Woohoo - Neptune delivered. After months of scraps the ocean finally decided to deliver the goods. Yes, the timing was kak - with lockdown looking, but at least it gave ou's the chance to get their salt water injection before time in purgatory.
JBay and St Francis were going off their pips, and PE also had good surf altho you got your pip blown off with it. Pomping wind as usual.
But then this irritating bloody thing called COVID-19 decided to come put a spanner in the works, and as part of flattening the curve SA implemented a lock down. So - cooking waves - can't surf them. Although some mullets tried to. And got their asses handed to them for their efforts.
Firstly a visiting Yank doctor decided lock down didn't apply to him and surfed cooking Supers on Day 1 of Lockdown. JBay locals were NOT happy with his rather pathetic "I didn't know excuse" (as in JBay is pumping and you are the ONLY person out there - doesn't take massive powers of deduction to work out you taking the piss). Anyway - his name is now gat and am pretty sure the locals will teach him some manners.
Some ou's also tried to sneak out at Bruce's and were promptly called in by locals and left in no doubt they shouldn't be doing that.
Day 2 of lockdown and JBay was still cooking, so some more mullets decided they were special and went for a surf. NSRI herded them in and the SAPS gave them a free lift to the station, where they had a choice of 6 months jail or a R5000 fine. Expensive surf!
Tempting as it may be - don't be the doos that thinks somehow you are special and can sneak out for a surf. Your erroneous theory that you are more than a metre from anyone else would then also apply to tennis, golf, kiteboarding - you get the picture....
So in the absence of humans there were some cool drone shots to be had, taken by Renaldo Gouws (flying from his home!)
Usually what happens when you get a new board then Neptune laughs at you and it goes flat for weeks. Jamie Morris got his new stick from Matt McLeod and instead got rewarded with the 16 second period swell - which of course would have been great - but ah, lockdown....
Usually you get excited when you see this. Not as much when you know you can't surf it.
Going to be lots of dawn patrols, lunchtime sesh's and after work surfs that go a-begging for the time being.
If you getting bored during lock down, pleases make the effort to submit an objection to the fish farm off Coega harbour. Kak idea right next to the marine reserve and St Croix island with it's unique biodoversity. Check all the details here:
Local legend CarPark John turned 21 again this week. Tune the ballie some birthday wishes. Also just drop him a line every coupla days to say howzit, as he is pretty bored being stuck at home and away from his beloved carpark (and free Beershack wifi!). You can buzz him on 0824407334.
Despite the mission of lock down, it's just temporary, so stay safe, obey the rules (despite most of us not being good with rules), and guess what - in a few weeks time when you allowed out to play again there will still be waves. Use the down time wisely. Be positive and proactive. Stay fit. Stay smiling!
Last chance to appeal against the fish farm at Coega!
If you are already registered as an I&AP from the original fish farm protest, please read the below as to how to re-submit a new appeal. If you are NOT a registered I&AP, you can STILL contribute. Just send your objections to email@example.com, and he will consolidate them into the WESSA appeal.
From Gary, who runs the Algoa Bay WESSA branch:
We will appeal against the plans of a fish farm off the northern beaches (between Nqgura harbour and St Croix island), as the commercial cage fishing would not be a sustainable development practice within this biodiversity hotspot. If you would like to lodge an appeal yourself or contribute, please see the message below.
“If you are a registered interested and affected party (you would have received an e-mail from the EAP - Anchor Environmental - recently informing you of the decision), please consider submitting your OWN appeal before close of business on Thursday 19 March 2020. We need as many persons to submit original appeals as is possible. Please see details below on how to submit such an application. If you are not a registered I&AP, please forward you comments to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday 18 March and we’ll incorporate it into our consolidated appeal.
Please find enclosed the WESSA Algoa Bay Branch’s guide to completing an appeal against the Algoa Bay ADZ. To repeat, appeals need to be submitted by close of business on the 19 March 2020. It is an onerous process, so we’ve tried to simplify what must be done. So put some time aside to go through the rigmarole. Feel free to circulate it as a WESSA ABB guide to the appeal.
There are several attachments. The first is the WESSA guide, read that first. Then there’s the DEFF appeal form and DEFF questionnaire that we’ve combined into one document for you to complete. This is the key document to submit. We’ve included the EA record of decision (DEFF saying yes to the application), the DEFF guidelines (that duplicates the questionnaire) and the EAP’s (Anchor Environmental) own document. Please note the appeal must raise specific issues you believe the EAP or DEFF have failed to consider or were unaware of in coming to the decision.”
