Turbo Bay

Oh man we’re having such a good run of Autumn swell. It just keeps on providing. Today we have 3-5 footers from the SE with perfectly grooming, offshore west winds. To make things even better it’s going to be 25 degrees and sunny. Write this down. Autumn is a good time to have a week off. What are we doing behind our desks reading emails!
Hope you get some.
:: uge

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Today’s post is all about surfing. There’s really good waves on offer for those not stuck in an office. At 8am the swell kicked and the sun finally came out of hiding. Ah yes, Autumn dayz are here kids.
Offshore. 3/4 foot.
What more do you want?
:: uge

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Look out the window. You see it? Sunshine!
Yeah, right now it’s here and the thick storm clouds have pushed on. Enjoy it. It’s not gonna last as more cloud will return this arvo. BUT, tomorrow, well that’s a new day. 27 degrees, fine and sunny – BOOM! Hit the beach.
I’m packing the family up and hitting the road for some quiet NSW country time. Posts will be irregular and probably only on our Insty or Facebook.
Aquabumps Gallery opening hours over Easter:

Good Friday – Closed
Saturday – 10-6pm
Sunday – 10-6pm
Monday – 10-6pm

Ciao ciao, uge

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Damp Shoes

Well…ahem…it’s pretty damn wet in Sydney today. It hasn’t stopped raining. I went down the beach and checked it for you. Even though it was a 4 foot south swell with offshores, the ocean was still wild from the recent agitation. Didn’t see a single surfer from North Bondi to Bronte.
So what am I gonna entertain you with? You bet ya…Rio! Oi! I know we’ve been torkin’ a lot about Rio, but I really do have a lot of content from there.
Good news – the rest of the week is looking much better – weatherwise.
Ciao :: uge

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1 Wave

There was a lot going on down at Bondi Beach this morning. More than normal. One Wave, an organisation for all the surfers, sufferers and survivors,  raising awareness for mental health, held their 3rd Birthday celebrations. Good work guys!
The surf was, erm, kinda pumping this morning. I was a little surprised how good it was lining up. Proper. After 1 hour of shooting I raced down with my board and it had gone sour with the lower tide. Not to worry, there seems to be 3 foot days for another week. Best time of year for surfers!
We have started printing the best shots from my Rio trip. I am really stoked with a few of them. They’re not hanging in the gallery yet, but here is the pick of the Rio crop.
: : uge

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After 28 days of mighty fine sunshine in Sydney we’ve entered a storm phase. That’s cool. It’s cool. My garden is loving it. Gives me an opportunity to organise the terabytes and dig for gold that you’ve haven’t seen yet.
Today – Brazil vs Italy. 2 places I recently visited for the first time and love.
I wish I had a dollar for everyone that has commented our Aquabumps Gallery garden. It’s lush. Bondi local and one of the most respected landscape designers in Australia did it (well, he will tell you that). His name is William Dangar. He’s a talented lunatic and also has a mighty fine range of outdoor furniture called Robert Plumb. He’s on sale, just for this week and only online. Go here
Have a good day inside, surf is 3-4 foot but really messy :: uge

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I’ve been waiting for a grim, rainy Bondi morning to show you more of last week’s Rio trip. Today’s nailed it!
Rio was a great experience. I really enjoyed shooting there. The light, landscape, water and people were amazing to work with. One thing I enjoyed the most was the lack of photographers there. In an entire week of shooting I did not see 1 other pro, amateur or anyone with decent gear. Just tourists and phone snappers. With photography gaining popularity every day, it’s nice to shoot a sunset without 10 other shooters standing next to you or in shot.
I did have a bodyguard (Antonio) helping me mind my camera gear for the entire tour. I assume the lack of shooters had something to do with the petty crime on the beaches. Sad…I know.
Have a good day. It’s 2ish foot and raining.
:: uge

