A storm has been predicted for several days and finally hit today with 20 knot southerly winds and horizontal rain. The barometer is +0.11"and 'Rising Rapidly'. Normally, I'd take my board or kayak out to get some sizable wind waves, but the saturating rain and 45 degrees kinda takes the fun out of it. Normally I'd go, but I'm not quite acclimated yet for Autumn.
The foggy cam image is from today of West Point / Discovery Park in Seattle. The clearer image of the whitewater is from last February, blowing about 30 knots. We paddle over a mile there from the Ballard neighborhood to surf the waves on the south side (for a southerly). I've seen some 4-5' faces there, had some nice rides, and never a line up, not sure why. Once last February, we paddled our sea kayaks upwind against 41 knot gusts, almost too much to paddle against. Waves were easily 6-7' faces, pretty confused form, gnarly for sure. It took an hour to get there, 10 minutes to surf home with the wind at our backs.
Note: The white building is actually the historic West Point lighthouse covered in plastic while being restored.
Tips for Paddling in High Wind:
- Definitely Wear a Leash. You'll board will disappear out of reach in a jiffy after a fall.
- Dress for immersion. Puget Sound is about 55 degrees now, so 5mm is suitable and a hood.
- Tell folks you're going out, and where. Best to bring a buddy for support.
- Don't go beyond your skill level. If it looks gnarly, it probably is. I try to stay off the evening news.