Yip, summer's officially here. Coupla nice days, coupla stonking wind days. And no surf. Eish. It would be easier to deal with had we had really good surf this winter, but El Nino did us in for another year. Here's holding thumbs it's done now and we can go back to "normal" weather patterns next year - and the possibility of better surf.
The lekker weather did mean the "locals" were out in force - pods of about 130 dolphins were cruising the backline during the early part of the week.
Nice weather saw the NSRI peeps doing a bit of practice with the chopper. Impressive what these ou's can do. Hopefully everyone just sticks to seeing them practicing versus having to experience a rescue first hand. Remember they're a voluntary self-funded organisation - so always lob a few bucks into the collection cans when you see them.
Another crew who really do good work are the Supertubes Foundation. Helpthem raise some bucks to buy a new bakkie, cos their 15 yr old one is kished. These guys do a ton of work keeping the Supers beachfront area looking lekker, so anyone who surfs there should lob in a few bucks. I just donated R500. See info here...
Or if you aren't on FB then click here for deets. Can do an EFT or credit card transfer.
October is pretty much done and dusted, having been a blerrie windy month. Unfortunately November also ends in "-er" which means it's gonna be windy as well. Everyone who's gatvol of wind raise your hand!
Big 'ol smelly dead whale washed up on the beach in St Francis late last week. Plenty of finned friends cruising right in shore trying to get a nibble at him. Thanks to the NSRI crew for towing it back out to see right out to the current so that the grey-suits can chomp away at it to their hearts content. Props to the brave guys who had to swim next to it in order to fasten the rope round it's tail for the tow. Jaws theme music maybe?
Legend Graham Hynes had his 87th birthday last week. Still on the beach most days coaching the future generations of rippers. Testimony to the adage of use it or lose it. Grahams definitely using it!
JJF won the Meo Pro Portugal, and with Jordy getting knocked out in the semi's now takes an unassialable lead in the world rankings - meaning he's officially the 2016 WSL World Champ. Jordy can hopefully do well at Pipe and still sneak a top 3 finish, which will be his best effort in years.
Sunday evening saw a few inconsistent teeny one's sneak through, so those who were prepared to sit and wait did manage to hook a few small runners. This week isn't looking too flash surf-wise, so take what you see. Don;t waste time in the car park deliberating!
Snack-time in Aus again. Not a week goes by where the locals don;t claim their taxes it seems. Gnarly.
Some big swell in Portugal saw Nazare going off - but you have to pay to play...
Pop over to ML's new FaceBook page here, give it a Like and make sure you click "see first" once you clicked and you hover over the Like button. Cos FB is shafty and doesn't actually put many page posts onto ya newsfeed. Gotto skelm the system to make sure you don't miss out. Will see how it goes else might just go page to using the Profile page if it sucks.
Finally taken the plunge and updated Millerslocal's Facebook profile to a page. Just means ya gotto go give the new page a Like in order to keep getting all the surf, beach and sea news coming up on ya Newsfeed as will no longer be posting on the old profile.
So pop over here to give the Page a like and make sure you stay in touch. Cos Local is Lekker, but being a Bay surfer is better.
Make sure that once you click the Like button you choose to Get Notifications/Show in Newsfeed or whatever option you get. Newer versions of FB might show you a dropdown like below - so make sure you click "See First".
Facebooks a bit of a sneaky schmuck as it only shows you about 16% of the posts from Pages you like - so to make sure you don't miss out on anything click that Get Notifications thingy. It also helps to Like a few of the posts and make comments on em cos then FB knows you dig the page and will make sure you see more posts from it. Clicking that "See First" option makes sure you'll always see posts and don;t leave it up to FB to decide if you get em or not.
All kinda technical I know!
You can also click the Sign Up button on the FB page, as gonna see if can extend my limited IT knowledge even further and set up a Newsletter - which will get dropped off in ya inbox every Monday morning. Will be the Weekly Wrap blog post, plus the surf forecast for the week. Hopefully up n running soon, so subscribe so long to make sure you don't miss out.
Remember this is a community website - so you more than welcome to send in pic's, and if you can hold a pen the right way up feel free to write an article if you want. Can't promise to use everything, but it's a bit like surfing - if you don't go you never know. So send away. Obviously has to be surf or coast related.
Schweet. Over n out.
