Yrr, the wave machine hasn't just switched off....she be broken. And there we all got lekker suckered into thinking this would be a winter of great surf, after getting a run of solid swell for 2 weeks in June. Worse still, these days when a swell arrives it usually has stonking galeforce offshores to accompany it...making it chop hop city.
Damn, we deserve a good winter. I reckon we haven't had a proper one in about 6 years almost. Back then the winter surf used to be ultra consistent, with at least 4-5 surfable days a week. None of these weird long flat spells or crazy east winds blowing days to weeks on end. Gone are the regular 4-6ft days, anyone know where to find them?
Let's hope we get outta this weather cycle soon, cos it's hard to endure the small, onshore summer....when you've just come out of a small, onshore winter!
Still, sometimes small surf can be fun. Take yesterday for example. Hardly looked like it had a wave, but then spotted John out in the water. Now as we all know, to get John out the car park and into the surf normally takes a while - so I immediately made the assumption he must have seen something to be out in the water.
As I arrived I saw John paddling off towards Suicides...huh? Turns out he'd had a coupla lil waves but was now cold and was paddling back to Denvils to go back to work. Pretty hefty paddle that I must say. Reason I'd seen in the water was he hadn't actually intended to surf, but was just doing a paddle up the beach for some exercise. He then discovered a few small one's coming through on the inside, and decided to hang about and catch a few.
So I'd bolted across there on false pretenses...but ended up having a fun lil session in grom sized waves. Nothing to complain about when you're on your ace, so can get every "set" that comes through. And hey, if the "sets" are chest high and zipping along the full length of the beach...then what's the problem!?
Got to see a pretty interesting work ethic demonstration by one of our local municipal workers whilst I was sitting bobbing about out there. In the 1hr45 that I was in the water - the ou moved a total of 20m!! First he sat on the bench for an hour. Then that got boring, so he got up, walked 10m, and sat down on the grass - aaah, this was better. Sat there for 30 min. Then musta decided that breathing didn't count as work, so got up, moved another 10m, picked up a spade that'd been lying in the flowerbed, and leaned on that....just leaned, mind you - definitely no attempt at digging or something equally strenuous....
Ah, the tough life of government employment....
Johnny Bakker is one stoked baalie right now. He won Jordy Smiths surfboard in the raffle at the pro signing function at Surf Centre on Friday evening. Johnny was actually there earlier on, but had bailed by the time the raffle was done, so wasn't there to claim his board. Despite a few cat-calls from the peanut gallery to re-draw cos Johnny had left, Dave wasn't listening to any of it.
I got woken up at 6:45am on Saturday morning with an sms from Johnny going "I won Jordy's board!" Dave reckons he musta phoned him about 3 times before 10am. The dude was stoooooked! Turns out this was the first thing he'd ever won, so not a bad prize to pull out the hat as a first one. Couldn't be won by a more deserving ou either. Johnny puts in plenty of time and effort for EP surfing that not everyone knows about.
The Bakkers made a dash for JBay first thing Saturday so that they could get Jordy to sign the board. Not too sure whether dad will win the battle to keep the board as a memento in the bar, or lightie Luke will skfy it for a surf. Could be some interesting family negotiations going down no doubt.
Plenty of pro's at the signing on Friday, which kept all the autograph hunters happy. Good to see the pro's with such good attitude, smiling and chatting to all their fans. Oakley and O'Neill put up some cool prizes for the raffles, and Surf Centre donated a goodie bag to all the lighties from the SA Development coaching camp that were in town.
First time I've been to Dave's new shop in the bridge, and it looks pretty fine. Go suss it out it you haven't hooked by yet, there's some neat stuff to lay your hands on.
Woohoo, first day of the Billabong Pro. Doesn't matter that the waves are pretty arb, the Pro's the Pro. The circus comes to town, and who doesn't love the circus? Plenty ou's on the beach and in the stands, guys slukking back the beers at 11h00 (hair of the dog?), lekker toasty weather, pro surfers mingling with joe surfers. 'Tis all good. Actually, it's even better....it's all green.
The Bong is the only contest on the Dream Tour that really does it's bit for the planet by doing a full carbon footprint of the event, reducing energy and emissions where possible and carbon offsetting what they can't reduce. So props to Billabong for taking a stand on environmental sustainability. Solar powered showers for the competitors, organic catering and bamboo cutlery & crockery, recycling bins, beach cleans, eco-friendly contest clothing, the whole shebang.
You can do your bit too when you're at the comp - gooi your rubbish in the right recycling bins and pack some mates in the car for the trip to Jbay instead of all driving there in your own cars. Not hard to do, and helps reduce your carbon footprint. Carbon is not cool. Very not cool. It's the global warming bad guy.
Pretty sweet to see the lil lighties from St Francis College don their "Green Team" gear and do a beach clean, showing us how it's done. As if to say thanks for keeping all that crap from blowing into the ocean, a whole school of dolphins cruised right by to show their appreciation. Nature knows when you're doing good.
Keep the planet clean....keep it green.
(Shout out to Coke for sponsoring the greening - good to see a big corporate giving green the green light - check out Coke's own sustainability program called Live for a Difference here. Thanks to Genergy for sponsoring the solar showers - local PE surfer Terry Bilson's sustainable energy company. Lastly to Cleaner Climate, who does the carbon footprinting and offsetting.)
Shew, hope everyone stuffed themselves silly with waves over the past week, cos the charts are looking like summer right now. Pretty much zero swell on the horizon for the foreseeable future - the crystal ball says there's nada for the next TWO WEEKS! Basically this Thursday n Friday will be the biggest days in the bay in the next 2 weeks - and they're only gonna be 2ft and NE!! Gulp...
That means dust off your shark pod, grab a crew cos safety in numbers, and hit the wildside. Flat seas and north winds will no doubt dish up some fun lil ramps in the nooks n crannies running westwards of Cape Recife. Just watch out for the wildlife both in the water and on land...
The long ranges forecast from Surfline reckons we're unlikely to get anything about hip high in the bay for the next while, and Jbay is unlikely to fair much better. How you interpret the open ocean swell forecast above is as follows - take the swell size and divide by half to get what'll rock up at the beach out at Jbay, and then divide by half again for what we'll get here in the PE bay - NOT nice results, hey!
Not good news for the Bong, which starts at the end of this week. Guess they can't get lucky like they did last year - which saw the comp run straight through from the first day of the waiting period and finish in 3 days flat with booming swell. This year looks like JBay might be won by tricks not tubes.
That's OK, our man Jordy is pretty fine at both. Hopefully the shocker heat he had against Pat Gudaskas in the semi's of the Mr P Pro over the weekend will be his kak heat out the way, and he'll be firing at Supers.
Let's hope the swell machine rumbles back into action again soon, cos we kinda got nice and spoilt with that sweet run of swell we've just had. Reality check to go back to typically cruddy PE conditions. Ag well, guess that's what being a Bay surfers all about. Long periods of nothing and flurries of activity.