Friday, April 27, 2007


Actually I didn’t sail to Aruba with Dimitri, Willem did. I didn’t feel like it and it gave me a chance to spend a few days with Lizzie doing girl things, lunches and gossip. It’s been such a long time. Willem wanted to go to get away from the bar and had had a stressful two weeks screening the world cup at the bar. They hired a huge movie screen for the event. The only way to watch it.

Willem and I set for Aruba and the wind was pumping and the swells running, so we decided to run on Genoa alone, stay close to the coast and head for an anchorage at Westpoint. With favourable currents we averaged 6.9 knots, anchored, swam to shore and partied. There were some local kids cliff jumping but we decided we were too old for these things. Too drunk more like it. That night we laughed so much that my cheeks were aching (facial). It was good to see Willem so relaxed. He even turned off his phone!

Next day the winds calmed but the swell was still running strong so we rolled our way to Aruba. Now we’re both very chatty guys who found ourselves completely mute until we tucked in behind the bottom of Aruba and the seas calmed. Both of us were green and just lay in the cockpit for the crossing. As soon as hit calmer water we began talking again like parakeets. It was late and we anchored near the airport after crossing a shallow bar. Got stuck in the morning, got off, tied up to the customs, got yelled at for not checking in the night before, got drunk waiting for immigration, sailed to the tourist beach, anchored, dinghied in, checked out the babes on the beach, back to the boat, ate Lizzie’s great stew, laughed our heads off, got drunk and passed out. A typical guy’s day out.

Aruba is quite a pretty island consumed by tourism. It reminded me of the east coast of Florida on a smaller scale with friendly people and the cleanliness/efficiency of Disneyworld. Two bus services covered the island and were reliable and cheap. We went into town often and explored the vast shopping areas, waterfront and craft outlets. One day on the bus back to our anchorage we noticed a happy hour sign outside a large hotel. It had just started so we jumped off and enjoyed cheap drinks by the pool. We met some very friendly people and an English girl promoting tourism to the UK. We had never seen the Union Jack displayed so prominently. The anchorage was off ‘high rise beach’ for all the tall hotel sprouting up everywhere. It was like being on vacation without the pricey hotel rooms. The beach was typical of any resort beach, clean, white, lots of waterspouts and bikini clad girls everywhere. What a great place. Only problem was the speed boats and wave runners kept circling the boat at high speed, like annoying mosquitoes. Watched some guys kite boarding, didn’t want to do it, just watching them while drinking a cold beer seemed like a better idea. Two old fat bastards on the beach not like the millionaire by the pool. I guess sometimes money does make a difference. Or maybe he has a great personality!!

A couple of days later and Willem returned to Curacao and Meri flew to Aruba. I offered to take Willem to town by dinghy. No problem in our new 10 foot dinghy and 15 hp Yamaha right. It wasn’t until we rounded the point, near the town, the wind picked up and the chop increased. We couldn’t run at speed due to the bone jarring pounding and the sea spray. Willem was giving me strange looks and was probably wondering how I’d survived at sea this long. I dropped him at a beach resort where he caught a bus while I pounded my way back and then went off to get Meri.
Over the next week, while waiting for a good weather window, we enjoyed the island and beaches and relaxed. Finally our window arrived and promised a safe sail to Cartagena, Colombia. I say safe because in the wrong conditions the eastern coast of Colombia can produce very nasty sailing conditions.


Post a Comment

<< Home