Just Another Ordinary Miracle (demi-Centurion)
Boundary Bay Centennial - Boat Launch
Took the morning to take my son to school and took solace in the fact it was ENE and not SE. Then suffered through a 20 minute delay at the north approach to the Knight Street Bridge (and this was with several rat-running-reroutes)! Blowing spray on the Knight Street Bridge! Is this torture ever going to end! Note to self: There is a LOT more traffic at 9:30 am Monday than there is a 5:30 am on Sunday.
I had a little trouble finding parking at the boat launch (what did I expect with showing up at 10:30) and there was nobody around to get sail/board size recon from. Best guess from the beach 5.2/110/20. Rigged and took to the water about 11:00 am.
It felt a little strange to launch at the boat ramp for the second day in a row but in such a different wind direction – all the points of reference were different and getting out into the sailable water was a little more difficult. Once on the edge of the second bank stepped onto the board and buried the windward rail to work to windward as quickly as possible. Welcome to the United States of America, then tacked back once out of water near the bluff to sail up the swarm of sailors out over the middle of second bank. One quick jibe around Alton (to get some last minute pointers) and then made a bee-line for the small field of breaking waves up at the concrete block (the lighthouse on the SE corner of the bank). It felt strange to be able to make it here so easily (ENE has its benefits too I guess).
This is when the shouts of joy happened, upon arriving in the small field of dreams (waves). Sailed a brief stint with the UBC Sailing Club rider with the orange/yellow Naish sail. Then another longer one with Peter (not G) with blue/yellow Sailworks sail. Nice to share such a sweet spot. Two kites also came out too.
Not epic conditions, but sssssssoooooo fun! Then the tide came up and waves/ramps diminished. Time to start heading into the shallows. Practiced a couple body only forwards and then asked Alton what time it was and if my van was still there. Yes my van was still there and his best guess on time was 1:30. 1:30! No way - I was thinking 12:00, maybe 12:30 at most. It felt I had only been sailing for about an hour, not two and a half. Wind had backed at this point and I had a family commitment, so time to head in.
This was an awesome session and a nice way to log number 50 for the year. I don’t think I will ever hit 100 in a year, at least not until I retire anyway, but I don’t mind the sounds of 50 (sessions). Maybe my annual target should be age adjusted (more sessions than my age)? The funny part is this year hasn’t been about volume, it has just been a really fun year, so far (sailing new spots, trying new stuff, sailing with new folks).
Quotes of the day:
My wife: "Are you going sailing today?"
Me: "I was thinking about it, why?"
My wife: "I figured you might, because the radio just said ‘wind gusting to 80 kmh’.”
Alton's post about the 'perfect rig'
Wind. Not a favoured direction, but as steady as I have seen an ENE and for some reason it seemed easier to get and stay away from the shore today (steady wind a big plus over the usual small surging gusts on ENE). Rig was slightly under-powered and had to be worked some times to get/keep going, but enough power to plane and jump (most of the time). Planning about 85% of the time (one long lull when I stopped to speak with Daniel who was ‘waiting’ at the bus stop for the real SE wind to show up).
Water. Tide was about 1.6 m at 11 a.m. rising to about 2.3 by about 1:30 p.m. so a medium length walk was required, made somewhat more tiring given you were dragging your gear nose into the wind. Once out on the second bank there was enough water to windsurf and this shallow water created a small field of nice knee-high to waist-high peeling waves along the southeast edge of the second bank. If you started up near the bluff of Point Roberts on starboard you could catch one and ride it backside all the way back past the concrete block. It felt like you could do 100 linked turns on these mini breaking waves in one pass - truly awesome! As the tide flooded the waves/ramps diminished (bad).
Jumps. PORT jumping was favoured. That’s right, no typo - back loop (attempt) port jumping at Centennial - who knew? The small field of waves at the concrete block was also a field of ramps when returning on port, especially if you were able to take advantage of an ENE lift. The wind wave angle was very nice for jumping combined with good spacing and flat sections to allow time to spool up and choose your ramp. While I had lots of energy (and that first blast of adrenaline) in the first couple of rides, multiple hits were taken on each single pass – often very close together. My butt hit the bottom after bailing just past the apex on one back loop attempt (this just after mulling over the implications of sailing in the waves south of the boarder). Similar to the waves, as the tide flooded the ramps diminished (bad).
Jumps on starboard were also possible, but only on the occasional ‘shoulder’ presented, both in the field of waves near the concrete block and to the north (off the end of 3rd Street).
Stoke. Daniel was ‘waiting’ for more, as were others - so the overall stoke was not that high, but I was so excited to be sailing in the field of little waves near the concrete block that I am sure anyone nearby could tell from my hoots and hollers! Nice post session beach banter with Alton, Mike, Tony and Peter (not G) and Denis at North Sails (broken boat stories from West Van race on Sunday past). On a fun-factor scale of 1 to 10, I would give it an eleven! I’ m still smiling (and a little sore from three sessions in two days)!