Helis, Buggies and Downwinders

Posted on Posted in Latest News, Training, Travel

I had a week of adventures here in Jeri. Lagoon sailing in Tatajuba, a return roller coaster flight in a helicopter, a downwinder to the Guriu river mouth with my brother and jumping over Guy Cribb’s clients.

My brother Tom Soltysiak and me in the buggy ready for the return to Jericoacoara.
My brother Tom Soltysiak and me in the buggy ready for the return to Jericoacoara.

It started off with a trip to the lagoon. Lagoa Tatajuba is about an hour drive from Jericoacoara in a pick-up truck or dune buggy. First 12km down the beach to cross the Guriu River mouth in a barge just large enough for 1 truck and propelled by a hand-held lawn mower style engine. Our truck pulls up, the mini barge wedges up against the sandy bank, the operator guesstimates our wheels, places 2 flimsy wooden boards in the wet sand and our truck loudly hops on like there’s nothing to it.

The next 10km wind through a dried up mangrove forest, then through and over some dunes, a few of which need more than one attempt to drive over.

The lagoon itself offers lake style sailing. It’s big, and there are only a few other windsurfers and kiters on the water. If you sail near the upwind end the water is very flat, making it great for some combination freestyle tricks.

After my session there I got hooked up with a return trip in a helicopter! It was my first time in a helicopter, and the pilot did a “river run” up the Guriu river for us. It was like a roller coaster ride! To top it off we got a great overview of Jeri just before landing.

I have to go back to the lagoon there, I need to get revenge at a few tricks I couldn’t land.

A couple of days later Guy Cribb, who organizes great windsurfing holidays, invited my brother and me down to show-off some windsurfing tricks for his clients. They windsurf down near the Guriu River mouth. Tom and I shot off from Jericoacoara fully powered on 4.4m and 4.2m on our 20 minute downwinder to find the group.

Backloop at the Guriu river mouth
Backloop at the Guriu river mouth

At the river mouth there’s an onshore wave spot. Although it was only wind swell it was a ton of fun to do some loops right next to Guy’s clients and watch their faces and screams as we passed within meters of them.

Check out the faces of the people in the water!
Check out the faces of the people in the water!

There was no way we were going to sail all the way back up-wind to Jeri, so to top the day off we loaded up a buggy with our gear, and cruised back to Vila Kalango where we hung out with the group watching sunset from the pool sipping on piña coladas.

Showing off for Guy Cribb's clients
Showing off for Guy Cribb’s clients

So it was a great week full of adventure and a ton of sailing, at the end of it I was exhausted and needed a day of rest and relaxation.

Stay tuned for my next post about Jeri night life…