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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 1:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 3:54 pm
Posts: 11
I've sailed Aruba's "blue highway" four years in a row now and plan on returning in the future. All four trips have been the first week of December, just after their rainy season. I've stayed at the Holiday Inn SunSpree and The Playa Linda, both located on Aruba's Palm Beach. Both hotels are a 10 minute walk from Fisherman's Hutts, which is the local hot spot for sailing. There are two rental shops near Fisherman's Hutts, Vela Windsurf Resorts, and Sailboard Vacations. Sailboard Vacations is a bit further down the beach from the hotels so I've never rented from them. Vela has always provided me with a pleasant rental experience. The staff is always helpful and extremely friendly. Rental rates are $40 for 2 hours, or $60 for all day. If you rent more than 5 full days you'll get a discount. I've had the pleasure of sailing brand new gear two of the times I've been there. They usually get their container of new gear sometime in the beginning of December. The other two times I've sailed the old gear. The old stuff was still in great shape, I wouldn't complain about it at all. They carry Neil Pryde sails, for boards they have JP Australia, Starboard, and F2. Masts and booms are all Neil Pryde.

The actual sailing was always really good. December isn't known for being really windy but I've never been skunked. The wind is off shore (sligthly side off) and usually picks up at 11am and blows until 4pm - 5pm. The conditions are great for high speed flat water sailing. It stays shallow for quite a ways off shore, great for beginners, intermediates learning water starts etc... Sail out to the "blue highway" and the chop gets a little bigger and the wind is more consistent. I've sailed everything from < 100 liter boards and 5M sails, to 180 liter boards and 8.5M sails. In 2004 there was a tropical storm just North of Aruba that was screwing up the regular weather, that was the reason for larger gear. I'd say most of the time was spent on ~6M sails for my 4 trips. Remember, December isn't the windy season, if you want the 'heavy air' consider going in June or July.


I've found it best to arrive at the shop early (10am) and pick out your rig for the day, wait too long and you may not get exactly what you want. They won't run out of gear but the selection will dwindle.

The water temp is around 78 degrees and the air temp hovers around the mid 80s.

Bring your harness, booties, gloves (blisters), and sunscreen, no need for any neoprene. The shop has harnesses to borrow but not a wide selection. On days that are really busy, the shop will anchor a water cooler off shore a bit, "the oasis", that you can get cold water from.

Since I'm not a kiter I don't feel I can say too much about kiting in Aruba other than this...There are quite a few kiters on the water earlier in the day (before 11am) and after 5pm. One of the Vela staff mentioned the kiters leave the water once the sailors show up, too many masts zipping back and forth....and when the winds eases up for the day and the sailors leave, the kiters are back on the water.

Feel free to email me with any questions. curtis -at- cklahr -dot- com


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