Friday, February 15, 2013
Last stop on the cruise was Aruba. When sailing this beach it is an offshore wind so standing on the beach it seems real disappointing because there is no wind. However if you look carefully offshore you can see the white caps. I sailed out of the Vela windsurf site which was great because you had a nice selection of equipment to choose from but it was difficult to sail from. The shop is sandwiched between the Mariott on one side and an equally huge hotel being built on the other. They judged the wind to be 18 - 20mph off shore and I usually sail a 6.0 in 21mph. He said to rig one size up because of the gusty conditions. So I went out with a 7.2 on a 121L futura. I was able to get offshore without to much trouble but when I found the wind line I was super powered and the water was pretty choppy. So I decided to sail closer to shore and find the right combination of flatter water and wind speed and this worked pretty well. When sailing directly offshore of the hotels the wind was gusty in places and dead in others, however when sailing north of Vela it was great. The wind would fill in and near this rusted out boat this gentle ocean swell was coming in. Passing the boat you would pick up speed when bearing off on fairly flat water. Returning to Vela was a struggle with zero wind close to shore. This must have been an awesome place to sail before all the high rises were built. I logged 30mph top speed on my gps and sailed for 2 hours. For more photos click here: more photos.
The fifth island we visited was Bonaire. I wasn't sure I would be able to sail because the day before in St Vincents I stepped on a sea urchin and had about 30 spines in my right heel. I spoke with the cruise nurse and she said they wouldn't be able to remove the spines and said to put vinegar on it and soak my foot. Tammy and my cousins husband spent several hours working on my foot and couldn't remove a single one. Fortunately my foot didn't swell and only felt a bit tender so sailing I went. I sailed in Lac Bay at Jibe City. The wind was on shore and pulsing. I sailed a 6.6 on a 101L Futura, I should have grabbed a 121L board. I was moderately powered and occasionally well powered. It was a beautiful place to sail with turquoise water, white sandy bottom and plenty of windsurfers. Close to the beach is a great place to learn and further out the wind was filled in more and made for some fun sailing. I logged 30 miles on the gps after 2 hours of sailing. Click here for more photos: more photos.
Tammy and I went on a Caribbean cruise and I was able to sail on three of the six islands we visited. The third stop of the cruise was Barbados so we headed over to Silver Sands Beach home of Brian Talma's DeAction Surf Shop. This is a wave sailing site with a strong current. The day we arrived the wind was light, side shore, with a moderate break. I watched someone schlogging around on a 6.2 so I opted for a 7.0 on a 145L wave board. I was moderately powered and after 45 minutes the wind faded with a light shower that passed through. I was able to ride a wave back to the beach but I was so fatigued I called it quits. To see more photos click this link: more photos.