Bonaire – Caribbean Paradise May 13, 2009
After a winter of sailing in Baja we decided a change in scenery was needed. I had read the stories in the windsurfing magazines about Aruba and Bonaire, so we decided it was time to explore the southern Caribbean. The winds in Aruba were light so we didn’t have a chance to sail. But the winds returned for our stop in Bonaire, where we met Dirk Jan Methorst (DJ), owner of Jibe City. Jibe City has been a well know sailing destination on Bonaire for many years. DJ purchased the business from the previous owners two years ago, and is passionate about making Jibe City the best windsurfing destination in the Caribbean. He’s lived on the island for nine years and has chosen this island paradise to build a successful business and live with his family.
DJ gives me the vip tour, actually everyone’s a vip at Jibe City
So what’s the sailing like? First, forget the wetsuit…a Lycra top for sun protection and shorts is all you need. The crystal clear warm water is what most sailors from northern latitudes dream about. Unlike Aruba where the winds are off shore, here there side to side on-shore, which is much safer for the progressing sailor who’s working on staying upwind, getting in the foot straps and harness. It’s one of the reasons ABK uses Jibe City for several camps and clinics during the year. The water conditions range from smooth to small chop water that is mostly waist deep for several hundred yards from shore. An outer reef blocks the bigger waves, which makes for a comfortable and confidence building place to sail…the perfect place to sail with friends and see who’s fastest. It’s well known by freestyle windsurfers world wide as the perfect venue for learning and tuning your moves. The Jibe City staff includes some top ranked sailors who are ready to help with gear selection, or sailing tips.
Taking a tour of the bay.
Fortunately there was just enough wind the morning we were there for me to sample the Jibe City hospitality. A 6.3 SE and a 105 liter board had me skimming above the white sandy bottom. The water is so clear that it takes a little adjustment to not worry about hitting your fin. The shallow areas near shore have been roped off so it easy to avoid those areas. With fish darting back and forth beneath my board and flocks of pink flamingos flying over head, it’s easy to fall in love with Bonaire.
The shallow areas are well marked, but not the tourists wading in the bay.
Thanks to DJ and his outstanding staff for sharing their Caribbean Paradise. Jibe City is a first class windsurfing destination with an excellent selection of gear (the new Freeride 3 would be my sail of choice here) and service to match. There’s even a beachbar on site with great food and refreshments. If Bonaire sounds inviting, DJ will help you put it together…equipment, accommodations, lessons, clinics: www.jibecity.com or [email protected]
A perfect place to relieve the stress of traveling.
It’s the Canadian holiday in the Gorge this weekend, with the big swapmeet at Windance on Sunday. I’ll be at Windance in the mornings so stop by and check out the new sails from Ezzy. Good sailing, Gary & Nancy