Yeeeuw, coupla waves towards the end of the week saw everyone get their salt-water dose of happy hormones. PE surfers are nothing if not a patient, stoic lot. We know if we wait long enough something eventually has to sneak round the corner into the bay.
What never sneaks anywhere is the damn wind though, and it did it's obligatory pomp on Saturday. The poor ou's surfing longboard trials at Pipe had to do some serious work getting their noses down against the howling offshore. Props to Remi Peterson who took down World no 2 Steve Sawyer for the win.
Some really good news this week is that a bunch of skollies were bust trying to break into a surfer's car at Millers on Thursday. Some sharp work by local surfer and Die Burger photographer, Werner Hills, made it all happen.
Werner was cruising past the beach on a surf check and spotted some suspicious behaviour in the car park. He sussed the guys out for a while, realised they were up to skelm-stuff, and went to grab the police. The ou's were arrested just as they were about to steal the car. You can check out the whole story here - kinda like a CSI episode!
More good news is that our on-the-ball DA Councillor Dean Biddulph has been having some meetings with the Boardwalk trying to solve the taxi chaos at the robots at the entrance. Anyone who drives along the beachfront regularly knows all about avoiding that left lane!
The car-stealing skollies might have been dealt with, but the general skollies are still about. Stephen Stacey had his grey RVCA jacket with bank cards, drivers license and cellphone nicked from the boardwalk bench at Millers on Sunday morning. So keep your stuff safe, and your eye's wide open.
The much-needed rain didn't quite materialise, but we did get a few dark clouds and a coupla claps of thunder. Shayne Minnot scored an epic shot of the lightening out at Kenton.
Rain we didn't get. Wind we did. The lil wind anemometer at the airport was blowing it's pip off on Saturday at about 70km/h. Luckily Pipe has some good protection from the blocks of flats over the road, so if you didn't mind a bit of chop there were some waves to be had.
Still had to pay our penance with a serious midweek flat spell before the ocean woke up towards the end of the week. Flat as in very blerrie flat. So flat that there wasn't even so much as a ripple lapping on the shore at Hobie Beach. The sea just seamlessly ended on the sand. Like a lake.
In the absence of any surf to check on the obligatory pre-work morning surf-check Gavin Rother was happy to find a new company car instead. Spotted this beaut in the car park at Hobie. It was there with it's mates, an Aston Martin and two Nissan GTR's,
RIP Surfing Magazine. The end of an era as yet another mag bites the dust in the digital age. Print images are iconic in a way digital can never be. The curated permanence of print vs the instantly-available-instantly -forgettable world of digital. Turning a page in a surf mag and coming across a double page spread that just blows your mind can never be replicated by on screen viewing. Ever.
John McCarthy, editor of the now-defunct Bomb Surf mag (an epic mag if ever there was one), raised some good points: "I have to say the fact that Zigzag still exists in this day and age is incredible. As someone who has walked that walk I understand the challenges that Andy Davis and his team face every single time they square up to put an issue out. I'm not talking about digital publishing, anyone can do that.
I'm talking about actually creating a hard copy, something you can hold in your hands, spill your cornflakes or your beer over and go back to time and again. Surf Magazine publishing is fast becoming a dying art and the end of Surfing is just one more notch in the mag grim reaper's belt for our kind. I know that guy, he came for me
Zag, if I'm not mistaken, is the second or third longest running surf mag in the world, think about that for a mo. It's biggest danger and threat is our apathy. So when you see it on the shelves folks, understand the Herculean task that has gone into getting it there, and slip a copy into your basket. For goodness sakes, it is the price of one craft beer! There is a small passionate army of people who toil for little reward to create that thing, who will keep doing it as long as you keep showing them the love. #letsmakezagthelongestrunningsurfmagintheworld"
Well said John. So peeps, next time you spot the Zag - buy it! Better yet, subscribe.
PE might be a lil town, but it sure has some talented locals. Spotted these kiff caps pop up on my timeline during the week. Done by local illustrator Ryan Allan. You can tune Ryan via his FB page if you'd like to own some custom headwear, or ask him to do a design just for you. Nothing that this dude can't conjure up with his Posca pens. He'll be down at the Food Truck Friday event next week if you wanna hook past to grab one.
The Groms had their first trial of the season and lucked into some decent surf at Pipe, so there were plenty of frothing lighties.
