Johann Stassen got some cool shots of the east swell last week at Pier and Millers.
Photo credits: Johann Stassen
Ysss, we on a bit of a run here. Another week with plenty of waves in the bay. Monday was a cracker with some solid east swell pulling through. Good size at Humewood and Pier, and even some decent sets at Millers. Lotsa peeps bunking work.
Here's hoping this run of good surf is a positive omen for a cracker winter, cos El Nino has diddled us the past 2 years, so we owed a good one.
The cyclone swell pummeled the Durbs coastline for days. ou's getting shacked off their pips. Stand up hands free barrels were the order of the day. St Francis local Richy Basnett did a duck back to his old home town and scored some booooombs.
Besides getting good waves we had good days too. Sure, Cape Town has it's mountain, but we ain't half bad either.
Tuesday Thunderstorms! Was a cracker literally and figuratively. Normally PE storms can only muster up the odd growl and one bolt and it's done. Tuesday's sky show saw Schoenies looking like Armageddon and the poor chokka boats kakking off as bolts were hitting the sea all over the show.
After a bit of a breather midweek the swell returned, water temps had dropped a bit, enough to realise that summer is nearing it's end of days..
Early birds generally get the worms, specially true in PE. Where early morning winds behave themselves and stay pretty clean til about 8-ish - when the land breeze comes up and goes all NW wonky.
You can only imagine how decent the surf out west has been if the bay's been getting fun waves. Usual story - spend the petrol money and score the goods.
The groms kicked off the 2017 Billabong Grom Games at the Pipe on Saturday in some good surf for the lighties - clean and overhead for most of the gremlins. The comp finishes on Monday.
Stoked with the custom cap I ordered from local artist Ryan Allen. Long story short is that partner-in-crimes nickname is Spongebob. So gotto have a Bob cap. Tune Ryan here if you'd like to get a custom design, cos #localislekker #supportlocals
Friday had some really good waves. It also had some crazy crowds. probably amplified cos was the start of a long weekend. Still some waves to be had early Saturday morning before the wind got on it.
Owen Wright pulled off a miracle return to competition by winning the Quik Pro at Snapper, taking out fellow goofy Wilko. Owen suffered a serious head injury at Pipe back in Dec 2015 and had a long, slow recovery to full health - literally having to learn to surf again. Seems he did a pretty good job of it!
Jordy is looking pretty sharp which bodes well for the season, and Slater also seems to have got some froth back. Judging was a bit odd at times with the panel seemingly preferring the 10 windscreen wiper turns to the beach by the goofy's vs the inventiveness of the regular footers.
When the winds go bad for the bay you gotto get behind the wheel and go searching. Luc Hosten grabbed this cool shot of local logger Dean Simpson heading through Schoenies on a wave hunting mission.
Pretty damn good week all in all. Unfortunately it doesn't seem like our luck will hold for 4 weeks in a row of good surf - as the coming week looks pretty small and mostly onshore. Time to catch up on some work again everyone!
The good run of swell continued, with the week opening up with a bang. Hard to argue with cooking surf on a Monday. And more on Tuesday. And by Wednesday everyone was boggered and lil lines rolled in by late arvo with no-one to ride 'em.
Bryan Moulang and his single fin reaping the benefits of great manners. Bryan's lady is learning to surf and she had just caught a wave, so he paddled in to check on her and paddle her back out - and this lil peeler swung wide and he was in the perfect spot to hook it.
#MannersMakethMan (also helps him score waves!)
Out west definitely had some peach days during the week, and those that put the k's on their cabbie were rewarded with some bombs. But for once you didn;t actually even have to leave the bay to get some good one's.
International women's day midweek meant you had to be nice to the ladies and hand over a few set waves. Pretty much every day of the week every week of the year is some or other International Day. Eish. We been commercialized to the point of no return. Even surfing has it's own day.
Some surf spots have pretty obtuse names. Others don't entail too much deduction as to why they're called what they're called. Pipe would be one of the spots which fits in the latter category. Here's why...
Some tourists got value for money this week when their boat trip out past Cape Recife saw them happen upon an Orca hunting pack that were chasing a pod of dolphins. Always someone bigger than you in the food chain...
Some serious easterlies during the week meant that the blue bottle army showed up on our shores again. A lot smaller than a killer whale but will hurt you all the same! Remember the best way to treat a sting is to use hot water - as hot as you can bear, as this breaks down the protein of the stuff that's stinging you.