Nup, that wasn't this week. Wish it was. Yet again the bay has a pretty mundane run of surf. There was the odd "highlight" - when the wind actually stopped blowing for two whole mornings of the entire week - and there were some fun lil lumps to be had. Almost felt like the Twilight Zone or something to be out there in windless glassy conditions, a bit like something was missing. Ah yes, the wind!
October continues to blow it's pip off on most days, and everyone will be more than happy when we move on to November at the end of the week - and hopefully less wind, and maybe even the odd wave. The average wind speed so far this month has been 24 km/h.
October might have sucked for wind, but turn out September 2016 was the warmest September in 136 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA. Not that surfers need any excuse to hide out in the barrel.
Pop this in your diaries peeps - the #Push&Coast events will be kicking off again 5 Nov at 4pm, meet at Something Good. Lekker cruisey skate from there along the boardwalk down to Kings Beach skatepark. All the deets here...
Thankfully PE always delivers something (besides wind). And this week was no exception, with Luc Hosten capturing a lekker sunset over Schoenies. Would be willing to trade sunsets for waves....
The Pitbull Pride Walk was held at Schoenies on Sunday and this lil (long) ou was spotted in his lifevest. Apparently dachshunds don't stay upright so lekker when they try swim, so need a bit of help when it comes to buoyancy.
Looks like the backwash at the pier has been giving rise to some of the best waves in PE at the moment, so if you're in need of a saltwater dose grab a boogie board and hook a few reverse runners.
The Meo Pro is on in Portugal, the second last stop of the WSL. Jordy Smith is doing well, and has advanced to the quarters. Hopefully he can sneak another podium visit.
Forecasts for the bay look pretty dire again for the week, so maybe go grab a tarp as it's gonna be the only way to get barreled...
A little mid-week easterly pulse kept everyone wet and stoked. Tuesday late arvo saw the wind abate a bit and some good one's come through, with more of the same on Wednesday. Wind been pretty gnarly the last few weeks - the old wives tale says that all months ending in "er" are the windy one's. So far September and October are proving that correct!
Thursday was a pretty special day - cos there was no wind for a while at least. And a few lil waves. So weird surfing glassy faces instead of having to deal with knee-numbing chop. Seems like we've hardly had any days like that all year. Wind and waves have been far too closely correlated for everyone's liking.
The 9th CT of the year went down in France. Shot to the Hawaiian lil guy Keanu Asing for winning the Quiksilver Pro, taking out Gabe in the final. For what this wee dude lacks in height he has in motivation. Turns out his a pretty decent mixed martial arts aficionado, so probably best not to tease him about being a short-ass.
Bad week for shark nibbles - with 3 finned encounters happening over the space of 24 hours. A guy surfing the hurricane swell in Florida, a guy up in the Pacific Northwest, and yet another one at Ballina in Aus - which certainly takes the win for most sharky spot this year.
Vic Bay on the other hand has quite a novel approach to sharks - and requests you don't throw them in the tidal pool. Which would of course display quite a warped sense of humour on the part of the throwee!
Scientists at MIT are looking at making wetties out of a new technology, which has seen them copy the concept of beaver fur. Beavers don't have any blubber coating to keep em warm, but rather a unique set-up of different hairs. Could make for some interesting ad campaigns...
If you're wondering why Kelly is sporting a black fingernail these days - here's why: it's a campaign run by Polishedman.com to bring awareness and support to physical or sexual abuse of children. Over $500,000 has been raised for the cause so far and two weeks remain. All funds raised through Polished Man are channelled into trauma recovery and trauma prevention programs for children who have suffered or are at risk of suffering violence globally.
Not a whole lot else happening, so here's a collection of some random shots snapped in our lekker lil town and a few spots down the coast during the past week.
Things looking rather dire in terms of good surf for the bay looking ahead, with only end of week showing a glimmer of groundswell. Time to get all that stuff done you've been putting off cos you been surfing....
The week started off with some beasterly easterlies, but all was forgiven once the wind settled and the easterly groundswell arrived. Durban had been getting clobbered by the solid tropical cyclone surf for a few days, and luckily it made it's way down the coast to the Oos Kaap with some juice still intact.
There's an old saying that all the month's ending in "-er" are windy. Well so far September and October have lived up to that for sure. Pumping west one day, to howling east the next with no real respite in between. Ashley Wheeler sent me this cool link to a graphic wind site that gives you a good idea how much you'll be having to hold onto your hat for the day.