To note: we’re working off the basis that only registered I&AP’s appeals will be considered, but giving input to an organisation already registered and they then submit a consolidated input is possible, There is an outside possibility non-registered I&AP’s will be considered, so would encourage persons to submit an appeal, but be fully aware that their appeal may be rejected on technical grounds.
WESSA ABB will focus our appeal on the fish farm proposal for the Ngqura harbour - St Croix area (we’ll send you our reasons under a separate email), we won’t oppose the bivalve for PE harbour north and off Kings Beach - Pollok based on the conditions within the EA. But we do suggest you think through the access issue for sea traffic off the southern beach zone (check out the GPS co-ordinates specifically in the EA).
WESSA ABB Chairperson
PS - that's a photoshopped image I posted for April Fool's a few years ago!
What was meant to be a less than stellar week still managed to throw out a few gems nonetheless. The heat was enough to inspire most peeps to go for a paddle. Hot as Hades. Water temps are peachy too. A pre-dawn start to the day and drive out to Jeffery's saw Pieter-Ben getting shacked.
The bay didn't do too badly either. Sunday was the pick of the bunch with an unexpected south west blowing through. Pier had some cookers and Fence did it's thing late arvo.
Cape Town had it's fair share too. Their Noordhoek is a lot better surf spot than our one, albeit about 15C colder! An unlucly rider about to rinse and spin in the Hoek. Probably one of the most awesome places to watch surfing - like a lil rocky amphitheater. Surfed there a few times back in the day. #$^%& freezing.
Fasten your seatbelts. The first WSL BIg Wave challenge at Nazare had a green light for Tuesday. The black blob will detonate in Portugal with what is expected to be light winds. So tune in for some insane big wave charging. Maybe the biggest wave ever ridden? The weather system that is causing the swell also set some other records. A BA Boeing flying from NY to London shaved over an hour off the fastest time recorded to date thanks to the pomping winds on it's tail.
The Wildside had some waves as usual (not often it's flat!) A few misty mornings though so you had to know where to go.
If you've been eating all your carrots and your night vision is up to scratch there was the chance to get some zero crowd waves under the glare of the full moon.
One of PE's hottest surfers Bruce Campbell continues to rip local breaks to shreds (and do incredibly well in triathlons, bike races and adventure races) despite having a rare disease called Pompe Disease. the disease is a rare genetic disease characterized by the abnormal buildup of a sugar molecule called glycogen inside cells. This buildup impairs the working of different organs and tissues, especially the heart, respiratory, and skeletal muscles. Bruce has to be hospitalised for enzyme replacement every 2 weeks. Despite the huge and ongoing challenge Bruce remains incredibly active and always has a smile on his face. Inspiration for us all!
Summer time is log time. If the bay is flat just whip out the big stick and get in your car.
Some epic sunrises this week. Wednesday's took the cake.
Groms got to do their thing at Pipe in the Grom Game trials. Lighties froth no matter what the conditions are like.
The windless conditions for most of the week meant ou's could paddle out to the Bell Bouy on the sheet glass lake that the Bay became.
Given the rising fuel prices, JBay's Arman Perez-Pou has got the solutions sorted. Horse power for the win!
No waves, no problem, just stay prone and get slotted! Which you might need to do this week cos not a helluva lot on the forecast.
Apologies for the hiatus in the weekly blogs - but was off the grid for nearly 3 months in Maldives and Indo. Lots of fun waves, no internet though!
Here's a collection of random shots from the PE coastline and surrounds taken during the holidays, wasn't much in the way of waves. Guys reckon the worst summer for surf in living memory! The decent days could be counted on one hand. Rest of the time it looked like the Vaal dam.
Let's start with Luc Hosten, snapping away along the wild side.
Holidays are the time of celebrations, and the beachfront lit up with the annual fireworks display, shots by Morne Condon.
St Francis also got into the swing of things with the Anything that Floats event on the canals, apparently about 2000 peeps participated! Shots by Chris Scott and Elzabe Boschoff.
PE was wave starved and the usual suspects down the N2 didn't fare much better, although there were some good days! A few from St Francis by Chris Scott.
JBay did manage to flip the switch a few times. Late Jan shots by Robbie Irlam.
And don't think Robbie only knows about surfing from behind the lens, he used to be a hot surfer himself back in the day - here's one from the archives of him charging Vic Bay.
