Whale

Waves are pretty good this morning. Damn cold morning though, so the run across the sand to the water’s edge was torturous.
South Bondi had 3-4 footers – some of which were quite hollow. But its fickle with a super strong rip. (beware beginners – you’ll end up in Africa)
Looks like a perfect all-day-offshore…so you really should think about taking off and surfing…but somewhere with decent banks (not Bondi). The charts are showing a swell increase tomorrow so we’re in for a few good days of surfing. Great weekend to get out of town.
Chasing the Whale
The talk of the morning was a huge whale parked in the break at Tamarama (7:05am) amongst surfers. Well it’s just rocked up into Bondi at lunchtime frolicking with the surfers. It’s unbelievable how close to shore it is. 3 choppers circling…camera crews everywhere…just another day of excitement in the big bay.
Later::uge

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Tubular Bondi

Clouds have parted, sunshine is back, winds are offshore and the swell is still in town. Bondi is attracting the grunt from this SSE swell and sets broke around 6 foot this morning. Angry rip in the south is making the left bowl just nicely – the regulars enjoying the odd tube (rare for Bondage). Remarkably only 4 guys out braving the super cold conditions earlier today. I drove past again at 8:21am and it switched off again with only 1 guy out. The moral of the story is – its fickle – and the banks down at Bondi ain’t great. So what a perfect day to get out of town into some good waves. The next 4-5 days look fantastic with predominantly westerlie winds.
Street Party
Aquabumps hasn’t had a party in over a year. I tell people I am maturing. They don’t believe me. Anyway, the Coopers beer truck is delivering and the City to Surf Fun Run is closing my gallery street to cars – Street Party. More details to come.
Somewhere
The worst kept secret…tour stop No.6 Rip Curl Pro at a mystery location. Give you a hint – I was just there. Looks like the swell is up and the event could start today

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Take II

Damn ugly down the beach this morning. Howling southerlies, bucketing rain and not a sole on the beach. Very limited options for surfing today – I’d suggest a little sojourn to protected Manly – but a hot mug of frothy cofffee sounds much more inviting at this point. Its a chilly top of 14 degrees today and the swell has picked up somewhat – so you’d find mongrel chop hitting the 5-6 foot heavens. Be patient and wait for this wind to drop – there will be waves.
As I cleaned out my camera bag for the first time in years, I found some Flash cards full of Mentawai Tubes. Check out these 5 caves to get you fired up for the next surf trip…
Teething problems – new site
Ok, so day 1 of the new Aquabumps site and we had a few issues. Thanks for your patience – it may take a few weeks to smooth it all over. We understsand we’ve got speed issues – so yesterdays email newsletter hit your inbox and probably stalled your computer for 3 minutes – got it – and we’ve got a team of people who are a hell of a lot smarter than I working out what happened.
Mission Mexico
There are a lot of good people out there doing really good things. Alan and Pam Skuse are good people. They run a refuge for the children in Tapachula, Mexico. They’ve got 40 kids under there care and they require some support. This Thursday 31 July, 7pm at the RUBY LOUNGE (The Eastern 500 Oxford Street) they’re holding a Mexican Fiesta Fundraiser with live music. Cost is $35 per person and you need to pre-buy your tickets [email protected] or call Hayley 0404 727 411 for more info.

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The new look

Notice anything new today? Well after years of flogging the old website here is the new look Aquabumps 2008. The old site just didn’t cut it anymore, considering it was knocked up on a weekend and was invented before blogging was even around…it served thousands of people well.
We tried to maintain the simplicity of the original Aquabumps idea – easy to use, easy to find stuff, clean/uncluttered well designed interface with big mother-all-mighty photographs, so you can see every detail in the 21 mega pixel shots. (Canon Mk3 that is…)
So this version of the site only took 12 months to create and a second mortgage on my pad. Thank you to the web team that were instrumental; Zac, Stephen, Ceej, Ab, Mikala, Kelvinator. Disclaimer: we’re still fine tuning and testing. Please excuse any errors and thanks for your patience.

