Our kaleidoscopic travels take us from the desert, Cordon forests that kiss the Sea of Cortez to Vancouver Island’s mountainy forest that line the Port Alberni inlet. The contrast is majestic and we cannot tell which landscape we prefer. Originally from Vancouver my roots are among the green trees and the inlets salmon filled waters while my partner, from Mexico, likely feels more at home in the deserts dry heat. Our kids will grow up connected to both lands and both languages: it will be interesting to see which place they feel more at home. I suspect any place they can run around outside all day and play in nature will be the favorite.
La Ventana is a great place to learn kiteboarding with the Isla Cerralvo creating a venturi it boasts strong winds and big sandy beaches. We have the catcher’s mitt at the end of the bay that ensures you will always make it safely back to the beach. It does at times get large intimidating waves and is growing more crowded each year.
Port Alberni the wind is almost as consistent with the mountain walls squeezing the wind from the oceans cold air to the warmer areas inland. The mountains also buffer the waves so even on big wave days it’s more of a big chop than a wave. The water is a little colder than La Ventana but it travels around 40 kilometers inland to reach us in China Creek, just outside of Port Alberni, warming up on the way. The nice perk of learning in China Creek is it’s not busy yet. We share the waters with fishing boats that give us a wide berth and who don’t tend to fish in the same place the kiters learn. The one hazard is the commercial boats that come out about three weeks of the year. While they are a hazard they do stay downwind of the kiters.