At least the east isn't wasted. The kiters get out there and make the most of the onshore washing machine conditions.
Props to Chris Bertish who completed his SUP across the Atlantic in 93 days. Crazy gnarly conditions and totally unsupported during the trip, Chris is a legend!
Slummies surf photag Pierre de Villiers was in PE for the weekend. Unfortunately the waves didn't co-operate, but Pierre still managed to hook some lekker shots of our hood.
After a slight lull the surf got back to being fun on Friday, Lyell Watson getting some nose time at Pipe,
Despite the homping pomping winds of Saturday there were still some nooks and crannies that could deal with the conditions. Throw in a lekker full moon to complete the picture.
Greg Christy's new toy got some nice aerial shots showing how the sand spit at the Kromme river mouth is still solid enough to keep the spring tide swells out. Been long standing concerns that the sea will finally break through the spit and cause all sorts of kak for the canal system.
The week wouldn't be complete without a sunrise or sunset shot from Schoenies local Luc Hosten.
Bit of easterly groundswell due to hit the bay first thing this week. Just hoping the winds hold off long enough for everyone to sneak a ride or two in.
Some decent waves book-ended the week - started with a bang on Monday with some solid swell filling into the bay, despite the light SSE. Things went quiet for the rest of the week until Sunday saw a good 15 second swell period let everyone finish off the week with a smile.
If PE had good waves you can only imagine how lekker the spots just to the west were. Cooking lines at JBay and further afield. Those who didn't make the trek down the road made do with the next best thing - firing Rincon.
The internet is still awash with talk of Mick Fanning's secret right sand point. Turns out it's been right in front of our eye's all along! OK. Maybe not. But we PE surfers are nothing if not unfailingly optimistic.
Mid week saw the usual flat spell, but the lack of surf didn't stop Gideon from coming up with a cool shot of the beach at Pollock. Even if you don't manage to hook a surf even being at the beach and getting your toes in the sand can put a smile on your dial.
The Madibaz kicked off the competitive year with their first comp on Friday, and went wildside hunting to find some decent waves. Gregory Cuthbert took the win with Daniel Rumbelow in @nd possie. After finishing 3rd at SA's last year the team are back on a mission to regain the trophy they won in 2015.
Batten down the hatches if you live on the east coast. A frothing monster headed you way - hopefully some of the huge east swell generated by that makes it's way down the coast to us!
Jean Tresfon is a CT local who regularly takes to the air to get some amazing shots of our beautiful coastline. Last week he spotted a massive school of tuna lurking about just off overberg. Can imagine the frenzy all the fishermen got into after seeing that!
Did an article this week about why colour on your stick is the next best thing to sliced bread. Ask any surf photag and they'll tell you having some brightness on your board makes a shot pop. Find out more here...(and what your colour choice says about you)
Samsung have pulled the plug on their sponsorship of the WSL effective immediately. Things looking a bit ragged around the edges with first the CEO resigning (no doubt saw the writing on the wall) and no the main sponno doing a runner. The elusive billionaire Dirk Ziff who already bankrolls the WSL might just be digging deeper into his pocket.
Any peeps in PE keen for a Swim Free Confidence Underwater course on the 18th or 19th of March hosted by John McCarthy? The course costs R750pp, takes 5 hrs and by the end of it you should be ready to handle any beating the ocean decides to throw at you. Pop down a comment if you game.
Check out the link to find out more info
Was heading down a wormhole looking for an old shot of Kelly during his board babe days for the "Bright is Better" article, which was like trying to find a 4 leaf clover cos it was in the pre-internet era. Came across a classic shot of big wave legend Laird Hamilton as a lightie with none other than Brooke shields on the back of his bike. He was cool from the get-go.
Bruce Weber takes some amazing portraits of surfers, you can check some of his work out here:
That's it for the week peeps. Looks like this week might offer up a few opportunities to get wet, so don't miss out.
Durbs local John McCarthy is running a Swim Free course which is essentially aimed at surfers wanting to improve their breathe hold capacity in real-life surfing situations. Better breathe hold means you can get out there into bigger surf. John talks us through the course:
So what goes into the Swim Free Confidence Underwater Workshop?
I developed this course purely because I wanted to be comfortable surfing bigger waves and know that I could handle the hold downs.
The increased capacity did lead to me becoming interested in free diving, which I now also love, but the two activities are very different when it comes to managing your breath hold.
In free diving your breath is rarely adrenalised or hypoxic and depth is usually a primary objective. In surfing you are both hypoxic and adrenalised and depth is is not so much an objective as is surviving the beating.
