before i left, i posted a request for info on baby sitting in aruba, several
people emailed asking that i let them know how it worked out.
we booked through vela, and stayed at the boardwalk appartments. the
appartments are generally pretty good, but some are better set up than
others for small children. before we went, i spoke by phone with julia
who runs the appartments, and told her we would need a baby sitter for
the week, from about 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. our daughter is about 16 months
old. julia said she could make the arrangements, and i am happy to
report that everything worked out great. our babysitter was a wonderful
woman from the dominican republic with several grown children of her own.
the charge was $5.00 per hour, and was well worth it. my wife and i
sailed together for the whole week.
the wind was great for the first 4 days, averaging 5.0 for me,
(i am 5'11" and weigh 160 lbs) then 2 days of 6.0, and on our last day
there was a pretty good thunderstorm and no wind.
vela's new site is not yet finished, but most guests are sailing from the
site anyway. most of the equipment is at the new site, and they will get
anything from the old site that you may need. vela did not seem to have
that much equipment in comparison with their site in margarita, where i went
last year. i saw only about 5 race sails compared with about 25 at
margarita. this may be because they don't have a good storage spot untill
their new site is finished. the equipment they did have was generally
in good condition and i nearly always got the equipment that i wanted. most
of the staff were friendly and helpfull (especially shane and sander)
i really enjoyed trying all the f2 boards, the sputnik 265 and 280 were my
favorites. i wasn't that fond of the new axis 278. one note about sailboard
vacations: i have stayed with sbv on two previous trips and enjoyed it
quite a bit. while there i spoke with some of their guests and many were
unhappy with the rigs that were available. the mistral sails were just not
suited to the strong and gusty winds (25 gusting to 40 mph) of my first 4 days
there. vela's neil pryde rigs worked fine.
i was pleasantly surprised by these appartments. there are eight
units, 6 of which are on a very pretty courtyard. most have private
and well shaded patios. the landscaping is great with lots of trees
and shade which was a welcome relief from the unrelenting sunshine
while sailing. they are run by the van den berg family who took considerable
effort in making certain i was happy with the appartment and the baby sitter.
we had appt. #1, and i would definitely stay there again. it is about a 3
minute walk to vela's new launch. the sailboards aruba board shop is on the
site and i got an interesting tour and explanation of the construction process
by geert van den berg, the shaper.
email me if you have any other questions.