Weather Talk For BC no matter what you ride

SUP,Surf

When there's absolutely no wind

by C36 » Fri Jul 30, 2021 9:51 pm

The rhythm of paddle in the morning and wavesail in the afternoon continues - the northwest flow has been showing up daily.

S12 - SUP – Cox Bay (2021 July 30)

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Medium. Last morning at Surf Grove so popped out on the water before check-out. Caught more waves in the first ten minutes than the whole session the day before – they were all mediums (some would call them small) and spacing was more even although still tight. Given swell was smaller you had to watch for the `tippy-toe-surfers` on your rides in. See you next time Surf Grove!

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S13 - wavesailing – South Chestermans (2021 July 30)

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Finally! This time it was Long Beach that was playing sheepish – it looked promising around noon, then the wind backed in the late afternoon. Graph at South Chestermans looked more promising and swell was really small at Long Beach so headed north for a look-see. Two deflated kiters deflating on North Chestermans when I arrived (they said it felt like it was going to fill in, but never did. The sand was blowing slightly so I decided to rig even though the swell was small. I told myself if I get one wave ride I will be happy. Mr (7m and foil) and Mrs Alex (10m and strapless) and Riley (9m and surfboard) joined in South Chestermans and two kites up on North Chestermans. I managed to catch my fill of waves – small, but still clean and fun with some offering more than one hit, got a few planning rides out, and one jump. Everyone seemed to have sun but Wyatt (Alex`s nephew) was the most stoked with surfing! Fun to see how excited his was and a reminder that we should all be just that excited too. Glad I finally got out wavesailing at South Chestermans!

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by C36 » Tue Aug 03, 2021 5:47 pm

S14 - SUP – Long Beach (2021 July 31)

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Fin testing. Early morning session after breakfast atop Incinerator Rock. Glassy modest waves still made for some fun on the high-mid tide. Tried a slightly smaller set of fins in Perry (the Hypernut) and I liked the looser feel - I left then in for the next session. Blue Jay watching, loon floating, Bald Eagle chirping, and whale spouting. Nice way to start the day! Did a bike ride in reverse – Incinerator Rock to Long Beach Campground – to check out this section of the trail. Wind teased on the low tide and in hindsight I should have rigged early as some rain shut the wind down at dinner hour. Returned back for a surf check at sunset, but too small and confused to draw me out. A one session day so glad I got the early one!

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S15 - SUP – Long Beach (2021 Aug 1)

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Misty. Third car in the Incinerator parking lot. Took to the water before breakfast today as I wanted to get more of the softer wave before the first sandbar exposed. More variable then yesterday and struggled with timing a bit in the flat light (both positioning and hitting the lip). My sense is it was better than the sunset session on offer last night. Hoping for more later in the day once the tide comes up again!

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S16 - wavesailing - Long Beach (2021 Aug 1)

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Jesse light. Despite being able to almost walk out to the break through the shallow mid-tide water on the inside it was challenging getting out. There was wind on the outside, but it was light on the inside – glassy light, crazy light, spooky light, you could feel your breath on your sail light, looking to log a zero as the wind minimum light, only Jesse would go light. But I gave it a shot anyways and glad I did – no swimming and several nice clean glassy rides ridden – a few even front side. The waves were coming in clusters larger than average sets and were large enough to catch fairly easily. I often had to use the shape of the wave to catch the wave more than the sail. Waves were sizable enough that they felt like there might be consequences, but there wasn`t – thankfully. I caught one late and thought I was going to the bottom of the sea, but stomped on the back of the board on the way down and just kept the nose above water – whew! Called it when I had the sense a swim from the outside might be coming if I overstayed my welcome. It puffed up briefly after I derigged and just as I was regretting taking my gear apart I saw the winger swimming his gear out and was glad I was on the beach with my gear.

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S17 - SUP - Long Beach (2021 Aug 1)

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Glass-off. Waited in my wetsuit for the evening glass-off and it was worth it! Paddled out and banged off three rides with more control and better timing than the flat-light morning session. A nice reminder I can do this! The couple I parked beside the day before said they saw me catch a few of the nicer waves, but asked why I cut the session short – not much left in the tank after a three session day.

