The Emerald Coast

Just got off the plane and went for a dawdle down the beach. To put it plainly – it’s an AMAZING DAY outside. The water is a deep emerald colour, it’s offshore (and quite strong), there is a fun little mal riding 2 footer crumbling with the schoolies pack frothin – what more could you want? What’s with all the complaining about rain lately – What rain?
Indian Glass, an image I shot on Wednesday in Indonesia is proving very popular. I have to say I love that shot – one of my favs if not No.1. (Click here for Facebook users).
Have a good weekend, wthe Aquabumps Gallery is open 10am – 6pm alll weekend. We don’t have Indian Glass in stock but will be taking orders.
Seeya, ::uge

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Last Day

Our little junket in the Mentawai’s has come to a close as we set sail for mainland Indonesia. Plenty of waves in the first half of the trip, bit light on in the second – except today where it came up to 4-5 foot on a hollow left. The winds up here have been a bit of a nuisance…but there still are plenty of options to surf.
Laters :: uge

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Laydaze

The swell is down and the wind is up from the south – a good combo to watch a whole season of Entourage and rest up – not much else to do on a boat at sea with tiny wind chop. It can’t be pumping everyday up here, we’re all surfed out anyway after 7 days of good waves.
Here’s some info about the Mentawai Islands: The Islands have a population of 70,000 (even though you barely see anyone). The Islands have 960 kilometres of coastline and are located 82 nautical miles from the nearest port, Padang which is on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. 37 charter boats operate in the islands with 9 land-based camps (more to come). Dominant swell direction is SW-S. Water temp is a salubrious 29 degrees. Surf season goes from March to October…however you can get lucky in the offseason with a random swell and empty line up. There are over 40 surf breaks here – all reef breaks hugging 4 main islands (with plenty of tiny islands that you can kick a footie across).
We are currently on charter boat Tengirri and they’re taking bookings for a trip just like this one for 2012.
Heard it’s pretty cold and wet back home, hope you are getting waves.
Sampai Jumpa :: Uge

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The Indian blue

There’s not much between the Mentawai Islands and the bottom of this planet – just a massive expanse of Indian Ocean between Australia and Africa. This absence of land mass keeps the surf rich waters around these islands crispy blue clear…perfect for a day’s swimming around with your camera.
The surf has been good – but on the rapid decline.
Later :: uge

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Windows

Well it’s been quite a different trip to the Mentawais this year. There has been plenty of smoking waves to be had…I should mention…in amongst the rain and howling southerly gusts. In 1 day the weather has been changing so much –  you just don’t know what to expect. Some breaks have been on just for a moment and then terrorized by a nemesis southerly…other breaks peak on an incoming tide and flat when full. The moral of the story is that you have to be on it.
Heard the weather back home is pretty similar – wet. Hope it clears up for the both of us.
Speak soon :: uge

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Tsunami

Yesterday I surfed for around 7 hours – I can barely lift my arms now (yep, it was that good). The swell arrived and some really fun 4 footers were on offer in the Mentawai Islands. Bit of trouble with flukey winds that blow for an hour, then glass off, then blow again. The sought after Indo tubes were hard to find, we mainly surfed a mechanical left, Maccas, which is said to be the world’s funnest wave.  With fun waves come the crowds though – it’s busy.
Maccas was also hit by a big Tsunami last year. The landscape has been totally altered…trees uprooted, a bare point which was once a sea of palms, a wreck of a hotel and the metal skeleton of charter boat Midas on the beach. It’s kinda creepy what happened here…our boat Tengirri helped rescue many of the stranded survivors, which were found clinging to the treetops in shock.
SurfAid is the only relief agency working in this area. If you surf the Mentawais – you need to be donating. The Mentawai people don’t really have any other assistance here as it is so remote.
Have a great day, I don’t know what’s happening back home as we’re on satellite hook up.
Adios :: uge

