Written by Greg Mejlaender <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Wed Feb 1, 2017 - Dash Point report
Strong east winds are rare for the Puget Sound area. I have an uneducated reason why this is, but it would take too long to try and explain. Anyway, on Tue Jan 31... I happened to spend time analyzing the mm5 wind model maps.. and I saw their forecast for strong ENE wind, for the next day (Wed) for the south Puget Sound area. The rest of the area was forecast to be light to marginal wind (2-15 mph) ... but the area from Sea-Tac to Tacoma was supposed to be strong (15-30 mph). And even more remarkable, it was supposed to be WINDY all day long, from dawn to after dusk!!
My next thought was... Where would be a good park for windsurfing, in that south Sound area, with the forecasted ENE wind?
With windsurfing we generally want some variety of "side-shore wind". We don't usually want an "on-shore" or "off-shore" wind. Therefore most popular windsurf beaches around here, are oriented to take advantage of the usual north or south winds that are most common. So I looked at a map, trying to find a beach park in the south Sound area, that had a shoreline running more east-west... instead of the usual north-south orientation we usually look for.
Dash Point park looked perfect !!
Wed morning arrived and all signs still looked positive. With this kind of winter weather pattern in Puget Sound, it also means that it'll likely be very cold and clear. The "mostly sunny and clear part" is VERY good. The "very cold part" is NOT good... but sometimes we windsurfer's will do, what we have to do, LOL
Anyway, 4 hardy local windsurfers got wet at Dash Point that day. We waited till after noon, to get the most warmth, and air temps were between 40 and 46 degrees between noon and 5 pm. The blue sky, sunshine, and Puget Sound views (including snow-capped mountains) were awesome. The wind was mostly side-shore... and was probably from 20-30 mph with a few higher gusts.
And Dash Point Pier Park was great. Mid-winter and a mid week day, meant easy parking. We parked right by nice grass for rigging... and a very short walk to the water (easy and short, whether high or low tide). Nice bathrooms (open even in the winter) were right there. There's public parking and public beach on both sides of the Dash Point Pier... we chose to launch and land on the downwind side of the pier. It didn't make any noticeable wind shadow... and doing this was safer. The beach was very nice, soft sand with small gravel... we didn't notice any hazards or obstacles. There were really nice big swells, which were fun out sailing... but made launching a small challenge, for those who don't have much experience with it. Of course, if the wind had been 10-20 instead of 20-30... then the shorebreak and swell sailing would've been less.
I will keep a look out for the right "wind direction and strength" for this place... as I'd like to get more experience with it.