Lets face it in surfing you are only holding your breath when something has gone wrong. It doesn’t matter if your comfort zone is 2ft or 20ft this course will help you relax in the surf because it will make you more confident in what you are able to handle.
In this course I teach people to approach and manage their breath hold so that they can vastly increase their capacity in and under the water.
You DO NOT have to be a big wave surfer or extreme athlete to benefit from this. The average increase in just 5 hrs is around 100%.
The course has four fundamental pillars and takes approximately 5 hours to run. The cost is R750pp.
1. Discovering your mammalian dive reflex and learning how to use it.
2. Conscious breathing. Breath up, the breath and recovery breath. Remember a lot of this in surfing is hypoxic and adrenalised, which is very different to free diving.
3. Efficiency underwater. We speak a different language down there and the smallest things underwater can make a massive difference. Slow is Pro! When transitioning from above to below the surface we have to learn to press the ‘reset’ button. I run several drills that deal specifically with wipeout and caught inside scenarios as well as how to behave underwater when this happens.
5. Safety. We always do waterwork with a buddy, be conservative, understand contractions and C02, never hyperventilate, understand the difference between blackout (your mammalian dive reflex preventing you from drowning) and drowning by breathing in water. Understand and share deepwater resuscitation , it could save your life!
John is thinking about coming to PE on either the 18th or 19th of March to run the course - is anyone keen? Drop a note in the comments or choon ML via FB
Face it. A plain white board is as boring as a rice cake. What starts as a vanilla canvas lends itself to a myriad of colourful opportunities, so don't miss the chance to give your board some personality. Bright is better bru.
Surfboards have gone through various cycles. During the 70’s and 80’s pretty much all boards were coloured. Cos hey - if the decade was all about lumo you sure as hang weren't gonna have ice white boards now were ya? Solid colours were the go, with some rail contrasts and inserts thrown in. The 80's were all about geometric and abstract designs.
The 90's tried to swing back to minimal colour but everyone soon realised that boards that were as bland as Swiss furniture weren't cutting it. Thankfully in recent years there's been a resurgence in the use of colour.
The desire for an original look is hardly new. There have been some iconic sprays over the years, with lil nuggets of board art defining legendary surfers and particular era's. Anyone remember Kelly's girl phase back around '94/'95? Musta been how he dealt with the Pamela Anderson break-up? And his red, yellow, green and blue board immortalised in the Quicksilver Crossing?
How about Andy's Rising Sun, which launched what must be one of Billabong's most famous boardshorts of all time.
Turn the clock back even further and the bright and bold crew were spearheaded by the likes of Gerry Lopez with his famous Lightening Bolt and Mark Richards with his Superman boards.
Thankfully the current crop of surfers aren't scared of some colour either. Julian Wilson loves his pink, Ozzie Wright is all rainbows and unicorns and Jordy celebrated Madiba's 95th Birthday with a classic spray.
Filipe flips out for a bit of colour and don't reckon he's ever been seen on a plain white board. Owen Wright made the monster claw famous. Italo Ferreria might not be the best known surfer on the CT - but he sure has the brightest quiver. All in all there's not that many boring boards on tour. Which is a good thing. Cos sometimes the waves on tour are boring. But the boards. Never.
Trends in board spray goes out of fashion quite quick, cos surfing is all about individuality. No one really wants to be walking down the beach with a replica of someone else’s exact board.
Getting your board inked is a way of getting your message out there. Gatvol with the world? Give it the middle finger. Got something to say about politics, stick it on that bottom deck. Like prawns? Show 'em some love. Punk rock roots? Throw in a skull or two.
Surfboard colours 'n designs also help heaps when it comes to working out who's who in the line-up. Most of the time you won't know an ou's name, but when trying to describe him to someone you can go "the guy with red & orange board" which narrows it down significantly. If you the ou with the white board, well then you're consigned to obscurity.
Nothing makes a rad surf shot better than having some colour thrown into the mix. One way to get better surf shots of yourself is to brighten your board up. Speaking from personal experience as someone who's turns are more 9 'o clock than 12 o'clock that bit of colour helps to save an otherwise boring pic.
If you're not into garish sprays you can still get your groove on with some smooth lines or just a plain solid colour. Anything is better than white. Really.
It doesn't have to break the bank either - a bit of home-made liveliness from the 'ol Posca pen or spray can is just as good.
