S15: Friendly Bunch
Columbia River Swell City
Left Gold Beach about 8:30 am, arrived at Hood River at 3 pm and on the water at 4 pm. Meet Brenda and said it was nice to see her and confirmed that CGWA had purchased the site, but it would continue to operate the way it had in years past.
People had rigged from mid-4’s to mid-6’s but I wanted to rise my 110/5.2 and play around underpowered. Wind/swell was nice while it lasted, but the wind tanked rather suddenly around 6 pm sucking some people down the river past the tunnels. I had about the last half hour pretty much to myself.
Quote(s) of the day:
Brenda (just after I arrived): “You still driving that red van?”
Me: “Yes. You really have a good memory! I’m glad to see you so you can tell me what others are using.”
Brenda: “Did you just arrive.”
Me: “I just came back from a week in Gold Beach.”
Brenda: “This is going to be super relaxing then!” (smiles)
Me to Brenda (mid-session): “That’s better than it looks from shore!”
Sailor 1 (after the session was finished): “You worked that to the very end! Nice job!”
Me: “When you show up late you have to work it till the last drop.” [smiles]
Sailor 1 (after the session): “You did well to get in! I really didn’t think you would be able to once the wind got that light.”
Me: “Where I sail in the summer (Squamish) the wind can be really gusty and shifty so its good practice.”
Sailor 2: “Every one of your gybes was a duck gybe.”
Sailor 3: “Saw your practice forwards. Nice!”
Me: “Thanks. But I still have to learn to take the board with me.”
Sailor 4: “Nice day.”
Me: “Any day you get out on the water is a good day!” [smiles]
There was also a lot of interest / questions on my wakeboarding comp vest being used as a light PFD / thick impact vest.
Wind *** (out of five stars)
Standard issue gorge wind (gusty) and a little on and off. But after a week of sailing Cape Sebastian it seemed easy-pesy stuff.
Water/Waves ** (out of five stars)
Nice amount of knee to waist high swell for the light air (likely being generated by the strong current/large volume of water). There were some particularly nice rolling swell out in front of Cheap Beach. Water was so warm some were wearing shortees and one guy was in board shorts and a lycra shirt.
Jumps ** (out of five stars)
Solid jumps to starboard and you could pinch some to port as well.
Stoke **** (out of five stars)
Super friendly crowd of regulars a Swell City.