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 Post subject: Bonaire
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 5:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 1:35 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Rhode Island
My girlfriend and I spent a week kiting in Bonaire this past November and I have been wanting to write a review for all the kiters out there looking for a great new place to go.

I have been to Bonaire now 8 times now and would generally windsurf or scuba dive as it’s an excellent place for both. My girlfriend and I are still beginners at kiting, climbing that learning curve for our second year now and would highly recommend Bonaire to anyone looking for a great place to kite on a vacation and/or for lessons.

The guys at Kite Bonaire, Stephan and Roan, are exceptionally helpful and simply great people to kite with. The Locals are extremely friendly.

The beach where kiting is allowed (Atlantis and Pink) is off shore wind, so be sure to get help from KiteBonaire if you are not an expert. The beach and the island in general is never crowded and even during peak season, but can be a bit more expensive in the peak season for hotel. Scuba diving is the main tourist draw there so if you dive too, it’s in my opinion, some of the best diving in the Caribbean.

Boniare has excellent food / restaurants and great hotels. ( The Belle Fonte is the my favorite place to stay). On a budget, check out the Lizrard Inn. You will likely want to rent a car even though the island is small, everything is pretty spread out.

Check out the park (Washington) on the far side of the island if there is no wind one day, really nice but takes a whole day to get through (and you need a truck).

If you live in Europe, KLM flies direct there almost daily.

IF you live in the US, it is not easy to get there and generally takes multiple flights as American / Air Jamacia have cancelled their flights there last year. Continental flies direct through Newark, NJ and I think Houston TX, starting in 2006.

If you are considering Aruba to Kite, (I’ve been there to kite as well) Bonaire in my opinion is far better. Fewer crowds, more low key, and less expensive, more beautiful. If you like the wild nightlife , gambling, sandy beaches, etc..Aruba is probably the way to go though. Bonaire is very quiet.

Happy travels.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 1754
Location: Miami @ 6" Flat Butter!
It sound nice and cool but,
Hmmm....there are catches for Kiting there.
I wanted to go kiting there but even the Hotel owners didn't wellcome kiters there.
They told me the space is limited and it's only for windsurfers.
WTF is going on there all of my friends who lived there and windsurfed there
told me it's a nice place to ride there.
It's hard to believe the government makes politics out of it
and supporting only windsurfers.

So than where is the legal place for kiting there? :?:

DrLightWind


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 Post subject: Bonaire
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 1:35 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Rhode Island
Hey Dr.

It is true, there is a lot of hard feelings between the windsurfers in Lac Bay and the kiters, as you know, now banned in the bay. To thier credit, the windsurfers have used Lac Bay for many years and I don't think it is safe to mix the 2 sports there, at least for begineers and lessons, etc. nor is it fair to the windsurfers who would have to deal with kites all over the place in a confined area / bay that they have used as a windsurfing paradise for many, many years.

But over the past 15 years I've been going there I have found the poeple to be extremely friendly, at the hotels, or anywhere...maybe you just had a bad experience. Perhaps don't stay in Lac Bay, stay at a dive resort where they don't care if your a kiter or whatever. I know the manager at the Bella Fonte and he welcomes kiters as much as anyone else.

The legal places to Kite are Atlantis (dive site) and Pink Beach. Both are really pretty nice as long as you feel comfortable with offshore wind or hire the guys at Kite Bonaire to help out if you need a resuce. There are also quite a few locals that now kite so things will change, as with everything, slowly but surely.


Best regards,
Joe


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 05, 2003 2:41 pm
Posts: 993
Location: World Traveler
thanks for the report - i'm thinking of going early july - did you
hear much from locals about how reliable the wind is then?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 1:35 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Rhode Island
Eduardo,

I think almost any time of the year is good, I've been there quite a few times and it's always windy. Bonaire has similar weather patterns to Aruba, benifiting from the tradewinds. I'd say during 10 months of the year your likely to get at least 5 days/week on average of great wind.

Check out http://www.kiteboardingbonaire.com , click on the wind section...

With the exception of Sept, Oct. and Nov, the wind is very consistent. The week I was there last Nov., we had 4 days of wind out of 7, not too bad.

July looks pretty nice to me at an average of 18-20 knots, hotels should be reasonable as well, pretty sure July would be off season for the diving there.

Hope you make it out there and have fun.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 10:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 05, 2003 2:41 pm
Posts: 993
Location: World Traveler
that's great news - hotels do look very reasonable this time of
year. and i'm using miles for a free flight. looks like will be a
fantastic and cheap trip!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 9:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2004 1:03 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Denmark
Hey KJX
I am going there next week and are staying for 27 days :D
Regarding the rescue boat is the 10USD the price per. day or per. rescue?
It is very nice that kitebordingbonaire provide the boat service. Without them kitesurfing would be difficult on Bonaire unless you dare to risk ending up in a downwinder to Aruba :D

Kaare


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 4:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 1:35 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Rhode Island
Kaare,

27 days, ...That will be really nice. I am not exactly sure how they charge, my girlfriend and I were taking lessons, but I think it's listed as a cost per resuce on their web site. I'd suggest sending Roan and/or Stephan an e-mail to set somthing up, they are generally always at Atlantis giving lessons (or riding) when there is wind.

Have fun!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2004 1:03 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Denmark
KJX wrote:
Kaare,

27 days, ...That will be really nice. I am not exactly sure how they charge, my girlfriend and I were taking lessons, but I think it's listed as a cost per resuce on their web site. I'd suggest sending Roan and/or Stephan an e-mail to set somthing up, they are generally always at Atlantis giving lessons (or riding) when there is wind.

Have fun!


Thanks I am sure that we will have fun :D
Only one day more at work :D:D:D:D


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 Post subject: Bonaire
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 3:03 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Austin, TX
I went to Bonaire about 3 years ago to windsurf in early March. The wind was lighter than I expected, good sailing only about three or four days in the week I was there but I may just have been unlucky. Three weeks later they had to cancel the ferry to Curacao for several days due to high winds. It's only a few miles from Aruba, and according to Vela's wind charts Aruba has lots of sailable days in the spring.

I'm sort of glad they banned kiters in Lac Bay, it's really small and kites just take up too much space, especially when you have beginners with downed kites.

I really liked the island though, it was a very relaxing laid back place. It's an especially good destination if you dive as well as windsurf or kite. I was considering going there to kite this spring but I had a hard time finding flights there.


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