Archive for September, 2012

What to Do in Bonaire – an overview

September 28, 2012

What’s there to do on Bonaire?

Bonaire, best known for being the Diver’s Paradise and Windsurf heaven, offers a plethora of other activities to please the outdoor enthusiast. With a myriad of tours and trips, one can be busy day and night.

Bonaire’s waters are protected by the marine park. The mangroves, many located in Lac Bay, are also protected as they are breeding ground for the island’s sea life. Several companies offer kayak tours in and around the mangrove. Slowly glide through the tranquil waters. Later snorkel seeing juvenile barracudas and upside down jellies. Allow yourself time to enjoy this solitary experience in nature’s undersea nursery for a multitude of sea creatures. My favorite snorkel sites include Andrea I and south of Invisibles.

Bird watching is another attraction. Island-based naturalists can take you on guided tours to see the Bonairean Parrot, Flamingos, Trupials, and Ruby Topaz Hummingbird, and the Tropical Mockingbird. Jerry Ligon, our island’s bird expert provides a unique glimpse into the unique habitat on Bonaire.  Birding with Jerry is one of my favorite non water activities on Bonaire. The biggest thrill for me was sighting a Scarlet Tanager July 2008. What a thrill and indeed a late sighting.

Hikers have lots of options to choose trailsHikers will be thrilled with the diverse options.  My favorite hike, Ruta Dos Pos, takes you through the wild countryside of Bonaire on well marked trails.  Every tourist who goes with me loves this late afternoon activity. The trail is for intermediate hikers and takes 1-1.5 hours. The trail takes you past a fruit plantation, Dos Pos–the local water source for neighboring farmers, and a myriad of animal life. If you are quiet, you will catch a glimpse of the wild pigs locally known as porko di mondi. See Watapana trees, a massive Tamarind tree, and some amazing rocks and geological formations. Cactus is plentiful with many varieties seen on this hike. In the distance near the peak you may see Lake Goto. Listen to the songs of the small chuchubi bird or the squawking prikichi. This is by far my favorite activity on Bonaire.

Washington Park Dos Pos Xmas Hike

Washington Slagbaai National Park is the first nature sanctuary of the Netherland Antilles. It was established in 1969 and covers an area of 6.543 hectares. Many activities can be enjoyed including diving, snorkeling, mountain biking, and hiking. There are 3 hiking trails in Washington Park. The Subi Branderis hike must be started early in the day as the temperature grows as the day passes. It is a 45 minute hike to the highest peak which is 784 feet high. On a clear day one can view Curacao and the mountain range south of Puerto Cabello in Venezuela. The other trails are less challenging, but offer uneven terrain making for a challenge.

Another popular activity taking shape in Bonaire is mountain biking. Local guides offer races, tours, and trips along a variety of trails. The sun and wind make for a great challenge for the biking enthusiast. Washington Park offers challenging course. The roads and scenery of the park make it a great ride for mountain bikers. The tour, which is 34 km (21 miles) long, has a great variety of views and terrain. Long stretches of flat roads beside the sea contrast with severe up and down hills between mountains. This tour is for the advanced biker–people used to biking regularly; do not attempt it if you aren’t in good shape. Although the highest altitude on the bike route is only about 100m / 333feet, temperatures get very high and the terrain is rough.

One of the coolest new water sports to hit the mainstream is Stand Up Paddle Boarding. Also called SUP, this new floaty board is all the rage from coast to coast. Now SUP hits the shores of Bonaire when Bonaire  Starboard sponsored me to be a SUP spokesperson on the island . I love my  12’6 SUP. Recently reviewed in the Boards UK Board Test, the 12’6 received stellar reviews. Stand Up Paddle Boarding can be traced back to the old days in Polynesia. In the 1940s, Waikiki Beach Life Guards used to stand on their surf boards paddling around to patrol the beaches. The craze caught on and is big. Recently there was a SUP competition put on by John Hibbard in the UK. Facebook, the popular internet social program, has a SUP group as well. Almost every board company now fabricates and sells a version of the SUP.

