Better than Beaverton
Howe Sound Squamish (Nexen)
I don't usually post BC sessions here but this session marked my return to BC following 62 waterski/wakeboarding/wake skating sets, nine longboard and one shortboard windsuring sessions (in 30 days) - so it interesting how some time away can bring some fresh perspective (especially given how wind starved Ontario has been so far this year).
It’s funny for a place so close to the spit to be so different. But Nexen is very different to the Squamish spit - families on the beach, the vibe on the beach (windsurfing-centric crowd), launching in the cove (which although there are hazards, appears to wash people to the safety of the sand beach with regularity); water conditions (jumping and riding chop/small wind swell); views from the water (I sailed places I have never been before over the east side of the sound - which was more than a little eerie at first).
What is even stranger is that I never thought I would say that Squamish was better than Beaverton - but based on my last session at each - it was! Quality of the wind, jumping opportunities, number of sailors out, stoke on and off the water, scenic drive, and less time in the car - yesterday Squamish (Nexen) took the prize! Bonus was using the same board, sail, fin combo for over four hours.
Quote of the day - Mike (comparing the water conditions to that of the spit): "The first time I sailed a Nexen I though it was at a different spot altogether." He is right - it has a different feel to it altogether - in a good way!
Wind was very steady (planning about 90% of the time) and solid from shore to shore with not much variation (north to the windward mark of the kite-course south to Nexen; or east to west from shore to shore). Although there were moments early on when the wind lifted off the water (particularly on the east side of the sound - which is not unusual).
Nexen offers some more variety - bump and jump opportunities (on both port and starboard) than the spit does. There were even a couple of small rideable swells over near the sheet pile wall of the port.
The sun was out, there were families playing on the beach, you could even hear babies, there were windsport spectators at the launch, and the UBC club was out in force. Sailors included old salts and fresh faces. Shouts and cheers could be heard from the beach - the stoke was high!