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Last edited by C36 on Wed Aug 04, 2021 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by C36 » Wed Aug 04, 2021 5:01 pm

S18 - SUP - Cox Bay (2021 Aug 2)

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Pete Devries. Surf checks at Flo, Wick, Lot 5, and Incinerator had me head north for Cox Bay on the slack mid-tide. As I was paddling out to the middle peak at Cox Bay I saw a guy ripping like Pete Devries slashing the waves and popping a big aerial assault! Turns out it was Pete Devries, according to Surf Canada is globally regarded as Canada’s best surfer and arguably the best cold-water surfer on the planet. Unassuming as ever, when I asked him his name to make sure it was who I thought it was he said, `Pete`. I after I asked if it his last name was Devries, I told him it was an honour to share the water with him (after I had pulled back in recognition of his priority on the last wave). Not only was Cox Bay BUSY, but I was left competing with Pete Devries for the peak – my odds slim and none. So I waited for him to catch and wave and thought `now is my chance` but he was back grabbing the next before I could claim it. I did get the odd scrap before moving off to the peak to the south where there were fewer people. Fun catching waves with Canadian surfing royalty.

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S19 - wavesailing - Long Beach (2021 Aug 2)

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More and less. Tacofina crispy chicken taco and yam tempura taco with ginger for lunch at the beach – yum! More wind, but less swell than yesterday. Wind was puffy and light on the inside, but stronger. Swell was smaller, rounder and harder to catch. Vicky, Jesse, and François all decided not join in. Vicky said `You were making the it look better than the conditions are.` - I`ll take that as a compliment with some as skilled as her. One more windsurfing/wavesailing session at Long Beach – I take it!

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S20 - SUP - Long Beach (2021 Aug 2)

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Sunset. Matt had just returned from Nimpkish and we both took SUP’s out for an evening session. We trades boards (7’4” Hypernut and 8’5” Fanatic ProWave – both about 105 litres). I enjoyed the familiar feel of the ProWave and its glide and Matt seemed to enjoy the loose feel of the Hypernut. Water was cold for Tofino in August – likely due to upwelling from all the NW wind. Enough waves to keep us on the water until sunset! Third session of the day – full day that!

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S21 - SUP - Long Beach (2021 Aug 3)

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Travel day. Morning SUP before heading out. Slack-mid/high and fog lifted as we paddled out. There were some small punchy waves at first then it was a grab bag of mush and larger close-outs. Easier to leave when the conditions are not the best. Grateful for another great trip to Tofino (and for no closure on the Highway 4 the day after a long weekend)!

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by C36 » Sat Aug 14, 2021 8:20 pm

S6 – SUP, Long Beach (2021 Aug 13)

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Power. Decided to head to Tofino one day early – wild fire smoke, no wind by 11 am and feeling the draw of surf. Worst of the wild fire smoke was on Bamfield Road at the summit but even then it was still hanging pretty high. Port Alberni was a comfy 30 degrees. Timed the Highway 4 road closure well and passed through just after 3 pm. About six RCMP officers were greeting everyone at the t-intersection at Pacific Rim. They were doing a roll-by inspection like they were looking for someone. I heard later that they had checked the passengers on of the buses coming through as well. Later that night someone was pulled over just outside Incinerator Rock parking lot and they were put in the back of the cruiser and taken away pretty quickly.

On the water there was less drama, but still some. Water and air were both super warm – 4/3 was too hot – shorty would have been fine. From the parking lot there looked to be grinding barrels just below Incinerator. The waves with shoulders looked fast, but doable. Once on the water there were lots of closeouts and only a few open shoulders. Your placement had to near perfect and I got close a few times (but just stuck in the foam pile), got it right once (but there was a surfer in the way), and got thrown over the falls once and thumped in the right thigh by the quad fins on the `Perry` - was glad I wasn’t wearing a shorty and had the extra pradding of neoprene over my leg. Mario was catching more than I was, but also spending a lot more time hunting than riding. Consensus on the beach was lots of closeouts, with power (one surfer said ‘thrilling just to drop in’), but nowhere to go. The sensation of power without control felt a little empty to me. One guy claimed that after most of the others left the water he and three other leprechauns were treated to wave-machine quality, easy-riding waves just above Lufkin – I’m not sure what to believe given his behaviour on the beach.

When I arrived in town I booked an overnight parking space in the West Coast Campground. Calling it a campground is a bit of stretch. The good news is there are porta-potties, but $42 is a little steep for a parking space. The food sampler from the restaurant was impressive though.