Heather Nel always gets some kiff shots during her beach walks and got these over the holiday period. Least the dolphins didn't seem to mind the lack of surf.
Another regular on the beach every morning is Dave Randle, who snaps the sunrise surfers at Pipe most days. Ou's are lucky to have their own private photag.
CarPark John got himself a new stick after plenty of nagging from everyone to go longer and get a mini-mal. But after a few surfs the ballie decided he wasn't yet ready to join the long length/high volume revolution after getting dragged like a lure back to the beach after a clean up set at Pipe.
He has happily now returned back to his original board and Dave Randle is the lucky new owner of CPJ's short-lived foray into the world outside the short board. Old habits die hard!
Visiting JHB photag Leigh Reider got some lekker drone and shore shots whilst he was down in the bay for holidays. You can check his gallery here:
So that's the wrap on the summer season, back to the normal hum-drum of the new year now, so blogging returns to it's regular Monday slot from next week.
Surfing. She be a cruel master. One week feast. Followed by plenty weeks famine. That's why you gotto gorge yourself when there are waves. Cos it has to last a loooong time til they come back again. Still some tiny fun one's about if you happy to duck for cover.
Summer days mean making the effort to travel a bit further to find the waves. And to make things easier - it helps to have a longboard as well.
Not everywhere along the coastline was flat though. The Wild Coast sucks up pretty much any bump in the ocean and it had some decent lil peelers recently. Cape St Francis's Stan Badger happy to have swapped one right point for another.
Here's why it's gone flat! John Scheepers has a new board. We all know the "new board" curse. Lay your hands on that shiny new stick, and it goes flat for ages! Kinda like getting a cool battery operated car for Christmas - just without the batteries.
John has finally decided to try out a mini-mal, after much nagging and cajoling from all and sundry. So expect to see the oldest grom in the 'hood cruising past you on his yellow pocket rocket from the Boardroom.
#localislekker! And it's double as lekker when an Oos-Kaap ou makes the World Surf League big time. Congrats to JBay's Matthew John McGillivray for cracking the elite tour for next year. Like a stealth bomber he snuck up the QS ratings all year to peak in Hawaii and lay claim to his possie. Check it out here...
JBay artist and board spray maestro Stephen van der Watt is also an accomplished kneelo. Stevo kicked ass in the recent SA Kneeboard champs and as winner of the Grand Masters division is now part of the SA team going to New Zealand for the World Champs. It's gonna be Stevo's first flight - pretty good planning to make sure your first flight is halfway round the world!
No waves, No problem. Get down to the beach anyway cos the sunrises and sunsets are worth the effort.
Sustainable Sea's recently did a litter survey at Cape Recife. One of the many pieces of rubbish retrieved was this old Cadbury's Crunchie wrapper. These were last made in 2004. Hate to know what this world is gonna look like 100 years from now. One big junk pile methinks. Pack your trash peeps. And pick up other ou's trash too.
Throw back to a good day at Fence - James Jones on a screamer, and very stoked that Kody McGregor was on hand to catch the moment.
Could be a lil wave or two this week. Cross your fingers and toes.
Crikey. What a week of surf. When last did PE get day after day of cooking surf and lekker weather. A slew of south swells lit up the bay like a Christmas tree. Thanks Neptune for the early pressie.
Humewood was cooking, plenty of sand dredging enema's available for anyone who was keen. Check out the galleries from Petronel Posthumus here:
The Pier was off it's pip. I'd surfed there for the first time in years a month ago and could tell the banks had finally come back after a long hiatus. So when the south swell pulled in it went ballastic. Pretty much almost a barrel every wave. Brownie Moulang scored the pick of the bunch with many ou's saying it's the best barrel they have ever seen in PE.
A couple of novelty waves lit up along the N2 stretch to BWB. If you didn't mind the sharks (both land and water) and a serious case of typhoid, then you'd be getting 5-6ft drainers. Richard von Wildemann who snapped this shot was frothing so much he nearly fell off the dolosse.
Millers had some fun one's too. Although did get crowded at times. Unfortunately there seems to be an inverse relationship between waves and line-up etiquette. Seems the better the surf the worse the manners get. Eish
A certain secret right point was doing it's thing.
Life is all about perspective. Those lucky enough to be out getting barrels and those in a bus off to work.
Life imitates art. Or in this case wild life imitates surfer. Or vice versa. was it the chicken or the egg?
