Friday, September 30, 2016

Storm Update - Friday Morning

It looks like the winds are starting to get back to normal. We had maybe a half inch of rain last night and winds that were not very strong by Bonaire standards. And the surf on the west side wasn’t too heavy either.

One of our staff was watching the infrared satellite images and saw a giant red blob bearing down on Bonaire. About 30 miles to the East of us, it just sort of shriveled up and dissipated. Curacao got a foot of rain over the course of a few hours last night so the storm was busy doing its thing, but Bonaire was spared.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Storm is North of Bonaire

The satellite image shows that the storm is pretty much north of Bonaire right now.  The sat image is from 16:30 and the picture I took from the roof of the office was shot around 17:15.  The rains and winds are expected tomorrow from the trailing edge of the storm.

More Volunteers in Action

Here are a few more shots of our current crop of volunteers in action.

Reverse Wind

We've been watching tropical storm Matthew.  As I write this, it is still to the northeast of Bonaire.  The trade winds here have stopped and there is a breeze coming from the west.

This shot is looking north from the back door of the TWR office.  The flag is flapping in the "wrong" direction.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

September Projects

We have a team here working on the antenna towers and another team from Syracuse, NY helping with a couple other projects.  There are a couple of new couples here as volunteers too.  I'll post about them some time soon.
Here are some shots of the recent activity.  More pictures to come in the near future.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Star Party

We have a bunch of volunteers here at TWR right now helping with a variety of projects.  We all went out to the transmitter site parking lot Saturday night to look at Saturn, Mars and a bunch of clusters, nebulae and even the Andromeda galaxy, through the Meade LX50, as well as my 20x80 binoculars.

The sky was quite clear and the stars looked great.  I set up a camera at the back of the property, and it shot some 780 images while we were in front doing our thing.  Here is a time lapse view of the milky way moving past the TWR towers during the 2+ hours that we were out there.  This video still needs some more work on the colors, but it is still fun to see the stars move across the scene.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Tower Work Update

Work continues on the four TWR Bonaire antenna towers.  The halfway point has been passed now, with the 24 guy wires on two of the four towers upgraded and reinstalled. 

Thank you to the guys for their hard work and to the Lord for His protection.

Thanks go to Carol VanDyken for the photo.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

South End Sunset

Before heading to the Willemstoren lighthouse yesterday evening for the Moon Shadow experiment, i stopped off by the salt piles and at Red Slave to see what sort of sunset colors there might be.  It turned out to be too hazy for a green flash, but too clear for awesome colors.

I shot the salt piles because there is so much salt right now.  We're starting to have a fairly normal fall rainy season this year, but the two years up 'till now were quite dry, even for Bonaire.  It looks like it was good for sea salt production!

I drove on south to Red Slave.  We shot the setting sun through a hut window back a while ago.  Here is a fishing boat framed by a hut.

Moon Shadow

Yes, I'm old enough to remember that Cat Stevens tune!

Bud Gillan and I hung out at the Willemstoren Lighthouse for a few hours last night.  The moonrise was awesome.  Then we waited for the moon to get bright enough to cast a shadow.  This lighthouse shaped shadow got noticeably shorter as the moon rose higher.

Here are a couple pictures of the shadow at different stages, and hopefully, a time-lapse video of the shrinking shadow.  The moon got both brighter and whiter as it rose in the East.  The view is looking West towards Red Slave. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Bonaire Lighthouses

Here are a couple lighthouse pictures from August.

The first is made from a bunch of 5 second exposures at the Willemstoren lighthouse.

You can see that haze was building during the time between when I shot the frames on the left side of the picture and when I shot the frames on the right side of the picture.

The second image is of the Lighthouse and Lighthouse keeper's house at Spelonk.  It is a combination of frames shot both at Spelonk and at Red Slave.

By the way, today, Sept. 14 is astrophotography day at  There are free streaming lessons all day and they repeat throughout the whole night.

Antenna Tower Work

Jim and Connie Hulse, and two others from Towers for Jesus, are here on Bonaire for a few weeks.  The are upgrading the guy wires on out towers with new corona rings and insulators.

Pictures are Bob (upper left) from Towers for Jesus and Lionel (lower right) from TWR Bonaire up on a tower.  You can see the new components on the ends of the guy wires.

Cloudy Skies

It has been generally cloudy for the last week or so.  And not the usual fluffy fast moving Bonaire clouds, but big heavy duty rain and thunder type clouds.  Like the ones I saw at noon today.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Moon occults Venus Friday

If you are here on Bonaire, the Moon might occult Venus tonight from 7pm to 7:30.

According to the "Stellarium" software on my laptop, the dark side of the teeny tiny crescent moon will pass right in front of Venus tonight, beginning around 7pm. Looks like Venus will be completely hidden by 7:30pm.

If the skies are clear tonight, be sure to check it out, especially if you have binoculars.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Planet Update, September 1

1.  Be sure to look low in the West right after sunset on Friday to try to spot a teeny tiny crescent moon near Venus and Jupiter.

2.  Higher in the sky, Mars has continued to zoom to the left (East,) leaving Antares and Saturn behind. Tonight, they are supposed to form a perfect Isosceles triangle.  You can compare the planet's positions in this shot with ones I posted last week.

The picture below is a test panorama made up of nine shots. The final image will be made up from 42 shots, and I'll be able to print it poster size. It probably won't look much different here on the Internet through. There was a surprising amount of haze down low in the sky that night, so I'll always be hoping for clearer skies.