Archive for January, 2008

Jan 12 2008

Huey changing his mind again?

Published by under Surf reports


Hello Friends,

Hmmm. Situation for Sydney surfers does not look too spectacular this morning. There was a bit of north wind around daybreak, but more importantly, the windswell has gone almost north and, while it’s a metre or so out at sea, Huey hasn’t nudged the power dial overnight. Those in search of a wave are not likely to find much of anything, because on average those little lumps are only about 6 seconds apart.

The Bureau says the wind will pick up this morning and be kicking along at up into the 20-25 kt range by dusk. Bleargh. I suppose there is a slight chance that it could push up some little things at semi-protected spots like Curly or Northy, but I would be pretty surprised if you could catch anything much above waist high.

I’m pretty much with the Goat (see below) on the outlook for the next few days. The longer range charts are suggesting that things will bump along in typical summer fashion over the latter part of the coming week, ie, not stunning, but not flat either.

California Diary

Swell perked up unexpectedly yesterday morning, but high tide meant it was pretty fat everywhere. I kinda messed up and didn’t get to the beach until an hour or so before dusk. Surfed at Pittas Point (about 10 mins north of Ventura and 10 mins south of Rincon). Only got a few waves before this bizarro rip tore the guts out of what had been some very zippery shoulder to head high walls. Saw some long cover ups as people pulled into these little pits for many seconds at a time. Rincon looked good but too crowded.

This morning I had a look around and once again, Rincon was the swell magnet. Tide was too high (and still coming in) for my taste, but I got some snaps to share with you. My hope is to pick up a little something this arvo on the dropping tide. Our outlook is for some solid west swell tomorrow through about Monday, then it appears to be going flat for the rest of the week… boo.

Have yourself a top old day and may the smiles come thick and fast for you.

cove, Rincon with 20 out and approaching high tide

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Jan 11 2008

On hold still…

Published by under Surf reports

Hello Friends,

Once again we seem to be in a holding pattern on both sides of the pond.  Sydney looks particularly holding pattern to me. Overnight the average height at sea didn’t change much (it’s still around the metre mark) and the direction moved only a bit more (it’s currently mainly east), but the average period has slipped from 8 to 6 seconds. That should unleash a tremendous burst of microscopic, gutless junk – if I don’t miss my guess.

No need to feel too gloomy Sydney surfers because Huey does seem to be banging away in your swell workshop…

While Friday and Saturday look less than awe-inspiring, it would appear from the forecast models that things will start to move around a bit from Sunday. I will be most interested to see what the Goat makes of these things, because I reckon there might be a little kick from the NE on Sunday arvo, followed by some potentially surfable south change nonsense on Monday, before a return to a promising alignment of swell size and wind direction for Tuesday…

California Diary

Didn’t score any waves yesterday as it was quite small in Southern California. Skies cleared though, and today is bright, sunny and a little breezy. It seems there is some small NW swell around, but I’m not too confident that it’ll be surfable. However tomorrow, and for the next couple days after that, looks interesting. We’re due for some fun size west swell with light winds and sunny skies. Ah, California… so with luck I shall have a few more “postcards” for your amusement.

Go well with whatever comes your way!

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Jan 10 2008

Into a holding pattern

Published by under Surf reports

Hello Friends,

Looks as though both sides of the pond are entering a bit of a holding pattern ahead of the next pulse.

Sydney surfers are looking at classic summer conditions, ie gutless, tiny vaguely east windswell and gradually increasing NE seabreezes through the day. You’ll want to be pretty desperate for a grovel to be out there today I would’ve thought. The situation looks not entirely dissimilar to yesterday afternoon, so if you found something worth doing then, it might be a plan to have a look there at the corresponding tide today. From the look of the data, this situation prevails pretty much up and down the east coast (although it looks as though the further south you go, the flatter it gets).

The long range forecast models are fluxing a fair amount, but it still looks as though this weekend could see another east coast low trying to form off the far north coast. Should that happen, then from around Sunday surfers in Sydney should be seeing some improvement to size as a new mainly east swell fills in from the north. The Bureau is currently suggesting that we could get a late south change on Sunday at around the same time as a couple of the models are saying the swell should be peaking.

