Swell cranks up on Far North Coast
DO YOU ever get the feeling that the weather has a bent sense of humour?
After two weeks of small surf conditions, and intense spring holiday crowds, the swell finally turned up one day after all the people had gone home.
OK, maybe it would have been better for most if it had arrived on Sunday. But it wasn't to be, Monday was the day.
Judging by the number of people in the water, I reckon there may have been some pretty dodgy sick notices handed in on Tuesday.
Speaking of crowds, many have been wondering why it was so incredibly busy over this last school holidays.
The answer is simple. Usually the holiday crowds that affect our region the most are from Queensland, NSW and Victoria.
As a general rule these states tend to have their school terms staggered. That is one will start a week earlier than the others.
But this spring they all took their two week break at the same time. Hey presto, instant intense crowds.
The funny part was watching the tourism marketing types all scrambling to take credit for the phenomenon. However I suspect they have little to do with setting school term dates.
People want to know if this is the new policy. We'll just have to wait and see, as the schools NSW website, has not yet published the 2013 term dates. However for the summer holidays at least, NSW and Queensland will be back to being staggered again. So I suspect it was just a rare occurrence rather than the new paradigm.
As for this weekend, you may want to dust off your big wave guns, and keep a close eye on the groms. Because if the bureau is right, we are about to be hit with a highly unseasonable, springtime East Coast Low (ECL). It's supposed to be developing down south right now and sweeping up the coast over the weekend.
Like all ECLs, it's hard to predict what it may bring. But we could see south swell from the 2-6m mark with a swell period of 12-18 seconds. Now in the higher ends of those predictions, things could get pretty radical out there.
So inexperienced surfers beware, it may be time to put the ego away and just watch for a day. The winds will be predominantly south.
Add to this equation the fact that we're winding up to full moon tides on Monday, and you don't need to be a genius to figure it may get tricky this weekend.
So take good care folks. Remember to have fun, wait your turn, and surf today like you want to surf again tomorrow.
Ben 'Bear' Bennink is a former professional longboarder and retired NSSIA master coach. He writes for Pacific Longboarder Magazine and is semi-retired in Byron Bay where he is editor of inbyronbaytoday.com.