Friday, June 19, 2009

Bonaire Banded Box Jellyfish Update

There has been a huge response to the opportunity to name the BBBJ. The science team has selected seven names for our consideration. You can vote for the one you like best and it will become the official scientific name for the BBBJ.
Be sure to visit the Web site and take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Movie Madness

Ryan Jensen is doing a summer internship with Trans World Radio. As part of the project, he is videoing some of the TWR facilities and activities in the Caribbean and South America. Tough work, but some one's got to do it. ha-ha
I remember loading moving vans during the summer when I was in college.

Ivan, Benny, Ryan and Joe are planning the day's shooting schedule. One of the projects involves antenna towers, gulp. Maybe loading moving vans wasn't so bad after all.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bonaire Barracuda Swim

The Barracuda Swim Club of Bonaire held its second annual open water swim competition Sunday morning. The first race got off right on schedule at 7:30 am, with more races, live music, and food scheduled for the rest of the morning. The swim course ran right along the waterfront road downtown. I can't imagine a more perfect venue for distance swimming.
There was a 500meter race, open to all ages. The 1.5km, 2.5km, and 5km swims were for competitors 11 years old and up.
Some of the Barracuda swim kids also participate in the Tuesday and Saturday afternoon group mtn. bike rides. They go pretty fast now, and like a cat, always seem to land on their feet, no matter how out of shape they get on the technical sections. Must be that low center of gravity, or maybe it's just kid reflexes.

I saw the start of the first race of the day, but wasn't able to stick around for the finish, as I had to head to the high school by 8, and help set up for the IBC church service.

Bonaire Bike Rides

Miguel and I did about an hour and a half's work on the last single track sections of the new November race loop on Saturday morning. On Saturday afternoon, 12 of us rode a lap and a half on the loop. We didn't have time for a full two laps due to some pesky flat tires. This new loop is pretty demanding and harsh on the old bod, but a lot of fun. Last Saturday, the group did a ride that Chris Bogart and I used to do most Sunday afternoons. We headed north on the main road to Rincon, after riding up and over Seru Largu. We left the main road at Boca Onima and road the nice dirt roads through Morotin and Playa Grandi to the entrance to Washington Park.
The park was already closed for the day by the time we got there, because these are late afternoon rides. We then rode back to Rincon on the cement road, up death hill to the radio towers, and back to Sabadeco and on to town on the upper one of the two dirt roads.

Riding just before sunset is wonderful. It is a little cooler and the interplay of the sun and shadows is wonderful. The mid day light on Bonaire is harsh, but the textures of the landscape really pop out in the golden early morning and late afternoon hours.

Friday, June 12, 2009

New Bikes

I stopped by Bonaire Wellness this afternoon to soak up some of that new bike smell. Miguel got in something like 25 Fuji bikes today, and lots of parts and accessories.
There were bike boxes all over the place, in the hall, all over the shop. I offered to take a few off his hands to open up some room to move around in the shop but for some reason he declined my kind offer.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Free Trip to Bonaire Alert

For all of you in North America who wish you could visit Bonaire, but can't quite afford it right now, here's some good news. I just received an email from the Bonaire Insider that mentions a "win a free trip to Bonaire" contest going on right now.

Here is a link to the entry form. You'll have to decide for yourself if whatever personal info. you are asked to divulge is worth the admittedly slight chance that you might win the free trip.

Monday, June 08, 2009

STINAPA Full Moon Hike

More than 90 people were at Washington Park Sunday night for a full moon hike, part of the Washington Park and STINAPA anniversary celebrations. It was a lot of fun. The moonlight was very bright and made flashlights unnecessary for the most part. I almost called this post full moon madness part two, because I once did a post about a full moon photo expedition that Bob Lassiter and I made to Seru Largu. On this outing, I got a number of pictures that look like daytime shots, except for the stars that are visible in the sky.

I've posted a bunch more fun full moon fotos on my Panoramio site.
I shot all the pictures using only the available moonlight. Although the moon's light was bright enough that we could see colors that night, the camera picked up even more color. Occasionally someone else's flash would go off during my time exposure, which made for a nice effect.

The hike leaders gave brief talks at the various points of interest along the way.

The beach area by Playa Chikitu and the blowhole were especially bright, but I only took a couple quick pictures and then tucked away the camera for a while to protect if from the salt spray by the shore.

If we ever do this again, I'm going to bring a video camera to record the dancing lights among the cacti as the various groups walked along the winding trails. It was really quite striking.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Wind Power Update

This past Sunday, on my way home from Washington Park, I drove through the Playa Grandi - Morotin area to check out the progress on the new Bonaire Wind Farm. The mile or so long trench has been filled in and holes have been dug for each of the tower bases. The big piles of coral rubble from each excavation served as good markers along the future line of wind generators.
These are some pretty big holes, but they are not as deep as I'd have thought they would be.
At the north end of the line, were the bare holes. As I moved south, I could see more and more progress on the foundations for the towers. Each hole had a 40' container next to it that apparently contained the preformed steel pieces that make up the re-bar cage for the foundation.

I think what we have here is the world's largest erector set. There is a LOT of steel in those holes. But the cage doesn't appear to be welded like the ones we made for our satellite dishes.

The new cement pump and boom appeared at the site this week. I didn't have a camera with me but Patti graciously shared one of her photos. Thank you.
This is the first of the foundations being poured. It was labeled #12, so I'll bet there will be 12 wind turbines out there. A person more enterprising than myself could drive or cycle along the line and count the holes to be sure.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Washington Park Moon Walk

Sandra and I are going on a special night time full moon hike in Washington Park tomorrow night. I'll try and get some full moon park pix. :) If you are on Bonaire, call Stinapa and you can come too. (717-8444)

Actually the full moon is at 2:12 pm on Sunday, but it will look full enough Saturday evening I'm sure. And it will be well up in the sky when the hike begins at 8pm.

At 10:35 pm, the moon moves in front of (occults) the bright star Antares. Then at 21 minutes after midnight, Antares pops back out from behind the moon.

Here is a Web page that gives the time when Antares disappears, and also when it reappears for many locations in the Western Hemisphere. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw Kralendijk on the list!!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Name the Jellyfish Contest Update

The online contest to supply the official scientific name for the Bonaire Banded Box Jellyfish is now in full swing. You can read all about it here.

You can read my original post about the BBBJ here.