Hello winter! Goodbye winter. You saved the best for last. Out with a bang it went. Gangbuster surf to mark the halfway mark in the year. The shortest day of has now come and gone. And the surf showed up for the party. In a big way.
JBay was obviously off it's pip, but even PE has some solid surf once the wind settled off. Corduroy lines wrapped around Cape Recife and lit up all the spots in the bay.
The paddle out at JBay was daunting, and entailed plenty of deliberation on the reef before committing. Time it wrong and you were at Tubes long before you came close to the back-line.
Whenever the Bell Bouy breaks PE surfers start frothing. Often it can be frustrating if the swell is too west as it peaks out on the horizon and the breaks are as flat as a pan. But this time the stars aligned and the swell had the perfect combination of period and direction to bless the bay with waves.
You can check out Howard Briscoe's shots of Millers here.
And just in case you're wondering what that swell looks like when it gets to Maldives....
When there are waves around it definitely isn't possible to score a sneaky sessions with just a few mates, everyone, their dog' and the kitchen sink were out there.
Despite the crowds the skollies still managed to sneak in unnoticed and scaled a silver VW cabby from the Millers carpark. Even worse, the owners yellow vetkoek was in the back. Car is no doubt long gone, but the vetkoek should show up somewhere local - so please keep eye out in PE and JBay for it.
The old wives tail about gold at the end of the rainbow certainly delivered this week...
In amongst all the wildness of the ocean there were some moments of pure serendipity on shore...
The karma of good surf played out into the real world. Port Alfred local Dave McGregor was driving back from EL to PA and his board decided to make a bid for freedom en route, which he only discovered later - trekked all the way back but she wasn't to be found. Dave was gutted - it was his favourite board, and he wrote an ode to her passing on Facebook.
PE surfer Gareth Godwin spotted a stick on the side of the road outside EL and picked her up and popped me a message to tell me about it. Posted it on my timeline and immediately JBay photag Garth Robinson did a 2+2=4 and knew the found board was Dave's and put everyone in touch. Dave got his baby back with a few war wounds, but nothing that can't be patched up. Happy ending!!
Happy days abounded in the ocean to. The sardine run frenzy continues and the dolphin gang were out in full force in the bay.
Yeeeuw - winter is finally done and dusted. We're officially en route to summer after the winter solstice has passed. This is what the last day of winter looked like.
It isn't always a case of bigger is better. How cool is this lil collection of teeny shells collected along the beach at JBay.
Pretty rad week surf-wise, hope everyone got some! And this week looks pretty good too...
Some waves about last week but generally accompanied by annoying devil winds. They ain't called devil for nothing! Of course the devil's in the detail, and they can be perfectly offshore if you know where to look. JBay photag Robbie Irlam was visiting a mate on PE's wildside and awoke to find 8-10ft sets detonating outside the front window. And no takers....
Schoenies local Luc Hosten also had some good one's in his front yard - also all going unridden. So no shortage of waves around if you're prepared to make a bit of effort.
If you didn't mind lumpy bumpy one's then Pipe and Millers had some on offer. At least you can be assured with Big Dave's dodgy phone camera that it definitely was better than it looked! Not sure how he manages to get that "I've smeared Vaseline over the lens" look so consistently!
Of course the surf was pumping in the Maldives all week......
Hard to be stuck at home whilst our yacht is anchored in places like this....
But at least the beautiful winter sunrises and sunsets continued to impress....
If you're walking along Cape Recife or the wildside beaches keep your eye's peeled for the paper Nautilus shells as a few have been found recently. They're actually the home of an octopus-type creature, but unlike normal octopi who lurk about in the rocks, these dudes float about on the top of the sea surface.
Always the smallest days that end up eating you. Seals local Brad Beck - who's currently based in Mexico as a surf guide, was out logging a teeny day and ended up meeting Mr Reef. Luckily being in Mexico, a lime is never far away. Squeeze a bit on the cut to kill the coral, and then use the rest for your tequila!
Charts looking quite active for the next coupla weeks, so just gotto hold thumbs that the winds don't p*ss on the parade. The forecast shows open ocean swells, so for PE you pretty much divide it by 4 to get a better idea of what the bay will be like (and also bear in mind swell angle - anything which too much west doesn't bend in so lekker). JBay on the other hand....
