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PJ4/DG1SGW Bonaire Island

Klaus, DG1SGW will be active from Bonaire Island 1 - 12 March 2015 as PJ4/DG1SGW.
He will operate on HF bands.
QSL via home call.

The divers paradise island of Bonaire

Bonaire is one of the many islands that are located in the Caribbean. Together with the islands of Curacao and Aruna, a groupcalled ABC islands are formed. It is an island that is off the SouthAmerican north coast and it is very near the Venezuelan western side. The capital of Bonaire is Krakendijk. The population within the island is 17,408 and it covers an area of 294 square meters when combined with Klein Bonaire which is not habited.

Originally, the name came from the word ‘Bonay’ which si a Caquetio word. The spelling was then modified by the Spanish to Bojnaj and Bonaire. It is translated to mean ‘good air’. Originally, the island formed a part of Netherlands until up until it was dissolved in the October of 2010. The island became a municipality that was very special in the Netherlands. Today, they consider it a Caribbean Netherlands or BES islands which comprise of 3 special municipalities that are within the Caribbean. These are:

  • Saba
  • Sint Eustatius
  • Bonaire

The geography of Bonaire

Bonaire, together with Tobago, Trinidad and the ABC islands lie squarely on the continental shelf of the South American continent. Geologically, Bonaire is in SouthAmerica. The land area of Bonaire is 288 square kilometers. Klein Bonaire is 6 kilometers square. In the December of 2006, the population stood at 14,006 inhabitants and this means that the population density is 49 per kilometer.

The island is not within the hurricane belt. The flamingo international airport serves the island and is the ideal way to get here.

The Washington slagbaai national park is at the northern side of the island. This is an amazing ecological preserve. Brandaris is the islands highest point standing at 240 meters or 784 feet. Here one can get an amazing view of the rest of the island.

Lac bay is a paradise for windsurfer lovers. It is located on the islands eastern side. In the year 2004, Tonky Frans and Taty who are locals were put in the rank of the top five freestyle windsurfing professionals in the world. Forkite surfing, the Atlantis beach which lies on the western part is the idea spot.

Bonaire Island PJ4/DG1SGW

The economical aspect of Bonaire

The main economy is based on tourism as is the case with many other significant islands within the Caribbean. It is an island that caters for snorkelers as well as scuba divers with the many ideal spots having been set up. The sand beaches are not very many and the reefs that surround them can be accessed quite easily straight from the shore. It is an island that is renowned for scuba diving and has been rated among the locations that are the best for diving escapades in the world. The license plates in Bonaire bear the logo, diver’sparadise. Also, snorkeling is well recognized in the island. Windsurfers also have got their own special spots here. They surfers form a good number of the tourists that come to the island. This is because the eastern side of the island experiences large waves accompanied by gusts of wind which is ideal for windsurfing. Lac bay which is in the south eastern area is quite windy and shallow and therefore is the ideal spot for the intermediate sailors to actually improve the skills that they already have.

The infrastructure of the tourism sector in the island of Bonaire can be said to be quite contemporary and is actually based on the time-share resorts that are quite popular here. You can also find some bad and breakfast facilities here but they are small and quite few too. In most resorts, you will find that there is a dive shop on-site. The others are also affiliated with various dive operations.

Bonaire Island PJ4/DG1SGW DX News

The ecology of the island of Bonaire

This island is well fringed with stunning coral reefs and is accessible from the sea shores on the lee side of this island that faces west south west. In an effort to protect and preserve the coral reefs as well as the marine life, the entire coastline had to be designated as a marine sanctuary. In the year 2011, a survey carried out revealed annularis as a common coral in the area.

Klein Bonaire which is not inhabited has got very well preserved coral reefs and for this reason, boaters, snorkelers and divers are drawn to it in their numbers. The sea horse can be found in some of the coral reefs within the island of Bonaire.

The famous donkey colony

The other thing that Bonaire is actually famed for is the large flamingo populations as well as the donkey sanctuary. The thing that draws the flamingos is the brackish water. This water harbors shrimp and this is what they feed on. From the 16thcentury, the Dutch were able to raise donkeys, horses, pigs, goats and sheep. Today, goats and donkeys can be seen roaming the island. The population of the pigs that roam the island is quite small. Bonaire serves as a home to the Yellow Shouldered Amazon.

The island has for a long time been very keen on the preservation of nature as well as conservation. It has always been very responsible ecologically even before the efforts we see today. The marine park and the Washington slagbaai national park have a protective status and there are many ways that are explored so as to deal with the recycled products as well as the waste.

Bonaire Island PJ4/DG1SGW Tourist attractions

The various green initiatives

The public and private sectors have been able to partner and create programs which help in advancing the local awareness as well as the attitudes which are aimed towards habitat preservation and conservation. This is done so as to proactively protect the ecosystem of Bonaire. There is a sewage treatment plant that contributes to the protection of the seawater quality and the reefs. Selibon NV, the national garbage processing plant set up an environmental court where the public can take their textiles, mobile phones, electronics, cooking oil, motor oil, batteries, cardboard, scrap metal, paper, cans and glass. BonRecycling commits to the recycle of all sorts of waste products within the island and also creates awareness amongst the people enlightening them on the benefits associated with recycling.

This is indeed one of those places which are doing a lot in creating a clean world and a visit here would be a rewarding one.

Video Bonaire Island

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