Ocean Rhythms, May 17

The action has been non stop this autumn with nature duly delivering an antidote to the dry hot summer with a record flood and a constant barrage of swell from all points of the eastern quadrant. Tropical Cyclone Debbie meandered in from the Coral Sea and while it was obvious the remains of the cyclone were going to dump some rain on us, no-one predicted the massive amounts of rainfall which fell over a 24/48 hr period. This was enough to cause major flooding in the Tweed, over-top the Lismore levee with devastating results and cause a major flood in the Richmond River and its catchments. The damage to property and livelihoods was severe in Lismore and our hearts go out to those in the clean up and rebuilding phase. Thankfully no life was lost and it also looks like we avoided another major fish kill from this event. I believe this is because of the plentiful rainfall which occurred prior to the ex Debbie system dumping on us. This enabled the flood plains and swamps to get a minor flush and clear away some of the potential black de-oygenated water as well as agricultural pollution before the main flood.

Now, a full moon cycle after the flood, clear water is once again pushing inshore and upriver on the high tides. The net result is the fishing should vastly improve now after the major flush out. We are already seeing signs of this with some big tailor and jew hunting the headlands and beaches and whiting and flathead returning to their usual haunts. Post Anzac Day the mullet should start to run along the beaches and that kick starts a major feeding cycle of predators, some of which we want to catch, some of whom we wish to avoid.

Surf-wise we also dodged a bullet from Debbie, with our region being spared the full bank-busting impact of a major black nor-easter. Instead the post Debbie southerlies have further helped push sand onto the north side of the headlands where a variety of swells have seen some sublime surfing conditions go down. Easter enjoyed a long range easterly groundswell with light winds and some surprisingly small crowds if you dodged the obvious spots and went to the other obvious spot. At time of writing a strong cold front is preparing to sweep into the Tasman with south swell on the cards into the foreseeable future. After a summer of horror, it’s once again a blessed time to be a surfer in Lennox Head. Till next month, tight lines and tubular visions.

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