Saturday, 10 January 2015

Downwinder: Salmon Point to Storey's Beach

Darcy Wardrop-taking a break- note the large raindrops. Didn't even notice that at the time.

Sunday morning January 4/2015. Pouring rain, cold, grey and dim, blowing like hell - 19-42 knots. Perfect! Lets do a downwinder, Salmon Point to Storey's. Gary Robinson's in. Leigh Douglas so wants to be there but hubby Jason's up skiing and there's little MacKenzie to look after and muffins in the oven- but she'll be there next time We three meet up at Storey's and Darlene drives us to Salmon Point. Wow! Is it blowing- though less than it had been earlier. Good thing the little pocket beach put-in is sheltered.
The question arises, "Why are we going away from a perfectly good pub?" There is no adequate explanation. We are venturing into silliness. In search of the kind of experience we can immerse our whole beings into- like cold water on a B.C. west-coast winter day.
I can only imagine what the people having a leisurely Sunday brunch in the pub were thinking looking out at us through the windows from inside the pub over their eggs bennie.

Big breakers. Lots of fast moving white-water

Well, from the van into full-on. Brr! Looks cold. No slow transition time for any kind of warm-up.  It's plunge in and go. It's normalcy to intensity just like that. I promptly fall off my board in waist deep water then hop quickly back on. Focus, focus, focus! And then all is good- I'm connected. We manage to get through the break and start heading offshore to get far enough out that we can then turn and run straight downwind all the way to Storey's beach- about 6 km's away.

Darcy; blowing with the wind. 

You can see the next huge swell slowly rising behind him. Some of these would became steep enough that we all got at least one really good ride in. But they were so fast moving and without a much longer board or a surf-ski almost impossible to catch.
The wind was still blowing hard at this point-so the resulting cross chop on top of the swell made for tricky balancing and any momentary lapse in attention would put us in the water. But then that is one of the things I love most about such paddling- that the conditions demand my full attention- my full presence. Anything less and I'm swimming. And we all did some of that anyway.

Gary and Darcy absolutely at home out there.  Atop what looks like a couple of ironing boards- riding these huge fast moving hills of  water - just having so much fun in conditions that would keep most boats tied up at the dock.
I sneak glances at them try to snap some pictures with my Cool-Pix, trying to remain upright at the same time- thinking this is so fantastic to be doing such a thing. To be in such a place on a stormy  January day- I want to remember what this feels like- always.

 Darcy and Gary taking a break- give the legs a rest. What a workout! Bobbing around out there while the big swells roll under us. Don't want it to be over too soon. 

As we neared Storey's Beach the wind began to drop right off and we arrived to find perfect conditions for surfing. So we just kept right on going- shifting into surf mode. Wave after wave. And then after about an hour, these big clearly defined sets of waves began rolling in and it became even better. We could go further out and just wait for an approaching set of the larger waves. I could see them coming from far enough away to get perfectly positioned by the time they arrived and away I'd go. Just about as good a conditions as we've ever had at Storey's. Darcy and I keep surfing until we can hardly stand up any more.

    These ARE the good old days! What could taste better than a 'Big Surf' beer.

1 comment:

  1. A fine day of Oceaneering with some fine friends.