Ocean Rhythms

Summer is likely to go down in the record books as one of the hottest and driest on record. The one event that could change that is Cyclone Oma, which is hovering in the South Pacific, about to enter the Coral Sea at time of writing. If Oma crosses the coast somewhere in QLD or gets close then we are likely to get both big surf and lots of wind and rain. If it hovers offshore or tracks parallel to the coast the big surf will come without the bad weather.

The east swell has remained pretty constant through February and as we predicted in last month’s column the nor-east wind pattern did not abate for the entire summer. That led to some pretty good waves at backbeaches, albeit crowded, but very ordinary elsewhere. Normal sand flow to the points was disrupted with the constant ENE to E swell nibbling holes in the sand that was there. Going into autumn and the banks are mostly in poor shape.

Two tragic events rocked the surfing and ocean user community as summer drew to a close. Ballina legend Raz, whom many would have seen over the years bodysurfing in very challenging surf went missing at sea. Raz was a true waterman, fit, experienced and knowledgeable in all conditions and his loss is grieved by all who knew him. The second tragic event was suffolk park surfer Sam Edwardes getting a leg bite from a juvenile white shark attack. This very serious injury could have had a far more tragic outcome if not for the first aid given to him by friends and onlookers. Its sad to say but every surfer in this area now needs to know and be ready to apply life-giving first aid in the event of a shark attack.

In happier news, the fishing has been consistent with big greenback tailor haunting the headlands and inshore gutters. Incoming tides at dawn and dusk have produced the best fish. Unweighted gar and poppers attract the biggest fish. Whiting and dart have also been abundant in the inshore gutters.

That’s it till next month, tight lines and tubular visions. 

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