Two Shades of Pacific Blue
Pacific Ocean Long Beach - Incinerator Rock
This was a week-long ‘surf camp’ on the west coast of Vancouver Island for my daughter and her friend. The forecast was almost too good to be true – 2-3 ft (with some 2-4 ft) forecast Monday through Friday (prefect learning conditions) with some south swell forecast on Tuesday (1.4 at 15 sec) and Friday (1.4 at 13 sec) and Long Beach was tied for the windiest spot on the island on all five days with 15-20 WNW forecast every afternoon Monday through Friday (not great for surfing, but nice for SUP-sailing/windsurfing)!
Paige and I were both excited and looking forward to this trip.
On Monday the best part was my daughter and her friend were watching from above Incinerator Rock and took a few shots.
On Friday my crew was too busy making peanut butter sandwiches at the van for their late lunch to take pictures (after I told that this was the best wind of the week and we would not be driving into town for hot dogs), but claimed they had seen some of ‘da action’ while eating.
Eight wave-SUP sessions, three SUP-sail and three bike rides in five days! The first ever PK surf camp was a big success! I was asked if could be extended to two weeks next year!
Quotes of the days:
Before taking to the water on Monday, I had spoken to a guy in a wheelchair about where the hard sand was (to make getting down closer to the ocean a little easier). When I came in he said, “That looks fun!” and I said it was and as glad to hear it because I had seen him watching from the beach and had taken a few rides for him.
Tourist 2 (walking by with a huge smile on his face while I was derigging): “You did really well out there!”
Me (huge smile too): “That was fun! It’s too bad there are not more days like that!”
Wind *** (out of five stars)
Monday saw just enough wind to SUP-sail comfortably. After working my way to windward by catching some backside rides, I was able to catch a really nice San-Carlos-like four-hit frontside ride that prompted me to let out several shouts of “WooooHoooo!”
Friday saw stronger wind (the strongest I have seen in my 7 days spent at Long Beach this summer), but it was VERY gusty and shifty. The gusts almost had me going in to switch to my FSW 110, but the lulls kept me on the SUP (and I was happy to enjoy the better wave positioning for catching set waves). There was enough power to often punch out with authority and with the large spacing between waves you had to sheet out to avoid getting air strapless on the SUP. Cool feeling ‘exploding’ out over the shore break like that!
The most consistent wind of the week was Thursday late afternoon at Cox Bay (14-18 side onshore), but I took a ‘pass’ to coach the girls surfing (from SUP).
Water/Waves *** (out of five stars)
Monday saw clean west swell that was chest to over-head high on a ‘mid’ incoming tide. The SUP allowed waves to be caught early on the outside. Nice!
Friday saw fewer waves on the longer period south swell, but some waves were big enough to be ‘eye-openers’ and seemed shoulder-high even before they jacked. The downside was the break was compressed on the lower tide and the waves were dumping as heavy shorebreak (almost Makena-like). These waves seemed to be arching into the beach from the north and peeling down the beach from north to south, which seemed strange for what was being called a “south swell”. Even with the stronger wind on Friday, it seemed to be more of struggle to get out in front of the waves, making it was harder to turn frontside cleanly.
Stoke **** (out of five stars)
Monday saw super-stoke from catching such a nice frontside ride on the first session of the trip and with the promise of more to come!
Friday saw excitement at getting to SUP-sail on the last water day of the trip in stronger wind (especially after forgoing the afternoon wind at Cox Bay the day before to coach the girls surfing the afternoon before)!