Local Schoenies photag Luc Hosten is well known for his lekker wild side scenic shots and sand in all it's wonderous forms. But he is an all round awesome photographer.
He won a photo competition this month for this excellent capture. Bird's eye view trumping fish eye view on this occasion.
Get your summer shred stick orders into the Boardroom. Deno has his shaping machine sorted out and back in action and has the new sticks flying off the shelves.
Phew, what a kiff week. Plenty of stoked surfers about in the bay. Here's hoping we don't have to wait too long for the next solid swell.
Surfing in PE made simple: Waves are good, wind is kak. Wind is good, waves are kak. That pretty much sums up last week. Some really decent swell got decimated by some pomping wind. Sure, you could try paddle out and grab a few, but it was definitely favoured effort in the effort:reward ratio.
Glance at this from afar and it looks like a dolphin jumping though the surf. Turns out it's just Jonty succumbing to the ever-present chop.
For those who prefer their chops on the braai and not on their waves, then a trip west to JBay solved all your issues. The protection from the hillock and the slight change in coastline angle meant that Supers was rather super.
And if you went even further west there were some sandy barrels to be had. There's talk about some groynes being built along this stretch of coast to try replenish the beaches. Could be an interesting project if they do it right.
As far as PE went, it was mostly Pipe or bust unless you really like hopping the chop. At one stage the chops moving along the wave face were actually breaking, so there was a 2ft wave breaking sideways on a 4ft wave. Welcome to PE.
With summer on the way it means the early morning surfers are getting more bang for their buck. The warmer temperatures also mean less likely to be the usual morning devil wind,which is a double whammy win. Winter dawnies are usually ruined by the heavy cross-shore.
Spring highs combined with the big low pressure that came past meant super high tides. Took some chunks out of the wall at Millers, and even bigger chunks out of the sand dunes. Everyone is always quick to point out that sand dunes can recover, but not if there isn't a back beach to replenish them with - as is the case at Millers. So when they get chowed, they stay chowed. The same problem at Pipe, not sand behind the dunes to feed back into them again.
Some comps coming up soon. The NMBS Closed is at the end of the month at Kitchens in JBay, and there's the Something Good Classic coming up this weekend at Pipe. Check out the shirt size option on the entry form!
Always something interesting floating past out at sea. Last week saw the heavy lift vessel Hua Xing Long en route to the USA head past Schoenies, dwarfing the pleasure craft Bam who looked to be dicing it.
Sunsets and sunrises always good in the bay. More of the same this week.
Nothing too flash on the charts this week. But with the crazy summer weather, anything could happen.
Pretty small week. A few crumbs here and there to ensure your board still got wet, but nothing to shout about. Weather still doing it's bipolar thing. Stunning to crap in about 10 minutes, and vice versa.
Thankfully the waters been really warm, so even if it's small it still seems fun cos you not freezing your pip off.
Somewhere else with warm water was cooking this week. Not known usually for it's wave size, the Maldives had some biggish one's. Pretty much a real-life wavepool. Although that new one just opened in Bristol in the UK looks damn fun - hope someone decides to build one of those in PE.
Jordy got to the finals in Portugal but got beaten in the final. However, it does mean he gets enough points to be in with a chance of the title at Pipe. Here's hoping he can pull the rabbit out the hat.
Besides the fact our waters been warm, it's also been really clear. Ideal for the spearo's who frequent the bay. This camo suited but not so camouflaged guy spotted at Humewood.
On the subject of fashion, check out the very cool homegrown threads available at Relic surf shop down in the valley. Pop in and grab yourself a Holmes Bros. shirt. Made by Saffa's for Saffa's.
Not many waves, but plenty of stunning skies. Check em out.
And one more just to really cement home the fact that we live in a beautiful corner of the world! PE sure is one schweet lil town. Just wish it had more waves! Sunsets we good on, waves not so much.
Spring weather in full effect. Howls one way, stops for 10 seconds, howls the other way. Gotto be on the ball to score a wave in between all that.
When there isn't much to go around sometimes sharing is caring. Always helps when you can drop in on your lil brother. That's the joys of family hierarchy!
Whilst there wasn't that much happening wave-wise the dolphins didn't seem too perturbed about the lack of swell and still did their daily swim past the pier. Be interesting to tag one of them to see where they actually go during a day. Mostly they come past at about 10-11am from the south direction, and then back towards Pipe again after 2pm. Hardly a day goes by when you won't see them at some stage.