Pretty big visitor pulled into port this week. The Queen Mary popped past for a quick day's visit. Thankfully PE was on it's best behaviour and there was no wind. Wondering if we could get it to come more often?
At 149 000 tons she should throw off a decent wake, so shoulda asked her to cruise a bit closer to shore to make a few waves. Ou's surf tanker wake in Texas, so why can't we get some cruiser-wake?
The storm clouds made for some moody skies in the latter part of the week. I don't think it's possible for PE to go a whole week without throwing up some sort of spectacular sunrise or sunset. Just another reason to love our lil town.
Not too much to get excited about for the coming week surf-wise, but should be a few days you can get wet on.
So that's the wrap on the week. Ending off with a random selection of shot's from the week that was...
Good news, the skollies that have been terrorising the Millers car park and other beachfront area's stealing cars and breaking into them have been bust. All thanks to the eagle-eye of Werner Hills, photographer for Die Burger, and a local surfer.
Werner had had his own close call with some skelms a week ago when he'd spotted them hanging about the car park looking dodgy. Sitting in the surf he saw the cop van zooming the wrong way down the Millers road so he made a sprint paddle for the beach expecting the worst.
Luckily his earlier stink eye to the ou's had worked - cos they'd stolen the car next to his. Not his one. But ever since the close encounter he's been keen to try nab the mullets.
Fast forward to yesterday. I'd tuned Werner about some exotic cars down at the Hobie Carpark that Gavin had snapped a shot of, and said to him he might wanna cruise down for some shots. He didn't make it down, but decided to drive down yesterday in case they were still about.
They weren't, so in good surfer style he carried on down Beach Road in order to go check the surf. As he drove past the Millers car park he noticed two ou's just hanging on the deck and something about it just looked suspicious. So he pulled a U'y at the Marine Hotel drove back into the Millers car park, and parked there to have a look.
Two ou's were on the deck and one dude was standing next to a car. When Werner walked past the car he noticed it was definitely a surf car cos there were wetsuits in it. So definitely weird that this dude who definitely wasn't a surfer was hanging next to it.
Werner walked up onto the deck where the other 2 dudes were standing and said something just felt sketchy about the whole vibe.
So he went back to his car and drove out the car park, and back around on Marine Drive, stopping in one of the side streets which look onto the MIllers car park. Sitting there sussing the guys out he noticed that the one dude on the deck always raised his arms as if he was yawning and stretching up whenever someone was going to walk past.
Yah - these ou's were up to skolli-ness.
Werner remembered seeing 2 Metro cops on point duty at the entrance to the Boardwalk, so he cranked his cabbie into gear and gunned it down to the Boardwalk and tuned the cops to come cos some muppets were about to steal a car.
Cops were on it in a flash, and as they screeched into the car park they caught the ou at the back of the car - locks popped, ignition punched out and ready to steal. They got the 2 ou's and cuffed em, but the 3rd dude who'd been on the deck made a bolt and got away.
I was sitting out in the surf with Jay Beaufort and his mates at the time, and next thing we see Werner sprinting down the beach towards a mate of Jay's who'd just got out the water and was sitting on the sand waiting for em.
Next thing both of them are bolting back to the car park. I turned to Jay and said - "Arg, looks like they've bust into another car" And he's like - "Ah, that ou's with me - so that must be my car!" and with that took a quick paddle in to go and investigate.
The cops found a phone stolen from Jay's car in the crooks white golf, as well as the tools used to steal cars in their possession. Seems like they'll be charged with theft from a vehicle as opposed to attempted theft of the vehicle - even though they'd already popped the ignition, but at least it's something, and will hopefully discourage the skelms from hanging about there for a while.
Moral of the story is if you see something that looks suspicious, hang about and watch a while, and then do something if your suspicions prove correct. Pop the Humewood police station number into your phone. Too easy. 041-5045000
Everyone owes Werner a set wave when next they have a surf with him, cos he's the first guy to catch some of these critters and the arrests will hopefully keep the car parks safe for a while.
So yah - you most certainly give him a wave! He's the dude riding the bright red Vetkoek board.
All images Wener Hills
The summer months are synonymous with seaweed, and most surf sessions will have you paddle past clumps of it. Probably not a peep out there that hasn't grabbed a handful of it and either plakked it on their pip or hurled it at a mate. Shame on you if you've done neither.