A few spots in the bay suck in the easterly swell like a bergie drawing the last bit of goodness out of his twak. Humewood was pretty good, but you had to be quick, as the banks are almost close to being straighthanders at the moment. They did extract some pay-to-play penalties, and Jason Brown had his stick turned into 2 shortboards.
Some other not-so-secret secret spots were also going off their pip. But you froze your pip off enjoying them. Water temps were frigid to icy up the coast, so the faster you could paddle to avoid the duck-dives the better. JBay also had some good days, you just had to dodge the zillion mini-groms in town for the SA Champs.
Even Cape Town got in on the action. Solid sets pounded the exposed reefs. Reckon this wave is only about 1ft.....Hawaiian size. Dunno why those guys decided to measure wave size from the back. Looks like enough energy in that to compress you into looking like a spatchcock chicken in no time.
Durbs was firing on all cylinders. Like properly. Sipho Ngwane wins crazy-ou of the week award for charging through the barrel on his jetski. It was a tow-in attempt that went pear-shaped, but kudos to him for pulling in when things went awry. Didn't make it, but ballsy to have tried.
Congrats to our groms! Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders won the team event in the Billabong SA Junior Champs held at Point. Two of our girls scooped individual SA titles as well, Kirsty McGillivray the u17's and Kai Woolf the u15's.
Not what you wanna see as you're about to paddle out for a wave. OK, maybe better seeing it whilst still on dry land vs spotting it out in the line-up. Lennox Heads surfers had to give this local right of way last week.
PE never disappointing. If things are quiet on the lekker sunrise/sunset front, well - it just throws out a pretty rainbow instead.
The difference between a smile and a scowl as you walk into the water for that winter sesh is all in the seams. Sure, you get all types of fancy-ass neoprene these days, but it's how those panels are put together that really counts when the temperature drops. Cos not all seams are created equal.
Stitching a wettie together involves making holes in the neoprene and passing a thread through in order to hold the panels together. The hiccup is that these holes can let water (and wind) in though the waterproof neoprene, so the type of stitching is an important consideration for how warm your suit will be. Less holes equals a warmer wettie occupant. Stitches aren't as flexible as neoprene either - so the more stitches the less stretch you're gonna have.
These seams are found in the low-end or summer suits cos it's the simplest way of stitching. The two edges of the neoprene are pinched together and then stitched, leaving a nice big ridge on the inside of the wettie to chafe the crap out of you. Plus they leak water in like a sieve. And they're about as flexible as a stone. Basically just your bargain basement cheap and kinda-nasty stitch that's fine for mini-groms cos they ain't fussy 'bout stuff like that.
The flatlock stitch looks like a miniature railroad and can easily be identified by its zig-zag close stitched seams. It involves laying one panel edge over the other, then stitching though the neoprene with multiple needles in a series of three or four rows of stitching, creating a very strong seam which is pretty flexy. But cos the process entails creating so many holes, it is prone to letting water in. Flatlock stitching is mainly found in entry-level suits, being better suited to warm water surfing cos of the flush-factor. The value-for-money kinda stitch.
GLUED AND BLIND-STITCHED (GBS)
First the neoprene is glued together. The first layer of glue seals the neoprene, the second layer of glue is the adhesive to bond wetsuit panels together. Some brands triple glue their neoprene in the belief that more is better. Is that third layer of glue any better? Dunno.
Then a curved needle brings the thread through the neoprene in such way that it exits on the same side that it went in, without punching through. That's why it's called ‘blind’ because the needle never penetrates the neoprene completely, so there are no holes. The result is a watertight stitch.
So far so good. But for every ying there's a yang. The elasticity of the neoprene is different from the elasticity of the glue. Salt water and sun can crack the glue up and open the stitch from the inside. So warm it is for sure, but durability can sometimes be an issue.
Many manufacturers put tape on the inside of the seams to reinforce them and stop this from happening
GBS WITH TAPE
Suits can be Spot Taped or Fully Taped. Spot Taping is when tape is glued to the inside of the seam in critical areas to add additional strength where needed. Fully Taped Seams are when tape is glued to the inside of every seam. That means no opening of the stitches and no water. Lekker. But this is a very time consuming process, and time is money. So expect more damage to the piggy bank.
And not all tape is created equal. You can get basic tape, or waterproof tape and now even neoprene tape. The neoprene tape means zero loss in flexibility as the tape stretches just as much as the neoprene.
LIQUID SEALED OR FLUID WELDED SEAMS
A few names exist for this type of seam, but it's really just different ways of describing the same thing. The neoprene is glued together, and then a silicon-based urethane seal (a rubber strip basically) is applied over the top. No holes from stitching means no water can get it and you stay warm and toasty.