To summarise the new features:

www.aquabumps.com – hava look. Some people don’t go pass the daily email. Yep there is a whole website behind this thing.
Oh my! big whopping pictures (yes, they may be slow to download for now, but broadband is only getting faster people)
Archives – they’re all on there. I’ve been loggin’ reports for 9 years. 5 years are archived neatly and easily accessible on the new website (see the footer)
Comments – you can comment on reports. I get on average 40-50 emails a day commenting on things, asking questions etc. Now you can post those comments, so other people can read and relate/disagree or get in touch with other members of the Aquabumps community. We have a tight comments policy – so be well behaved kids and stay relevant otherwise our moderators will axe your propaganda.
Buy Artwork – the best images that are housed in the North Bondi gallery are for sale online – framed, unframed. We simplified the image catalogues – so you don’t have to trawl through 10,000 shots anymore. Just the gold shots.
Recent shoots – you can see recent trips, events, party pics etc in this section. Not to forget the lovely Miss Bondis.
Noticeboard – Need a place to live? Selling something? Post it on our noticeboard. It’s becoming very popular and now the latest 2 post are attached in the daily email. I get great feedback for home seekers.
Advertise – now that the site has expanded, we’ve got plenty of areas for you to advertise your business to the Aquabumps mob. Do it.
Search – yep we did it. A keyword site search (top right on homepage). So finally you can find things on your own. WEB 2-oh, here we come! Only took 9 years.
Forwarding the daily email – I get so many damn complaints that you can’t forward Aquabumps daily emails without breaking the formatting – now you can. Hit the forward on the top of every daily email.
GMAIL, Hotmail, Thunderbird, Outlook – whatever…this daily email should look the same in whatever email system you use.

Waves:
To kick off this momentous day we’ve even got good waves down at Bondi. I saw 3-4 footers breaking on multiple peaks earlier today. The ocean still looks unsettled and with a forecasted 30 knot southerly – she’s gonna blow! With the increase in winds is a increase in swell size. In fact all week there will be waves, the winds are the problem. Super fun new left bank in the corner. Damn chilly in the mornings though.

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Bali Heat

Rain is bucketing down this morning… We’ve had swell all week – but unless you’re really committed to heading out of town it’s been quite disappointing. Bondi was surfable this morning 3-4 foot, semi clean, seriously wobbly and only 2 guys out at 7am. The charts are saying offshore (SW) tomorrow and Sunday. Should the ocean settle overnight I’d say the waves will be pretty decent on the weekend. Didn’t get any shots again this morning with all this rain – here’s some pics from Bali to remind you what’s going on up near the equator (Bali is about to blow – party season).

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Rogue

Yesterday’s booming swell has slipped a couple of gears and the onshore nemesis has made a mess of things. Bondi was a rogue 4-5 foot with no one out. Pouring rain earlier today made it hard to get shots, so here is some pics from yesterday’s big swell session. Tomorrow is still big (SSW winds early), Saturday looks better (SW-WSW winds), Sunday ohh yeah (W winds). So it’s only going to get better from here once this wind chills out.
If you’d like to escape the claws of Sydney’s cold winter, book yourself a Mentawai Boat trip on Tengirri. There is still a whole boat trip free Aug 30-sep 11 2008 or 2 spots on 13-25 Sept 2008. It’s one of the fastest boats up there with the best chef. Email Anthony

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Chunky

This big chunky swell is kinda wasted on us in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. Nowhere is really working despite being consistently large. Bondi was 8 foot this morning and messy…I saw a couple of waves that looked very large and could have done with a wider lens to capture the action. Only 1 guy out at Ben Buckler paddling for bombie burgers. Really cold morning with dark grey skies. Manly would probably have a clean little wave, not big enough for the harbour…limited options. Surf will improve in a few days when the winds are more favourable and the swell lining up better. Fortunately I saw plenty of sand moving around on the beach – hopefully created a new variety of banks :: uge

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Its Arrived

From flat to 6 foot in 24hrs. The anticipated swell arrived and is streaming into Sydney’s beaches will plenty of force. With swell lines stacked to the horizon, its a pretty picture down the beaches – but – it just doesn’t seem to be breaking anywhere decent from Bondi to Maroubra. Bondi was 6 foot and wonky, while Bronte looked the best but quite straight, the bra was a third of the size and not doing much…so let this new south swell settle in and the next 4 days of surfing shall be fun :: uge