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S7 – SUP, Cox Bay

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Modest returns. Decided to target Cox Bay in the morning based on what one other surfer had said about their morning the day before (made sense on a west swell). Quick surf checks at Wick (got there just as the gate was opened - small and clean in the cove and the first peak about lot 3 was working well but there would be pack of local skilled surfers on it and I didn’t want to be an intruder), Long Beach (more close-outs), and Cox Bay (it was big at the north end of the beach, but the middle peak and south peaks both looked doable and it looked like there were lots of open shoulders) to confirm this was the right choice – yup. Looks like the District of Tofino has starting charging for parking both on-street and off-street at all of the surf launches they maintain – Cox Bay, South Chesterman, North Chesterman (flat rate modestly priced season passes available for local residents). Once out on the water I couldn’t figure out why Jake was down at the south peak chasing the fat swell and not ripping up the monster north peak, then I realized he was doing a private SUP lesson. I followed Jake and his charge north up the beach, at a distance, as they took on larger and larger waves. Caught one really nice open right from the peak out in front of Long Beach Lodge. Jake caught more than a few bombs. One set Jake called out, “Outside Dave!” as we headed out against one set of three incoming bombs. Jake caught the second and I tried for the third, but just missed (too fat for me). I flirted with more of the bombs, but just couldn’t catch them – my peak of frustration was a set of what seemed like about 12 rolled through and I was just out a little too far out and kept battling the current and other surfers for position but came up with nothing. The ones I has space inside on I wasn’t positioned correctly and the ones where I was good to go there were just too many surfers on the inside to chance with so much water in play. All that work and pretty modest returns!

Did a late afternoon surf check at Long Beach and it was bigger and more disorganized than the night before. The rip out in front of Incinerator looked like it was boiling (volume, wind chop, confused water). No thanks. Spoke to Nanaimo Rob who had just come in an he confirmed it was a lot of work with very little reward. Big accident just south of there prevented surf checks at Flo and Wick. Hope all involved are in good care and are all right.

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by C36 » Sun Aug 15, 2021 5:22 pm

S8 – Florencia Bay (2021 Aug 15)

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Saved. Surf checks at Long Beach (disorganized and dumpy), Wick (onshore wind and choppy), and Flo (glassy, organized and consistent) – decided on Flo. It looked just like what I needed – a redemption session. Surfers coming off the water at 8 am were saying they would be staying if they didn`t have to work. Flo seemed to only be accepting one of the three swells – likely the SW 1.8` @ 18 seconds so it was fairly consistent with some health sized sets rolling through. I made my decision to go down on the a smaller inside shore break wave, like the one shown in the picture, so was pleasantly surprised by some of the larger sets that were offering longer rides. Morning high-slack tide also seemed to help and offered a bit of a buffer from the `rock garden`. This session more than doubled my wave count for this trip. My second to last wave was a touch heavy and when I went for the lip anyways I got rejected – on the way down into the spin-cycle with my gear I felt my foot hammer into one of the fins – foot check (no cut thankfully), fin check (two FCS tabs snapped), fin box check (no damage thankfully). I remembered thinking 'I dodged a bullet on that one' - luckily my foot seemed to have struck it sideways and sheered the tabs off minimizing the damage to my foot and the fin box. Took one last ride as tri-fin! Back on the beach I installed on of the OEM thruster fins. Funny I was being watchful of the ‘rock garden’ and it was my body that did the damage to the fin. Just enough people out to make the interaction fun, but a respectful group of locals for the most part, except for the glass longboard that got driven into by the surf instructor inthe parking lot – the best part was when he tried to make it sound like it was the board owners fault for leaving it out in the open where it was at risk of being driven over. Everyone seemed to have a great session, despite the scratches to the longboard and my broken fin. That’s it for this trip – thankful for that last session in particular!

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Last edited by C36 on Sun Aug 15, 2021 6:25 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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by Michael » Sun Aug 15, 2021 6:18 pm

C36 wrote:I felt my foot hammer into one of the fins – foot check (no cut thankfully), fin check (two FCS tabs snapped), fin box check (no damage thankfully).
Lucky, glad that ended well for you Dave! That wave at Flo lucks super fun, glad you had a nice trip!
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by C36 » Tue Aug 31, 2021 9:43 pm

S2 - wavesailing - Long Beach (2021 Aug 30)

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Tantrum. New alternator and drive belt and was rolling out of Duncan by 11 am. Opted for the chance of wavesailing at Long Beach over risking another trip into Nitinaht when I saw the Tofino Airport sensor kick. Rain through Sutton Pass and clearing sky and northwest flow at Long Beach. Funny to hear a tourist asked why we had all been stopped at the Kennedy curves. He was surprised to hear there were construction closures – lucky for him it was 2:30 pm (half hour until reopening and not three and half hours earlier when the closure began). Opted for Long Beach over South Chestermans as there was both wind and wave. Funny part was the wind was punchier, shiftier (more offshore), and a touch angrier than usual – so much so I found myself in the water and then uphauling about three times. Mainly backside riding, but there were a few frontside rides too. Wind was light enough I had to hold the sail up on the inside waiting to launch several times and then strong enough at other times that I was full on planning on the way out twice (chop hop once) and too overpowered to bottom turn after I dropped in (causing me to shot way out in front and disconnect from the wave – sad as it was one of the top three waves of the session). The nice part was the combination of small swell and wind seemed to be keeping everyone off the water and I had the place to myself for a while. Nice welcome back!