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Colour me up

Ever since I returned from Rio we are having an extraordinary run of colour down the beaches. It’s been pretty amazing. The late sun rising is also making it a lot more compatible with people’s wake time. We’re all witnessing it. It’s good. Come down.
Yesterday’s sunrise was a rock star. Red fangs dwarfed our coast. I loved it.
Surf…small, 1-2 foot and dribbly from a small SE swell. The water is super cold. Wear rubber.
Have you visited our new fancy hotel in Bondi, The QT? Well they’re kicking off a new series of videos highlighting Bondi Style. 1st cab off the rank is local farrshun queen, Pip Edwards. View Episode Now
:: uge

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Damn dark morning down there. Quite different to the other mornings of this week. Makes for grainy shots.
There is 3 feet of south swell. That’s good for Bondi but it wasn’t breaking very well.
Friday’s are the busiest day of the week. Even in the dark.
I love this shot from my Rio trip. It will look awesome framed. The Aquabumps Gallery is open all weekend 10am to 6pm 151 Curlewis Street Bondi Beach Telephone 02 9130 7788. More Rio shots coming!
:: uge

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Weird mix of hot and cold made for foggy conditions this morning down at Bondi Beach. Some nice colours at sunrise.
The water felt frosty! Small waves, best for large surf craft.
Quite a lot of people down there this morning.
Later :: uge

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Jet lag

Hey. I’m back in Bondi and the weather is amazing. You can travel all over the world looking for the ideal beach city, but hey…Sydney is a damn fine place to live!
We have waves from a surprise swell. 2-3 footers and from the ESE. It looks fun, yet a lot of waves totally closing out.
I always love how involved my readership is. I reckon 100 people said they loved the Rio photos this morning to me whilst shooting. I enjoy seeing new lands. It refreshes my passion for photography and gives me a nice reset to come back to shoot Bondi.
Have a good day.
:: uge

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Little Zee

Oi! I’m outta here. I like Rio. Muito Bom!
Like all my trips, here’s a few tips if you want hit Rio:

Dangerous? So you’ve watched the movie ‘City of God’ and think that if you go to Rio kids like ‘Little Zee’ are mowing down tourists with Ak47s? (how good is that movie by the way). Like every city with a large population living in poverty there is crime. Remember – they wouldn’t have an Olympics there if it was THAT dangerous. I had no problem at all on this trip (touchwood) and I did everything from Favelas, Lapa to Copacabana. Yesterday at Ipanema I saw around 300 police on the beach keeping it safe. You just have to adjust your behaviour a little A) leave the Hermes cuffs, doobie gold chains and diamond crusted Dior sunnies at home. Go under the radar. B) Be aware C) Stick to the safe areas. I found Leblon, Ipanema, Arpoador and parts of Copacabana very safe. Copa is a bit like Kuta in Bali – can get a little loose. D) just carry what you need out. Small amount of cash (no wallet half hanging out of your back pocket) E) Night time – like in Sydney, don’t wonder around, alone late – and choose where you go wisely F) Cameras are hot items. I hired a security guard to flank me for the week whilst shooting ($100AUD a day). But I have big fancy camera gear and lots of it. Having a big dude trailing allowed me to shoot stress free and not worry where my bag is running off to.

Accommodation? I stayed at the Arpoador Inn and loved it (Approx. $200AUD a night). There’s a little wave out front and hot view. If you are cashed up and wanna impress the ladies go directly to Fasano ($1000AUD a night) or Copacabana Palace ($400 to $800AUD a night). But keep in mind there are hundreds of hotels.

Long way? Well, Rio is not just down the road from Sydney. It’s on the opposite side of the globe. Even though Air NZ are advertising on Aquabumps I have to say the trip over was one of the best long haul flights I’ve experienced. I slept 8 hours on the way over and I never kip on flights. That says it all. They have these fancy seats that are on a diagonal layout, maxing your legroom, must do premium economy. Also, it’s just 12 hours from Auckland to Buenos Aires – the gateway to South America. (Syd to Auckland 3 hours, BA to Ri0 – 3 hours). So it’s less than Europe. More infohoo

Must dos? Sugarloaf rock, The Jesus, Lapa, Santa Teresa, Copa, Ipanema, Leblon for dinner, Barra (where the WSL is held) for a surf – no one there!, Prainha and Hector…are all my favourite places. The Favela visit was a eye opener.

