Further to the south-east you can launch and windsurf “Mangel Halto”, otherwise known as the “Nautical Club”. You have two launching options here. The boat ramp right in front of the Aruba Nautical Club entrance is an easy walk down, but you have to float out 20m before getting to the wind line. Your other option is to cross the bridge over Spaans Lagoen and park just South of Marina Pirata. Here you’ll have to take a couple of big steps down into the water, but you’ll have wind as soon as you step on your board. The water colours at “Mangel Halto” are ridiculous, you skim over every shade of turquoise you can imagine. I was so stoked on the feeling of exploring here that I pushed myself to find an opening between the coral heads to windsurf past the reef. What a rush that was! Armando the photographer thought I was crazy. I didn’t want to risk hurting myself or my gear doing tricks out there, but my safe jibe ended up putting my heart in my throat as I had to react in a split second to avoid running aground on the coral heads popping out of the deep blue water!
In the area is also one of Aruba’s most famous family owned fish restaurants; “Zeerover”. You can sit out on the dock and enjoy fresh fish and shrimp, along with local side dishes of platano and “Funchi”, an Aruban version of cornbread. As we ate, a fisherman came in with a fresh catch, dragging a 2 metre long tasty looking Wahoo fish along the dock between the tables of diners. An authentic dining experience that I did my best to relive many times.