Dancing with freighters

After the great waves of yesterday the swell charts had hinted an even bigger, better day today…but it didn’t really eventuate. The swell maintained size in the 4-5 foot bracket at Bondi but the winds swung around to the SSW creating some junk in the bump. Bondi wasn’t really handling the large conditions well and peaks towards the North end were more manageable.
After a 5am chilly start, the wagon rolled south to a rocky outcrop which throws a decent lip in larger swells. It was ‘kinda’ working on intermittent sets… Sam Mac (of the Stab Mag mafia) and local golden child Perth Standlick did their best to negotiate the random slabs.
This south swell will hang around for tomorrow, tweak a bit more east and the winds will be SE (junky).
Aquabumps heads to Mentawais
Indo surf season has well and truly kicked off. From May 2-13 Aquabumps will be broadcasted from a charter boat in the Mentawai Islands(off Sumatra). Updating the site from a boat is tricky and only possible with the help of Telstra Satellite Technology (thanks Marc!) – no internet cafes out there. They’re struggling on the basics out there.
Later :: uge
PS – if you’re heading to Indo get yourself a new triple cover from Squid.

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pumping

Excuse the late arvo interruption. Just got off the plane from Byron…as we circled the airport you could see all the beaches firing. All of them from Cronulla to Northern beaches. WOW. Ok, back to work now – if that’s possible at all ::uge

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Cavvanbah

So they’re calling Anzac day the best day of surfing in Sydney for 2009.Everywhere seemed to be firing and now you’re probably wondering where my shots are? Well…um…er…I ended up in Byron Bay…the only area of NSW that was an onshore mess that day…the first bad day in Byron for 6 weeks (locals up here are calling it the best 6 week swell marathon in 10 years). Apparently I was a couple of days late in missing out of double head high barrels along Belongil. Can’t always score. I’ll get my own back when I am in The Mentawais later this week.
Sydney’s winter temperatures are creeping in with a maximum of 19 degrees today whilst Byron boasts a summery 28 degrees – its just like summer up here! It’s amazing the difference that 759 kilometres north makes. Tallow’s had a small 1-2 foot wind wave – covered with people. I think most of the travellers have migrated from Bondi to the warmer temperatures of Byron.
Swell forecast for Sydney – A new south swell will arrive tonight and hang around all week (biggest on Wednesday). Great week of surfing – Bondi loves the south swell. ::uge
PS – ‘Cavvanbah’ was the aboriginal name for Byron bay pre-Captain Cook

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Burgerworld

Swell has gone east and the winds are offshore (perfect). The sun is puttin’ out some bake and the 7:20am high tide is making fat burgers of any decent waves. You need to wait for low tide kids, there is way too much water wobbling around at sea. Low tide shall be at 1:20pm, so either side of low should be the best time for a wave. The swell looks like it’s going to hold up for today and the weekend. Dang.
The banks are dire at Bondi. Disastrous. So many places would have good waves – just not on our turf, so go for a drive, especially somewhere facing East. Same goes for tomorrow.
Bondi’s Perth Standlick has come a long way from his grom days on the shorey. How’s this footage of him pulling into a mean bat cave somewhere on a NSW beachie. Impressive. Watch Vid
Galleria
The Aquabumps Gallery is open all weekend 10am to 6pm. You’ll find our swanky new joint at 151 Curlewis Street, Bondi Beach (in between a video shop and TAB – all you need for post-surf entertainment). Yeah it’s the joint where Sponors had loads of parties, where you probably wrote your name on the bathroom wall or got your car fixed years ago. No – we don’t have plans for our opening party – thanks for asking. more gallery info

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Boomers

That wind has backed off overnight and today is the 1st surfable day of this week. 4-5 footers broke out the back of Bondi. Whilst most were just a takeoff adrenalin rush, and nothing more…it worth paddling out for sure. The sun has just immersed from morning cloud and the water is still warm (21 degrees). Low tide is around midday and high at 6:30am. Winds should dissipate even further and blow more SW by night fall. Even though the swell is on the decline there should be a decent wave tomorrow.

