There has been a sense I've been getting of the windsurfing season winding down this month. The common wisdom in the bay area is that if there was a date to pack your gear up for the winter, it's Oct 1st. Normally as that date approaches, sessions are fewer, further between, and a grade less windy than our normal sessions. Think 5.3 or 5.7 instead of the usual 4.2 to 5.0 days. Then mother nature giggles at our hopeless understanding of her and we got one of those fronts yesterday that felt EXACTLY like a really strong spring cold front.
The best place in the bay, from my experience, to catch a big NW is 3rd avenue. The shipping channel isn't too too far, and the water surface gets BIIIIG out there. Estimations for yesterdays' swell size have ranged from head high (from a local gorge snob) to mast high, or double box car high (from a 3rd channel first timer). Another 3rd avenue vet claimed it was the best he's seen in 18 years of windsurfing the spot.
I don't think there is a picture or video out there of really big swell in 3rd avenue. I think only the people who have been out there have any idea what it's like. I considered for a minute taking my waterproof camcorder out there, but there was no way I could sail out there one handed. Even if I strapped it to my arm, I would have been scared sitting in the middle of the chaos out there, just because people were flying all over the place and it's really really easy to lose track of where the other sailors are. It would have been begging to get landed on.
Bay sailors get a lot of grief for their love of "flat water", but let me tell you, the SF Bay can be anything but flat on some days.
42 minutes ago