ARUBA Trip Report (12/27-1/4) {LONG}

ARUBA Trip Report (12/27-1/4) {LONG}

Post by US-7 » Wed, 07 Jan 1998 04:00:00

12/28/97  -  The day had finally arrived, and  we  were
Aruba bound.  The thought that by days end I was going
to  be in 80-degree weather was enough to make me glaze
over  in  anticipation.  On a non stop charter  out  of
Boston,   our   group,   the   Cape   Cod   Windsurfing
Association, had finally arrived at our destination  by
4:00pm.   On the plane the pilot had informed  us  that
wind  was  blowing 20kts out of the east in Oranjestad.
Most people would have shrugged that little detail  off
but all the board heads on the plane gave a small shout
of  glee in the anticipation of the winds that were  to
be.  When departing the plane we were blasted with 30kt
winds and man was it warm.

All  of  us gathered our rental cars and headed off  to
Sailboard Vacations to check in and relax.  A few  die-
hard  stragglers were still out sailing when we arrived
but  most  gear was put away and they were closing  for
the  night.  Once everyone had moved into their  rooms,
we  headed  off  to Le Petit Cafe in Oranjestad.   This
popular  bistro had a great selection of beef, chicken,
and  seafood that was moderately priced.  As we  ate  a
woman  wandered the dinning area, playing Arubian music
on  her  guitar and sang.  The special feature in  this
eatery  is that all meals are served on a heated stone,
which  stays  hot through out the meal and causes  your
food  to  continue to cook and stay warm till the  last
bite.  Be careful though, it can cook your fingers  and
hand just as well.  With our bellies full and our minds
on  windsufing  we headed to our beds  for  a  restless

12/29/97  -  The  day  had finally  arrived  and  after
listening to the 30kt winds the previous night, it  was
time to ride the wind.  We arrived at the sail loft for
9:00am for our orientation.  Seeing that the winds were
blowing  anywhere  from 20-30kts, I opted  for  a  5.7m
Freeride  and Vivace 263.  After a few runs  the  winds
increased  to  30-40kts.   I changed  down  to  a  5.1m
Freeride  and things were more manageable.  The  locals
were saying that we have had more wind this winter than
any  other  has  in  the past.  In addition,  with  the
extreme  easterly to southeasterly, the wind  was  very
gusty  and  up and down.  Even the pros and instructors
were  having  a  bit  of  a challenge  keeping  it  all
together.  Coming from 30-degree Cape Cod, I am  in  no
position  to  complain.  I am just happy  to  be  here,
gusty  wind or not.  I decided to call it quits  around
2:30pm to save myself.  With 6 more days of this I want
to  enjoy  everyone  minute of it; not  ruining  it  by
shredding  my  hands by the second day.   Day  one,  no
blisters.  Good sign.

Dan  Roberts  and I signed up for some looping  lessons
the  next day with Christian I'll let you know how they
went in my next email.

This  evening we ventured into the backcountry of Noord
where  we had a meal at an authentic Arubian restaurant
called  "Gasporitos".  The food was out of  this  world
and not very expensive.

12/30/97  -  Tuesday  was a slow going  day  with  sore
muscles  to tend to.  The winds were lighter.  I  opted
for  a  5.7m  Slalom TC sail and a  Saxo  265,  I  also
checked  out a 5.2m Onshore Wave incase the winds  came
up.   Most  of  the  day  I  stayed  on  5.7m  and  was
overpowered at times but I enjoyed the stability of the
slalom  sail over the Freeride.  The Freerides' seem  a
bit meek.  I guess I am just used to my Neil Pryde race
sails.   I  think  the B&J jumps sails work  better  in
steadier and winds and when the wind is so up and down,
the more cambers the better.

In  the  afternoon at 3:30pm, the time arrived  for  my
looping  lessons with Christian.  We decided  to  learn
the basics in front of the reef at Sailboard Vacations.
We  started with learning how to get alot of height  in
little  or no chop.  You don't need alot of height  but
enough  to  clear the nose of the board.  I  worked  on
getting  1-2 foot of height on Aruba's flat  water  and
then the lessons for flat-water loops began.  He did  a
couple  of  demos for us effortlessly. From  there,  we
each  gave it a try.  My first attempt I was so worried
about  over-sheeting that I forget to chop hop  in  the
air.  It was a sad sight.  I spun around the handlebars
and  landed on my but with the board never leaving  the
water.  My second attempt was better in that I got  the
height  I  needed but then didn't commit  to  the  over
sheeting.   After  a  few more tries  I  got  close  to
getting  the flat-water loop.  I was able to chop  hop,
sheet in, and got all the way around but seemed to land
in  a  mess.   My feet keep slipping out of the  straps
somewhere  in the move.  O'well, I need more  practice.
These loops  seem easier in waves and big chop.

This  evening  we  headed off to the famed  restaurant,
"Boonoonoonoos".  What a place!!!  Some people  in  our
party had the Jamaican Jerk Ribs.  Wowow!!!  These  are
HOT!!!  But  very  good.  I had the  Trinidad  Chicken,
which was curried with pineapple. Yummy!!!

