September finally awoke from her slumber and after a very slow start to the week saw a weekend of super fun waves roll in. Later on this week is looking promising so the month might not end up being a damp squib after all.
Monday woke up with a hangover and there were some dribs and drabs lurking about if you made the effort to drive. Just lots of morning sickness thanks to the North Westerlies. Things stayed pretty scratchy through til Friday.
Mid-week saw a rather large finned friend cruise past the back of Humewood, so the lifeys raced out on the jetski to suss him out and he was a fair bit larger than the ski. So they hoofed it up to Hobie to clear the bathers out the water, and then buzzed up to us at Millers to say the large fin was on his way south. Given that the waves were barely knee-high a collective decision was made by all those bobbing about in the line-up that it would be rather stupid to risk having a leg nibbled on for the sake of midget-size waves, so everyone paddled in.
September is high season for shark sightings close to shore as the sharkies are cruising nearby chowing all the newly spawned guitar fish and other spring babies. So just be extra vigilant.
As usual our lil town continues to throw out some spectacular sunrises and sunsets, with Luc Hosten capturing this one out at Schoenies.
Climbers are meant to have the strongest fingers of all sportmen seeing as they have to get those digits in death grips on sheer rocks faces. But it looks like Dave Lippie might have some mighty digits as well. Anyone who can carry a SUP....I mean longboard....with one hand like that deserves a medal.
(OK, so it turns out it actually has a lil hand grip built into the deck...but it still looks impressively deceiving)
There were still a few lil nuggets about before swell hit over the weekend, with some new banks popping up here and there.
The SA Junior team headed off to the Azores for the Vissla ISA World Games, and ended up in 9th possie. Well done to all the lighties!
Yip - it was that flat on some days last week. You know if there isn't the slightest hint of whitewater on the harbour wall you may as well take the skateboard instead of the surfboard outta the garage.
Most of Friday was a grovel-fest, but then at about 5pm someone flipped the switch and some fun lines started pulling in just before dark. Those who'd waited patiently were rewarded.
A famous face was seen around local line-ups over the weekend. Newly crowned Trestles champ Jordy Smith pulled in for the swell. Seen here hanging with the Seals lighties on Friday.
Seals extracted it's pay to play price, with Jot de Lauwere just having returned from a month charging Indo unscathed only to be chowed by the Seals reef.
Luckily expert CYOH medics Josh Enslin and Jakes were on hand to patch him up and send him back out. Cos ya really don't wanna be floating about a Seals line-up with claret streaming outta ya foot.
For all those ou's battling to be part of the conversation out in the line-up cos they have prestick jammed into their ears - go grab a set of the new Surf Ears at Surf Centre Humewood - cos keeps the water out and let's the sound in. The new version comes with neat lil leash'es so if they fall out ya ear you won't lose them.
The annual Cobbles Classic went down in some lekker surf over the weekend. The event has grown in leaps and bounds since it's first one, and all credit to the Logger's Union for the sterling effort they out in to create such a lekker event and vibe. This years Cobbles King and Queen are Michael Hill and Mia Baard.
Saturday was braai day, and a coupla local surfers decided it would be a schweet idea to braai on top of the pillar at Hummies. Bro's Fernando & Martin Tallie, together with Quintin Potgieter and Stephan le Roux swam out their braai gear on their boards and then climbed up the pillar for some Wors with a View!
That's the wrap for the week. Good news is that this week looks like it should dish up some more surf, so get those boards waxed.
By Dr Lorien Pichegru
Institute for Coastal and Marine Research NMMU
Despite the buckets of rain in PE on International Coastal Clean Up day, Saturday the 17th of September, thanks to the incredible efforts of many volunteers, including hundreds of school kids and military personnel, we successfully removed well over 11 tons of rubbish from our shores. This waste will not end up entangling or choking wildlife, nor degrade into microplastic lasting hundreds of years. This is fantastic news.
Here is a brief account on the different events that took place in and around PE. Some pictures were posted on the Algoa Bay Hope Spot Facebook page.
On Wednesday 14th September already, WESSA and the Zwartkops Conservancy organised a clean up of the Swartkops river, involving Triomf Primary learners and funded by Coke. They collected 208 kgs of rubbish (45 bags).
On Friday, approximately 120 military personnel joined in the effort and focused on areas along the wild coast, between Cape Recife and the Noordhoek Ski Boat Club. Although we don't have a definite figures of numbers of bags collected, they probably picked at least few hundreds kilos.
That same day, WESSA also organised the clean up of the Baakens river, involving learners from Kwazakele High School, again funded by Coke, who removed 410 kgs of rubbish (80 bags).
