Waves. Glorious waves. Ok, so it wasn't perfect, but the fact that there were 4 days of kiff waves in the middle of January is good enough for most folks. Fence was pretty gangbuster - rumour is that Greg Heasley got spat out with a foam ball on one particularly good barrel. Pity the skelms took advantage of the crowds and broke into a coupla cars parked on the grass there.
Humewood had some smokers, provided you could find the gems in among the closeouts. Banks a bit screwy still. Pier even dished up a few wobbly one's. Millers had a small finned fellow visit the line-up, probably cos of the surfeit of bait fish about.
As usual, if you put petrol in the tank and drove west things got even more interesting. Quite a few PE ou's made the trek and were rewarded.
Wasn't only the surfers jumping for joy about the waves. The locals got in on the action as well, spotted at the Seals beachie. Just goes to show the joy or riding waves isn't limited to humans.
Some lekker weather days during the week - meant peeps got a chance to get down to the beach to catch some rays. Unfortunately there was a muppet lurking around at Pipe that decided to get his hand cranking in response to all the bikini's about. Thanks to local surfer Wayne Barnes for seeing what was happening and chasing the guy off the beach.
The good weather saw the yachts and Hobie's out and about. Always cool to see some boating activity in our bay.
Gotto say PE peeps get things done. Rocks n kak on the beach at Pipe? No problem, Mervyn Goddard made a plan. Donovan Fick arranged for a skip from Skipgo Port Elizabeth, and Christo Opperman from Sasol Summerstrand provided some staff on Saturday morning to help with the clean-up. A whole pile of junk was removed from the beach - thanks to all.
There are also multiple smaller bins placed on the beach, so grab a few rocks and gooi them in there as you walk past. Remember, moaning gets bogger-all achieved, but actually doing something does.
© Mervyn Goddard
SANCCOB did their monthly beachwalk in the Cape Recife over the weekend. Sad to see they found 14 dead Cape gannets and 6 African penguins along an approximately 5 kilometre stretch of coastline. Hopefully the deaths are linked to some storm or bad weather event., and not as a consequence of something else more sinister. Keep an eye on the SAMREC website for notice of future walks.
There were some stunning sunsets as usual during the week. Didn't get round to capturing one, but Robbie out in JBay got a great sunrise shot.
Change of scenery for CarPark John. You can now find him working at the Boardroom on Saturday mornings - so pop in and say howzit and grab yourself some gear, or a new board. Or try your hand at a bit of table tennis - CPJ is a dark horse in this regard.
Size can be deceiving on TV - like when you watch rugby and the ou's don't look that big - and then you see all 7ft 150kgs of them in real life. Same applies to surfing - who woulda known Adriano de Souza was such a midget til you see him next to local surfer Carl Barnard (OK, so Carl isn't exactly mini-me, but yrrr, Adriano sure is small!)
Speaking of watching surfing online - looks like Facebook has signed up exclusive rights for WSL event streaming this year. So seems like you'll only be able to watch the surfing live if you on FB. Be interesting to see how that all pans out.
Join SANNCOB for the Blue Moon Walk on Wednesday evening:
"The term once in a Blue Moon means that something is very rare, please join us for a walk on Wednesday 31 January to watch the blue full moon rise and the sun set! There will be a short welcome talk at 18h15 and the walk will start at 18h30. The cost is R50 for adults and R30 for pensioners and children. Bring a torch in case a cloud blocks the moonlight! We walk from SANCCOB to the Cape Recife Lighthouse and the distance for the round trip is about 4 kilometers. The beach is mainly sandy with a few rocks. Food and snacks will be available. Bring a bag and you can help clean up the beach."
As good as last week was for surf, looks like this week will be the yin and the yang. Time to get some work done, the lawn mowed and those school projects finished....
Nothing particularly interesting as far as surf went during the week. But the wind didn't disappoint. The weekend was a tad "breezy" with Sunday delivering 45 knots with gusts of up to 80 knots. And meant anyone living along the beachfront couldn't see a thing out their windows!
