After a few days of mediocre (for Aruba) winds and people on 7.2s, it’s good to see the weather getting back to normal with clear skies and stronger winds. It was good to hear actual guest “complaints” of:
- “I need to trade to a smaller sail”
- “Can I get a smaller board”
- “I’m exhausted - man that was fun”
- “I haven’t gone that fast before”
- “I was getting nervous going into jibes that fast”
- “I really need some vitamin A (alcohol) or vitamin B (beer—cans work well for the sore hands!).”
Finally some people are working on freestyle aerial moves on 5.0s and speedsters taking 5.2/5.7/6.2 NeilPryde Hellcats. Quincy Offirnga is home for a week from university in Curacao (pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering), and it’s good to see him making huge shakas, burners, etc. out at the red flag. I love watching his efficient and controlled sailing style. Dr. Steve from Holland has been ripping it up with Spocks, Loops and great starboard side Flakas plus a bag of old school tricks. This week was also cool as several of our guests were ABK alumni that I haven’t see for a while.
Our new SUPs have arrived on the island and should be through customs this week. There are 3 new sizes and we will probably keep a couple of our older SUPs to supplement. I am looking forward to a giving them a try for paddling, windsurfing and wave riding, and to get some feedback from our guests.
After the busy holidays, the number of guests is a little down but starting to increase as we move toward the busy months. We at Vela have been taking advantage by building a new Oasis (pictured right), cleaning up the grass around our palapas (pictured above left), trimming trees, ordering new goods for the retail shop, repairing the rescue boat (pictured above right), etc. For those of you new to Aruba, the Vela Oasis is a platform built from two old boards, placed out in the sailing area each day, with a cooler of cold water (we tried to get a beer cooler but got turned down) on it. It makes a great spot to stop and refresh, chat with new sailors, and to use as a reference site while sailing. Last year’s Oasis went to the great Oasis burial ground, somewhere off Columbia, in the middle of the night!
Everyone who has been to Vela Aruba knows Enry—one of our best instructors, cool tatoos, and always with some helpful comments or at least a good joke! In his off time, he loves music and plays guitar and sings in a band. In addition to singing while at work and doing beach-style gigs, lately his group has been playing at the Radisson and Marriott. We checked him out last night, and (going upscale) we were shocked to see him in a suit (at least no collar, tie or wing tips). I thought he was too young, but the Miami Vice style outfit, while in black, ‘suited’ him well, the sneakers and big smile still showed through.
On a final note, walking to work last week we noticed a Caribbean approach to reusing beer bottles while saving the trees. A building lot was being cleared, and a marker/stake was an upside down, orange painted beer bottle! I checked, at least it was empty – but now I have another excuse to drink a beer after work!