An astonishing effort was made by the Zwartkops Conservancy, who involved the Swartkops Primary for the 10th year in a row in cleaning the Zwartkops river. Sponsored by General Motors, PlasticSA and Skipgo, they first lectured 612 pupils about estuaries and pollution before sending them cleaning up the river. They collected over 3.2 tons (over 350 bags) of rubbish! They noted that the amount of rubbish was quite high due to a strike of the metro a few days before, whom did not collect the wastes from the surrounding area.
On Saturday, despite the pouring rain, volunteers pitched up at SAMREC and started cleaning up around Cape Recife. They managed to take out approximately 135 kg (17 bags) of rubbish before being soaked.
On Kings beach, the DA and Woolworth on separate initiatives started the clean up for an hour or so before being chased back home by buckets of water... At least 70 kg of waste were collected, though.
Several clean ups were successfully postponed to Sunday, and between 60 and 70 volunteers pitched up on Bluewater Bay beach that morning, collecting approximately 1.4 tons (250 bags!) of trash. They were sponsored by PlasticSA, with a container supplied by The Waste Trade Co. They had assistance from BWB I-Patrol 4x4s and the Surf Life savers. In the mean time, volunteers from the Noordhoek Ski Boat Club worked on the Wild Coast and took out 300 kg (30 bags). That same day, the Four Wheel Drive Club of Southern Africa drove between van Stadens river mouth and Maitlands river mouth, taking out more than 5 tons of rubbish...
A very very warm thank you to all participants!!
Because of the rain, though, some clean ups were postponed and give additional opportunities to help:
- Schoenies: this Saturday 24th of September, meeting at 9 am in front of Sacramento restaurant. Contact Luc Hosten 072 2654 4073
- The Zwartkops Conservancy Motherwell Enviro Club will be cleaning up the sides of the Motherwell Stormwater Canal (the main source of litter pollution into the Swartkops) this Sat 24/10. Contact: Jenny Rump 082 853 0700.
- Sardinia Bay clean up is planned for Saturday 8th of October. Meeting on the parking lot at 9 am. Gloves and bags will be provided. Contact Kelly Rautenbach 072 511 3328.
- Something Good restaurant, together with Project Nelson Mandela Bay, will organise a clean-up along our beach fronts in the coming weeks and will announce it on the facebook page.
Thanks to Lorien for the wrap.
Remember to pick up at least one piece of trash every time you walk bag up the beach after your surf and dump it in the bin. Not hard to do. Its your beach. Keep it clean.
Another seriously slow week in the bay as far as waves go. You had to do a bit of driving in order to get your salt water fix. Those in the know scored some decent surf whilst those stuck to their ways in the bay mumbled about the fact there was nothing going on.
For a few Eastern Cape lighties the local swell drought isn't a problem, as they're over in the Azores representing South Africa in the Junior World Champs. Joshe & Angelo Faulkner, Crystal Hulett, Kirsty McGillivray and Kai Woolf will be flying the EC and SA flag this week. Good luck kiddo's!
Someone else not muttering about lack of swell is the entire western seaboard of the America's - which are getting slammed by some seriously solid systems at the moment. Looks like Seals locals Brad and Hannah might luck into a few meaty sessions in Mexico soon.
Simon le Gras spotted Travelstart doing some rather creative advertising for their Joburg PE flights with this image below. He asked them where exactly in PE this nugget was shot, but has yet to receive an answer!
Mango is notorious for using surfing in their advertising, but still charges surfers for boardbag fee's, which is pretty swak. And ironic. If you wanna leverage off the sport then how about cutting surfers some slack and letting boardbags be included in the baggage allowance?
I did write to them a few times to ask about this but just received the usual canned "We value your input and will revert shortly". At this stage "shortly" is about 8 months and counting....
Anyone know someone in Mango then give em a rev. Otherwise tempted to start a petition. Oh yah, and Emirates. Sneaky buggers now give you 46 kg's baggage allowance - yahoo you think - but then nail you $250 per boardbag! Boards used to be included in baggage allowance. #HerotoZERO
Yeweeeee - Jordy finally gets to stand on the podium with a winner's trophy after 2 long years in the doldrums. He won the Hurley Pro at Trestles in emphatic style and leaps to 4th in the world ratings. Here's hoping he keeps that form going into the last few events of the year and hooks a good finish to the season. An outside glimmer of a world title chance if the other ou's slip up.