JBay's Stephen van der Watt is a local who's absolutely wicked with a set of Posca's, and'll whip you up everything from a pineapple to a skelli to a JBay line-up.
Solid colour sprays are pretty big these days, so does the colour you choose say anything about you? Turns out there is such a thing as the psychology of color, and is all about how colors play a hand in our personalities and behavioral traits. Probably about as scientific as star signs. but let's see what they say anyhow just for a laugh.
Blue seems to be a popular colour these days, so let's kick off with that. According to the colour expert peeps if you dig blue you're "calm, cool, and reliable, with a deep need to find inner peace and truth, to live their life according to their ideals and beliefs without having to change their inflexible viewpoint of life to satisfy others."
Red board? Those who love red live life to the fullest and are tenacious and determined in their endeavors. If your favorite color is red, you are action oriented with a deep need for physical fulfillment and to experience life through the five senses.
Orange board? You are friendly and easy going. You have a great need to be with people, to socialize with them, and be accepted and respected as part of a group. You also have a need for challenges in your life, whether it is physical or social challenges.
Green board? You are affectionate, practical, loyal and frank. Green lovers are also aware of what others think of them and consider their reputation very important and as such are refined, civilized and reputable.
Yellow board? You enjoy learning and sharing your knowledge with others. Finding happiness comes easy to you. You have a deep need for logical order in your everyday life and to be able to express your individuality by using your logical mind to inspire and create new ideas.
Purple board? You are artistic and unique. You have a great respect for people. You are very intuitive and often interested in spirituality and the deeper meaning of life. You are compassionate and active, you are a free spirit looking for the secrets of life
Black board? You are strong-willed and determined. You want power and prestige and you are not afraid of going after what you want. You are enigmatic and charming but can often appear intimidating to even your closest colleagues and friends.
There's just something so aesthetically pleasing about a lekker surfboard spray. So ditch the white and embrace the bold. Just like life's too short to waste time with white socks - same goes for that boring white stick.
Yeeeuew! The ocean finally woke up on Sunday and sent through some stacked lines that even managed to hook round the corner into the bay. For once the phantom coin was flipped and landed the right side up. So often there's been swell on the charts and none arrives, so lekker when none predicted and some cookers show up.
Been such a wave drought in PE that everyone was so amped to get out there and get waves that no-one took any shots. But if your mates tell you it was cooking on Sunday arvo then don't doubt them.
After a week of super warm water the homping east followed up by homping west did it's usual trick of taking the temp straight down to the "freeze ya nuts off" variety. Reports of 9C water at Seals and JBay had some ou's turn round and head back to the beach after just paddling a few strokes.
One of the Throwback Thursday shots this week had the ou's scratching their heads trying to work out where it was taken. Seems to be no consensus as to whether it was Sa's at St Mike's or at Buffels, as no-one can quite work out the light pole and house combo. Is taken mid 80's.
What's most cool about the shot is that everyone is engaged - whether watching the action or tuning mates. The life before the attention-eating cellphone. Won't get a surf comp shot these days without at least half of those in the shot face-down engrossed in the digital realm.
One of the funny things to arise from the FB post comments was that at those '83/'84 SA Champs the guys were all given a "shark stick". There'd been a couple of shark attacks at Nahoon so the organizers decided to be pro-active and gave all the competitors a piece of sawn off broomstick with a set of instructions wrapped around it that showed how to insert the stick vertically in mouth of an attacking sharks ... along with the helpful suggestion "do not bleed, as this will only excite the shark". Yah well, no fine.
On the subject of fins. Unfortunately another fatal shark encounter at Reunion last week. A 26 year old bodyboarder was bitten - this time on the opposite side of the island from where the attacks commonly occur. Must be so hectic to live where there are amazing waves and know you are literally playing Russian Roulette every time you surf.
For those who like their booties, if you have a full piggy bank that needs to be emptied you can grab these Prada booties for a measley $700. Am thinking for $700 they gonna have to do a lot better than that...
Not a week goes by when PE doesn't deliver an epic sunrise or sunset, and this week was no different. Think Friday took the win for the best effort of the week.
Might be a wave here and there this coming week, so don't be too bleak if you missed out on the Sunday swell.
'Twas a week remembered more for the weather than the waves. The surf was small and scratchy, but the weather sure turned on a treat. Some amazing cloud formations, sunrises, sunsets, lightening bolts and all sorts. Even some rain.
