It's that time again this weekend: the Swim to Klein Bonaire will be held this Sunday, October 8. Swimming to Klein Bonaire is normally not allowed, but once a year an exception is made. That's when the sporting event Swim to Klein Bonaire is held. During the event, hundreds of swimmers venture across to the island off the coast of Bonaire. An experience not to be missed!
As the crow flies, the distance between Bonaire and Klein Bonaire is about 0.5 miles. But because the water between the two islands is a busy shipping route, swimming across is normally not allowed. Large ships, pleasure boats, boats with divers and water taxi's make frequent use of this stretch of Caribbean Sea. They can quickly overlook a swimmer while sailing. Also, there is regularly a lot of current between the two islands and there can be high waves. So this can make for dangerous situations.
Swim to Klein Bonaire
This Sunday, however, the stretch of sea between Bonaire and Klein Bonaire will be the domain of swimmers. Hundreds of them will jump into the water in the morning to start the crossing to Klein Bonaire. The swimmers will be accompanied by volunteers from Jong Bonaire, the Coast Guard and STINAPA employees, among others. They will be present with boats and kayaks to keep the event on track.
The event begins with a joint warm-up on the beach at Eden Beach Resort. Then at 9:00 a.m. is the start for the recreational swimmers. By the hundreds, they jump into the water to swim to Klein Bonaire. By the way, you don't swim all the way to the island itself, just before the island is the turning point. You can choose to swim back as well, or get on one of the many boats that will take you back to the main island.
This year there will also be another swim race to Klein Bonaire. Competitive swimmers start as early as 7:30 a.m. Participants in the swimming competition must be at least 18 years old. Youth members 12 years and older of swimming clubs may also participate in this competition with the permission of their parent or guardian.
Would you also like to participate?
You can participate in the Swim to Klein Bonaire or the race by registering. You can do so by registering at the Jong Bonaire building at Kaya Libertador Simon Bolivar 16 in Kralendijk. You can register on Friday, Oct. 6, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturday, Oct. 7, from 3 to 7 p.m. After registration you will receive a T-shirt. It is also possible to already register online for the sporting event. You can do that via this link to the registration form.
Participation costs 20 usd per person. Children pay 10 usd per person. You can pay that amount in cash or with your debit card during registration. The proceeds will benefit activities organized by Jong Bonaire for young people on the island.
The Swim to Klein Bonaire is the start of Regatta week on Bonaire. If you want to know more about the Regatta 2023, read this blog for more information.
Photo credit: Inge Poorthuis