Turns out that the weed isn't a plant after all, and is actually a marine macro-algae and one of the oldest forms of marine life. In a rather uncommon move for the science world, they kept things simple and just classified them as green, red and brown.
The weed (which isn't actually a weed) is part of the marine algae crew that pay their dues by producing about half the total oxygen on Earth. So next time you lob a piece at your mate you're gooi'ing a bit of the earth's lungs about. Weird, huh!?
The red and brown seaweeds grow mostly in salt water and green seaweeds grow primarily in fresh water. Seaweed is vital to the survival of marine creatures for food and habitat. Seaweed washed up on beaches feeds birds, crustaceans, and other wildlife. Even people! Ou's have been also been chowing seaweed for thousands of years!
Seaweed is chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. All the more reason to keep chomping that sushi. Plenty of the seaweed varieties contain anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial agents. Their known medicinal effects have been legion for thousands of years; the ancient Romans used them to treat wounds, burns, and rashes. And anecdotal evidence also suggests that the ancient Egyptians may have used them as a treatment for cancer.
In an irony not to be overlooked, just as a derivitive of land-based weed (cannabis oil) is being used to treat cancer, so certain seaweeds display the same cancer nuking properties. Researchers hope it will one day prove effective in the treatment of malignant tumors and leukemia. Japan has incredibly low cancer rates, and initially it was thought it was cos of the soy they ate, but turns out it is most likely the seaweed that's been doing the trick.
Seaweed is big bucks, and the annual market clocks in at about $6 billion from the 8 million tons cultivated. Not all of this is chowed though. Seaweed is used in manufacturing, and is an effective binding agent in stuff like toothpaste and fruit jelly.
It's what makes your jelly wiggle, your ice cream stay creamy and your milkshake stay thick. It is also used as a softener in organic cosmetics and skin-care products. And to make fertilizer and glassware. Yip, seaweed's the bomb.
Kelp is also in the seaweed family, and is part of the brown algae family. It differs from seaweed in that it's fussy, and likes to be attached to the sea floor, and only grows in shallow waters at specific temperatures. Lucky you, Cape Town.
Surfing in seaweed can be kinda fun, with the only major hassle being it all getting caught on your leash and making you feel like you towing an anchor on your leggie. Surfing in kelp is a whole 'nother ball game. The protruding kelp heads can be a serious hazard to your board. Klap one of those at speed and you go flying over the handle bars, or pop a fin out.
It is also particularly slimy to stand on. Ask anyone who learnt to surf at Muizenburg. Standing on that stuff all the time in the shallows is just plain siff. It's the reason I wear booties today. Got so grossed out by standing on it!
Seaweed's cool whilst it's in the water, but once it's piled up on the beach in the sun for a few days then things can get smelly! The anaerobic breakdown of sulfates in the seaweed leads to the production of hydrogen sulfide gas. Then, when the white kinda crust that's formed on the outside of the seaweed breaks because of waves rolling it about or people stepping on it, the gas releases into the air and gives off that all-too-familiar rotting eggs smell.
So next time you paddle past a clump of it you'll know a lil bit more about how important it is in the greater scheme of things. Then still go ahead and chuck it at your mate!
Finally. A surf shot of PE. Which means at last there were a few lil waves about. Nothing flash, but worth getting wet for indeed. Not only did we get surf, the recent spate of muggings and break-in's seemed to have calmed down a bit - only one wallet stolen from a car at Pipe on the weekend.
But wait - what the skelm's did steal actually was Thurs/Fridays swell. The charts had looked promising, with a decent period and swell size. Everyone was frothing. Plans made to ditch work to catch something vaguely resembling a wave. Even the winds were gonna be good. Instead - this is all we got. Perfect 6 inch peelers. (admittedly the Seals & JBay crewed scored as usual)
Despite the skelm's stealing the swell, one thing they can't steal is the sunsets. Which just keep on delivering week after week. Some things are just skollie-proof!
Feedback from the beachfront's super-jacked-up Councillor Dean Biddulph regarding the recent safety issues - he is really doing what he can through the channels available to try and address the current safety concerns along the beachfront. He points out that SAP policing is not under municipal control, so the municipality are working at strengthening the capacity of the new metro police. Dean met with MMC for Safety and Security for NMBM, John Best, during the week to discuss possible interventions. Lekker to know that Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality is onto this.
