Allow space for grief before having discussion about sharks
HOW can I write this and not mention the shark bite fatality in Byron Bay this week? I suppose I can't, yet I strongly prefer I could.
I was just 400m up the beach about to go for a wave when it happened. This incident is disturbing and upsetting enough for me, and yet in reality this is not about me.
So how incredibly disturbing must it be for the grieving widow?
Please people; let's be respectful when discussing this.
I've had a lot to say at times over the years about sharks, and I stand by all of it. But right now, in my opinion, it's just too soon to be having the discussions that are already flying thick and fast about sharks.
I'd rather simply say I send my deepest sympathies to the victim's family and just hope that people are considerate enough to stop and think what the family must be feeling, before pushing their personal agendas.
Now on to what we can expect this weekend.
Straight up it looks like we'll be dished up a classic spring style mixed bag of conditions. If you believe the Bureau we can expect showers, sunshine, offshore, onshore, westerlies, southerlies, easterlies and northerlies.
What this loosely translates as is that the current southerly we're experiencing will fade in intensity and the wind will swing through all points of the compass and settle into a northerly on Sunday.
However there is another southerly expected Monday. If this comes early, Sunday's northerlies could be very light. If it stalls a little, the wind on Sunday could get pretty strong as it's sucked down into the approaching system.
The swell is most likely to hover around the E/SE direction at about 1-1.5m with a short period of 7-8secs.
So yes, there will be a few smallish, probably a bit bumpy waves around. But it's unlikely to be enough to really get excited about.
On safety, yes there are obviously sharks around at the moment. The whales are on their southbound migration and this event tends to bring the bigger predators with them. They are always around. But during whale season there are usually more.
Also this week we had a large number of sizable bluebottles wash in. It's a little early in the season for them, but they have already arrived once this week and there's a distinct possibility that we may see more as the wind swings onshore.
Never forget that it is a wild and dynamic environment in which we choose to play. Take care out there, remember to have fun, wait your turn, and surf today like you want to surf again tomorrow.