The first serious swell of the winter smashed into coastline. JBay was off it's pip, but unfortunately swell direction issues and hectic winds meant PE, although it had a wave, wasn't as gang-buster as it can get. Still - a waves a wave and beggars can't be choosers! Just such a pity about that blerrie wind though....
There were still some fun waves on offer the day after the big storm, and the boogers were making the best of the kegs at Clubbies.
There were plenty of lesser known spots that were firing as well, you just had to go on a bit of a mission and you got rewarded for sure.
The swell made it's way across the Indian Ocean and pounded Indo. Desert Point was insane, and Ulu's was detonating on the bombie. Big balls only need apply.
Massive northerlies over the weekend. Turned Millers into a left point. Have never seen waves breaking across from the left before.
The JBU SuperTrial powered by Monster Energy ran on Thursday. St Francis local Dale Staples took the win, beating JBay locals Dylan Lightfoot and Matt MCGillivray to earn a slot into the Corona Open WSL comp coming up at JBay.
Terrible fires ravaged the Garden Route right down to outside of PE. At one stage blocking the N2 between JBay and PE. Such loss and devastation. Thoughts & prayers to all those who have been affected.
JBay local Bruce Gold was spotted at Muizenberg recently sporting his unique ant-shark outfit. No self-respecting shark would want to nibble on a classic Hawaiian print now would they?
Speaking of JBay legends, sad to see the old legend that was the original Country Feeling shop on the corner of Da Gama road has now become a mattress factory shop. Maybe that's what happens when you sell bodyboards? Start with the doormats, and next thing it's mattresses?
Remember the shop well, had an insane amount of stock in it, pretty much anything and everything related to surf you could find in there. So sad that times have changed and local corner surf stores are hardly around anymore. They had such character.
Should be a few bumps about this week to get wet on, so make the most of it!
Boooom! The swell cranked. But so did the wind. Luckily it dropped enough in the arvo to entice some guys out at Pipe.
All images: Matthew Pixels Photography
The winter wonderland continues. Some really fun surf this week, and some really good surf if you went west. Ou's were surfed out by the weekend so surprisingly uncrowded waves were to be had. Hard to imagine just a handful of guys out at some spots in super fun conditions. Snooze you lose.
The devil winds have been about cos of the nippy conditions, and you have to be up early to hook a glassy dawnie before they start to blow just after the sun's up. Early enough and you get glass like this....
The northerlies meant you had to go looking around the corner for the offshores. Jaques Jonker starting 'em young on the surf check! Lil ou reckoned the peak to the right was the call.
Not only waves in the bay, but also further afield - where Seals local Grant Beck is currently training up for his new job as a surf guide. Nothing to moan about when you have to go for on the job training in Maldives and the surf's pumping!
The northerlies are annoying cos of how they mess up the surf in the bay, but they do a great job of clearing out all the smog from the industrial areas and giving us some kiff sunsets.
Seems like everywhere in the world had good waves last week. Even Dubai was cooking! Plenty of ex-PE locals now expats in the desert country, and were all too happy to score epic conditions. Gary Luke, Brad Moolman and Scott Clephane all got slotted.
Never a bad time to buy another stick - pop down to the Boardroom in Brikkies and check out all the new sleds, find a decent 2nd hand one, or order a new one. #Localislekker
As usual the sun rose and set in a rather pretty fashion....
Decided to try a timelapse video of it on Saturday...wasn't the best sunset of the week, but still pretty cool nonetheless.
PE isn't only about sunsets, we have some pretty awesome stretches of coastline as well. A quick drive outta the city will take you to some beautiful windswept expanses of sand....
Tracy Cambell came across this poor lil ou on her morning run in the reserve - his eye's were gummed shut, and helped him over to Sancobb to get sorted out.
The jury is out as to who the best surfers are. Most peeps reckon the dolphins are pretty good at a wave slide, but I reckon the seagulls do it best! Often scoot down the wave face towards the line-up at Millers, catching the updraft created and looking super smooth.
Siff miff red tide has been hanging around in big patches for the past few months but on Saturday the northerly winds blew it all into the bay so the whole southern beaches stretch was choked up with it.
You'd have to be living under a rock not to have heard about the super storm that'll smash into CT this week. Wave size looks pretty damn big. Hits PE later in the week - the only hiccup being is that the storm is accompanied by big rain - and we all know what rain does to the swell...so set your hopes accordingly. It could be lumpy.
Not sure if the weather this week will allow for too many pretty sunsest - so here's a few from the past week just as reminders in case none show up this week.