Cave tours are availableOther activities to do include caving, parasailing, geocaching, kiting, rappelling down a lighthouse, and, of course, boat tours and trips. Bonaire’s perfect climate for water and nature sports make this island perfect for the outdoor lover. The picture enclosed is Spelunk cave.

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Sorobon Fall Sale – Stay 7 pay for 5 nights!

September 14, 2012

Now is the time to escape to the lovely beachfront Sorobon Beach Resort. This charming bungalow property features mature tropical gardens and one of Bonaire’s best beaches. The reef is teeming with sealife. Snorkelers, divers and windsurf enthusiasts enjoy this serene setting.

Beach Bliss

We are excited to offer a super special, stay 7 pay for 5 nights. This special is offered until Dec. 1 Black out dates are 12-20 Oct. Email ann@bonairecaribbean.com to book your stay. Ask for the Bonaire Bliss Sorobon Special.

Help The Bonaire Donkeys

September 9, 2012

The fate of the donkey’s of Bonaire is in your hands. Previous plans (by the Bonaire government) to ship 100+ to Haiti was halted thanks to the protests from thousands of animal lovers. Three petitions garnered thousands of signatures. Efforts from the organizers of the Bonaire Donkey Sanctuary and supported allowed for new more humane plans to go forward. The Sanctuary plans on capturing more donkeys in the wild and transfer them to the safe haven in the sanctuary. Your donations are needed to build walls and other structures to make space.

From the Donkey Sanctuary:

The aim is to build a construction to replace the old feeding station. Generous sponsors Werkcon, a Dutch steel fabrication company will donate the main structure & roof but funds will have to be raised to pay for the concrete floors which span 650 m2.
The Donkey Sanctuary is going to raise money by selling building blocks for $100 each. Every generous person that buys a building block will receive a certificate & their name will appear on the wall of fame in the new feeding station.
It is hoped that construction will be finished by March 2013 in time for the new donkey’s arriving.
If you would like to buy a block, you can do so by logging onto the website at http://www.donkeysanctuary.com
Of course, if you are unable to donate $100, any amount that you can manage will be very much appreciated by Bonaire’s special animals.
Thank you….

Would you consider a 100.00 USD donation. Go to http://www.supportbonaire.org to make a tax deductable donation.

http://www.donkeysanctuary.org/

Youp Schmit’s Perspective from the European Freestyle Professional Tour

September 3, 2012

Youp Schmit

Photo Courtesy of Hanna Poschinger of EFPT

Sigri is a unexpected nice place in Greece, Davy Scheffers got his revenge this time but i’ll always keep trying to kick his ass.

I learned my lesson about packing the right gear! Anyway, podium! And my respect for all sailors as the level was really nice down there in Greece. You havn’t been there? So you’re invited to read my Sigri diary:

On the 7th of August, just a couple of days after the PWA World Cup on Fuerteventura, I arrived on a windy island of Greece called Lesbos for taking part in the European Freestyle Cup (EFPT). Well, I did not really know what to expect from this spot because I had never been there before. I was telling Chris Pressler from continentseven.com that I would be going there so he showed me some pictures and an article that he had written about the spot. I was very excited to go there, but it was completely different than all I had expected but well, not in a bad way at all!

You might wonder why a guy from Bonaire is allowed to take part in the European tour, but Bonaire now is a part of Holland again and I’m born in Holland. That’s why I decided to add the EFPT contests to the PWA world cups in my schedule. Sadly so many PWA and EFPT cups have been canceled this year. Hopefully next year we’ll have more events! Have you ever been watching such an event live on the beach? You’d love it. Is such a crazy action and everybody is so energized. You’re welcome!

On Lesbos I arrived late in the evening and 2 friends and competition buddies, Davy Scheffers and Andraz Zan picked Adam Gavriel (from Israel) and me up from the airport. It was quite a long drive to the spot (Sigri), because it was dark and they did not know the way 100%. Well, somehow it was a funny freestyle tour! So on our way we picked up some local food.. Anyway, we made it to Sigri!

As I woke up in the morning I got to know the location Sigri a little bit. It was not windy but the forecast looked a little bit better for the coming days of competition. The locals say usually it is always windy the whole month of August but sadly we had a little bit of bad luck with the wind. I expected super strong wind so I had brought actually only my smaller sized sails, from 3,8 to 4,8. I did learn my lesson. You must be prepared for every situation.