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AWOL

Uge has gone AWOL. We haven’t heard from him this morning. I guess that’s what happens when you’re surfing a million miles from civilisation and living on a boat. We’re so connected these days, I bet it’s nice for the boys to be unplugged for a while…
So, today’s report comes from Bondi HQ. It’s a beautiful day. The water is crystal clear. We just went for a swim to test it out for you all (part of the job). It’s stunning – clean, crisp and fresh. 17 deg in the water, 23 deg out. A few surfers out there and a couple of SUPs playing in 1-2 ft waves.
Here are few photos from the Aquabumps archives for you to enjoy.
Pop in to see us at the gallery – we’d love to see you.
We’re open everyday except Mondays from 10am to 6pm.
:: Gloria + Christian

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Punters

We have moved to a part of the Islands called Lances. The swell is still tiny but there are some fun waves around exposed breaks nearby. We still haven’t seen the real perfection that these islands are famous for. Lances area was badly hit by the Tsunami last year – the Bintang village has now been moved off the shoreline and back up the hill a little.
Swell comes up tomorrow…
Adios:: uge

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Ombak Kecil

So here we are…drifting between islands in search of good waves following swell charts and good weather. It’s been small so far, 3 to 4 foot – with some really small low tide sessions. Windy too which is not normal for this equatorial surf haven. Early this morning we had some sheet glass but just don’t have the swell to make it pump.
Checking the swell charts (we do that a lot up here) there is something arriving tomorrow and the boats are starting to make their move. There are 30 charter boats that operate in the Mentawai Island chain. All hunting surf. We haven’t surfed with another boat until today – it is a big place – so the boats spread out.
Later :: uge

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Mentawais

Selmat Pagi.
It’s been a long time since I’ve traveled. Around 8 months to be exact (cause we had a baby). The next two weeks the photos are going to be via satellite as we’re in the Mentawais Islands, Indonesia on charter boat Tengirri. It’s paradise here…the waves are 3 foot today, getting bigger in the middle of the week.
The Mentawais is a series of wave blessed islands that capture raw Indian Ocean swells created in the southern roaring forties (the Lows off Africa). By the time swells reach here, they’ve been groomed for days – weeks…hence the super long swell periods and ultra clean lines. This is a very good thing and why surfers from all over the globe travel to this remote part of the world.
The best way to tour these islands is on a charter boat. Therefore you get a good taste of the 34 surf breaks. (Within a 100 mile radius). We’re currently a float on Tengirri. Been chartering this boat for 6 years now as it’s small, fast and only holds a small crew (less people in the water).
Junpa lagi :: uge

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Shoreline meanderings

Hurro. What a nice day (again). Yesterday’s healthy 3 foot increase in swell is still here and there’s some really fun waves in town. Bondi was 2-3 foot at sunrise, closing out a little, but multiple peaks doing their thing (it’s nice to have more options along the beach instead of the 1 peak we’ve had for months).
The forecast looks bleak. It’s fading today into very small stereotypical summer 1 footers. The weather is going to be ridiculously good over the weekend though so hit the beach.
I can’t believe how many people are surprised when we say we’ve got a 200 sqm gallery where these images are beautifully framed and blown up huge (some nearly 2 metres wide). Yes, we have a gallery! It’s in Bondi and we’ve been open for 7 years. You will find us at 151 Curlewis Street, Bondi Beach and we’re open every single day except Mondays, 10am to 6pm (including both days on the weekend). We ship globally (yes! US and UK are too easy). Ok enough spruik – you know it.
Two Degrees For Africa
What goes down in East Africa is heavy. They need help. If you watch this video I reckon you’ll agree. A group of friends have got together and doing something about it. The project is called ‘Two Degrees For Africa’ and the aim is to raise over $1 million in the month of September. Everyone working on the project is donating their time for free. It will be amazing if a group of friends and friends of friends can together achieve something really big! I’ve donated to the project and I urge you all to get involved. More Info
Have a good weekend, the next two weeks these reports will be broadcast via satellite from a boat – Oh yeah, also Surfection Mosman is having a massive wetsuit sale – up to 75% of seal suits. yeha.
::uge