It was the usual summer story, you had to do the miles to get the rides. A trip down the coast on Saturday morning saw you landing some early morning sunrise shacks. If you didn't leave the bay - the only shacks on offer were the 6 inch one's at Bird Rock.
You really know there's no motion in the ocean when your weekly surf blog has more pictures of clouds than waves. But at least something was lekker! Always good to go for the glass half full philosophy.
The sticky stinky hot weather at least managed to drum up enough energy to throw down a bolt or two. Jarred Cassidy nabbed this cool shot of a Fence cracker. The ago old adage says there's gold at the end of the rainbow. Unfortunately it didn't translate into waves at the end of the bolt.
The sunrise/sunset show was up to it's usual tricks again.
It wasn't a complete bust as far as surf went, there were days to have a paddle on. As a Bay surfer you soon learn to get amped about a pap 1-2ft roller cos it's better than anything else that's come by for a week. Were some better spots if you knew where to look. Siya shoulda been looking behind him!
Long-time Fence local and all-round EP legend Gavin Rudolph popped through over the weekend, and hooked up with his china John Scheepers to say Howzeet. Plenty of tales about the good 'ol days between those two ballies. Gav still rips the West Coast, but says his hip's a bit buggered these days and he battles to pig dog barrels now!
Gav might have a gammy hip, but another old PE surfer Steve McKechnie has a gammy everything at the moment. Steve had a hectic car accident in January and is undergoing extensive rehab at the moment. If you're able to drop him a few bucks to help fund it you can click the link below.
Steve surfed the elusive Harbour Rights inside the PE harbour mouth back in 2003, solving the riddle as to whether those waves the guys used to watch from up on the hill were ride-able.
The Grom-zilla's took over Pipe on Sunday for their 3rd and final trial. Perfect lil-peep size waves on offer for the lighties.
The skelms are still at large - car bust into in the Pipe car park during the grom trials. So don't drop your guard just cos the car park is busy - ou's operate in all conditions!
The lack of surf during the week was made up by the hunt for surf sparked by Mick Fannings latest edit of an epic looking right sand point. Here's hoping they manage to keep the secret from the inter-web. Bit of a dichotomy anyhow's cos they published it in the first place. Secret spots are dead in the age of the internet.
A dire looking surf forecast for the week ahead. Consider taking up tiddlywinks instead.
Yip, that right there pretty much sums up the surf this week. It was pretty dismal. The odd slide was to be had if you headed east or west of the bay, but even then you were kinda scratching. A proper summer doldrum kinda week. Sticky, sweaty, muggy....and no surf. Unless you really looked hard.
It's week's like these that make everyone seriously consider having a longboard in the quiver. Cos at least you can still get wet on the teeny stuff, and don't have to resort to push gliding shopping trolleys down the aisles at the Spar.
Sad to say goodbye to Welcome, the long time beach cleaner of the Hobie/Millers stretch - he's haunt for the past 37 years. Local resident Lynne Neubert organised a farewell party for him together with some other beach regulars to say thanks for the great job he did of keeping our possie clean. Which he did - not a morning went by when it wasn't spic n span. If you'd like to drop Welcome a gift to say thanks for his efforts then contact Lynn as she's still collecting goodies for him and will see him before he leaves for his up-country retirement at the end of Feb.
The Billabong SA Interclub Champs went down at Seals over the weekend. Congrats to PE team CYOH Surf Club for hooking a 2nd possie - for the 4th year in a row! The title was claimed by Cape Town team SWOT, with Jeffreys Bay Boardriders in 3rd & last years winners, Seals Boardriders, in 4th.
No surf no problem. More ou's should take a leaf outta Bruce Anderson's book and do a lil beach clean when the waves are not cooperating. Bruce was quite stoked they named a surf spot after him as well!
Sunday's meant to be a day of rest but the skollies don't seem to abide by those rules, or any rules for that matter. Photographer Luc Hosten was enjoying a quiet brekkie at Something Good when things got a bit exciting: ""While I was there a car was broken into. We presume the locking of the car was jammed. There was a lot of running around in the parking area and this car left the area at high speed. The registration number can unfortunately not be made out."
So - keep an eye out for what looks like a white VW golf or polo as it may be part of the sketchy crew. Not exactly an uncommon kinda cabbie, but at least you know what possibly to be aware of when you parking your car for a surf.
Valentine's Day coming up this week, and Surf Centre are throwing out a wettie special so if you manage to hint obviously enough to your better half you can score a wetsuit at a good price. Winters coming up so a good idea to upgrade your rubber.
