I was driving past Duncans Landing last week and I noticed that the cove was very well sheltered from the 10 foot swells on that day. It occurred to me that I could take Jeremy here to go boogie boarding even on a rough day and we might be able to find appropriate water. The beach farthest behind the point was practically calm and the next beach was a little rougher but actually didn't look gnarly enough for surfing. If we needed bigger waves we could kayak to the next beach after that (inaccessible from the road) which would be less protected by the point. I scheduled with Jeremy to try this out after school one weekday, and he invited a friend, a Daniel, to join us.
On the day that we arrived the swells were only 8 feet high, but were coming a little more from the south. The point was not very good protection in these conditions and the breakers were pretty rough. We arrived around 2:00 PM with the tide going out to a -0.4 foot low at around 3:10 PM. This low tide made Duncans Cove a little "dumpy", with the waves waiting until they got close to shore before they broke over Jeremy and Daniel trying to surf. From the first beach I was able to hit a calm time and easily paddle a kayak out to sea. In the role of responsible adult, however, I could not paddle out of sight of the boys in the surf. I paddled back and forth in the cove for a short while, could not find any calm rocks to gather mussels from, and paddled back to land on the beach. With the low tide arriving I found a mussel-covered rock where I could stand in the water and gather a snack for lunch the next day. I could keep my eye on the surfers and only occasionally get splashed in the face by the larger waves.
Jeremy got tired of the dumpy waves and suggested that we go to Salmon Creek Beach. I was hesitant to do this because that beach would have no protection from the 8 foot swells. But I had seen Salmon Creek Beach at a low tide before and it had a very long shelf of sand with shallow water in these conditions. The big waves would break way out at sea, and create a "soupy" area that might be perfect for boogie boarding. We got into my van in wet wetsuits and drove to Salmon Creek where we did find conditions that the boys found more agreeable.
I followed them out to the beach without my kayak, planning on assessing the conditions first. Then I got stuck in the role of responsible adult again and felt pinned to the beach. I waited for the boys to get tired so I could dash back to the van and get my kayak. But they never did get tired. Ahh youth! Just wading around in a meter of water made my legs tired after a while. I tried body surfing with and without my life vest, borrowed a boogie board from time to time, and managed to make my arms tired as well. Pretty soon I was glad I did not have a kayak to drag back to the parking lot.
At around 4:30 PM Daniel suddenly removed himself from the water complaining of cold and vague pain. I was wearing a 7 mm dive suit, which was ideal for my relative inactivity. Jeremy was wearing the suit I got him which I think is 3 mm. But Daniel was wearing a thin surfing suit that was probably only 2 mm thick. Neither Jeremy or Daniel was wearing booties or gloves. (I offered gloves, Jeremy has a pair, but they were refused). I think Daniel got seriously chilled and was very wise to get out of the water. I gave him the keys to the van and sent him back to get dry and warm and wait for us. I told Jeremy we would get one more good ride and then quit, but of course it took a few tries before we agreed that the good ride had occurred. By the time we got back to the parking lot and stowed everything it was sunset. By the time we got home it was full dark.