My first impressions were that the local people of Sigri are very friendly, it kind of remind me of my island (Bonaire). It’s also a small community with just 14.000 inhabitants where almost everyone knows each-other, and helps each-other out. That’s the way I like it!

It was a very short event they had scheduled for the 9th until the 12th and sadly on the 9th we still did not have any wind but it was just the registration day. The day after on the 10th it had finally picked up a bit, and we were able to start the competition straight away.

In the single elimination I was able to work my way up to the 2nd place, which I was very happy with my 90l Freestyle and my 4,8! Only Davy Scheffers was in the way! Me and Davy have been competing a lot against each other lately, and I had been winning.. So I know he wanted a revenge, but now I will have to get mine again!
Also on day 1 they we’re able to start the first round of the double elimination, but there was more wind expected for the next day so the organizers decided to cancel when the wind dropped a bit at 4 o’clock and to wait for day 2.

On day 2 we we’re able to finish the first double elimination, I was able to defend and keep my 2nd place which I’m very happy with, especially in these challenging conditions. It was super nice and flat but the wind did not kick in how we wanted to, the wind was very gusty and light-wind, which I actually do not prefer. I like the stronger and wavier conditions!

In the quarter-finals I was against my very experienced team mate Tilo Eber from Germany, but I had a really nice heat and I was almost able to make my perfect routine against him. I knew that I had sailed a pretty good heat but, to be honest, I was still pretty nervous about the result. Luckily I made it!

Later on, I also sailed a really stupid heat against a Greek guy: I remember doing 4 times the same trick! Each time I was ducking the sail for a Kono or an Air Bob but each time I ducked I just automatically jumped into a Culo. It drove me mad! I wasn’t too happy with myself after this heat. I also did show all my switch power moves and sliding moves and like in every heat I did go for the biggest shovit-spock possible! Luckily I was still able to pass to the next round against Andraz Zan. Anyway, I sailed a really good heat against Andraz and did manage to pass to the finals.

In the double elimination’s semifinals I was against Adrian Beholz from Germany, who has been on Bonaire in spring for preparing the season. I remember the poor start of the heat and I did not have luck with the wind at all. So, I was pretty much standing still the first 3 minutes and I just only saw my friend Adrian pulling moves! That really got me crazy to go for it and come back! After a while I started to get some good gusts and was able to pull all my moves in a really short time. I could save my 2nd place and Adrian had a good result too.

Later on that day we could also start with the 2nd single elimination and almost finish the double elimination. It was quite hard for me to make it all the way to the final, as lots of guys were sailing very good against me and wanting to beat me, but I was able to make it all the way to the finals again and took a strong 2nd place against Davy Scheffers, the wind was not too strong in the finals but it was still fair. Davy was sailing very strong as well and was able to beat me again in the finals.

I was actually meant to be leaving on the 17th to Holland for the promotion event ”The mission”, but the forecast was looking too good after the 17th.. I had changed my ticket to the 24th! Meaning more crazy action here in Sigri. But I will also not still miss ”The mission” because that will be happening on the 25/26th of august.


To learn more about Youp, visit Sigri is a unexpected nice place in Greece, Davy Scheffers got his revenge this time but i’ll always keep trying to kick his ass haha.
And I did learn my lesson about packing the right gear! Anyway, podium! And my respect for all sailors as the level was really nice down there in Greece. You havn’t been there? So you’re invited to read my Sigri diary:

On the 7th of August, just a couple of days after the PWA World Cup on Fuerteventura, I arrived on a windy island of Greece called Lesbos for taking part in the European Freestyle Cup (EFPT). Well, I did not really know what to expect from this spot because I had never been there before. I was telling Chris Pressler from continentseven.com that I would be going there so he showed me some pictures and an article that he had written about the spot. I was very excited to go there, but it was completely different than all I had expected but well, not in a bad way at all!