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on its way

It is hard work coming up with 5 photographs and some (semi)interesting editorial when it’s pretty much dead flat today down at Bondi.
We’re talking anything above your knee caps in a bonus.
The W-NW winds are howling (20-30 knots) and are freezing. The good news is that a dramatic swell increase is due later today. Tomorrow looks to be quite large (yep I ain’t fooling sitting here looking at Lake Bondi)…6-8 foot it will be.
So sit tight and pray the winds stay offshore for the new swell. Here are some filler shots from beautiful Bali to bring the heat back. Later: Uge

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Dreamland

Swell is dissipating fast. Bondi has a weak 1-2 footer that will have dissappeared by the time you read this email. Not worth surfing unless you’re a beginner. The weekend looks…well…flat…yawn…pass the crumpets.
kelly is just not human.
Kelly Slater just defeated Mick Fanning (current World Champ) to win the JBay Billabong Pro in South Afirca. He’s making it look all too easy as Slater combos Mick in the opening minutes of the final. Kelly barely surfed before this event in Bali – yet he’s in fine form. Looks like 9 world titles for the man. Watch the final where Mick had trouble finding any form boggin’ rails all over the place.
dreamland – bali.
Last weekend I visited a little beautiful beach called ‘Dreamland‘ in Bali. In my opinion its one of the biggest attractions on Bali. I am not talking the best waves on Bali – as its probably one of the worst breaks up there – usually crowded with 1st timers – fat – slow – then turns in a torturous neck breaking shorey. Hell – it barely breaks on the high tide unless it’s a big swell.
But the beach at Dreamland is quite incredible – magical. A small hill coated in traditional Warungs (huts) is crowded with friendly locals. The place has a casual vibe, things are slow, the sand is clean and white, the water is so blue it looks like a postcard and any given Sunday in August you’ll think you’re on Ibiza with half of Europe.
Our daily routine was surf the reefs, rock on down to Dreamland for a spot of lunch, swim, and well just hang out until sunset whilst sipping a few ‘Tangs.
Well, sadly, it looks like those days are coming to an end. Bali is in full development mode. Everyone is building something and there is a MASSIVE slab of concrete (kinda resembling a resort) being built right on Dreamland. All the warungs are gone, the hill has been shaved in half to make more room for the resort, carparks, walkways, signs, regulations – eeck.
Anyway, it is one of the saddest developments on the island (also called ‘New Kuta’ just to confuse you with ‘Kuta’) – soon this little beach gem will be for resort guests only and the Bintangs will be $10US instead of 80 cents. If you’re going to Bali this season – soak up that Dreamland whilst they’re still building the resort.
zee aquabumps gallery
The aquabumps gallery is open ALL weekend 10am to 4pm. Since there is no surf, come see some waves. 98 Brighton Boulevard North Bondi right behind the North Bondi RSL. map

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Chubby

The swell charts are calling tiny to flat, but you’d still find a rideable bump down at winter swell magnet Bondi (chest high sets). It’s pretty chubby and weak, so you’ll need a fat board & a warm steamer. Winds are a chilly offshore – 5 knots. Sunny day but only 19 degrees. Don’t worry – you’re not missing out on too much. This weekend looks a little disappointing – flat as.
Busy Slater
Kelly Slater is a busy man. Last week I saw him at Changgu Bali, then shopping in Seminyak, then last Wednesday he was in a chopper to G-land where he surfed 8-10 foot Speedies with Dorian & Joel Fitz. Now yesterday he won 2 heats at Jbay – South Africa, in the Billabong world tour event. What a schedule. Watch it live
Go to Mentawais this year!
As you’ve probably seen on Aquabumps – Indo surfing season has well and truly kicked off. They’re having a great time up there near the equator. Mentawais, off Sumatra, has some of the best waves on the planet. If you want to go this year, Tengirri, the boat I go on, has only a few spots left for 2008. Aug30-Sep11 2008 (5 spots left) and 13-25 Sep 2008 (2 spots left). They’re discounting these trips to $3800 per person for a 12 day tour. Email Anthony or visit website

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pilgrimage

As I make my morning pilgrimage down the hill to Bondi, nice little surprise to see some 2-3 footers hanging around. Great conditions with gentle offshore NW winds, sunshine and a bone chillin’ breeze that makes that run from the car park across sand torturous. We need new sand banks people. The current banks are useless above 1-2 foot. So local surfer, Deadly, convinced the 200,000 visiting pilgrams to pray for swell + and better sand banks at Bondi.
On another note, they are attempting to pull the Padang Padang wreck off the reef this morning…well what’s left of it. later::uge