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S3 - SUP - Cox Bay (2021 Aug 31)
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Confused. Surf checks at Green Point (rolly), Wick (some power, but rolly enough SUP would have been a lot of work), Long Beach (glassy, but small), and Cox Bay (waves, but onshore wind) – decided on Cox Bay. Surfers walking out said, ‘fun’, ‘confused’, ‘best to get on it now’. Out on the water there was enough wind and chop that positioning was a little challenging, but still caught a few at Land ‘O Lefts and then the wind backed and it cleaned up a bit. Caught several mid beach and a few at the north end. Some memorable peeling runners right! That was fun! Glad I got that one as the rest of the day was hollow – not enough wind or swell at south Chesterman and Long Beach was pretty much flat at the end of the day.

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by C36 » Wed Sep 01, 2021 9:46 pm

S4 - SUP - Cox Bay (2021 Sept 1)

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Cruisers. Similar to yesterday but different. Earlier start (about 8 am). Recon from the parking lot was `still`, `modest`, `classy`, and `fun` - so opted to commit without a look-see and took the GoPro along for example some water shots. Swell was modest again, but far more settled (calm, glassy and consistent with the odd gem rolling through). Got surprized but the power of the inside closeout on one ride just out from the `big house`. Team Canada Surf was out shooting some training video. Busy at the peaks but it was a polite bunch this morning. When I quizzed one of the locals about why some of the bombs melted away and asked his thoughts on two swells diverging he said, `Maybe they just don`t like each other`. Haha – we both laughed! Not the technical explanation I was looking for, but then he went on to say more likely the larger gurth of the swell prefers the outer sandbar but doesn`t like the inside bar(s) – that makes sense. Higher wave count today and some memorable cruisers, but not as much power so it was harder to try and hit the lip. Fun way to start the day – almost felt Zen like at moments. Perry and I both had fun!

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by C36 » Thu Sep 02, 2021 4:53 pm

S5 - SUP - Cox Bay (2021 Sept 2)

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Long shadow. Daily morning commute to Cox Bay after a quick surf-check at Long Beach (flat) – looks like Cox Bay is the only party in town right now. Six degrees this morning and the water has been cool/cold this week, but this morning it felt a little warmer. For once I was part of the group headed down for dawn patrol - a little easier to make happen when the days are shorter. Still some free roadside parking available – the value add for getting to the beach early. Slightly smaller than yesterday but clean and organized. Mainly tourists on the water. Still a fair amount of double-ups rolling through discounting a good number of potential contenders. Started mid beach and just about took on girls head off (not really – her soft top bumped into my board and she was off the to side) when she was hidden by the glare of the rising sun – funny part was she was super apologetic and wanted to make sure I was OK – I explained that it was totally my fault and I was sorry as I hadn’t seen her in the glare of the sun and I was OK and glad she was too. Then worked my way over to Pettinger Point after a couple of warm-up waves to join ULU’s stunt double and a third SUP. Finally caught a few solid waves after I learned to be patient and not target the first wave of the set – set waves seemed to mushroom up after I was pulling the trigger on the forerunner – silly me. Clear, calm, and glassy – not a bad way to start the day!

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by C36 » Wed Sep 08, 2021 11:09 pm

S6 - SUP - Cox Bay (2021 Sept 3)

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Warm-Up. Father-daughter-son session! We took to the water after the morning hike to South Beach and the move from Long Beach Golf Course Campground to Surf Grove – the kids thought this was quite an upgrade – nice! Paige, Ethan and I took to the water as a warm-up session for Paige on the shortboard (which is proving her favourite). The rain held off and there was some great clean learning swell at the south end of the beach. There were a few party waves and lots of smiles. Late lunch of soup served an appetizer for dinner!

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S7 - SUP - Cox Bay (2021 Sept 4)

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Rain. A little more size and power to the waves and some moisture in the air. Day two of surf camp saw Paige continue to make gains on her shortboard in classic longboard conditions. We went a little further south today and scored some clean waves again. Ethan peeled off and move to the centre peak to score some larger waves. Dinner at Surfside Grill warming up around the fire pit!