You might wonder why a guy from Bonaire is allowed to take part in the European tour, but Bonaire now is a part of Holland again and I’m born in Holland. That’s why I decided to add the EFPT contests to the PWA world cups in my schedule. Sadly so many PWA and EFPT cups have been canceled this year. Hopefully next year we’ll have more events! Have you ever been watching such an event live on the beach? You’d love it. Is such a crazy action and everybody is so energized. You’re welcome!

On Lesbos I arrived late in the evening and 2 friends and competition buddies, Davy Scheffers and Andraz Zan picked Adam Gavriel (from Israel) and me up from the airport. It was quite a long drive to the spot (Sigri), because it was dark and they did not know the way 100%. Well, somehow it was a funny freestyle tour! So on our way we picked up some local food.. Anyway, we made it to Sigri!

As I woke up in the morning I got to know the location Sigri a little bit. It was not windy but the forecast looked a little bit better for the coming days of competition. The locals say usually it is always windy the whole month of August but sadly we had a little bit of bad luck with the wind. I expected super strong wind so I had brought actually only my smaller sized sails, from 3,8 to 4,8. I did learn my lesson. You must be prepared for every situation.

My first impressions were that the local people of Sigri are very friendly, it kind of remind me of my island (Bonaire). It’s also a small community with just 14.000 inhabitants where almost everyone knows each-other, and helps each-other out. That’s the way I like it!

It was a very short event they had scheduled for the 9th until the 12th and sadly on the 9th we still did not have any wind but it was just the registration day. The day after on the 10th it had finally picked up a bit, and we were able to start the competition straight away.

In the single elimination I was able to work my way up to the 2nd place, which I was very happy with my 90l Freestyle and my 4,8! Only Davy Scheffers was in the way! Me and Davy have been competing a lot against each other lately, and I had been winning.. So I know he wanted a revenge, but now I will have to get mine again!
Also on day 1 they we’re able to start the first round of the double elimination, but there was more wind expected for the next day so the organizers decided to cancel when the wind dropped a bit at 4 o’clock and to wait for day 2.

On day 2 we we’re able to finish the first double elimination, I was able to defend and keep my 2nd place which I’m very happy with, especially in these challenging conditions. It was super nice and flat but the wind did not kick in how we wanted to, the wind was very gusty and light-wind, which I actually do not prefer. I like the stronger and wavier conditions!

In the quarter-finals I was against my very experienced team mate Tilo Eber from Germany, but I had a really nice heat and I was almost able to make my perfect routine against him. I knew that I had sailed a pretty good heat but, to be honest, I was still pretty nervous about the result. Luckily I made it!

Later on, I also sailed a really stupid heat against a Greek guy: I remember doing 4 times the same trick! Each time I was ducking the sail for a Kono or an Air Bob but each time I ducked I just automatically jumped into a Culo. It drove me mad! I wasn’t too happy with myself after this heat. I also did show all my switch power moves and sliding moves and like in every heat I did go for the biggest shovit-spock possible! Luckily I was still able to pass to the next round against Andraz Zan. Anyway, I sailed a really good heat against Andraz and did manage to pass to the finals.

In the double elimination’s semifinals I was against Adrian Beholz from Germany, who has been on Bonaire in spring for preparing the season. I remember the poor start of the heat and I did not have luck with the wind at all. So, I was pretty much standing still the first 3 minutes and I just only saw my friend Adrian pulling moves! That really got me crazy to go for it and come back! After a while I started to get some good gusts and was able to pull all my moves in a really short time. I could save my 2nd place and Adrian had a good result too.

Later on that day we could also start with the 2nd single elimination and almost finish the double elimination. It was quite hard for me to make it all the way to the final, as lots of guys were sailing very good against me and wanting to beat me, but I was able to make it all the way to the finals again and took a strong 2nd place against Davy Scheffers, the wind was not too strong in the finals but it was still fair. Davy was sailing very strong as well and was able to beat me again in the finals.

I was actually meant to be leaving on the 17th to Holland for the promotion event ”The mission”, but the forecast was looking too good after the 17th.. I had changed my ticket to the 24th! Meaning more crazy action here in Sigri. But I will also not still miss ”The mission” because that will be happening on the 25/26th of august.


To learn more about Youp, click on http://www.youpschmit.com/