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Morning Silk

Not bad for winter huh…dayz like these are just amazing in Sydney. Super clear skies, gentle offshore winds, warm temperatures (well for winter – big 2-oh). However the waves in Sydney aren’t of great significance today, still surfable for the overly keen. Bondi had a weak 1-2 foot wave dribbling in on multiple banks. Can’t see any improvement in size all week – so settle in for a conscientious working week.
Shipwreck Padang Padang Update
Those crazy little Balinese have been busy looting the Ho Tsai Fa No.18 (illegal fishing boat) which is currently wrecked on the Padang Padang take off zone (see). I would say by this time tomorrow all that will be left of the boat is the rudder and remnants of a hull – those Indonesians are quick off the mark on salvage rights. So even if they get the boat off the reef, not sure it will get very far… The ship’s cargo of Tuna has been feeding the local villagers for days. Tuna jaaaaffle anyone?
Last Friday night after launching the boat on the reef, the Indonesian crew hot footed up the hill towards Ulu and the skipper is no where to be found.
Rumours say there was a mutiny aboard which happened in May this year. I can think of easier places to park a boat – not lethal barrelling Padang Padang! Imagine if it was 10-12 foot Padangs and you had to swim ashore. ::uge

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Shipwrecked at Padang Padang

Padang Padang is one of Bali’s best waves tucked just around the corner from Uluwatu. The vicious hollow left is also dubbed ‘The Bali Pipeline’. It needs a pretty decent amount of swell to break and at 6-8 foot every rising surf star in Bali will be putting on a show for the cameras in the channel.
Yesterday was Day 1 of the Rip Curl Padang Padang Classic, and the already small take off area just got smaller – with an unexpected visitor overnight, Ho Tsai Fa No.18, a controversial illegal fishing boat has launched itself up onto the world class surf break – bang-on the start of the wave. Oh my…of all places. All day the ship was unloading its cargo of huge Tuna in an attempt to lighten the load – we think there is no chance of getting it off for a while – if ever – as there aren’t many high tides soon – and the Bali rescue consisted of 3 long boats with short ropes and 40hp Yamahas. Not going to happen.
In all seriousness let’s hope they haven’t damaged the reef as this disgusting boat sits high and dry. We just can’t work out how the skipper, Tsai Wen-chen, got it so wrong – see the winds blow offshore all day up there – so he must have drove it onto the reef. But I see they’ve been having problems on the boat – Taiwanese officials have been looking for the boat since June 26 this year and have prompted fears that the boat might have been taken over by its mutinous Indonesian crew…
After doing 5 minutes research into the Taiwanese vessel this is not the first time it’s been in trouble – famous for illegally catching sharks and was once caught with 60,000 kilograms of shark fins in Costa Rica in Nov 2003. Lets hope Ho Tsai Fa No.18 doesn’t sail again.
::uge in Bali.

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Pros

Today’s Aquabumps update is written by a little hottie in bikinis on the beach waiting for her fella to come out of the surf (hence all the Slater stalking):
“Pro surfers are as common as Bintang’s in Bali and I’m not torkin’ about mid-weight surfers here…it’s the Slaters and Dorian’s of the world. Did you read that right, yep Kelly Slater doing a spot of shopping in Seminyak yesterday and Shane Dorian making onshore beef mutton into Rendang. It doesn’t get much better than $3 massages, a honkie tonk palace for $40 a day and a whole lotta happy smiling Wayans, Mades and Nyomans to start and end your day with.
There’s something magical about the mornings here and today was no exception, a motor bike ride to the nearest black sand beach at sunrise and a whole lotta Hurley Groms decimated the 3 foot sandbar. Nothing short of a show as a few other pro’s looked on over breaky. It’s another day at the office for the likes of Taylor Steele, Jason Childs and DHump (phenomenal lens men), who call this place home…Taj, Machado, Jake Patto call this joint a second home and could possibly soon be mine. Back to sittin outside Kelly’s place…he’s gotta feel like a wave soon (hasn’t been in the water yet!)” ::Debbie

