By Alexander Britell and Guy Britton
LAC BAY – This is the birthplace.
This is where it all began, where a stretch of white sand in the southeastern corner of Bonaire turned into the Caribbean capital of windsurfing.
And when you walk past the row of wooden beach shacks and surf shops, you immediately understand why.
Lac Bay is, plainly, stunning, an endless sweep of sparkling turquoise water, just the right depth and, most important of all, just the right amount of wind.
There’s a reason why Bonaire has placed a sentry of wind turbines not too far from here: the wind is always blowing, and that makes this prime windsurfing country.
For decades, pro and amateur windsurfers alike have made the pilgrimage here, their palpable energy turning an empty beach into a hive of activity, one that intoxicates whether you mount a board or just want a cold beer.
It’s the way so many men and women have, over the years, turned uncrowded corners of the Caribbean into destinations, simply with will and a board, like Cabarete, like Fisherman’s Huts — but different.
But Luc Bay is something else, a place that has retained its almost mystical, ethereal calm while filled with windsurfers and beachgoers and all those in search of the perfect breeze.
And you can even stay here — at the funky, friendly Sorobon Beach Resort, with a collection of cottages perched right on the sand in a marvelous corner of Lac Bay.
And while anyone can learn here, practice here or just take in the action, Lac Bay remains one of the world’s true destinations for pro windsurfersworld’s true destinations for pro windsurfers — and the reason the PWA World Tour Windsurfing, the sport’s highest level of competition, returns to Bonaire from April 9-13 for the 2019 Forsa Bonaire PWA World Cup, all centered at the now world-famous Jibe City.
If you make your way across the sand to the other side of the bay, at the edge of the mangroves, you’ll see equally serious windsurfing at windsurfing shops like Frans Paradise, run by brothers and pro windsurfers Taty and Tonky Frans, riding the kind of boards that include high-tech foils like the sort you find on America’s Cup boats.
Bonaire isn’t just the region’s windsurfing hotspot, it’s also the “spiritual home of freestyle windsurfing,” as the PWA calls it, having produced some of the world’s top freestylers and continuing to churn out top talent in the field.
And as you sit at the Jibe City Hangout Bar, the sound of the wind and the waves and the visual spectacle of moving sails make for a very relaxing — but never boring — afternoon.
That’s just the way the wind blows.