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Settle

Plenty of swell still around. The ocean has settled a little from yesterday’s wind-blown agitation – but not settled enough… Still bumpy and lumpy out there. North Bondi had some 1-2 footers…mid Bondi 3 footers and south end 4-5 footers. Winds are 8-13 knots of South Easterly. Tomorrow the winds should swing more around to the south creating more options like Sth Bra, Bronte and Sth Bondi. But what’s more exciting is that winds go WNW on Friday- so it should be pretty decent. Until then, enjoy the sunshine that just popped out.

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Patience

Let this storm blow over and then there should be some decent waves. At this stage, Thursday/Friday will be when the wind changes. Until then, 20 knots of gale is making a total mess of the surf. No one out surfing…few morning joggers running into the breeze, scores of seagulls hovering and cooler winter temperatures.
Adios, Ugios (south de border)
PS – some people thought I am getting kick-backs on those Bali recommendations. Um, na… 100% editorial

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Howl

Back in Sydney and there is plenty of swell around – but how about that howling wind rippin’ it to shreds. Bondi didn’t have a soul out (yeah – it was THAT bad). South Manly would be my pick today (out of this onshore southerly). Wait until mid week when the wind dies…until then – crank the work out or book a trip to Bali (cheap fares).
Bali Tips
Probably the no.1 question I get asked outside of what cameras I use is where to stay in Bali. Here is my 5 second run down.
If you want to party in Bali stay around Seminyak. All the good stuff is there. But it can feel like you haven’t left Sydney with expensive drinks and half of Bondi wandering around. The waves aren’t crash hot around Seminyak (Poo brown water and black volcanic beaches), the Legian beach breaks are the go (nearby), or The Goo is only 15 minutes away (but you’ll have to fight waves off Rob Machado, Taj and Jake Patto – big Pro Hang out).
My pick for accommodation in the Seminyak area is: The Legian (serious luxury and surf out the front – great if travelling with a little lady as there is a pool right there), Samaya (pure luxury, private villas next door to the Legian), Sentosa Villas (mega design but exy – not on the beach – where my Bali gallery used to be), The new Anantara Seminyak Resort (had the best right hand bank last week but still exy),…if on a budget try Tony’s Villas (heard its very cheap and good), Aston Bhavana Villas or just email Antoine your budget and he’ll find you something. (Say you’re a friend of Aquabumps). If all above sounds too hard, just get on a plane and drive around until one looks good and then book yourself in – you’ll probably get a better rate! There is loads of accommodation.
If you want to chill and be near world class surf you need to stay on the Bukit. Up there you can’t go past Mick’s Place. Run by Mick (who is a little aussie legend) you’ll have stunning views and be right on Bingin Beach (but he’s normally booked out). The Bali Retreats website has loads of other options – just call Jon (0)7 5536 3325 – he’ll sort something out for you. Mu, Temple Lodge and the new La Joya at Balangan look good. If you’re flush with green try the Bulgari, Karma Kandara (with private beach – probably suited to honeymoon – yep its that secret beach I was on). If you’re on a K-Rudd sponsored trip stay at Bingin on the beach in a hut with flies for about $5 a night (you’ll probably live for 2 months on $200)
Eat: Cafe Bali is my new favourite (Seminyak), can’t go past Ku De Ta for sunset drinks, Trattoria (heaps of Euros and super cheap), Made’s Warung (original and local food), Living Room, Warisan (for the hot date), La Lucciola (just phenomenal – on the beach, best food and sometimes a wave out the front), Bloosum (like Longrain), Zanibar (cheap pizza lunch on the beach at 66), Kuna’s (good jap), Sarong (mega pad, pricey but good)…
If you have comments/questions of suggestions click here to add (for others to read)
I shot nothing resembling a decent image this morning…so here is some Bali pics to keep you going in between storms :: uge
PS – the Wentworth Courier were kind enough to give Aquabumps a cover and a story… Hava read