The advantage of this is that the wetsuit will be more flexible as when the suit is stretched the seam will stretch with it. Double whammy bonus is that it makes the suit airtight. Blow into the arm of any liquid sealed suit and you’ll find it blows up like a balloon and will not release the air. That means the suit is airtight - and if it's airtight, it's watertight.
You get suits with the rubber strip applied to one side of the seam, while a double fluid seam weld with have the rubber strip applied to both sides of the seam inside and out.
Liquid seams are the best thing since sliced bread. But even sliced bread goes mouldy. And liquid sealed seams have their downside too. None of the main wettie manufacturers have been able to perfect the silicon yet - and the seals will eventually crack, split and peel off over time. Some quicker than others. And your suit goes from hero to zero as suddenly the water starts seeping in and the edges of the cracked seams chow your ass and inner thighs.
But ysss, it's lekker while it lasts!
Used to refuse to surf in anything other than double liquid sealed seam wetties cos am seriously allergic to cold water, but for some obscure reason the newer liquid seals are not lasting nearly as well as the old one's and after getting ripped to pieces by a fraying liquid seam on one of my older suits I have been trying out single welded seams as well as GBS with full waterproof taping - and both are just as warm.
Funnily enough whatever they made the original liquid seals out of worked way better than the newer versions, cos still have a Billabong Solution Gold that I got back in 2007 whose liquid seams are perfect, and a few 2012 O'Neill Psycho II's that are also still in great nick.
Hopefully future advancements will see liquid seals that last as long as the neoprene panels they join together! Which will make surfing line-up's like these a breeze. Sort of.
Probably some of the biggest surf we've seen in the bay all year pulled in at the end of the week. The peak of the swell on Thursday arrived as usual with some gnarly wind, but it was rideable if you didn't mind the blind take-off's and 2ft chop, then it was lekker!
There were some early lines on Wednesday before the wind came up, and a few leftovers on Friday morning after the gale had subsided. So certainly enough chances to get ya board wet if you wanted to.
It goes without saying that Jbay was off it's pip. Plenty of peeps knew what was coming though, and there were some serious crowds at Supers. John reckoned he counted over 60 ou's there at one stage.
Seals also had some good one's, and the lighties surfing the Billabong Junior Series there were no doubt stoked to get some solid surf for their comp.
There is a ton of sand sitting in front of Bird Rock at the moment, and the swell direction and size was perfect to throw out some decent barrels on the bank. Just a pity that the wind was pomping else reckon someone would have a had a dib at it for sure. Pretty fickle as far as tides go, but it looks worth the wait.
Clubbies had some good one's and Warri was making the most of them. Outside Clubhouse even broke for a while on Thursday, but the wind was just too crazy to give it a go. Talking about crazy....
Richard von Wildemann aka Chopper decided that the solid swell was the perfect opportunity to have a go at running the gauntlet of the Avo's blowhole on his surfski. Local photag Dean Cothill captured the action on his drone. Check out the full video of the craziness on Dean's timeline here:
Everyone was in full-on moan-mode on Thursday when the wind arrived to ruin the party. Would easily been one of the day's of the year surf-wise had it not been blowing it's mielie off. The sea looked like it had a serious case of dandruff.
Stealing a penguin is one thing, but shooting a dolphin is just a whole 'nother level of f*cked up. This poor dude washed up at Maitlands, and an autopsy done on Thursday confirmed it was a gunshot wound....with them actually finding the bullet still lodged inside.
Bayworld has received reports in the past of commercial fishermen shooting at dolphins and seals cos the stupid mullets reckon they interfering with their fishing. The irony that it's the dolphins frigging fish to start with is lost on those mullets. Hope the authorities somehow manage to curb the insane behaviour.
The world's gone mad.
Seals local Faye Zoetmulder is over in Indo scoring kiff Gland at the moment. Ex-St Francis local Ryan Payne got hitched in Bali and a bunch of the local crew flew over to celebrate with the newly weds. And seeing as GLand is just around the corner....
Introducing Car Park John beer-inspired ice-cream. Cos having a beer named after you is one thing, but a beer AND an ice-cream then you truly legend! It's made from the wort of CPJ's amber ale. "Wort" being the liquid extracted from the mashing process during the brewing of beer. John reckons it tastes epic.
Nice one #Beershack #Beeryard