Green Jello (the ‘Triple Crown’)
Mud Bay Centennial – Boat Launch (CNL-BL)
Nothing like driving to the beach through wet snow! Luckily the temp increased all the way to the beach: 1, 2, 3, 6 - hurray! It was warm enough on the beach that I broke a slight sweat as I panic-rigged and left the beach without gloves. The gloves came on pretty quickly once my hands were coated with the ice-cold water.
I was gradually pushed downwind toward 3rd by the light shifting wind on the inside combined with the slightly underpowered sail and need to bear off for speed to jump on the way out. But there were some choice ramps over the first and second bank. A few nice rolling waves too – enough to make my say, “My goodness!” out loud on one backside ride. The wind was a little unsettled even on the outside and I got rolled right off my board by one shoulder high breaking wave as I bobbed toward the outside of the second bank while waiting for the next puff. The wind/wave angle favoured forwards (but the fickle wind kept me to stock jumps and a few back loop attempts).
Then the wind shifted slightly SE and settled in (steadier and stronger). Fully powered now with a better wind/wave angle on the way in, it only took two reaches to climb back upwind to the boat ramp again. A quick phone call and a second OSR and it was back to the water.
Michael decided to take one more spin on this 110/4.8. I followed him out and was easily able to sail above the boat launch for the first time in the session (due to SSE and wind/wave angle). I took a few runs with Dave who was out on the water now. Tried a few forwards with the board – now slightly overpowered (might have got 1/3 rotation at best). Then sailed down to 3rd to look for Michael. Sailed at 3rd/4th for a while and now out to the edge of the second bank – there were more nice sets of standing waves.
Then continued my downwinder to Centennial. There were a few opportunities for inbound backside rides on waist high waves in long lines just below 4th (wrapping on the bank off of 3rd) and one half-baked frontside ride outbound. But the wave size and wind strength both diminished the closer you got to Centennial. A reach or two with Tony, saw Francis, Mike and Christoph out on the water as well. A few more jumps, a few more back loop attempts, then exited the water at about 12 noon when the wind seemed to be shifting south again. When I jumped off my board at the beach, there was so mush eel grass floating in the high tide next to the shore it was like walking slow-motion though waist deep green Jello! Yum.
Nice session, challenging at times, that reminded me of how nice the wind swell can set up at Centennial. The ‘triple crown’ (rideable wind swell and jumps at White Rock Beach, Acadia and Centennial all with 10 days) – no complaints about that!
Quotes of the day:
Michael (while I was rigging): “Watch out there is a lot of dog crap over there!”
Me: “Well I am kind of committed as I am already sitting down.”
Alton (post-session post): “Thanks for the pix and your OSR's! It really helped a bunch of us to rig 5'ish at 11 am when we saw you blasting around.”
Wind (three out of five stars):
Air temp was about 6 degrees under cloudy skies with brief periods of sun.
From about 9:30 to 10:30 the wind was from the south, shifting and gusting on the inside while fairly solid over the second bank and beyond. Estimated wind speed of about 18 (gusting 22).
From about 10:30 until noon the wind shift to the SE just enough to stabilize a little (fewer gusts, a little stronger and better wind/wave angle). Estimated wind speed of about 20 (gusting 25) with short periods which may have been higher.
Water and Waves (three out of five stars):
When Michael used the word “waves” in his OSR I knew I was headed down (even with the high potential for it to tank). With a tide of about 3.2 m at 9:30 am at the boat launch there was water to edge of the beach, shore break and ramps galore! The water was very confused (choppy and churning) on the inside here and wind/wave angle seemed to be 90 degrees at times with the waves being very tightly spaced (very little opportunity to build speed) - this combined with the puffy wind on the inside made for some pretty challenging conditions.
Down at 3rd the wave spacing was better and the inside shore break was reducing resulting in a more manageable recipe on the inside. On the outside both the boat ramp and 3rd had very large (shoulder high at times) organized sets of standing waves. There was also the occasional wave which would throw, break and collapse (unusual for Centennial from what I have seen). The wind/wave angle made it really tough to keep even with the beach going out or coming in. Backside rides were much easier once the wind shift slightly SE at about 10:45.
Centennial had a nice selection of inside ramps (the incoming tide seemed to roll the ramps right into the beach) that were widely spaced (lots of opportunity to build speed), but fewer waves from what I saw.
The water seemed really cold at first, but then either my body temp decreased or the water warmed up with a push of surface water on the flooding tide as it turned comfortable after a while.
Jumps (four out of five stars):
Jumping was favoured over riding today for the reasons outlined above – Centennial offered some of the most comfortable jumping conditions (better ramp spacing, opportunities for speed and no worries about control), but 3rd and the boat ramp were offering up some larger, beefier ramps (you just needed enough nerve to hit them, hard, in the unstable wind).
Stoke (two out of five stars):
Stoke was limited to getting some recon from Michael (pre-launch), sharing the water with one lone kite most of the time, then some brief runs at Centennial with others, and finally the walk back to the boat launch with Michael.