The winds and waves at Jericho Beach have been familiar to local Native people for a mighty long time. Thick middens of clamshells on the nearby hills testify to where the Musqueam people once maintained a seasonal residence. Now wild bunnies and coyotes cavort among the brambles, while on the beach windsurfers and kayakers get their kicks being blown around. Jericho Beach is one of the few beaches in Vancouver where, on a big wave day, you run the risk of getting tumbled ‘in the washing machine,’ as they say in Hawaii. Jericho Beach is easily reached from Fourth Avenue west of Alma Street in the Point Grey neighbourhood.
The Jericho Sailing Centre Association maintains an old Royal Canadian Air Force office building as a staging area for anyone wishing to swallow some seawater. The centre is located at 1300 Discovery off NW Marine Drive.
Jericho Beach Park, Locarno Beach, and Spanish Banks Beach might well be considered as one since they connect to each other along Point Grey’s 3.7 mile shoreline. Locarno Beach begins just north of the Jericho Sailing Centre. A pedestrian and cycle path runs beside the beach from here west to Spanish Banks Beach.
When the tide goes out between Jericho and Spanish Banks, it goes way out. This is a good place to explore the sand flats and get a closer look at the freighters anchored offshore. At low tide, skim boarders gather here to play in the tide pools.
In Tsawwassen, on the south side of the BC Ferries causeway that carries travellers out to the ferry terminal, is a beach that attracts anglers and windsurfers. Best time to catch the breeze here is following a storm blowing from the south. Although this small bay empties at low tides, at other times you can rip out here. Take Hwy 17 south to the beginning of the causeway, then follow the service road that parallels the causeway. You’ll find portable toilets for changing and rough picnic spots where you can build a fire to dry out.
Also in Tsawwassen is Boundary Bay Regional Park, located on the east side of the isthmus. The winds can blow just as hard across its surface as out by the BC Ferries jetty. A good place to launch is the vehicle-accessible ramp at the east end of 1A Avenue via 67th Street, several blocks south of the park’s main entrance.