Couple more shots of the waves this week. Cos hey, when we actually get some have to maximise the mileage! It is after all a surfing website, so have to show the odd surf shot as evidence we not the Vaal Dam. Winter can't come quick enough.
Hopefully the El Nino cycle is fading and we might get back to some decent winter waves. Over the past 2 years El Nino brought the rest of the world epic surf, but skunked us stuck down here at the bottom of Africa pretty bad. The complex weather patterns kept many of the big fronts offshore from Plett eastwards, whereas we want em klapping us not getting pushed back out to sea!
In the latter part of the week it did feel a bit wintery, as water temps dropped to about 14C for a few days. Coupla ou's got caught out badly as was for all intents and purposes a lovely looking summers day to go have a paddle about in your boardies...right up until the point where you big toe actually touched the water line.
Then you were screwed. Cos you can't look like a naff and bail out and walk back up the beach, but it meant you had to suck it up and try look chilled (literally and figuratively) whilst you sat out there wondering how long you had to be out there for appearance's sake before you could scramble back to the warm beach and deal with the hypothermia.
The windless, swell-less days do have their advantages. Like letting lighties scramble safely about the rocks at Avo's without getting annihilated. Sweet looking lil bank out the back of the rock. Just need waves now.
Pretty gnarly fires out near Schoenies/Marine Drive area during the week meant wildside surf options weren't on the cards. The pomping wind made things hairy at times. But thankfully our town has some amazing firefighters, who yet again did a great job of containing things. And even had time to rescue a torti.
Ex-PE local Carl Barnard is loving the perks of his job at the moment. The super yacht he crews on is currently parked off in a nice lil set of tropical islands, and he's scoring surf like this with just him and one or 2 other guys every morning and evening. Most ou's would work for free for that!
Sunsets always get most of the glory - for no other reason than it's just too damn early to get up to shoot sunrises, but Kevin made the effort and nailed a lekker shot at Pipe. Some early birds on the beach, but not in the water it seems.
Some kiff vintage shots of Humewood and Kings Beach cropped up during the week. Thanks to Cat Anderson for posting. Remember back then Hobie beach wasn't an option yet, as was all miff and rocky before they built the pier, so Hummies was what Hobie is today in terms of the "go-to" possie for a day in the sun.
The crystal ball doesn't show anything terribly exciting from a groundswell perspective headed our way for the next 2 weeks. Remember that this is offshore swell, so any swell from a westerly sorta direction must be divided by at least 50-70% for what actually makes it round into our protected bay. South East swells come pretty much straight into the bay though.
Have a surf week. Have a safe week. Remember to still keep your eye's peeled for skollies, and don't leave stuff lying about in your cabbie to appeal to opportunistic impulse shoppers.
Another week of not much surf but plenty other goings on to keep peeps talking. Let's do surf first. There wasn't much. Ah, mentioned that already. The saving grace of summer scratchy spells is that the water is warm so it's pleasant to bob about out there despite minimal wave action.
Serious phantom swell alert that had everyone frothing with an 18 second period delivered absolutely bogger all. Had a run of phantom swells lately, Dunno if the wave modeling dudes have changed their algorithms lately but they sure are making some howlers.
One thing that never disappoints are African sunsets. Had another good batch of em this week. No sunsets quite like home. And no-one captures them quite like Schoenies local Luc Hosten.
The dolphins were pretty active again this week. Enjoying the flat seas and crystal clear waters. Coupla lucky peeps had jumped off their kayak at Devil's Reef at the back of Millers to have a bit of a swim - and ended up with a whole school of dolphins swimming around them. Early morning SUP regular Frans Gerber who always has his GoPro with also got some lekker shots of the friendly finned locals.
Not all locals are friendly though. The local skelms had a busy week - managing to steal two cars and break into at least two others. Had a sit more than a surf with Werner mid week and he was saying when he arrived in Millers car park there were some dodgy looking ou's so he evil eyed them. Next thing we spot a cop van haring down the road from Something Good sign - so Werner bailed to go check on his car. Turns out they'd stolen a car right next to his, which belonged to an off duty cop who was diving at Chomp Rock.