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S8 - SUP - Florencia Bay (2021 Sept 5)

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Timed. Cox Bay was a sea of white foam – row upon row with no clean waves to be seen from the beach. We took a family walk up to Pettinger Point and I was amazed at how BIG the sets were on the outside – full-on winter swell. We saw two experienced surfers paddle out through the white water, current and breaking waves to reach the outside – an impressive feat in itself! A third paddled in from South Chesterman and made a beeline for the beach at Cox Bay – one and done ridding a massive foam pile to the sand. The other two lingered and caught waves and cycled on the outside – this was very impressive. The majority of the pictures in the gallery are of this event.

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After lunch we were pressed for time before the family had to leave for their ferry reservation and Ethan wanted to get in one more session. Paige didn`t want to overdo it with all of the paddling. So off Ethan I and went – North Chesterman (decent looking wave up at the north end of the beach but not quite what we were looking for), South Chesterman (nothing meaningful), Long Beach (looked ‘angry’ at Lufkin according to Ethan and Tinnies was still ‘off limits’ due to COVID), Wick (unsettled), so we landed on Flo. Chatter in the parking lot was it was big but soft – that sounded fun! Ethan and I had a little less than 45 minutes to spend on the water and we tried to make it count. We started at the stairs with mixed results so headed for the north side of the river mouth. Waves were large and clean with some bombs rolling through that would ignite the surfers on the water with cheers! These caused even Ethan to get excited too – including the first one he paddled into! Bombs were ridden and taken on the head. Friendly group of mainly locals who were all smiles too! Unfortunately only a couple sample shots from the look-out (the SD card on the GoPro was full – silly me). Super happy Ethan got out in some bigger stuff before he left!

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I stopped by Long Beach for a look-see on the way back and it had cleaned up nicely (some pictures of that in the gallery too). Raven Lady Ukee Bowl atop Incinerator Rock for dinner.

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S9 - SUP - Rosie Bay (2021 Sept 6)

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Rights. Cox Bay was back to the range of human-sized but was still very frothy so I opted for the cleaner set-up at Rosie Bay on the low tide. There were still some big swell rolling through and I was surprised to see ULU’s stunt double Pemberton Toby getting rights (from what I have seen it usually offers up mostly lefts). Easy paddle out and dropped into more than few of the larger ones and even scored one off the choice rights. Glassy, but some cross-swell reflecting off Pettinger Point (one that kicked a lump into the pit of Pemberton Toby’s target wave – so much for that one). After Toby left, I share the break with a rather polite longboarder who yielded when I had priority and when I joked about getting in his way he said, “No worries - there are plenty of waves to go around!”. I then paddled over to South Chesterman and grabbed one clean background south swell for the decent right runner in the pocket of the cove, but somehow it didn’t thrill the same way as the Rosie bombs. Fun morning session!

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S10 - SUP - Cox Bay (2021 Sept 6)

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Golden Windows. Wasn’t sure I was going to go but it looked doable and cleaner than the morning. I headed out to Land O’ as there looked to be decent peak with only a few on it. Waves were much larger once out on the water with some bombs rolling through that prompted cheers from those working this peak – funny part was I caught at least three of the set waves the group had cheered for. I then went down to try for right off the middle peak, but it was so busy the only one I got was my exit wave. After this session the flaw I thought Perry might have (difficult to catch large fat waves) was found to be completely unfounded – the previous session when this concern surfaced on the last trip must have been operator error (my fault- sorry for doubting you Perry my friend). Interesting evening light that looked like the sunset reflecting in `golden windows`. Dinner at the campo as Surfside was closed for their post-Labour Day week-long ‘regroup’ vacation. Fun evening twilight session!

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S11 - SUP - Cox Bay (2021 Sept 7)

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Silk. Had to take to the water early as this was check-out day and tent and tarp needed a little bit of drying. Took to the water before 8 am and was treated to glassy silk! Even better most were large sets and some bombs! Even with the size and lines closing out I was able to walk north to the cove and timed a clean seam to paddle to the outside (it almost felt too easy). I got most of my rides on the second peak just south of the cove. The first one I pretty much paddled straight onto and it felt magical it was so silky soft and smooth! Caught more than I lost here, then moved down to Land O’ for a few and grabbed one off the crowded centre peak for my exit wave. All packed up and out by 11 am! I looked around for an option for a second session on the way out of town but didn’t see anything that was worth risking the afterglow from the silky morning waves. Awesome mix of conditions over the week and I’m looking forward to the next trip out already!

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