Long Period

We’re experiencing some nice long-period swells at the moment….kinda felt like being back in Indo. You know…sitting there, it’s dead flat, then all the sudden a 4 footer arrives out of the blue. Nice! Treats!
The chilly offshore winds are grooming those puppies well. Bondi had a few fun ones. I like the left into the corner. Wanna ride it now.
The is a huge swell running along West Oz smacking into the Mentawais. The boys up there are blowing their minds in solid 12 foot bombs. Dammit! We just missed all the big action.
Today is June 30. Last day of the financial year. How about shedding some coin to our no.1 charity SURFAID  – they’re send you a receipt and all so you can claim it. Watch this video of RASTA and chip in…
:: uge

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Lord Nelson

This morning was interesting. I arrived at Bronte Beach, early (6:30am). I shot some slow shutter stuff…took my time. Day dreamed. Waves looked very small. 1-2 foot. 2 guys out. Out of the blue a 3-4 footer arrived. CRUNCH! Impressive I thought. We’d it come from? I know a south ground swell is due today, but not until the arvo. As my morning shoot progressed the swell kicked. By the time I left the beach there were 3 to 4 footers consistently coming in. It was even starting to max out on sets. Somewhere is going off right now…somewhere…
:: uge

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CHOP HOP

A wind swell has arrived…and you can surf it…but it is pretty average. I wouldn’t race down. Even with an offshore breeze it looks quite junkie.
The weekend is going to be mostly sunny (dang!)…with tiny waves, best suited to beginners.
Have you been to Bondi Tony’s Burger Joint yet? It’s new and on Glenayr Street (Bondi Beach). Dangerously close to my house. I’ve been going too much.
Have a great weekend, :: uge

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Mild

Really mild conditions in Sydney at the moment. The days aren’t that cold…the water is warm (20). Odd for this time of year.
The waves are hibernating today…and tomorrow you should see a swell increase (wind swell only which is short lived). It is going to rain for sure…
The One Wave crew are getting organised! The Friday antics are growing and their surfing experience program to help combat mental issues is set to fly. They need your support and for the first time raising money to grow their awareness and extend the program, globally. Donate here to show you care. It’s gonna be big.
Have a great day…
::uge

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Magic

If I could, I’d spend all day down there. It’s warmer down there, underneath the waves. No mobile phones, no inboxes…nice and quiet. Just hanging with the sting rays. Perfect!
The water was really clear and the waves tiny. Swimming for an hour or so sets you up for the day. I feel great.
Very nice day in Sydney for winter. Enjoy it.
:: uge
 

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Frigid

The mercury dropped out this morning to a chilly 8 degrees. Fresh! The chill kept most people tucked up in bed as the beach was quite empty, early. I saw some fun waves at Bondi, at best, head high.
Right now (12:40pm) I look out the window and see cloudless blue skies boasting 14 degrees. It’s a really nice looking day – the air is just so clean today.
I just checked the swell forecast for the week and it looks small throughout.
Everybody loves the Mentawais. You know I do. World Champ Mark Occhilupo is running a Mentawai information night this Wednesday night 24th June at 6pm, The Tipple Bar and Bistro, Surry Hills. On the night you’ll be able to bid on some auction items, including a trip to the Ments. All proceeds going to A Liquid Future (non-profit organisation in the Mentawais). More information
Chin-Chin!
:: uge

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Damp

Some days are best left unphotographed. It’s pretty feral outside. I’ve got soggy shoes.
The beach was deserted today (and very dark). Car park empty. Surf was empty. Sand was joggerless. Nothing.
There are a few 3-4 foot waves peeling in. Very randomly. You might find something.
I reckon you will be able to surf this south swell all weekend though. Book that in.
OK, so…here’s some underwater photographs from last week in Indonesia to keep the salt between the toes.
:: uge

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Double Bangers

How good was the double banger rainbows last night? Oh the romance… I only got a quick one on my phone but Robbie Norman scored this work of art above. You’ll find Robbie at @stillnothere
The surf was a little disappointing this morning as I had high hopes of it cranking. It’s small. Like 1-2 foot and limping in. A south end bank hosted some fun dribbles, better suited to thick foamie craft.
It’s about to pour with rain. Seek shelter.
:: uge
Follow us on instagram @aquabumps – definitely no selfies, no lunch photos, no blatant John Laws plugs, the odd shot of my two rascals.

