The ocean was active last week - coupla fun days - and north of the equator was going off as well, with 'Chopes showing it's teeth before the start of the WSL comp. Even Millers was overhead - that is, if you were just a brick n a tickey high....
Nahoon cooked for the SA Champs. Big surf and serious currents saw the guys working hard in their heats. Nelson Mandela Bay Surf riders took a second place overall, with JBay's Joshe Faulkner claiming the Men's title.
The ballies did well too - with Pipe local Andre Venter scoring some bombs. Andre got an 8.75 in his heat which was the highest wave score of the day.
The wind has certainly started to settle in to it's pre-spring routine of being pretty blustery. Those with kites don't mind though. Well, maybe they mind having to walk the thing in the pumping wind back to the car, but otherwise all good.
Wind on the wild side can be a special thing. The waves are wild n wooly and the sand can feel like you're getting your skin blasted off. If ever you'd like to find out how pervasive sand can be,
Man's influence can be so destructive on nature. A dead whale washed up on the rocks at Seaview, which had a whole pile of crayfish pots wrapped around it's tail. Really sad to see.
Early birds still scored the worms this week. The early risers that hit the beach at Pipe got themselves some fun runners whilst the sun rose.
Each week always has at least one lekker sunrise, just to make you sit back for a second and appreciate what a beautiful place good 'ol PE is.
You don;t need to wait for the sunsets to appreciate the beauty of our slice of the coast. Just a quick trip to the wild side for a walk will help you take a few deep breathes and let the world slip off your shoulders.
Looking back on the week that was. Coupla fun days to get wet on, some better than others, but definitely the chance to get your glide on.
Water is pretty warm, to the point you'd be happy in a 2mm out there. Boardies if you very brave! Mia Baard was on the nose at Millers in her new Billabong capsule. The new Billabong range has some lekker prints. Always fun to be in something other than black!
Guys who drove round the corner also snagged a few slabs. There are always some diamonds in the rough round that way for those dedicated to the hunt.
And if driving isn't your thing you can always just walk down the beach and get shacked there instead.
The Pearson surf team came out on top against their Parel Vallei High rivals in a derby surf comp at Pipe on Friday.
There was an unusual competitor who was keen to get in on the action, but he couldn't decide whether he was a regular footer or a goofy so ended up just hanging in the shorey instead.
Shane Pyke had a lil a;altercation with him at Millers earlier that arvo. The tuxedo'd torpedo was swimming all around the surfers and under their boards, so Shane decided to splash some water at him as he came up nearby. Mr Penguin took great offence and proceeded to dive down and nip Shane on the ankle! So moral of the story - don't p*ss off the penguin!
The whales are around at the moment so keep your eye's peeled. Most of the time once you grab your camera to shoot them they disappear, but sometimes you can strike it lucky like Heather did here.
Unfortunately one washed up on Kabeljouws beach just down from JBay, and had to be euthenized (plainly put, it was blown up with dynamite). Remains were then removed from the beach. Whale blubber acts like the smell of freshly baked bread to finned friends, so it's a good thing this guy was removed from the area.
Chopes is the next World Surf League comp, and they are running a trials just before the main event to get some wildcards. The swell was pomping so they called the trials off and let a free surf go down. Should be a kiff comp if they get conditions like this.
Bit of a neither here nor there week with nothing much on the charts. Chances to get wet nonetheless. Make the most of it.
The long weekend delivered some waves, even the bay had a few fun one's. Still lots of really good surfers hanging out in JBay since the Open. Plenty guys pulled back in for the swell. Including a coupla famous one's. They guys at Surf Centre were pretty surprised when Jordy pitched up at the shop and needed a board and some goodies. He had a rather well known ou in tow too! One of the best surfers out there, pity he isn't on tour anymore.
Not often one can score a decent dawnie in winter in PE. The nature of how we're situated in the bay means the morning costal offshore is actually a really horrid onshore for the town breaks. But sometimes the early birds do get the worm. Like Allan scoring a kiff sesh during the week. Even luckier when someone on hand to take the shot.
Plenty of ships cruising past our shores these days "thanks" to the Coega harbour. Wonder how many containers get washed off these things in the big swells? Specially when you see how it ploughs into the waves.
Weird looking ship spotted in PE harbour during the week. Turns out it's a submersible freight loader' The whole ship sinks down and the cargo is then pulled onto the deck. The ballast tanks are then emptied and the ship rises out of the water with the cargo then on the deck. Pretty clever. This one is taking stuff to the Total Ethane Cracker Project in Texas. There's also a drilling rig anchored near Coega at the moment. Wonder if they'd find anything if they dropped their drill!?
Do remember a while back there was a survey ship doing seismic surveys along the coast for oil prospecting. Hopefully they found zippo. Fish farms are bad enough without having to contend with oil rigs drilling for oil!
The recent dearth of swell (until the drought was broken over the weekend) has seem lots of guys heading round the corner for their fix. Some spots that normally only have a handful of guys out are now seeing up to 20-30 guys in the line-up. Desperate times call for desperate measures (which in PE terms means a "long" drive past Cape Recife.)
