking new nesting spot with his trusty Nikon spotting scope. The team will be watching it closely over the next few months.

Last Wednesday evening, one of the research team leaders, Rowan Martin, presented a brief talk about the social, mating, nesting, and nurturing habits of parrots. Between that talk and the information sheet that Sam Williams gave us on Saturday morning, I now know a whole lot more about these birds.

There will soon be a Bonaire Parrot web site up and running with infra red nest-cams and other interesting stuff. Right now, you can learn more about the nest finding project at this web page.

Sam has also posted an in depth report on his 2003 Bonaire parrot research project, and you can find some general background material here.

Monday, May 07, 2007


Rumor has it that there will soon be another roundup of the donkeys that are roaming the fields and streets of Bonaire. They will be re-located to the Donkey Sanctuary just southeast of the airport.

Pictured here is a shot of the donkey park main buildings and a friendly "free range" donkey I encountered on a recent photo safari up north.

Wedding Bells and Honeymoon Happiness

Bonaire "old timers" will probably remember, Jimena Cervantes, daughter of Dr. Cervantes. She's been living in The Netherlands for a while but just got married and will be moving to France, where her new husband, Raphael, works as a computer engineer.

Since Jimena's immediate family is still in Holland after the wedding, the happy couple chose Bonaire as their honeymoon destination. They stopped in at the International Bible Church of Bonaire Sunday morning. We were glad to see Jimena again and enjoyed meeting Raphael, who seems to be a wonderful guy. We couldn't be happier for them both.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Brandaris Climb

They've just worked on the dirt roads in Washington Park, so driving and cycling in there is quite pleasant right now. The road to Playa Benji has also been redone. We'll be sure to snorkel there soon as it is one of my most favorite spots on Bonaire.

It was pretty clear last Saturday (Apr.28) so I drove in, snapped lots of pictures, and climbed Brandaris. This divi divi tree (above) is on the road to the park.
I like this big rock outcropping a lot, because I'm not sure whether it is going to fall to pieces first or break loose and roll down the hill first.
Abobe is a view of Playa Funchi. Bonaire old timers will notice that the big palm tree on the right side of the beach is no longer there. It's been gone for quite some time actually. Maybe "Lenny" did it in, I'm not sure.
I also made a panorama of three pictures of the Slagbaai salinja as seen from Brandaris. You'll have to follow this link to see it 'cause it is about 3000x700 pixels or so. On the left end of the picture, you can see the cliffs on the ridge that overlooks Bopec. On the right end of the picture, you can see Wayaka.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Living Museum

There is quite a bit of interest in Rincon for preserving and sharing Bonaire's history and culture. I'm grateful for all the work a number of groups have put into museums, nature trails, walking tours and the like.
For Rincon Day, the Kanta Orkidia group set up a number of displays depicting Bonaire life in the not so long ago.
Yum! I've often wondered what Yorki, Piska Salu, Salon, Mondogo, and other Bonairian treats were. A whole bunch of them were on display here, in their raw form. Hmmm.... I'll have to admit that my tastes in indigenous Bonaire food run more to Ko'i Lechi!
I'm thankful that there are still of the older generation willing and able to share their history with us.

Rincon Day

Here are a couple more pictures from the Rincon Day festivities on Monday.
It was encouraging to see young people involved too.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

More Google Earth Fun

Google Earth continues to amaze me. It is lots of fun to play with and it's FREE. The next thing I want to try with the new GE version 4 that I recently downloaded, is to hook up my GPS receiver to my laptop and then try driving around Bonaire with live tracking of my location on the Google Earth satellite image on the computer. I have my Google Earth disk and memory caches set really big, so that I can still scroll around and view Bonaire even when I'm not connected to the Internet. Might be just the thing for finding the exact location of some of those elusive old dirt roads and donkey trails that are easy to see on the satellite image but hard to spot on the ground.

Google Earth has recently added a bunch of new Bonaire pictures from Panoramio users. They are linked to their locations on the 3d Google Earth map of Bonaire. A bunch of mine are on there too, whoo whoo!

Some of the little Panoramio icons are visible when you are looking at wide angle views of Bonaire. But you seem to have to zoom way in (like a eye level of 15,000 feet or so) before other icons, like my Kunuku Rooi Limunchi one, pop into view. That means you have to have a pretty good idea of where Rooi Limunchi is before you can see link to the picture. Or... you can enter
12.149177 -68.208545 into the search window on the Google Earth screen. :)

If you can't see the little Panoramio icons scattered around your Bonaire map on Google Earth, make the sidebar visible and go to Layers-Primary Database-Geographic Web: and check the Panoramio box.

If you don't have Google Earth on your computer yet, I highly recommend it. It is free and the images of Bonaire are amazing. Here is a link to an earlier post with the locations of the Trans World Radio facilities in it.

I have found that I can save the tracks of my bike rides and hikes, and then email that teeny tiny file to someone. They can then open it in Google Earth on their computer and see it at whatever magnification they want. Much better than e-mailing a static picture.

In fact, here is a test example. It is the route that will be used for next month's Bonaire Wellness bike tour. Actually, this is the basic route. The gonzo advanced riders will also ride a donkey trail section from Sero Largu to Sabadeco to Republic, that isn't shown here.
Download this file, and then start Google Earth. Then click "open" from the "file" menu and open this file. Let me know if it works. It worked on my other computer, but a friend's computer had issues. The ride, as it shown here begins and ends at the traffic circle near the Eden Beach fitness center.

If you can't see the outline of the ride superimposed on the map, go to that sidebar again, and the Places section. Make sure that Temporary Places-OxiExplorer Data-Bolivia Loop are all checked.

While you are at that Places part of the sidebar, you can highlight "Bolivia Loop" and hit the little "play" arrow below it and Google Earth will "fly" along the path as if you were in a helicopter. You can set all sorts of parameters for the tour from the Tools/Options/Touring drop down menu. I found that the default settings are pretty fun, but I decreased the "camera range" setting to about 750 meters to get a nice close up view. This tour feature worked on my friend's computer, even when it wouldn't display the track outline on his map.

Rincon Day

April 30, in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is a national holiday. It is the anniversary of the Queen's Coronation day. On Bonaire, it is also known as Rincon Day.
Rincon turns into a massive street fair, with lots of booths selling all sorts of stuff and a few performance stages too. There is non stop music and great food all day. We enjoy wandering the streets and chatting with friends.
I kept the pix small but if you have a broadband Internet connection, you can click on them to see them bigger.