Keep an eye out for Dale Staples new deck grip coming out soon. If it helps you surf like the Duck then definitely worth a buy. Least he didn't pull a Dane Reynolds and claim it's gonna make you surf 25% better. The States is such a litigious society wouldn't be surprised in Dane finds himself subject to a lawsuit when some mullet buys it and says it doesn't make him surf any better...
Nothing like a good 'ol surf mag to help you survive a back op in a provincial hospital! JBay's Dijon Smith had a slipped disc that needed some fixing so he had to brave Livingstone to get it sorted. His trusy Zag was with him pre-op, and was the first thing back on his bed post op. He says the first thing he asked the Doc when he came outta surgery was if he could go to the beach!
Loggers get your froth on. The annual Cobbles Classic will be going down this weekend. Expect some stylish single fin surfing. Plenty going on at the beach so pull in with the fam.
Looks like finally the swell gods are gonna cut us some slack this week with a few waves on the horizon, just in time before everyone loses the plot after 3 slack weeks.
The waves seem to have gone into hiding since the advent of Spring. A really slow week inside the bay, and not even a helluva lot happening if you went driving round the corner or down the freeway. Plenty of grumpy ou's around due to lack of salt water injections.
Small surf can do your head in. Sometimes even to the point when you suddenly throw caution to the wind and head out at the Pipe rocking your Speedo. Brett showing he ain't scared!
No waves means any excuse for the guys to have a sluk. CarPark John doesn't only have his own beer thanks to the BeerShack - he even has his own customised draught tap. That's when you know you've made it big!
Brendan Basset has been using his time wisely - no surf, no problem - he got down to making an epic looking sustainable surfboard. It's made from flax fiber and bio-epoxy and has Scarfini Fins outta bamboo/cork/hemp. Keep an eye out for it in the surf.
No waves for the local photag's to shoot so they had to make do with rocks instead. Turns out there are some wanna be Picasso's on the wildside that have had a bash at rock-painting. Probably not gonna go down in history quite like Bushman paintings did....
Some things are never flat...
Dave Lippie's stomach for one. Giving the Seals groms some flat day fun. Looks like the lil ou might need to visist the chiro after that one!
Video Jade Stedman Dace
The annual Vic Bay Quad in memory of John Pfaff went down in some solid surf over the weekend. Will get some results up soon.
We may not have had much in the way of waves, but at least we can still count on some pretty sunsets to round out the week! Charts not looking all that flash for this week either, so either bust out that skateboard, or take up tiddlywinks.
We've all done it - burst to the surface gulping air like a guppie. Certain that our lungs were about to burst after getting help down for the proverbial 10 count after a heavy wipeout. Such a kak feeling. Kakker than kak.
So imagine how lekker it would be if you knew you could have a few spare breathes on hand in an emergency. It would let us revel in the underwater cartwheels and sinus cleansing instead of the inky fingers of fear starting to extend into the deep recesses of our minds after the 3rd involuntary 360 along the bottom.
Ou's started frothing earlier this year when news came out of a company in S.Korea called Triton doing crowd-funding on Indiegogo that claimed to be developing a revolutionary mouthpiece that would let you breathe underwater like a fish. Seri-ass. That's what their lil write-up claimed.
A kind of artificial gills that extracted oxygen in the water through a filter with holes smaller than water molecules, combined with a powerful micro compressor which compresses and stores the oxygen and allowing you to keep breathing happily. Sounds good, doesn't it!
Luckily not all the internet masses are easily duped, and quite quickly a stack of questions about the veracity of the design arose. Cos let's be honest, although Mr Bond got it right in 007, it's a concept that has eluded the world’s top scientists and military contractors for decades. And let's face it, oxygen extraction from water ain't easy peeps.
Using a standardized table of oxygen solubility, one can derive that fresh water at sea level contains about 9.1 mg/L of oxygen at room temperature (0 .0091 grams)
A human adult uses around 617 grams of oxygen per day at rest. That breaks down to 0.42 grams per minute. (obviously this varies lank depending on what you doing).
So if you divide 0.42 by 0.0091 you get about 46.1. That’s how many liters of water you’d need to process per minute to provide enough oxygen to support a person just chilling out.
After getting hammered with a bit of basic science the Triton peeps had to change their tune a bit and ended up refunding the nearly $900,000 on Indiegogo they'd raised. But they still saying their product works, despite a few lil white lies supposedly to protect their IP. Watch this space I guess.
Damn, woulda been great to have a lil gadget to give us that extra breathe when needed!
Turns out there is an option on the market, albeit a lot more unwieldy than the Triton. A company called “Spare Air” has been around for a while and offers the smallest redundant SCUBA system available with enough air to get you to the surface in an out-of-air emergency.