The sea was a churned up white frothy mess thanks to the howling onshore. Unfortunately the beach was also a mess. The brief dump of rain we had was enough to flush all of Summerstrands rubbish down the stormwater drains and onto the beach, and it was horrendous.
Kudos to all those that made the effort to pick up some of the trash. Big shaka to Justin Devos who after his surf at Millers used his wetsuit bucket to go collect 3 buckets fulls of rubbish. Nice one!
Plenty of fast food outlet packaging in among that - wish the franchises would consider using biodegradable packaging instead of that polystyrene kak. Some good news at least is that 3 restaurants along the PE beachfront have decided to stop using plastic straws. Props to the Ocean Baskets at Brookes Hill & Summerstrand and the Algoa Bay Yacht Club who will be implementing biodegradable straws.
Really was a week full of weather extremes. Hot as hades as well, which meant the obligatory morning fog episode. Turned the beachfront "pier-less" for a while.
But PE will never disappoint in the sunrise/sunset department, and as usual threw out a few good one's just to remind us why we love living in Africa.
The marine life in the bay didn't seem at all perturbed by the wonky weather and was out in full force. Heather Nel and her son Matthew were out with Raggy Charters and captured some spectacular shots.
Africa isn't restricted to the obvious marine wildlife - sometimes you can get something rather unique - like this hippo surfing the waves in Gabon. Reckon you wouldn't argue with him about dropping in!
Whilst there wasn't much wave-wise this week, Seals local Grant Beck was locking into some kegs in Nicaragua - his new "office". Ironically it's a right when Nica is known for it's lefts.
Clever work by the St Francis surf factory for recycling it's left over resin into coasters. So if you'd like a coupla funky resting possies for your beer, pop past and buy a few from them.
Speaking of recycling - how about Kelly Slaters new deck grip - no more petroleum based rubber, instead the world's first traction pad from algae foam. Made from the lil phytoplankton critters who give rise to the red tides.
The iconic Apple Express is back in action again, so grab your tickets for the next trip, over the weekend of 27th - 28th January 2018 and 3rd - 4th February 2018. Safe and Secure Bookings online NOW OPEN at www.appleexpresstrain.co.za
Props to JBay local Matt McGillivray who claimed his maiden QS victory in Israel in some decent surf. You wouldn't imagine a country in the Med would get surf, but it does - and sizeable stuff too. Matt won the SEAT Pro Netanya presented by Reef.
Might be a bit of east swell around this week - just gotto catch it in the gaps between the east winds!
Holidays are drawing to a close and the frenetic festive season is winding down. Line-ups are returning back to their locals, you can now find a spot on the beach for your towel (although still don't leave it unattended as apparently it can grow legs and walk off). Coupla waves, bit of wind, bit of sun, bit of everything.
If you ever gave any PE peep a word association game and went "Port Elizabeth" they would no doubt say "wind". Despite often mucking up the surf it can do some cool things - like this rad lil sand sculpture.
And sand we have aplenty - anyone flying outta PE will have seen the massive dune fields at Sundays River. Officially known as the Alexandria Coastal Dune field it is the largest and least degraded coastal dune field in the southern hemisphere.
The dune field has a surface area of about 15 800ha, stretching over 80km in length, with a width of up to 5km in places. The dune system is extremely dynamic with sand being continually blown in, building up and traversing inland. Some 375 000 cubic tons of sand is deposited into the dune fields each year.
Another possie with plenty of sand is Cape Recife. Lekker place for a walk when the wind's not blowing, and turns into a gritty, stingy, sand-in-your-eye's affair if the breeze comes up. Local photags always hook some kiff shots there. This week was no different.
Not just sand at Cape Recife, now and again the penguins escape from Samrec. Well, not escape - more like released after their stay at the penguin hotel. A few boxes full of the dudes made a run for it this weekend.
The Coastal Water Rescue team got some training in at the pier this weekend. They are a crew of volunteers who are on hand to assist the local municipal lifeguards with any emergencies. We're lucky to have a double whammy of water watchers in town.