Another car was stolen opposite the Oceanarium, and an unhappy mom returned to find an empty parking space after spending a pleasant morning at Denvils with her lightie.
Wes's car got bust into on Beach Rd opposite Beer Shack, him & a mate parked there and walked to Fence, erroneously thinking it was safer than parking at Kings. Got back to find jimmy'd car lock and stolen his phone, and broke into his mate's car as well.
Frans Gerber mentioned to Metro police he bumped into at Hobie about all the break-in's etc and they didn't know about it, but at least responded by immediately increasing patrols to effected area's. Everyone needs to be super vigilant and if you spot sketchy ou's then take the 2 minutes to call Humewood police station and tell em! Number is 041-5045000. Save it to your phone. Be part of the solution.
Not only the skollies ruffling feathers. Some new signage up at St Francis and JBay met with divided opinion. Coupla tourist-type frames went up and were possibly not placed in the best possies. Good concept but got tripped up a bit in execution.
Always helps to consult the regular users of any particular area you wanna do stuff like that in. So for instance - putting one up on the boardwalk at JBay where you have to climb off the boardwalk and into the protected garden area in order to take the snap is probably not ideal
Also not sure if JBay/SF warrants the NauticalCapital hashtag? Surfing maybe. Sailing? Not so much....
Tragedy struck on the wildside on Saturday morning. Frankie Nienhuis, a Pearson matric pupil, drowned whilst spearfishing on Thunderbolt Reef. Fellow spear fishermen became concerned after he failed to surface after a dive and initiated an emergency response. His body was later found. RIP young man.
One thing about summer in PE - you might not get waves, but you sure do get wind. The local kiters never moan about an onshore. Plenty playing out at Sards.
Christmas might be over, but you can still buy yourself a lekker present at Surf Centre - all new shortboards are less R500. Go have a looky-see.
You get kooks, and then you get uber-kooks. This Japanese tourist managed to find himself 6k's out to sea for 16hrs off the coast of Aus and lucky got picked up by a container ship. It takes a special kinda special to get it so badly wrong. Surprisingly he didn't become shark snack food.
Ending off with some random shots from the week that was. Yrr - we love in such a lekker spot don't we!
#ProudlyPE #localislekker #thebayisbetter
The first week of 2017 won't be remembered for the quality of it's surf, but hey - it's summer, the water's warm and the weather's lekker, so it's good enough. And even if the sea isn't doing much exciting, the sunrises and sunsets sure have been making the effort.
If were just keen to get your salt-water dose you were in luck, as there were some small sliders and some onshore lumps throughout the week. Just couldn't be fussy though. But then when do PE surfers ever get that luxury?
If you were prepared to take the road less travelled....better treasures awaited.
The JBay ou's are not quite used to the mission that trying to find waves in summer in PE entails. Arno Lane did manage to find a few possibilities after putting in the miles.
Always fascinated by the street vendors plying their trade along the beachfront this time of year. Primary product this year was selfie sticks and yellow inflatable ducks. Ou's had to develop some fine skills to keep a hold of them during the super windy days...
You know the holidays are over when they come fetch the temporary bog-houses...
Been some crystal clear water about on the windless days, here's St Francis looking like the tropics.
The local wildlife hasn't had a good week. A seal with an apparent gunshot wound washed up at Cape St Francis, and a dolphin with a big chomp outta its back washed up at JBay. Appears as if the dolphin lost a battle with a White. Eish.
Didn't matter if the surf wasn't the best - you could still hit the pavements for some glide. Always fun to take the lighties for a tandem skate. Smile stretches from ear to ear. Kids are easy to please!
Ex-Pipe local and now superyacht crewman Carl Barnard isn't too concerned about the PE flatspell - cos he's been hooking some kiff waves in the Maldives.
Some more ex-locals blew in for the holidays, with Ari and Faye popping past Seals for a quick howzit. The happy couple serve as a great reminder for all those looking for future partners - remember the saying that goes "couple that play together, stay together" - and there isn't a better combo than having both of you that surf!
Cos surfing ain't like tennis that you can just arrange to play on a Saturday at 3pm. You need someone to understand why you just have to bail whatever social engagement might have been organised weeks in advance cos the surf's cooking NOW!
The week ended off with some spectuacular sunsets, a last blast before most peeps have to head back to work and school. All the best for 2017!