Whilst planning their wedding, Jurre (32) and Suus (32) suddenly decided to change course – to sell everything, refit a sailboat (called Yndeleau) and sail the world instead, discovering the most amazing and remote kitespots with their own ‘house’, and working remotely to keep the dream alive! They are no professional kitesurfers, and unfortunately for them, no trust fund or self-made millionaires either. But… they are living their dream. TheKiteMag follows their journey.
“All done?” Suus asks me when I come up out of the boat. We are in the harbor in Curacao and have had a crazy and hectic period here. I have worked on the boat day and night, and Suus has finished a large project for the Dutch government. The boat is almost ready for our third crew member that is growing in Suus’ belly. We have installed a watermaker, a machine that can make drinking water from salt sea water, we have rebuilt the bathroom, repainted the bottom, fixed the steering and shaft of the engine, and given Yndeleau a nose job. Oh, and equally important: we have created space and a storage system for our new foil and board!
“Yes, let’s go!” We are on our way to Bonaire, 50 miles or 90 kilometers eastwards, against the wind and current. We decide not to sail in a straight line using the engine, but instead keep the engine off. We haven’t sailed for a while so we decide to enjoy it to the fullest and make the numerous tacks needed. This results in us covering at least double the distance. Yndeleau sails around five to six miles an hour, so we need over 20 hours to reach Bonaire. We sail through the night and arrive in Bonaire the next morning.
The sun comes up as we approach Bonaire. The beautiful sight of Klein Bonaire, the small, inhabited island in front of the main island, welcomes us to this beautiful Dutch municipality. When we arrive by boat in a new country we always need to check in and there is a process of going to immigration and customs to fill out all documents and undergo necessary checks. In these pandemic times, we also have to show the results of the PCR test we took in Curacao. The process of checking in always takes longer than expected, but when we come back to the boat we are legally accepted in this new country that has only two active cases of Covid-19.
To celebrate our arrival, I get our foil out for the first time and start setting up my gear behind the boat. When I try to launch the kite, I understand why nobody is kiting here just in front of Kralendijk. The offshore wind keeps shifting direction and ranges from five knots to 20 knots. After a couple of moments where the kite swirls from the sky, fortunately not tangling my lines, I manage to drift 100 meters downwind towards Klein Bonaire, where the wind gets more stable. The real struggle can now start! Keeping the board at your feet is already quite a challenge. Board finally stable on my feet, steer in, go, BAM… I am back to the drinking-massive-amounts-of-seawater phase. The foil feeling is totally different than a twintip – your weight needs to be towards the front of your board, not leaning and hanging backwards like you are used to. With the crazy sharp foil coming out of the water while you accelerate, you have to avoid leaning back too much or to the sides. It feels like dancing on knifes! When my shin is bleeding and some nice bruises appear, I hear the dinghy engine behind me. Suus is picking me up. We put the kite and foil in the dinghy, and tired but happy, I make the “ride-of-shame” back to Yndeleau.
Words: Jurre Witte