Party in the Backyard
Semiahmoo Bay White Rock Beach
Not as big a day as Christmas Day, but still special.
You needed patience (or Alton-like faith in METAR TAF CYVR) to get the goods on this day, but there were some pretty special moments to be had.
The ‘best part of the day’ is personal preference, but I REALLY enjoyed 2:15 to 3:15 (110/5.2/23) as the wind was steady, not overpowered, waves were pumping, nice wind/wave angle for jumping, and nice opportunity for backside rides (in both directions).
Quotes of the day:
Me: “What an awesome day!”
Tourist/photographer: “It sure is!”
Tourist: “Is it cold out there?”
Me: “No, if you dress for it. It is quiet pleasant today, I’ve been here since nine this morning.”
Tourist: Gives me the ‘thumbs up’ sign.
Me (around 2:15 pm walking out in the shallows): “What sail size?”
Michael: “5.4. You?”
Michael: “You taking your big board?”
My reasons: I was tired, I wanted to be able to do some more backside riding (more float), more volume allowed for jumping in the onshore conditions, and I really like that set up (small sail, big board) in moderate conditions. With the smaller fin I am amazed at how nice this ‘big’ board is going rail-to-rail.
Wind: morning - three stars, afternoon - four stars (out of five stars)
The morning saw about 15 building to 20 straight onshore from the SW under sunny skies and air temp warming to about 8 degrees (gloves were optional in the afternoon). The wind was pretty steady at first, but got fickle around 10:30. This also seemed to happen as the cloud blocked the sun. Coincidence? Maybe (but Chofmeister, Maurice, and DB all seemed to agree). The other strange thing about the wind is it seemed to be ‘dooming’ at times (lifting off the water before it reached the land).
The afternoon saw the wind fill back in and shift WSW (slight side-onshore) and then build to a peak of about 25.
Water/Waves: morning - two stars, afternoon - four stars (out of five stars)
Riding was favoured over jumping in the onshore conditions.
The morning waves began as chop and then gradually organized into nice clean lines on the mid-tide (it was painful to see some of this pass without enough wind to take full advantage). The morning saw shore break at the storm sewer outfall, so launching to the south end of the lawn was easier.
Mid-day got a little flat on the inside, but then the waves started to pump again on the stronger wind – knee to waist high on the inside and waist to chest high on the outside.
The afternoon wind/wave angle and tide height seemed to favour the far south end of the beach (boarder) over the north end (pier or ‘stadium’). There were some nice sets straight off the launch and off the river, but the best waves I saw were at the boarder. I don’t know if they were there earlier or not, but I noticed some very nice sets rolling through over at the boarder in the late afternoon. The late afternoon waves at the boarder (concrete block) were outstanding (clean and rolling well), on par with the edge of the second bank at Centennial on a 'good' day IMHO. These were chest to shoulder high with a really nice wind/wave angle that allowed both jumping and backside riding.
Jumps: morning - two stars, afternoon - three stars (out of five stars)
Jumping was limited in the morning to the odd shoulder with starboard favoured. This was the case in the afternoon too although the wind/wave angle improved for jumping to starboard in the afternoon and some of the outside faces got steeper (a few steep back loop ramps were presented).
Stoke: morning - two stars, afternoon - four stars (out of five stars)
I was glad to see Chofmeister was already there when I arrived at 9 am so there was someone to sail with. Sorry to see Jonathon leave when the hole in the donut (mid-day lull) arrived. Great to have a quick word with Michael (both on and off the water) and with DB on the beach. It was nice talking with Maurice and Jordan throughout the day and a BIG 'thank you' for lending me a hand de-rigging at the end of the day - I just made it on time to get the family at the Ferry Terminal at 4:30 (thanks to your help)! :-) It was also heart warming to see Alton and Cash help an elderly man up from the shore following his walk along the beach with two canes (you have to admire his determination going for a walk on uneven ground on such a brisk day). But the best part was seeing so many people out on the water in DECEMBER enjoying such a great day!