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My Mission

I take photos every day. That’s been my calling in life for some time now. Some days are more photogenic than others. Some days I’ve got the trigger finger on flat biccie – like Tony Montana in the final scenes of Scarface. Sometimes I labor over the shots…trying all kinds of fancy dance work to nail something interesting from the mundane.
Today I labored and only really have 1 decent shot from my morning dawdle. It’s rainy, it’s gloomy and it’s 2-3 foot. Oh, and the water is a balmy 20 degrees for some freaky reason!
To fill the rest of the report, to reach your wave/beach quota for the day, here’s some shots of Indonesia at it’s best…last week. I just booked my 2016 trip! (My 17th voyage). Can’t get ‘nuf.
Did you watch the Fiji comp yesterday? Amazing! You and 9 mates could win a trip to Namuotu (and surf Cloud break). Go here punks
:: uge

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20/20

Well it ain’t no Cloudbreak out there at Bondi…but there is sumpin’ to paddle into. 2-3 footers, best bank is in the middle. The North winds are up early and it looks like it’s fading quite fast. Another swell backing up on Friday (4ft range).

Jane Lampe is a North Bondi local that gave up her her 9 to 5 town planning job to follow her passion – being a florist. She setup in her North Bondi garage and business is cranking. The leap paid off as she’s just moved to a bigger premises and now she’s offering Aquabumps readers free delivery for the month of June.  Seeing there is plenty of swell this week – score some brownie points with the missus and order a bunch online at Floreat Floral.
Aussie surfer Owen Wright just won at Fiji with a perfect score of 20 in the final. He also got a perfect 20 in the semis. That’s pretty perfect. That’s a world 1st. Onya Owen you legend.
::uge

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Return

Hey there, I’m back! Yes my dreamy floating junket has come to an end. Gotta say, ain’t to shabby back here. Upon my return I discovered 3-4 footers and sunny on Saturday. It was pumping!
Today’s a bit grey but still 2-3 footers are out there. Looks to be getting bigger tonight.
What’s the haps ’round Bondi?

Springcourt shoes has just opened up a Bondi store on Hall Street (in the old Atlas Cafe site). Love their shoes. My entire staff wear ’em. Best french sneakers on the planet.
Drake eatery has just opened up near the Aquabumps Gallery (Cnr of Gould and Curlewis Streets). Decent coffee, good fitout.
Best burgers and meat in Bondi are found at La Macelleria on Campbell Parade (next to Ravesis). Pete’s da man.
Shuk is gaining a big reputation in North Bondi. Local surfer Yoni is the owner and head chef. Let’s keep him real busy and out of the water…hard getting waves off him.

Support your locals.
Fiji tour stop is on and pumping. Owen Wright just got 2 x perfect 10s. Watch live now
:: uge

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Pump

After travelling 550 nautical miles at sea over the past 12 days…we surfed 15 different breaks and averaged 60 waves each, per day. It’s been amazing. Incredible. The islands never seem to fail me. We’ve scored uncrowded 3-6 foot waves and good weather for most days on this tour. Disclaimer – it’s a gamble though, you can get skunked with winds and small swells. We got lucky.
Just to clarify some confusion, we are touring on the giant 38 metre Ratu Motu which was formerly known as Indies Trader 4 (Management change). Yes, it’s the boat out of the surf movie Young Guns 2. Y’know the one where Slater surfs the boat wake?
This is our last update from the Mentawais. See you in back in Bondi.
:: uge

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Ratu Motu

Technology is pretty crazy huh? Here I am, 100 miles from any mobile phone signal, 200 miles from the closest port with barely a human in sight. But hang on…I’ve got satellite internet access! How convenient.
The waves pictured in today’s update are very remote and hard to get to, but they are also world class. Mostly lefts…the odd, fickle right. Mostly 3-6 foot and very hollow. If you’re keen on visiting these places, go here. It’s amazing!
Our little Mentawai sojourn is coming to a close – only 1 more day left in the islands. Next Aquabumps stop is looking like a visit to the snow celebrating the arrival of winter…yes…in New Zealand (Enzed). One of my favourite places on the globe to shoot. Watch this short time lapse piece filmed around Queenstown to get your snow froth on.
:: uge

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Sempurna

Hello. It’s me. Uge. I’ve wrestled my website back from Derek. We are still at sea and have found what we are looking for. Sempurna (Indonesian for perfection). Yes, it’s pumping. Proper. Not a drop out of place. 4-6 foot barrels on a clear, sunny day. Hard to believe that there was only a few guys out. The boys have filled their quotas up… Happy.
Very sad news about the passing of Paul “Benny” Benbow – the Skipper of Huey up here in the Ments. I didn’t know him but we were at HT’s when it all went down. From what I hear he was the ultimate waterman. Condolences to his family and friends. Read more.
Jumpa lagi.
:: uge