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Warung Bumps

The mid week peak in swell is rapidly decreasing up here in Bali. You’ll still find waves at big name breaks like Uluwatu which was packed today. Waves broke around 3-4 foot on the incoming tide. Low tide can be pretty shifty at Ulus…and I’ve got holes in my feet to prove it. Don’t think there will be much to surf tomorrow on Padang Padang side…Good old Nusa Dua would always have something being the swell magnet of this island.
Looks like there are some decent waves back home. Nice. And good weather. Lucky.
Massive swell hitting Sunday – WOW.
Back in Bondi this weekend to shoot some big stuff.
::uge
PS – colours may be way off in today’s shots. Bali internet cafe PCs are not the best.

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Nammos

I reckon I know Bali pretty well. Been here 25 times now (yeah medal please). The amazing thing about this Indonesian paradise is that there is always something you haven’t seen before. Take today, a little exploring through a very poor village/bronx, fang right at the guy walking the cow, left at the chook fighters, then left past the ladies working in the quarry and you’ll discover a remote private beach only accessible by cable car. Sure you’ve gotta cough up $50 to get down the 200 metre high cliffs and enjoy a beach formed in a crack on the south end of the island – but when you get there – well – it’s another world. Blue water, frozen margaritas, gourmet pizza, Ibiza styled beats … ahh we’ve found a little slice of paradise – let’s call it Nammos (I’m not going to make it that easy for you to find – there were only 2 people on the beach when we rocked up).
Waves? Yep there were waves up here today. It’s packed though. 80 crew out at Ulus fighting over the ending section. Not my cup of tea. Get that at home in Bondi. Swell is rising fast and tomorrow should be cranking.
I have dozens of emails requesting info on Bali. Where to stay blah blah. I will release some notes of my findings when I get back. I’m currently stays at Mick’s Place in Bali – and it’s pretty amazing.
::uge
P.s. The Aquabumps Gallery is open 10am to 6pm daily (closed mondays only) Telephone 02-9130 7788

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The Goo

You’ve gotta love Bali.
It just seems to have everything; waves, nightlife, warm water, incredible accommodation, friendly locals and all for a decent price.
The waves have been pretty flat lately, but a recent swell spike fired up the Goo (4-5 foot sets). Big crowds in the water from all over the globe. (there is crew in the line up from countries where I didn’t think there was surf). Should be some decent waves in Bali on Wed – so the warung whispers go.
Doesn’t look like I am missing any swell back home.
Later::uge

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Corner delights

Ideal conditions for Bondi this morning – and everyone is onto it. Big hungry crew frothing over 3 footers in the southern corner. Gentle side/offshore winds (SSW)…sun is shining…water is reasonably warm and everyone is due to head into the office soon. A good time to paddle out…
This swell will progressively get smaller into the weekend. Today and tomorrow are probably the best days of this week. Don’t think there will be much left over for the Easter Break. (and the weather looks mild average 21 degrees)
New format
I think we got a bit carried away when designing the new daily email layout. We had complaints of it being far too slow to download or arriving as jumbled code. Today we’re testing a new simplified template which should rectify most of these troubles. (fingers crossed) report weirdness
Gallery Closed over Easter
We’re closing the gallery doors for the Easter break. Friday to Monday. Don’t close often…no one in town anyway.
Balibelly
I am jumping on a plane to Bali to avoid the cooler temperatures here. Will send a few updates from up there. Jumpa lagi benchongs :: uge

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bustin’ fins out

Not too shabby down there earlier today (sorry for the late update – phone wouldn’t stop ringing all morning). Bondi had a 2-3 foot wave, little bit messy due to a slight onshore breeze. Plenty of crew out before work – some good surfing going down as well – fins flashing all over the place.
Looks like Autumn has settled in, most of the backpackers have dissipated and it’s safe to surf Bondi without getting speared by a new comer to the sport. Also bring on those south swells best suited to Bondi.
Tomorrow should be pretty decent, south swell 3-4 foot and SSW winds.
Later: uge

