We have returned for a February windsurfing spectacular. Just one day into the trip, the wind and water already surpass last year's trip.
Day One: Surfergirl 777 on a Neil Pryde 4.0 and JP Freestyle Wave 85, your editor on a Starboard S type 93 and a 5.2, and we were both well powered. The wind had a bit of North in it in the morning...the good news being that the hotels that mess with the wind to the south were out of play, the not so good news being that it was exceptionally gusty anyway. Still, it was a day to rip!
If you're not familiar with the windsurfing waters in Aruba, there is a reef perpendicular to the shore that separates two large sections of sailing area. Flags mark the three ways to pass the reef...there's an inside channel, an outside channel, and a lone flag that marks the end of the reef. The first time you go hurtling through one of the channels (which are only about 30 feet wide) it is an act of faith. On my first session of the day I went out through the first channel, carved a very wide jibe a few hundred yards past the reef, and then sent windsurfing board, sail and rider full-speed through the outer channel.
I somehow had missed the low tide warning at the rental center.
The good news was that first fin contact was light, so I had a full half second to realize that the channel was not safe (was this why everybody was sailing all the way outside?) and managed to get my feet loose in the straps before the second fin hit, which was not light.
Untangling myself from the catapult, I note that it's time to buy a new harness.
Still, a great day! Asked for a quote on Friday's windsurfing conditions, Sally paused to consider, and then offered "Gustalicious!"
If you gotta windsurf in gusty winds, may they be 88 degrees on turquoise waters.