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Truth

How do you tell a true surf story? In this pretty island chain called the Mentawais, one-and-half degrees off the equator, there is a daily play of cat and mouse. The old themes of deceit and gamesmanship, act themselves out among the fifteen boats, the resorts, the camp and the home stays that populate the surf in the 120-mile long chain.
There is no model of human behaviour or restraint in the Menatawai islands. Boats pile on top of each other at popular waves, the surfers hurriedly jerking their boards off racks to attain a sort of local status at the wave. Often, there are elderly, and one supposes, embittered men who growl at the new arrivals.
There is no escaping from reality. And this is true.
There is escape from reality. And this is a truth, too.
When I was last in the Mentawai islands, at the turn of the century, I was a prisoner of a slow boat and a gloomy captain who lay down drunk in the wheelhouse most nights. Crowds and small waves were our haul.
This time, the captain, a Mr John Shawcross, a relaxed humorous man who weight-lifts in the wheelhouse, has neither the financial constraint of fuel usage nor the chains of inexperience that might render a bold late-night journey dangerous.
For many years, he was the super-yacht captain billionaires begged to hire. First, Shawcross skippered the 114-metre $100 million Octopus in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. Later, a very rich Russian for whom no words can be spoken nor written due to a confidentiality agreement, sought his rule. In a darker time, Shawcross, a century or so earlier, this master mariner would be hauling Sperm Whales alongside for slaughter.
The surf guide, mate, Eric Soderquist, is 11 years into his Mentawais. He makes decisions that are part-consensus, part-order and startling in their correctness.
So this is our truth.
Today Shawcross and Soderquist present their guests with four-to-six-foot lefts, empty, but with eight-foot wash-throughs, for the early morning session. Three-to-four-foot waves, slow, and again lefts but defined in a way a surfer rarely sees, are served for brunch.
We are promised six-foot right hand barrels for supper.
There is a spring carnival mood on board.
:: Derek Rielly is the founder of Stab magazine and, now, BeachGrit.com

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Technicolour

If there’s anything more excruciating than sitting through a friend’s digital slideshow post first-class surf vay-cay, it’s sitting through a day-by-day account of its symphonies.
Does it boil your skin to hear of waves being swatted like a dead goat in a game of Afghan polo, all the while gin and tonics served on the helipad (after the obligatory Camparis as aperitif) by a French-speaking stewardess?
But, wait. Today.
The surf is small. Nowhere to go. Nowhere to surf. The older charter vessels melt into their diesel puddles all along the chain. The tough little grease-monkeys who tend to the giant twin-turbo V16 MTU diesel engines on the beautifully maintained Ratu Motu sit on the stern smoking cigarettes.
What do you do on such a day? Let’s explore! Up rivers, to crescents of white sand fronted by glamorous deep water just off the beach (back flip!), to climbing palm trees, to visiting the hand-made house on the point where a Nigerian family has set up home, to swimming over to a catamaran called Tank Girl where a couple sun their haunches on the deck.
And, later, under a strawberry moon, well, to be honest, several hours before the moon jams its head above the palm trees, mid-afternoon if we’re to be precise, an esky of iced beer appears.
Lemony sunshine leaves everyone’s faces with an orange glow. Everything is in fruity sun-ripened Technicolor.
The way I feel, I feel like I might live forever.
(Want to own the Fijian island of Namotu for week with nine of your friends? If geography ain’t your thing, we’ll point out that Namotu is the luxe resort close to Cloudbreak and even closer to the dreamy righthander Swimming Pools. The guests rooms are all built around the water’s edge, there’s a bar, pool, words can’t describe how superb it is. Anyway, Corona beer – yeah, the good one– wants you there. Click here to enter.)
:: Derek

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Mentawais

SCENE: A lone beachbreak mid-way along the Mentawai Island chain in Sumatra. The Indonesian sun blazes down on eight surfers, split between four peaks. The wind is desultory. Sets appear hither and yon, allowing anyone with even the most basic of games to easily put themselves inside the wave’s curve. Paradise? Yeah, it’s close.
The surfers are temporary residents aboard the breathtaking Ratu Motu (Polynesian for Island Queen, since y’ask), all 115-feet and 275 tons of her. If it looks familiar, it’s ’cause it’s the former Indies Trader IV, home to every surf star of the last 10 years.
The Rotu Matu floats above the water as an icon of the best of western civilisation. A joyous experiment whereupon the notion of hard-core, with all its anarchy and crisis, is abolished for the undisputed finest experience in all of surfing.
Let me paint the briefest of pictures. These keystrokes are being punched in an air-conditioned saloon, its writer fueled by a quinoa-egg-avocado-and-salsa breakfast, created by MasterChef contestant Pip Sumbak (she surfs too!), and all after a three-hour dawn patrol in the aforementioned sand-bottom cabanas.
Cabin beds are dressed in striped Frette linen, a basket of Rotu Matu toiletries greets each guest and, when shoulders or back aches, a Brazilian masseur and chiropractor eases out the kinks.
I know people who are big stars in my town and they make tons of cash but they’re miserable because they don’t know their own requirements for happiness. Riding in the Ratu Motu may not be the definition of success but it’s one helluva start.
: : Derek Reilly (filling in for Uge as he’s surfing)
Founder of Stabmag and latest gig beachgrit.com

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