Their website looks like it's a throwback to the 90's, and the claims that “Tow-in Surfers love the Spare Air Xtreme Sport. In the severe conditions of tall curls and awesome tubes, the difference between life and death may depend upon your ability to get an extra breath…”
Right - they probably need some help on rewording that - but despite the dorky description do have some big waves guys that are using it.
Santa Cruz hell-man Shawn Dollar swears by it - “It’s psychologically really tough to use,” he says. “Because you have to exhale all your air to clear the regulator. So if it’s broken or has been leaking or whatever, you’re fucked.” But so far, so good. Shawn’s fallen in the bowl on a couple of 20-footers (“Standard,” he says), and used it without trouble.
Shawn's not taking any chances - he couples the Spare Air with the Billabong V1 inflatable vest. "I'll use the Spare Air first, and the V1 only if the Spare Air doesn't work for some reason and I have to get to the surface immediately. It's like the backup plan to the backup plan. But it's important to mention that I have a jet ski with a Santa Cruz City Lifeguard, Brook Goddard, watching over me, as well. I don't know if I'll paddle out to Maverick's anymore without a Spare Air and inflatable suit. Some things that have happened were so sketchy, to go back and surf those waves without this stuff just seems stupid. That's why I wear it: for when things go wrong."
What's the V1 all about? Big wave legend Shane Dorian suffered a serious wipeout at Mavericks, and was keen not to add his name to big wave surfers who have drowned doing what they love. He phoned up wetsuit designer Hub Hubbard and co-designed one of surfing’s greatest safety inventions: the Billabong V1 inflatable vest.
Working with Mustang Survival Corporation, Billabong integrated a heavy duty, inflatable, polyurethane bladder into the back of one of their full body wetsuits. A large zippered pocket on the back of the wetsuit contains the bladder, which is attached to both an inflator and CO2 cartridge positioned between your shoulder blades.
A pull cord runs over your shoulder to a handle on your upper chest. With a quick tug of the cord, the airbag inflates, bringing you quickly to the surface and crucially keeping you face up.
So some spare air plus a lift ride to the surface seem a pretty good combo!
Although it does raise some ethical debates in the big wave world about letting ou's get out there in conditions they have don't have the ability to handle - but think they can cos of the false sense of security safety devices can give.
Still, I reckon most of us would be pretty happy with a lil gizmo that would allow us the back-up of that much needed extra breathe in hectic wipeouts. Cos who doesn't wanna enjoy the underwater train ride instead of looking for the first exit!
I remember Duncan Scott's words when I was on a breathe holding course given by Hanli Prinsloo years back, when asked about his experiences in huge surf and how to avoid the inevitable panic of getting held down for ages, "Just think happy thoughts" he said.
Happy thoughts peeps!
A coupla surfable days this week to keep everyone wet and happy. With the spring tides during the week timing was everything to catch your spot working just right. Smile if you caught the happy hour! Even CarPark John got some bombs out in JBay on a sneaky day off.
The NSRI got a big hug from the whale they rescued! Poor dude got tangled in fishing lines in False Bay in CT. After spending hours getting him untangled, the thankful whale swam up and rested his head on the pontoon of the rescue boat as if to say "Shot ou's!". After a brief rest there he swam happily off. Well done to all those involved!
SF local Mike Hill spent a month up in Nam hunting sucky lefts - he also found an absolutely smoking right for all those natural footers!
Seals locals and current Mexican locals, Brad and Hannah, are taking a break from "work" (which involves surfing every day!) and have gone north on a surf trip up to Baja. Looks like they're scoring some great surf.
Some renovations at Surf Centre last week now see's a whole bunch more space for stock, so pop in for all your surf stuff, as well as some really cool hand-painted longboard fins to spruce up your log.
A partial Solar eclipse last week saw plenty peeps bugging out their eyeballs trying to get a glimpse of it. Christo Zietsmann tried to get a pic but it didn't quite turn out as planned, although the green flash looked kinda cool anyhows.
Some stinky hot summer weather midweek saw temp's soaring up into the 40's and everyone flocking to the beach for a cool down. The heat gave rise to some kiff sunrises and sunsets.
Before we got klapped by the heat the day started off a bit foggy misty. What's the difference between fog and mist? Visibility apparently. It depends on how far you can see through them. If you in it and can't see more than a km away - that's fog, if you can see over a km then it's mist. That lil nugget might just win you the next Trivial Pursuit game.
JBays Dylan Lightfoot is competing in France at the moment, and in between the QS grind is finding some time to go on a few rather strange looking surf missions with his mates!
Despite a few shark sightings recently, remember that not ALL sharks are scary!