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Fizzer

I’ve written the start to this daily email 3 times and don’t really have anything amazing to say. It’s well, um, 1-2 foot and junkie out there. The good news is that at 6:20am there wasn’t a soul out on the main peak. I’m torkin’ not one human – not even a beginner drifting down from north. Jono and I both were surprised at the emptiness seeing yesterday’s gridlock stirred up so many. Surf if real keen – or go for a run.
Have you heard about the 27 degree day forecasted for Saturday. This is the first official beach day of the season. Grab the brolly, the bake oil and secure your position on the grassy knoll – she’s gonna be good one.
Dave.
A guy dave emailed me. I don’t know him, but he lives around here. The poor bloke has been diagnosed with a brain tumour this March. An aggressive one. One that most people only survive a few months with. The poor fella has no insurance or assistance or income – just a positive spirit to fight the cancer. He’s making a documentary of his whole experience. Watch it here
:: uge

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Fade

This is a public announcement…when surfing, can we limit 1 surfer for each wave. I know this might come as a shock to many that surfed Bondi this morning. But yes, not every wave is a team wave. I don’t think I’ve seen so many drop-ins in such a short period of time ANY where in the world. I mean Waikiki will come close but they’re usually bikini clad goddesses who you’re calling in anyway…but wow…every single wave this morning had 4-5 people on it. So if you don’t have priority, as in someone is already on the wave you can’t paddle for it and try your luck on the next set. The funny thing is that the line-up was pretty much empty by 8:30. There is 12 hours of daylight!
There is a small swell still in town, it’s not a patch on yesterday. The sun is out and you can feel the bake. I have shorts on. How good is that?
Enough ramble
:: uge

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Pumping

I rolled down this hill this morning and was greeted by Geurbox pulling into a 4 foot Bondi barrel. That’s quite rare for Bondi. It’s cleaned up, winds offshore, sun is out, the swell is still here – oh boy, it’s a really good surf day. Now remember we’re heading into a summer weather pattern, typically smaller swells and huge flat spells – so I think today is a great opportunity to surf some of winter’s finest.
So many places would have good waves today. Hit it. It will be smaller tomorrow.
Health Kick. We all could do with more veges. Harris Farm now deliver to your along with your meats from ibutcher. $30 mixed boxes on offer – check it.
::uge

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vicious

There is a big south swell in town. It’s not lining up so great so Bondi to Bronte weren’t really surfable this morning. No one out. The protected south corner of Maroubra was where everyone gravitated too, but that was a bit wonky or really small as you got deeper into the corner. So you didn’t miss much down the beach this morning. It’s going to be quite a cold day with a top of 17. Was real frosty at sunrise. The good news is that from tomorrow onwards it’s going to be perfectly sunny. In fact this weekend is fine, sunny and 25 degrees on both Saturday and Sunday – a good one to go away.
Next door to the Aquabumps Gallery (behind Civic Video, yep, go down the lane) there is a spin cycle studio that has just opened up in Bondi called Vicious Cycle. Book online as they’re offering 2 rides for $15.

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The summer bird

I rolled down the beach this morning hoping that the inbound south swell had maybe come early. It hadn’t, the rain has set in and I shot 3 very ugly photographs from the front seat of my car. It’s only 1-1.5 foot. I’m not even gonna show you those 3 photos – they’re that bad.
I’m lucky enough to take a lot of photographs from helicopters. I am really into it. Most of the thousands of shots taken live on hard drives in my server room – never to be seen. Sometimes I trawl through them thinking I haven’t even been into that folder before. Well here’s a few outtakes from chopper rides over the past 4 years. Hopefully this will remind you, on a very grey, rainy, gloomy day, what’s just around the corner – yes kids, summer.
By now you all know we’ve launched a Bikini and Board short range with Speedo. They’ve gone nuts. Well tomorrow you can meet the face of Speedo, Miss Universe Australia Rachel Finch at the Bondi Sunburn store (178 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach) from 12 to 2. All welcome. There’s a mini bikini parade, the Rescue Boys etc…come long! I will be there holding the waters.
It’s gonna be big all weekend and favourable wins. Go surfing.
:: uge

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Retro

It’s not looking very inviting out there. Rain, onshores and dribble – chilly too. Today is all about transition from the sunny northerlies to the south storm (which is drawing in a big swell for the weekend). Heads down, work hard and free up some time for tomorrow arvo and weekend when the surf picks up.
Bondi is home to some of the most expensive beach side real estate in Australia (don’t we all know it). It’s also home to some beautiful old retro buildings. Since the waves were pretty bad this morning I drove around and snapped a few.
They’ve run some rounds of the Quiky Pro New York in cross shore 3-4 foot. Wow that water looks BROWN over dere. The event is currently off (with the time gap), but you can normally see live stuff here.
Ok.
Bye for now.
:: uge

