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.
A few leftovers from the weekend to start of the week, but then things went pretty quiet wave-wise. Still, those that set their alarm clocks and could drag 'emselves outta bed were rewarded with some early bird worms.
Sticking right out into the Indian Ocean Cape Recife gets it's share of the aquatic visitors. Unfortunately this guy washed up on the beach during the week. Marlin are a migratory species and follow the warm currents all around the globe.
He's one of the apex predators of the sea, and can put his bill to work when hunting food - charging full tilt into a school of fish and slashing away at them. Obviously there's a few losers during the process, and the stunned or dead fish are chowed afterwards by the marlin.
Coupla other sea critters showing up on the beach -the sand artists are back at Hobie Beach and creating some kiff sand creatures for everyone to enjoy. Chuck a buck or two in their collection plate cos they do some really good work. What's not to love about a shark with polystyrene teeth!?
Things heated up a bit on Tuesday with some pretty large bush fires at the back of Summerstrand giving a bit of an Apocalypse Now vibe to the beachfront. Thanks again to our on-the-ball fire-fighters who got everything sorted quick sticks.
Water's still lekker warm, so been getting lotsa use outta my Billabong Salty Daze Surf Capsule. Spotted it in the Bong shop late last year and no ways anyone can resist buying such a pretty wettie. What's not to like about indigo blue and palm tree's!? Been giving it a good test drive the last month so here's the review. Kiff suit. Worth da bucks. And think that wearing pretty suits makes you surf better!
The dudes from the army base just behind Hummies must have a new PT coach or something, cos they jog marched along the beach front at least 3x last week. Used to be once every 3 months occurrence!
Definitely look like they've up'd their game as in the past looked a bit like a gha-chommel with everyone in different coloured hats and shirts and just jogging in a klomp. This week they were all kitted out properly and had some good formation going. And some great vocals as usual. We'd win any war based on signing.
Always so cool to see a different perspective on something. Tristan got up high for a unique look at Willows. Remember reading something a while ago that there'll be some revamps to the Resort this year? Hope so.
The usual blustery days mid week, but if you weren't that fussy you could still pump n jump across the face of a few rollers. Can't have high standards if you live in the Bay!
DA counciller Dean Biddulph continues in his quest to get the beachfront sorted - the police were rounding up the illegal car guards during the week. There is the odd legit ou, but the majority are skelms wearing bibs. Apparently one can legally be a car guard - but you have to be registered with the metro and had a police check done, and should have a ID to show you legit.
The week ended off with a bang - local surfer Josh Enslin set another World Record! Josh is now the Fastest Human On A Surfboard Towed By A Vehicle - Official Time: 81 Km per hour. You know how fast that is in a car - imagine being towed on a board at that speed. Water like concrete! Massive respect. Add to that the wind was pomping on Sunday, so threw in another level of complication.
Josh also holds the Guinness World Record for the longest surf session - clocking in 30 hrs 11 minutes at Pipe back in November 2015.
So that's the wrap for the week. Charts look pretty slow for the next 7 days, so no need for pulling sickies or having "board" meetings. Here's a random selection of other shots from the week that was.