The good news is that the long range models continue to show 2-3 metres of east swell at around 10 sec apart from Sunday through to the middle of next week for the Sydney region.

California Diary

Swell has pretty much faded away now, but yesterday a pal and I managed to extract a few final chest high offerings at a place called La Conchita. La Conchita is about three minutes south of Rincon. It’s nowhere near the same quality as the famous spot, but it can still get good and often it is much less populated. That was the case yesterday. There were at least 30 waiting at the Cove at Rincon as I went by, but at La Conchita, there were just two people in the water where the southernmost section of the spot starts. Sets were in the waist to chest high plus range, but quite inconsistent. This might not have mattered too much, but for the fact that it was a grey and cold afternoon with water temps down toward the 12 degree mark. An hour in that with a 3/2 was about all I could manage. Still, for all that time, there were just the two of us waiting for waves.

Our outlook in Southern California is not quite as cheery as Sydney’s. We should get a pulse through on Saturday-Sunday, but then it looks set to drop to flat by Monday.

Have yourself a top old day, wherever you may find yourself on this planet of ours!

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Jan 09 2008

Published by under Surf reports

Bobby Martinez at the Pit

Hello Friends,

Looking less than inspiring for Sydney surfers this morning. The MHL buoy is showing  pretty much the same as it did yesterday, but the period’s up a touch and the peak size is down a touch. At only 8 sec apart on average, we are talking gutless windswell for the most part. Direction is straight south, so places facing into that should be offering the best quality… such as it is. Not flat, but not great either.

Wind is lightly out of the SE and therefore I’d expect it to be junking surface conditions up this morning. It supposed to weaken this afternoon, but to stay onshore through the day.

Tomorrow should be NE’ly and it doesn’t look like there’s any prospect of an improvement to the swell situation.

However… the long range models are looking even more promising than yesterday. It seems that Huey has plans to put lots of balls into play at the same time this weekend. The consequences could be another sustained pulse of good size NE swell from around Sunday afternoon through about Tuesday (and beyond).

California diary

Huge high tides are swamping most spots in the morning, but it seems as though we still have some small stuff around. I drove down to the nearest beach to see if I could get a shot for you. The place is called Arroyo Burro beach by the gazetter, but local surfers know it as the Pit. Like name, like nature really, it isn’t much of a wave. Just weak beachy mostly. This morning it was dead glassy and waist high with the odd bigger one. I snapped a few pictures and when I got home and started looking at them, I realised I’d managed to catch Bobby Martinez finishing up a session. Like Tom Curren, he’s a Santa Barbara boy, but who woulda thought he’d be at the Pit.

I’m gonna go surf hunting again today, so if I turn up anything of interest, I’ll put up another “postcard” or two for ya.

Have yourself a top old day!

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Jan 08 2008

Published by under Surf reports

Hello Friends,

It would seem that Sydney and So Cal surfers are both looking at the same thing: fading swell.

In Sydney the MHL buoy was showing 8 sec period, 1.5 metre south swell just before daybreak. In terms of size, that’s not wildly dissimilar to yesterday morning, but then it was coming more from the east. Since there were little waves around then, my guess is that there’ll probably be a few mildly diverting little curls to be found at south swell magnets. I’d be thinking fish or mal though.

The Bureau says Sydney will see clearing skies through the day and winds from S-SE at 10-15kts.

Pulling up the latest forecast info… and it looks as though Sydneysiders are looking at a week of fairly marginal conditions. With luck it won’t go quite flat, but the indications are that it will come close on Weds-Thrs. There could be a small uptick of a foot or two come Friday afternoon, but that will drift back into the marginal range for the weekend (on current reckoning).

The good news is that the very long range models are presently showing some interesting developments for this time next week as a low spreads out a reasonable east fetch from NE of NZ and as another big low blobs up into the southern Tasman. If either of those systems (or both!) play the right way, there could be another dose of useful energy for the entire east coast toward the middle of next week. The usual caveats apply, so stay tuned while we keep an eye on things over coming days.