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Redundancy rights

With all the doom and gloom in the economy at the moment, plenty of jobs are being lost. I am sure everyone knows someone who has lost their job. Well, look at the bright side, always a good time to go surfing no matter what. A good mate of mine came for a wave this morning – today being his 1st day of freedom. He’s booked a round the world ticket and surfing mostly in South America soon. Now that’s a trip.
Today there were some waves at the Southern end of Maroubra. Seeing the south change came in early you need to seek protection and this dying east swell was still getting right up into those corners. After lunch the swell will kick around to the south and become more of a weak windsell. Not ideal. Tomorrow it should crank up a little and hopefully this howling wind will subside.
Dead Body at Tama
Around 5pm yesterday a dead body of a young teenager – male, drifted into the peak at Tamarama amongst the surfers. The body was fully dressed in jeans and sneakers showing no signs of movement – head down. Sad times. The Westpac chopper arrived winching the body out of the water soon after it had been spotted. That’s all that is known at this stage.

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moisture

Since we last spoke the rain has subsided, winds backed right off, fog has moved in and the swell has halved. The tamer conditions are producing decent 3-4 footers down at Bondi, but there is still a slight wobble from the recent agitation. Low tide is at 10:12am and high at 3am. Looked quite fat this morning at mid tide.
Exposed beaches to this East swell would be pulling a foot or so bigger. E.g. Bra, Whaley, Narra
Good surf all weekend. 4 foot, favourable winds on Saturday. Go get some.
Gallery Sale
We don’t normally have sales in the gallery, but for this weekend only we’re doing deals on smaller artworks. Click here to see what’s on offer (only items listed are on sale – no acrylics). See you on the weekend 10am to 6pm sat/sun 151 Curlewis Street Bondi Beach (behind Bondi Hotel next door to Thai Terrific) SALE ITEMS

Have a great weekend, :: uge

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Free Car Wash

This low continues to provide rain, wind and swell. At least its toned down a little from yesterday, the wettest day of the year so far. Look on the bright side, at least all the salt has been washed off your car.
Bondi was a random 4-6 foot this morning. Not much lining up at all. More towards the north there is a few peaks, but you’d really want to be keen. (we have plenty of keen people around Bondi)
Tomorrow looks like the winds will go offshore and the swell remains making for a much better surf day. In fact the next 4 days look sweet for surfers. Nothing like what has been going on up at the Goldie…WOW…
Searching for Michael Peterson
Jolyon Hoff’s new feature film is out on MP. Three years in the making, Searching for Michael Peterson is a docudrama that tells the story of one of Australia’s greatest surfers whose career was cut short by mental illness. There is a screening this weekend Friday 3rd April @ Bondi Bowls Club from 7pm to 9:30pm.
buy tickets
Peter Versus Toby
Some new crew have moved into a gallery/boutique space on my gallery street in Bondi. I’ve been curiously observing some crazy paint work going down on the shopfront – 1st a pyramid…then mixed in with an outta space theme and now Tahitian mountains? One word comes to mind…Acid. Their opening party is this Friday. Shop 1/110 Curlewis St [email protected] | website

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Harbour Surfing

This ferocious storm is terrorizing Sydney with pelting rain and howling winds. Swell has come up to a rogue 8-10 foot solid at exposed breaks. Very limited options for surfing today – but – that one novelty wave in the harbour – the one that breaks annually is pumping out a little wall…I don’t know how the swell gets all the wall down the harbour towards the Opera House…maybe it bounces of Chinamen’s, into Nudie Camp Cove and then grinds down further into the harbour before breaking on a rocky outcrop. (something like that – I am sure a scientist could explain it better). Its a miracle when it does break. It was surfable(ish) and clean earlier today…and won’t be around for long as this swell is on the decline.
Bondi was an ugly 6 – 8 foot washing machine – only surfable at the northern end. When this wind dies down there will be good waves…standby.
The winners of the 2 Fists 1 Heart Sound track are Pat Brennan and Todd Muller. Come to the Aquabumps gallery to collect.

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