12/31/97  -  Another slow day on the island  of  Aruba.
Went  into  town  to  do some shopping  and  visit  the
marina.  Everything was a buzz in getting ready for the
New Year.  The funniest thing I saw were signs all over
town for the "Klap".  I was thinking, "What the heck is
that!!"  I didn't if they were quarantine signs for  VD
or  what.  It turns out that is what Fireworks  are  in
Aruba, KLAP!  So, being in the festive mood, I bought a

Got  back to the beach around noon and headed out on  a
6.3  SC4  Race.  Nice sail. And I grabbed a 288 Vivace.
The  winds were alot steadier today but only around 20-
25mph.   After a few runs, we headed off to sail around
the  California Lighthouse and sail in the  waves.   We
sped across the waters, passing the sunken ship on  the
way.  It  was probably a 5-mile trek until we  hit  the
open  ocean.   It  was a pleasant site and  feeling  to
experience  the  non-flat water  conditions  of  Aruba.
Anyone who think Aruba is just about flat-water sailing
should  check out Arashi Beach and Boca Grande.   These
places really go off with 6-10 foot breaking waves  and
tons   of  opportunity  for  sky  high  starboard  tack
jumping.  Side off and back side wave sailing  is  also
possible with great ease.  This has to be the best  day
and run I had for the week.  A day to remember.

That  night at Sailboard Vacations there was a BBQ with
a  video  of  the  past 1997 season in Aruba,  made  by
Dasher.  The food was great and the video was way cool.
There  is  this guy in Aruba who can chop hop  over  10
feet  in the air off of flat water.  Amazing to  watch.
He jumped over the chase boat in a couple of scenes.

1/1/98  -  For  a  change of pace,  we  decided  to  go
snorkeling  in  the  morning.  My arms  and  legs  were
starting  to get a bit weary so it was nice to  have  a
small  break.   We headed out to Malmok  Beach,  before
Arashi Beach.  There is a nice c***reef there.   This
was  my  first time snorkeling and I was pretty amazed.
In  my  first dive I got to see Brain Coral, a  Trumpet
Fish,  a  spiny  Blowfish, Hearing, Star  Fish,  Antler
Coral,  Parrot Fish, and Clown Fish. I can not wait  to
go snorkeling again.

When  I  got back to the beach it was blowing a  little
light  again  so I rigged a 6.3m CS4 Race and  the  288
Vivace  again.   This time we speed off  in  the  other
direction and cruised over to Eagle Beach and the  Divi
Resort to see if any good chop was developing.   As  we
got  there the wind was dying further so we headed home
soon  after arriving.  The chop was a lot of work while
so underpowered.

That  night  Ann and I headed off to the  most  amazing
restaurant  I  have EVER been to in  my  life.   It  is
called "Flying Fish Bones".  Sounds like a cheesy  name
but  this is the most ***, ***, romantic, gourmet
dinning  I  have ever experienced.  From  the  road  it
doesn't  look like much.  But once you enter the  front
gate,  you go down a long hallway, which then opens  to
the  Garden of Eden.  It is the most amazing site.   It
had  a  small waterfall with rock sculptures  and  soft
couches  everywhere to relax and listen to  the  water.
Bamboo   structures  lined  the  garden  and   a   soft
Polynesian sound beat in the background.  You continued
onward to the deck where you found small tables  on  an
open-air deck and some tables on the beach next to  the
water.   There were palm trees and torches  everywhere.
We chose a table that had Cabana Chairs made of wicker.
The  ambiance was intoxicating.  The meal was even more
intoxicating.  We had a four-course meal that  included
a raw tuna pate with chives and mustard, for an entree,
then  a bowl of mustard soup followed.  Then a raw Mahi
Mahi plate came that was surrounded with *** spices.
Then  the main meal of Asian Shrimp rolled into a  corn
and  egg  role.  All of this finished with a desert  of
Choco'  Nuts.   I can not give this meal or  restaurant
the full affect with out you attending it yourself.  It
will blow your mind away!!  This is gourmet food at its
finest.  Healthy too!!

1/2/98  -  We  awoke  to the wind blowing  like  crazy.
Ahhh, more wind for the day.  I rigged up a 5.2m Simmer
Onshore Wave sail and a Veloce 278 and headed out  onto
the  water.  The wind was steadier than most  days  and
decided to head out to West Point again to play in  the
waves.   The waves were bigger than before. Most  waves
were  over mast high with some sets between 15-20  feet
high.   The winds were blowing like crazy and I  scored
some BIG air off these lumbering giants.  There must be
a  storm  out at sea with how big the swell was  coming
in.   I  practiced a couple of forwards off these waves
and actually landed a couple.  I was e***d to say the
least.  These large but gentle waves seemed to boost my
confidence and pushed myself to the limit.  A couple of
times  I  sailed out to sea just to rest a  bit  on  my
board, going up ...

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ARUBA Trip Report (12/27-1/4) {LONG}

Post by MTVNewsG » Fri, 09 Jan 1998 04:00:00

Great post, Mark!  I'm heading down to Aruba in March, and if I have half the
time you did, I'll be satisfied!



ARUBA Trip Report (12/27-1/4) {LONG}

Post by Hugh Lam » Fri, 09 Jan 1998 04:00:00

Marc it was nice meeting you and Annie. Too bad we didn't spend more time
together. Did you sail with Miles?
Did you race on Sunday the 4th with the Aruba Wind Racers Club. I was
more interested in sailing the waves that build up from the swell that
came in.

Lastly I thought one of your highlights was meeting me and was surprised
that  it wasn't mentioned (just a joke)

Nice description of your visit to Aruba.