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Bukit

Quite meaty up on the Bukit (Bali) today. Plenty of swell around but you’d best be up for the early as the howling offshores came in at 9am, making it hard to get down those steep faces. A big gun would be the weapon of choice. We surfed this hot left (4-6 foot), pretty crowded with a tidy end section tube. The swell charts say this is the biggest day of the week in Bali. Hopefully the winds will back off tomorrow. The island is packed, restaurants full…later: uge

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angin (un-ing)

In the past 2 months we’ve found some great waves travelling the Mentawais, the Maldives, hell even a city beach groyne in Perth threw out a thick lip – well now the lens swings to Bali, Indonesia. Winter in Australia just ain’t my thing – it’s just hard to compete with a head high beach break down the road from your rice-paddy enclosed villa. Last week’s west ozzie swells have hit Bali and there is no shortage of grunt – but plenty of ‘angin’ – that would be Indonesian for ‘wind’…tomorrow is the biggest swell of the week up here – but we’re going to have to leave the beachies for a protect reefie up the bukit. I’ve been stalking Kelly Slater since he got here on Sunday…missed him today as he made the slip to Lembongan Island. Was quite weird shooting on the beach today with Bondi rescue life guards pulling tourists out of the massive rips along Kuta. Yep, Benny Davies and the Channel 10, Bondi Rescue crew are doing 10 episodes up here in Bali…be interesting in the big swells and massive crowds – yes, Bali is back people. Every flight into this joint is choccas.
bondage
Back in good ole bondi it looks a little bit average this week. Heavy showers this morning and slowly fading swell…can’t complain, waves have been great lately. ::uge

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Decent

Decent day to go for a wave at Bondage. The weather was far from favourable with waves better than yesterday. At 7am I saw 2-3 foot consistent bumps rolling in. Nice Westerlie offshore, few showers…pretty cool temps (min 10 max 15). This south swell is due to dramatically increase this afternoon hopefully setting up a fantastic surf day for tomorrow and Sunday. Best have an early night and head out of town for a surfspot with better banks or a spot of reef. (Bondi is no good over 2 foot at the mo – closes out)
AI + Kelly
Indo is having a fantastic season. Mentawais included. The super fickle but highly rewarding Rifles switched on last week for Andy Irons and Kelly Slater (the best surfers on this planet). The boys put a show for the cameras as ESPN filmed a documentary on the two rivals. My little long haired mate abroad Tengirri powercat was there in the channel to capture all the action. Thanks for the shots Phil. Speaking of Indo, WA has been firing with 5 metres swells, so I am heading north to the warm waters of Bali in anticipation of the inbound swell. Next Tuesday looks Macdaddy heavy stuff. Stay tuned. Yes I know, I have itchy feet.
Aquabumps Gallery Open
Yes…we’re open shop. 10am to 4pm 98 Brighton Boulevard North Bondi. Telephone 9130 8371. Plan = surf morning, eat breakky at 3 eggs next door with extra bacon, come see gallery.

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south swell

Plenty of swell energy around, well…predominantly breaking in the 3 foot range, but quality wasn’t there. Bondi’s small time sand banks couldn’t handle anything above 2 foot – closing out straight. But nice conditions with sunshine, light offshore westerly and relatively warm water – or it may just be my new steamer. Similar tomorrow. Solid on the weekend.
bendie
On our recent trip to Mentawais (which was smoking by the way), it struck me that the man grommets are getting old. All the boys bitch’d and moaned about their crook backs at the end of every session. Back deck warm-ups look more like a yoga class. Which focuses me to our discussion today – Yoga & surfing. Well research shows that doing yoga will enable you to surf longer – pain free – and more agile. (and you don’t have to wear skin tight latex in class – not unless you’re a Page brother). Samudra do Yoga & Surf retreats all around the world. We sent well known journo Anneli Knight, (the world’s most enthusiastic woman) to a week of heathy livin’ up at their recent Byron Bay Yoga + surf retreat to see what’s it all about. Read Article

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Newbie

There is a little 2 foot bump trickling into Bondi as this new south swell does its thing. It will only get bigger from here on. Its surfable right now, not a lot of power, but clean waves well groomed from the chilly offshore. W/NW 20/30 kts tending W/SW in the afternoon. Tomorrow looks better but…hang on…the weekend looks fantastic. 5 foot + at Bondi and offshore. Later::uge

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