California Diary

Well, got waves again. This time under very dark and rainy conditions at Rincon. The Queen of the Coast wasn’t all time, but even when it’s less than its best, it can be very good. The WNW swell that has been pretty sluggish but okay size was okay size and not very sluggish at all at Rincon. It was a Sunday, so despite the appalling weather, there were a good 100 or so in the water. However, it is a very long set up (think Crescent or the Alley) and it generally breaks up into four fairly distinct sections. I paddled out at Rivermouth which is right near the top of the point (indicators is another 150 metres up from there).

Water was an unappetising greyish-brown soup and the tide was low (a good thing!). Water temp is around 14 (Vicco’s would shrug but a Sydneysider like me is cringing) so you really pay attention on the first duck dive. Waves were breaking pretty hard and the standard of surfing (quite good) combined with endlessly makeable walls in the head high to overhead range, made catching one something of a challenge for your ancient correspondent.

I set myself the modest goal of extracting a minimum of a wave from the session but with an aspiration of four waves. Dial your expectations to a reasonable level and you can have a sense of satisfaction in the most ordinary circumstances.

Anyway, first wave was not much more than two turns before getting picked off. I had traded makeability for fewer people by moving down from rivermouth to the no person’s zone above the cove. Waves there are sometimes makeable through, but mostly not. Second wave had a good 8 foot of face on it and for a few seconds I thought I’d get down the line, but no sooner had I pulled into the pocket, when whammo… Don’s gone.

In the end I caught a few in the cove, the last of which was really very good. Maybe head high, running down to waist high but zippering along in eminently rippable fashion for over a hundred metres across the inside. Happy camper!

Hope you have yourself a top old day and maybe check back later because I’ll post pictures if I get waves today… (it’s sunny and offshore… so here’s hoping)

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Jan 07 2008

from the charthouse

Published by under Surf reports

Hello Friends,

A report from the chartroom for ya…

At 0700, the southerly was already blowing at 10-20 kts across the Sydney region. The swell height is roughly where things were left at close of play yesterday (ie, about 1.5 metres from the E by ESE), but Huey’s dialled the power setting down from yesterday’s okay 10 seconds to a more marginal 8).

It’s due to be grey and even drizzly this morning, but the Bureau is calling for to fine up later and for the wind to throttle back a bit into the 10-15kt range.

My guess is that if you got waves there yesterday, you might get something there again today, but at reduced size. I’m thinking chest to head high on the bigger ones at places that handle the wind and swell direction.

Okay, let’s unroll the charts for the week ahead…

Yeesh. Doesn’t look too great for Sydney… I don’t think it will exactly go utterly flat, but it’s set to drop into the very marginal range (think waist to chest high on the bombs). Could be a bit better up north, but there’s nothing showing that is even remotely suggestive of the swellfest we’ve had to date. So, looks like more of a typical summer pattern developing.

Meanwhile, here in California, our swell has also throttled back. I’m about to head out for a look, so if I find anything, I’ll post it here later…

Go well!

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Jan 05 2008

Big in Sydney, rainy in CA

Published by under Surf reports

Hello Friends,

Got into LA this morning just ahead of a very big and very rainy storm system. As we drove up the coast, the skies got darker and the occasional spit of rain at Malibu gave way to a steady downpour as we went by Rincon (ultra junky & waist high). Could barely make out the beach on the way up, but it looked small, cold and windblown. I was very, very keen to try and get in so that I could say I’d surfed both sides of the pond on the same day, but conditions are so diabolical that it plainly wasn’t going to happen. Bummer.

(To put it in perspective, since July Santa Barbara has had about 75mm of rain. But, since I arrived here about three hours ago, it’s had over 25mm – and it’s supposed to keep bucketing along overnight with further showers through Weds.)

The first thing I did when I got online again here was to check RealSurf to see what the situation is like in Sydney. From the look of the MHL buoy the east swell peaked at around 4 metres just on high tide this morning. Given that it’s averaging about 10 seconds apart, I’m not surprised to read that it’s whiteout time. Bet a bit of sand has been carved away from the Wetherill Street zone at far south Narrabeen. I doubt that the 10-20 kts of SE wind blowing as I write this around noon Sydney time on Saturday, is helping much. I wonder if there was much happening in the inner harbour… I’d have guessed there’d be a few into the rideable range at Nielsen Park.

