Our windsurfing minivacation ended with one more windy day (5.5 conditions) for a great five days of wind. Having been coming to Aruba for over a decade I wanted to close out this series of blog posts with bits of news on two Arubans who have taken on semimythical status over the years. (This is a post for the Aruba aficionado...the casual reader may not give a fin.)
At a windsurfing clinic in 1996 (the Imperato Brothers) the instructors made the point during their chop-hopping lecture that good air could be had in any water conditions, if your technique was solid. To dramatize the point, they spoke of "a guy in Aruba who can, off of perfectly flat water, jump over boats." He could jump over a bus, they said. He was insane, sick, unbelievable to watch, they explained. I heard variations of this story from other people who had been to Aruba, and actually got to meet the windsurfer (whose name is Jeroen Westrate) in 1998. He was a pro sailor (sponsored by Naish as I recall) though he stopped windsurfing professionally a few years later. I never saw him jump over a boat, but while I was sailing behind him he did get the tail of his board higher than my head (6 feet) with the nose even further up, in conditions that I'd have been challenged to clear my fin. So what's new with Jeroen? There's a photo of him windsurfing in a casino ad at the immigration area of Aruba's airport.
Anouk once graced the cover of Windsurfing Magazine (someone else can tell you why...all I'll say is that all people involved are very nice) but that's not why she's a legend. Anouk was (and still is) a beautiful buxom beach babe who also runs a babysitting service. The typical Anouk story goes like this:
Husband: I found a babysitter to watch Junior.
Wife (after taking a look at Anouk): Oh yeah right...you're toast!
Husband: No, really...everyone says she's a great babysitter.
Wife: Let's see her prove it.
The thing was, Anouk was by all accounts an unbelievably effective babysitter. Kids love her, parents love her, and she's extremely serious about her craft (try talking to her while she's watching a child...it ain't gonna happen.) She now runs a baby sitting empire in the windsurfing area of Aruba, and is said to be very difficult to book (here is her website.) Google "Anouk" and "babysitter" and you can read all about her. People plan their vacations around her availability.
So what's new with Anouk? Just a quick item: Someone told us that she was watching six kids at one time at the Marriot...she wrote numbers on their foreheads and backs to make them easier to spot and wrangle.
(Top photo: Jeroen slashes the wall at Queen Beatrix airport
Bottom photo: Anouk and her charges. Photo from her website. )