Yet another week plagued by unseasonal east winds. Anyone with some connections at the weather office, please put a request in for a return to the normal light west conditions of April. At least a coupla waves finally showed up at the end of the week, with a few fun one's on Friday/Saturday.
Water temps were a wee bit chilly out west thanks to the week of east causing some serious upwelling. And the week ended off with a huge fog bank sitting over the Seals/SF area for most of the day on Sunday. So even if there were waves you couldn't see 'em! Probably find some guys scored good waves in total stealth mode.
Local legend Mush Hide was spotted ripping at the Point. Ballie decided he was over rights so turned it into a left instead! Mushie's been ripping since the beginning of time. Check out Len White's shot of him getting shacked off his pip in Durbs circa 1971.
Sad news of another fatal shark attack in Reunion on Sunday. A local grom was attacked just north of St Leu. It does appear to have been an actual attack, not an investigatory bite, as he was bitten multiple times, and had limbs severed off.
Since 2010 there has been 15 attacks, of which 7 have been fatal. The majority of attacks have
occurred on the NW and west side of the island – in close proximity to where the only fish farm on Reunion was located. It closed just over a year ago due to public pressure.
Whilst it is not possible to prove a direct correlation between the presence of the fish farm and the significant rise in human/shark encounters in Reunion over recent years (since the farm was built - and in that area particularly), the possibility exists that it could be a contributing factor.
It must be so hard to be a surfer in an area which such a high shark encounter rate - all you wanna do is go for a surf, but at the same time have to weigh up whether your life is worth the risk. Reckon a wavepool would do well there.
Staying on the subject of sharks, a local fisherman, Gareth Wright, had a close encounter over the weekend. Fishing out at Hougham Park, and was walking back to shore in about knee deep water when he stood on a baby raggie by mistake. The lil dude took exception to that and turned round and gave him a nip on the calf. Just darn lucky it was a baby....cos a bite from mama mighta been worse!
If you check out Nikolaas du Plooy's aerial shot of the inside of Coega harbour below, you can get an idea of just how many of the lil critters are in the area. Yip, ALL those black things you see are sharks. Pretty serious looking raggie nursery. No wonder there's so many of them either side of the harbour.
Must say, there are certain beaches where I start paddling from shin deep water and try to avoid putting my feet down at all costs. Avo's is one (plenty docile raggies there) and Anne's in SF another (biggest raggie in SA was landed there a few years back). Raggies only normally bite if you give em a fright by standing on em, so rather keep those feet off the bottom if you can help it!
One way to stay safe from finned friends is to do some wake surfing instead. JBay's Dylan Lightfoot has been doing plenty of travelling round the country lately, and is now based in CT for a while - where he got a coupla waves in behind the jetboat. He was also snapped at Llandudno by Ian Thurtell doing a kiff wheelie air - not sure if it was shark avoidance or ice-cream headache water avoidance that inspired his take to the sky approach.
Other spots to stay safe from sharks is in the barrel. Josh Enslin doing his best critter-avoidance maneuver out east. Also getting in some practice for the upcoming EP Open trials. The U20’s and Open trials will have their first trial this coming weekend in JBay on Sunday 19th April.
The Masters will have their second trial in Port Alfred on Saturday 18th April. The SA Open Championships and SA Masters will be held at the beginning of August in Richards Bay. It will be run as 2 separate contests.
Plenty of these lil dudes continue to wash up from Seal Point through to Port Alfred. The unseasonal easterlies and big surf wash the loggerhead turtle hatchlings ashore. They're too weak to return to the sea, so please pop them in a container with some sand a bit of water and get em to your nearest sea-life rescue centre. SAMREC, Bayworld and the penguin rehab centre at Seals can all assist.
Might be more than turtles that wash in at Margaret River soon. Might be a few of the WSL surfers! Forecasts show a monster swell approaching for the start of the waiting period, with organizers predicting 12-15ft faces. Pretty sure there are some ou's in the top 36 that suddenly wish they had a sprained ankle or something! The event starts on 15 April. Remember to enter the ML Fantasy Surfer comp - pick your winner and you could score a kiff stash from Billabong.