S16 & 17: Mission Complete
Columbia River Swell City
After breaking camp at Tucker Park and quick it was off to grab dawn patrol before the swap meet (as the sensor was showing 15, gusting 22 already, close to the forecast afternoon peak). As I crossed the White Salmon bridge I really didn’t think I would be sailing (there was little/no wind at the event site).
Got rock star parking right up front (as I was the only one there) and discounted admission (as I was the only one there). The sensor was right, there was enough wind to sail. Cool air, no sun, hmmmmm. Let’s go! I was on the water at 7 am and sailing for just over 45 minutes of playful knee-high swell and small jumps.
Fun way to start the day!
Put on my shortie for the first time in memory and tried the JP freestyle pro 21.5 fin that I picked up at Second Wind to replace the MFC 22 that I lost to the reef/turtle in Maui. Didn’t really like it in the swell. I’ll try it once more on the flat water in Squamish. If anyone is looking for a freestyle fin, let me know.
There were some rides but the wind was lifting off the river just before it got to Swell City. On again, off again. Puff, Puff. Shift, shift. Larger swell than in the morning (you could see there was more wind to the west). Nice to cool off in the river before starting the drive (plus 30). This strange last session was my signal it was time to draw it to a close.
Overall this was possibly the ‘best’ windsurfing mission I have ever been on. Over 3,000 km travelled to score 20 sessions in 10 days (11 windsurfing, 6 SUP and 3 SUP-sail sessions) with 7 days in row providing down-the-line sailing on the coast. Conditions ranged from super challenging to light using 4.0/4.5/5.2 for sails and a range of boards (74/92/110) used. Mission complete!
Quote(s) of the day:
Tony (at the CGWA swap): “I heard your OSR, you were out sailing at Swell City this morning.”
Wind *** (out of five stars)
Stable steady wind from shore to shore (planing 90% of the time).
Water/Waves ** (out of five stars)
Knee-high swell. Wore 3/3 short-sleeve suit to fend off the cool morning air. Water had drop over a foot (less volume) and the rock of the point was now fully exposed.
Jumps ** (out of five stars)
Jumps to starboard and you could pinch some to port, with starboard favoured.
Stoke ** (out of five stars)
Really enjoyed the morning session! The afternoon, not so much.