Quite a bit of sand at the moment along certain stretches of the beach, making even the small days fun. Very tide-specific though, so be in it to win it.
The Coastal Water Rescue guys did some training at Hobie during the week. We're lucky to have a dedicated group of volunteers to supplement the metro services. More is better when it comes to stuff like that.
Andre Clarke has had some of his stickers printed, so if you keen to grab some Proudly PE surf stickers, or the cool Octopus or Pipe bomb one's give him a holler at email@example.com or hunt him down in the Pipe carpark if there's waves. Small size is R15 and big one's are R20. You can also buy a whole sticker pack which includes a variety of all the different stickers.
Always envy people who are early risers - best part of the day it seems, cos apparently the wind in PE also sleeps late. So if you up early you might miss it!
Life's all about perspective. Sometimes things aren't as they seem. Like for instance the wave here looks pretty fun...until you at ground level and realise it's only knee high! But hey, knee high in PE ain't such a bad day. Could always be worse. Flat or onshore spring to mind!
Always bigger round the corner. Take a drive and see what you find. Sometimes more than you bargained for.
Still hoping to find a pair of lightweight, waterproof infrared goggles, cos look what we missing during the dark hours. Plenty of fun lil lines streaming in. Know a few guys who have done night surfs under a full moon. Apparently it's a pretty common thing in the States. Heard of 20-30 guys out at Trestles at night. Imagine if that's their version of "escaping the crowds". Eish, we lucky!
The latter part of the week saw some waves about. Friday and Saturday morning were probably pick of the bunch. Good timing as a few guys decided to get in the water to grab some shots. Thanks Tristan and Vaughan! You can check out their images here:
Both JBay and Seals had some good one's. Even the "secret spot" had a few, although a bit smaller and slower than elsewhere.
Plenty of PE guys burn a few litres of fuel to head west for a surf on the weekends. JBay can be pretty localised at times, so you have to be pretty confident to rock your PE local stickers on both your cabbie and board when you surf Supers. No skin off Andre Clarke's nose though, a proudly PE local! PE surf spot stickers will be available soon for purchase. Watch this space.
Not only the East Cape getting some surf , but Taiwan is cooking too. PE local Nic Flood is getting his share of the pits.
Millers could be one of the best right points on our coast if we could just trim a bit of Cape Recipe back and open it up to some more swell. Sometimes it gives little glimpses of what it could be like. Specially when it's pint-sized swell and there's little peelers coming perfectly down the reef, and you wished you were ant-sized to be able to ride them.
Interesting article on Wavescape during the week about guys going leashless on their logs. With the advent of small summer sessions upon more guys will be longboarding so it's worth taking a read of this: https://www.wavescape.co.za/surf-news/breaking-news/wear-a-leash-man.html
Leash-free at your own quiet spot is all good, but doesn't make as much sense if you're in a crowded line-up. A number of our local loggers are very proficient and I can't say I've ever seen them lose a board. But that doesn't apply to everyone. And the hiccup is that the not-so-proficient guys want to emulate the style-meisters and then the potential for getting clipped by a runaway log becomes a possibility. So please be careful peeps.
Big surf round the corner over the weekend. With some long paddles and lots of duck-dives if you were up for a challenge.
Unfortunately the big seas had a very sad consequence. A ski boat with some fishermen was returning to Noordhoek on Saturday morning and capsized. Three of the men made it safely back to shore, but a 4th guy sadly didn't make it. RIP.
Impressive full moon saw some nice big spring tides. Always remember Len Payne teaching me the trick about spring tides and tide times about 20 years ago. Spring high is at about 4pm and spring low is about 10am. Always. Every single spring tide. Neap tides are the opposite, so 10am high and 4pm low. So now all you need to do is look at the moon to see what the tide times will be. Who needs an app!?
Sad to see marine litter dotting the shores of our coast. Ropes like these are just what tangles up whales and other marine life. Such a pity that many who use the sea to make their money have so little respect for it. Luc says this rope is near the high tide mark so could well be swept back into the sea So if anyone is feeling like a work-out, go drag this lot further up the beach.
Local kneelo Craig Seale had a close encounter at JBay when a dolphin decided to leap before it looked. And crashed into his board. Which is of course better than landing on his head! Nonetheless. A rather bruised looking stick after the unusual accident.
Lots of nice sunrises and sunsets during the week. Always good to get your dose of orange at either side of the day.
Some swell in the water this week, winds might be a bit flukey though.