Speaking of lifeguards - check out this classic vintage shot posted by George Davey of his pop, also George Davey, who was employed as a professional lifesaver by the PE municipality at Humewood beach in 1938. With the job came a free house in Forest Hill - perks were good back in the day!
The carpark can be a dangerous place. Sometimes the ou's break into your cabbie, or steal it all together. Or else you could fall prey to the topless chiroprator. Jakes not sure what he's signed up for...
The first grom trial of 2018 kicked off in great conditions at Kitchen Windows. Plenty frothing lil peeps enjoying the conditions and making their bid for team honours.
Maitlands may be the end of the road, but there's always something on the go out there - generally always a wave as it's the wave magnet of PE for sure, but sometimes some classic characters as well. This dude has some seri-ass dreads. Pretty much almost to the floor. Respect!
The Beck bro's have done a location swap - with Brad and Hannah going from Mex over to Sumba, and Grant going from Sumba to Nicaragua. Doesn't look like either of them are complaining! Life of a luxury surf guide can be pretty schweet for these Seals locals.
Super stoked to have got to try out an electric skateboard for the first time. Had a coupla days layover in Singapore and hooked up with the guys from Arc Boards EV . They make one of the world's lightest electric skateboard and damn, that thing was a blast. At only 4kg's it's perfect to cruise around town and then still be able to carry about in the shops or wherever you going.
Their bigger board is a carbon fibre beauty, and only weighs in at about 5kgs, so also super lightweight. Go check em out if you're in the market for a board, cos their prices are really competitive (Singapore dollar is 10:1) and the boards are well made with great specs.
That's it for the week - good luck to all those heading back to school and varsity and work and whatever this week. Luckily the surf gods do have a sense of humour and aren't throwing out any cooking surf to make you stress about missing out.
The first week of 2018 delivered a bit of everything. Some waves, some kick-ass weather, perfect summer combo right there.
Some of the waves were perfect mini-me shrinky-dink sized, whilst others were actual human-sized. Obviously the further west you west the better it got, right until the end of the road.
Sometimes surfing on the second most southerly tip of Africa does have it's challenges. Like being pretty close to the food chain.
Mid you, the prospect of meeting unfriendly fins doesn;t seem to deter the Cape Town ou's from getting a wave. Check out what Muizenburg looked like this week. Just you and 300 of your closest mates trying to grab a wave.
Conversely I was getting waves like this with just 2 to 3 of us in the water most of the time. Gotto love offseason in Indo. As usual we didn;t get too may shots of the cooking days cos too busy surfing. No-one wanted to waste time clicking the shutter button.
Of course there were still plenty of barrels on the wild side of PE. Provided you were teeny.
The other thing that's got teeny is the spit of sand between the beach and the canals in St Francis bay. A gig swell and spring tides could result in the sand dune being breached.
Luckily Cape St Francis doesn't seem to be suffering from the same beach erosion issues, and still has a lekker long beach to go and wander along.
Talking of sand - Sardinia bay has loads of it! You notice just how much when you have to slog back up the dues to get back to your car!
Summer is all about days on the beach - and there have been some beaut days in the bay to do just that.
All sorts of stuff washes up on the beach with the tide, including this motley collection of Slummies and PE ou's looking for a wave at the Point. On the far left is KO (otherwise known as Kevin Olsen) who is a Saffa shaper living in France. If ever you go to Hossegor (France's equivalent to JBay) look Kevin up as he has a rad lil villa near the beach that he rents out.
Summer surf is mostly about surviving on small knee high peelers, and the perfect summer sled is a mini-mal. If you in the market for a new stick you'll be glad to hear that Santa Claus is till in town. You can get a kiff Hurricane 7ft2 mini-mal for only R3500 from the Boardroom. Hurry cos only 3 left in stock!
Always cool to see the bay from high in the sky. Dean Cothill decided to hang ten over the pier. Glad to see I'm not the only one allergic to white socks.
Summer means lekker sunsets, and there has been no shortage of those.
Cool sunsets aren;t limited to the bay only, the wildside gets em too. Sometimes even with a cruise ship throw in.