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e a s t

We’ve got a full blown east swell which is neglecting Bondi at the moment. You will have to go for a drive to an east facing beach like Maroubra if you want to get wet – even when you get there you’ll only find 2 foot weak waves, but at least it’s sumpin’. Nice weather this morning – enjoy it today as rain is approaching for Thursday and Friday.
This Saturday if you’re around the SUNBURN store on Bondi Beach at 2pm (in the new Beach House Development next to Bondi Hotel) you’ll be able to meet Speedo hottie Rachel Finch (Miss Universe Australia) or even pick up some new Aquabumps/Speedo boardies or bikinis for this summer that feature our images printed vividly. Sunburn Bondi Beach, 178 Campbell Parade. Saturday 10th September 2011 12.00 – 2.00pm (ok I will be there as well so let’s meet).
If you watched network 10’s The Renovators last night you would have seen one of our prints blown up huge as a wall mural – it was Oasis, Bondi – shot from the bird on a classic summer’s Bondi day. Cool eh?
Have a great day :: uge

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New Faces

A superb morning and so many new faces out. Where have you been all winter? Sun was shining, the northerlies blowing, the bootie camps were choccas, the car park full and the waves….the waves were just not happening. There was a little piece of wind chop for the very motivated individuals, but I’d pass. In fact I don’t think you’ll be surfing much until Friday – and then wow, a big mutha south swell is hitting with offshore winds. Yes, we’re on this weekend – book the out of town beach houses.
We are going to the Mentawais real soon kids. You should go in 2012 but you’ll need to book now. Email [email protected] for available charters on Tengirri (the boat I go on)
Sydney has better marine life than any other city on the planet. Big statement I agree. A mate of mine just launched Underwater Sydney, a website dedicated to showing a side of Sydney not widely known to its residents. There’s maps of good dive/snorkel spots and info on the unique creatures that exist in your ‘hood. Just check out what’s around the back of Ben Buckler.
Ok, go for a swim (or snorkel).
Later ::uge

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Warmth

Can you feel it? Spring…yep, it’s so much warmer this morning at sunrise. Gotta love this time of year…shed those woolies and go for a swim – deluxe 24 today.
Looks like a the world surfing tour is gonna have a big week in New York as the top 34 ready for the start of the Quiky Pro NY…forecast looking good (phew) thanks to Hurricane Katia. Should start Monday/Tuesday (remember they’re a day behind)
The surf this week looks pretty dismal, so you’re gonna see lots of pics of sunrise, cars, planes, houses and faces down at Bondi. Good sunrise today to kick it off!
Adios:: uge

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Jack

We all know the swell has jacked up this morning – unfortunately so has the wind. Choppy Bondi has 3-4 foot waves this morning. Need that wind to kick around to the north to take the junk out of it. (which should happen tomorrow). High tide is 11:15am, low tide is 5:30pm. Only a wintery 18 today, but a nice and warm Monday/Tuesday next week with 24 degrees (spring!). Hoot hoot.
The Aquabumps Gallery is open 10am to 6pm all weekend. It’s Father’s day on Sunday, so drop by tomorrow and pick up a nice little framed image or sumpin’. Sure he’ll be into it. 151 Curlewis Street Bondi Beach NSW 2026 t:91307788
Seeyouselater :: uge

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Shifty

Well it wasn’t the best conditions I’ve seen out there. Maybe ‘cause we’ve been spoilt. The left had a wave, yes, that left. It was weak and floppy – say 2 foot. Pretty junkie. The right wasn’t really working in my eyes. Plenty of hopefuls out early. The swell should get bigger today as a cold front hits. Rain expected too!
Shift60
Many of you already know Chappy. He’s a ball of energy and just opened a gym at 164 Bondi Road called Shift60. There is plenty of trainers around here but Chappy is probably one of the most qualified in this country. Hell the mad frother has even convinced me to come up to the gym to lose some winter excess baggage. Ask him about surf specific training. He’s offering Aquabumps readers $50 for 10 days group personal training sessions. Call em 8068 2995 or visit their website

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