Tragic week on our coastline
WHAT can I say? This has been a disturbing and tragic week for surfing in our region. My sincerest condolences to all involved.
There was the horrific accident when a surfer hit The Wreck at Byron Bay, another bloke cops a shark bite to his back at Seven Mile, Lennox Head, and then another surfer loses his life to a shark off Shelly Beach at Ballina.
So once again I find myself wishing beyond hope that I could say the right thing to somehow soothe the pain for all involved. But, of course, that's not possible.
All I can say is this: I know at times that I myself can get complacent about the nature of what we do.
I'm not suggesting that any of these blokes did but, for me, a lifelong surfer, sometimes I just need to remind myself that what we do is actually pretty risky.
More importantly, where we do it is an extremely dynamic environment - it's ever changing and teaming with life. It's best for me to remember that no matter how long I have surfed, I'm not in charge out there.
Let's move on and take a look at what's winding up for this weekend.
To put it simply, it's going to be a prime example of late summer easterly trade wind swell. If the wind doesn't get too strong - which at the moment looks unlikely, probably little more than 10kts from the E/SE - there should be waves pretty much everywhere.
Just keep in mind that trade wind swells from the east at this time of year can sometimes bring other critters in with them. Mainly of the stinging, annoying jelly-type variety. Keep an eye on what's floating around you.
The swell will arrive in pulses.
First the wind swell yesterday and today, slightly bigger (1.5-2.5m) but shorter periods (8-9 seconds) and a little bumpy. Then it should transition tonight and Saturday into smaller swell (1.5-2m), mid period (9-11secs).
Sunday we should see it settle into a nice, rhythmic 1-1.5m, longer period (11-13secs) east swell. Just a little heads up: there is also a hidden south swell in the mix, mainly on Saturday. This could produce a few sneaky large sets on the more open beaches.
Stay safe, have fun, wait your turn, and surf today like you want to surf again tomorrow.