Surf watches are neat. Tell you how far you've paddled and how many waves you've caught. Not too sure about their accuracy when it comes to measurements tho', take the below for example. 4 waves and 1.5k's paddled, something doesn't quite stack up! One thing they do prove tho' is that the right at Pipe should actually be called a "straight" Thanks to Greg Heasley for pointing that one out!
Greg didn't need a watch to tell him he'd caught a blerrie long wave - saw him hook one from Millers all the way down to Hobie Beach. Doesn't happen too often. Greg must have fitted in about 50 turns on that wave!
Dave Morgan sent me this shot from his archives. A big day out at Bell Bouy. As Richard von Wildeman commented on the post - the Buoy 5 meters tall (the lil bit sticking out the top of the shoulder), and the base of the wave is not visible. Richards been out there on a windless day and says it lets you in kinda easy but then bowls up really fast.
I remember Jason van Greunen telling me the story about how he paddled out there to surf from the beach at Pipe on a massive day. Dennis Ellis quipped that his boet was with Jason that day and half way out the NRSI boat came up to them to see if they were OK and had drifted out to sea! Which would be a fairly valid assumption spotting to ou's on surfboards in the middle of the ocean on a heaving day.
Another landmark always featuring in pics of PE is the pier, and it's neat to see a shot from a slightly different angle. You can check out some old Hobie Beach and Pier history here:
A cool vintage shot of the beachfront popped up this week. It's taken from just off Hobie Beach across the grass area towards 1st/2nd avenue Summerstrand. The tall building is Grosvenor Court (corner of 3rd avenue - opposite Millers). The building on the far right is the old Hollywood Hotel. It was a surfer hangout back in the day.
Forecast looks like there'll be the chance of a wave before the week's out. So get those suits dry. Thankfully water temps have sky-rocketed, and you can easily do a 2mm if you want.
Coupla waves about, the harder you looked for them the better they were. Winter is still essentially in a slumber, so hopefully will cough out some decent swell before we head into the tail end of the year.
PE surfers are always on the move, and finding waves wherever they at. Nic Flood scored some typhoon surf in Taiwan, and Josh Saunders is hooking some beauts in Indo.
The Nahoon locals had a bit of a heart stopping moment last week when a White the size of a kombi cruised up to them so say hi. Wave skier Bruce Viaene was out there with his surfer mate Aaron when a fin that dwarfed Aaron popped up right next to him. Bruce made the paddle back in right next to his mate, giving some paddleski protection to his prone pal. Respect the egg-beaters in the line-up - as you never know when you gonna have to jump on their boat to get your toes out the water!
From big sharks to big boats. This unusual visitor was spotted offshore. It's a semi submersible heavy lift vessel.
PE beachfront lends itself to some lekker drone shots as we have lots of bits sticking out into the sea. The 6 pack at Humewood always looks kiff from above.
An old pic of Humewood also showed up during the week. Taken from the bridge over the beach and looking back at the valley with Brookes Hill in the background Looks like they jolled back in the day, sign on the hut says "Victorians Concert Party Nightly 8.15."
Despite all the celebrating that the fin fish farm location has been moved away from in front of Pollock Beach (the issue around them replacing it with a mussel/oyster farm remains), let's not get into the "outta sight outta mind" mindset. The site now identified for fin fish is right near Coega, and right next to the newly created Addo Elephant National Park Marine Protected Area (MPA) which officially came into effect last Thursday.
An MPA was an area of coastline or ocean specifically protected for the benefit of people and nature. Their primary purpose is to help manage part of the marine environment to rebuild fisheries populations, keep marine ecosystems working properly, and protect the range of species living there. So the decision to place a fin fish farm right next to it is a rather kak move.
So let's not drop the ball in terms of letting the fish farm slide off the agenda now that it isn't right on our beachfront. It still poses a big threat to our bays ecosystem bu being located right next to an MPA.
Quite a lot of the older surfers in town have been struggling with back injuries lately. Getting older stiffens things up so use it or lose it - good idea to introduce some daily yoga or stretches into your routine to make sure you don;t end up with a miff back and having to stay out the water. If you can twist your neck like Nelson the Seagull here you all good!
JBay local, Emma Smith, probably thinks JBay water temps are pretty balmy now that she's surfing in the Arctic Circle. Plus it's always lekker to ride your horse to the beach! Lofoten in Norway is home to a committed surf community that don't seem to mind the freezing temperatures to get their salt water fix.
The guys at WERK_ in the Baakens Valley have made some seriously #localislekker sunnies. The frames are made of old ironwood and teak parquet flooring from old buildings in P.E. Grab your pair of history before they sell out. R700 a pop.
More talented locals doing their thing - Pipe local Andre Clarke designed a lekker T for the Saltwater Scumbag gang (a whatsapp group of surfers). Tune Chris at Surf Centre if you want to but a shirt.
JBay local Remi Peterson is looking for his brand new board which went AWOL just 2 days after he got it. Either went flying off the back of his cabbie or else someone nicked it whilst he was surf checking. Either way keep your eyes peeled for it please.
Not too much on the charts for the week, so keep looking a bit further afield than the bay if you're after something decent sized.