Fascinating to see that the call for tomorrow in Sydney is a bit smaller swell (though not dramatically so) and light winds in the morning, swinging NE in the afternoon. According to the models, the swell should continue to fade on Monday, but not to drop into the flat range for the remainder of next week… far out!

Meanwhile, here in unsunny California it looks as though waves could be getting into the 10-foot range thanks to a pulse of long period WNW swell. So who knows, maybe I’ll have some tales to tell… Should still be some energy around for Sunday, but then it looks to be heading toward mid-week flatness ahead of another weak pulse into the surfable range toward Friday.

Have yourself a top old day – wherever you may be.

Manhattan Beach, LA

Manhattan Beach about 0930, Friday 4 January

Rainy afternoon heading into Santa Barbara

On the freeway in Santa Barbara, afternoon Friday 4 Jan 08

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Jan 03 2008

Junky now, bigger stuff coming…

Published by under Surf reports

Hello Friends,

Thursday starts with messy conditions in Sydney thanks to the ESE wind. Swell has dropped slightly since yesterday morning at this time but it’s still out of the east at around 2 metres and close to 10 sec apart. Sadly, conditions are not likely to improve, as the Bureau says our region can expect a further increase in the SE winds to the 15-20 kt mark.

Tomorrow’s outlook isn’t too nice looking. Those winds that have been hammering the north coast and SE Queensland for days now, are set to push further down the coast and so we’re in for 20-25 kts of SE with a building east swell on Friday.

Saturday should see winds staying onshore and in the 20-25 kt range as the swell builds to peak intensity. The models are showing 4-6 metres at around 11 seconds for that peak in Sydney. It’s set to be coming out of the NE so I reckon the Bower could be interesting. And, if your’re looking for something out of the ordinary, the inner harbour spots could have a wave. I’d also be very surprised if the swell doesn’t scrape away quite a bit of sand along the Collaroy-Narrabeen stretch.

I shall be observing this all from afar however because later today I’m catching the aluminum sky bus to California this arvo. By weird coincidence, they too are expecting a pulse of swell. The call is for a Saturday peak (at sea off Southern California) of around 4 metres at 16 seconds (!) from the WNW. Yikes!

Have a great day, whatever comes your way.

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Jan 02 2008

Another beautiful surf day

Published by under Surf reports

Bit of size showing at North CollaroyHello Friends,

Still some juice in the tank this morning for Sydney surfers.  According to the MHL buoy, Huey’s let the size setting come back from an average of around 2.5 metres yesterday to closer to 2 today. But the power setting is still a touch above 10 sec and the dominant direction is still dead east. So, if you got waves there yesterday, you should find pretty much the same today. I think it’s definitely cleaned up in the last day or so as well.

The wind forecast is looking pretty good for our region today as well. Light NW in the morning, going around to the NE, but not getting much above the 10 kt mark.

It was fairly crowded at the places I saw people in the water (Northy, Longy, the Pole and the point) but it’s not absurd. Go to the beach in a patient state of mind and you’ll be home a few hours later with some happy memories.

The call tomorrow is for the wind to be lightly onshore early and then to settle into 10-20 kts of E/SE later. But Huey’s dialling up the size again too. If the Bureau’s right, we’ll be getting closer to the 2.5 metre range from the east north east on Thursday. Yum!

Hope your fitness levels are good, because the models are showing ENE swell through Sunday. As you’d know if you saw the news on Ch9 last night, we’re in for a significant swell event on Saturday.

At the moment the models are saying we should see strong easterly winds develop during the day on Saturday and as they kick up, the swell will also start to rise. The most conservative number right now is 4 metres at 11 seconds, but at least one model is showing a peak of close to 7 metres late Saturday in Sydney.

It’s set to drop overnight into Sunday, but there could still be some 4 metre stuff around. I reckon 6 metres of face on the bomb sets at the most exposed ENE spots is not out of the question. The wind will not be helping on Saturday, but with luck it’ll drop back a bit on Sunday.

Oh, and the models are showing solid 2 metre east swell through Tuesday!

Go well with your day and don’t take any learners to the beach!

Wish you were there. Dee Why beach lefts.

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