Did I mention the surf was pretty flat all week? Here's a reminder - Wednesday morning cooking session at da Pipe.
Luckily the local PE surfers are a super talented lot - so when the swell isn't cooperating they get up to other stuff. How's this amazing art by Robyn van der Merwe.
A week in PE wouldn't be complete without an awesome sunset or two. Luc is always happy to oblige! The odd day this week looks surfable, but otherwise plan to get your glide on by sliding across the kitchen floor in your socks,
If you’ve surfed long enough you’ve learnt the hard way that rain can reduce swell size fairly significantly. Thinking you going to be waking up to macking surfed based on the forecast – only to find it half the predicted size thanks to the pouring rain that accompanied it in the cold front.
Go ahead and curse those lil water droplets, cos they certainly do smash down the swell size pretty significantly. The ancient mariners knew all this before us, and sailing lore speaks of how the rain tends to calm the sea.
Here's how it happens in science-speak: Rain alters surface roughness though the production of wavelets by raindrops, as well as dampening of high-frequency waves. It reduces energy in the ocean surface through non-linear interactions with the underlying wave field.
Simply put - when raindrops hit the sea they change the properties of the surface, Rain causes a uniform increase in pressure throughout the water column cos of the turbulent dissipation created by the rain drops penetrating the sea surface and by changing momentum at the surface layer.
If you’ve sat out in the surf in a rain storm you know how quickly the waves disappear!
The falling rain has a coupla different effects that alter the water surface and in doing so dampens the swell. First up is the droplet splash with its associated ring waves. When a raindrop hits the water surface, it typically creates a crater with a crown that evolves into a vertical stalk. This is followed by radiating ring waves, Like the pic below...
These creates a subsurface turbulence which dampens the short period waves the most. One of the major scattering features is the collapsing of the stalk. The ou's in the lab studied raindrops falling in coloured water and worked out each drop sends down one or more masses of water downwards below the surface in the form of vortex rings.
These rings descend with a gradually diminishing velocity and with increasing size to a distance of several inches, generally as much as eighteen inches, below the surface. Each drop sends down a bunch of rings.
It is not that the drop merely forces itself down under the surface, but, in descending, carries down with it a mass of water. The rain falling on to water results in as much motion immediately beneath the surface as above it. So besides, the splash and surface-effect which the drops produce, they cause the water at the surface to rapidly change places with the water some distance below. Such a movement of water from one place to another tends to destroy wave-motion.
Think of it this way: you have a layer of water on the surface a few inches thick, which is flowing in a specific direction over the lower water, which is to be supposed at rest. The effect of a drop would be to knock some of the moving water into the layer beneath it which is at rest, and the same amount of water that it has just displaced would have to rise up into the moving layer. This then disturbs the motion of the upper layer, slowing it down.
Another interesting way that rain reduces the wave height is that the rain changes the temperature and salinity of the upper layer of the sea, which in turn reduces its viscosity. Warm rain relative to the sea temp will reduce the attenuation of surface ripples. If the temp difference is 10 degrees Celcius it can dampen waves by 25%.
Rain intensity is the major contributer to swell killing - with 15m/hr being able to quash the wave height by 28%. So - big rains mean reduce those swell expectations!
As surfers we might grumble about the negative effects rain has on wave size, but it's doing some important stuff by falling in the sea. The world's oceans are considered a major sink of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The falling raindrops create bubbles (surface turbulence) in the upper upper layer of the ocean surface. This has a strong influence on the exchange of atmospheric gases by promoting the gas transfer across the air-sea interface.
Besides the mechanical effect of the falling rain which accelerates the gas transfer, rainwater also changes the temperature, salinity and carbonate composition of the sea surface. This in turn effects the solubility and partial pressure of CO2 in the surface layer.
Differences of approximately 6% in annual global CO2 flux have been estimated, which means that rain serves to increase the oceanic CO2 sink. It's a kinda good bad situation though - as absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere helps reduce it's effects on climate change. but then increasing the CO2 in the oceans isn't so lekker cos it leads to ocean acidification. Bit of a stuck behind the 8-ball kinda situation.
Rain over the sea is quite a self-fulfilling prophecy in a way, cos the tiny drops can actually seed the atmosphere with salt grains that become in turn the condensation nuclei for rain. So rain creates more rain. Neat!
Anyhow, at least next time you get skunked by a swell forecast or sit out there in a rain squall, you'll have a better idea as to what's happening.