Mozzies? Didn’t see one and most people not bothered. Met one guy with Zika.

It’s about 3 Reals to 1 Aussie. Their economy is struggling a little. So it’s a quite a cheap holiday. Lunch for 2 at a very fancy restaurant, $25!
Ok, this ain’t trip advisor. See you back in ‘hood’ for Bondi talk.
:: uge
Sorry about the mix up with the capital of Brazil which is Brasilia. Thank you for the 203 emails correcting me! I am still slapping myself. Now I know you read my daily ramble.

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10 things I bet you didn’t know about Rio de Janeiro:

David Beckham bought a house right in the the middle of Vidigal Favela for $500,000USD. Best views in town. We knocked on his door – not home.
There are 60 pet stores around Leblon, Ipanema and Copa. They like dogs. That is like having 60 pet stores in Bondi (instead we have 60 cafes)
Rio De Janeiro means River of January as it was first visited by Europeans in 1 January 1502. Odd thing is that it’s a bay and not a river mouth. Opa!
In 1994 Rod Stewart played at a concert on Copacabana Beach to a record 4.5 million people. Biggest concert crowd to this day. To put it into perspective – Woodstock was only 400,000 hippies. Each NYE attracts around 2.5 million to the 4km of beach. Wild!
Rio was the capital of Brazil from 1763 until 1960. It’s capital is Brasilia now.
The giant statue of Christo gets hit by lightning many times a year! If you look closely there is a network of steel rods imbedded into the stone to help ground Jesus. A few years ago lighting struck a piece off Jesus. Boom!
Located right in the middle of Rio de Janeiro is Tijuca Forest which is the largest urban rainforest in the world. It’s unbelievable.
Rio is the first South American city to host an Olympics
The Brazilian wax job originated on the beaches of Rio when the thong bikini came into fashion. A NYC waxing salon named it ‘A Brazilian’.
Carnivale is BIG business for Rio. 800,000 people visit during the huge festival and it brings in 950 million Real (300 million AUD)

:: uge

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Oi! Tudo bem?
Rio. After yesterday’s post I got a flood of messages saying how it’s one of their favourite places on the globe. It’s pretty special. The culture, weather and views are amazing. It reminds me a bit of Bali…kinda like a city beach like Bondi…but has qualities of Hawaii.
6.5 million people live in Rio De Janeiro. It’s much bigger than Sydney. Everyone here is excited about hosting their first Olympic Games later this year. Hopefully it will give the local economy a nice kick start, as the country has been slowing down lately. If you are flying here from Sydney for the big games, getting to Rio has never been easier from Oz. Air New Zealand can fly you the whole way – check those bags in and don’t see them until you arrive in South America. Sydney to Auckland (3hrs flight), Auckland to Buenos Aires (12hrs flight) then pop up to Rio (3hrs flight). My tip – splurge on premium economy seats and you’ll score semi-business class. Trust me. It’s awesome. More Info
Surfaid are holding their annual fundraising event at Bondi’s Bucket List on the beach. It’s called Surfing Chefs. Come for dinner March 9th 2016 at 6:30pm. Buy tickets and more here.
Seeya, uge

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I’ve had Rio de Janeiro on my bucket list for many moons. I’ve just heard so many amazing things about the place. Being a lover of all things beach the thought of going to a major city which is surrounded by stunning beaches just seemed all too perfect. Needless to say…I had very high expectations.
After a short flight up from Buenos Aires I’ve arrived in the City of the God. It was raining. The beach was empty and the surf 1 foot. No Gabs Medina doing ‘oops and no drowning in Caprihinas. Just thick clouds covering Jesus the Redeemer and his two brothers. So glad I go up at 5:30am to see all that!
Well…from then…the day transformed into those glorious Rio postcards. The Carioca (local people) returned to the beach and the joint started to buzz. It’s awesome! The water is like Hawaii 24 to 25 degrees. It’s even clean and bright green. Right out front of my pad (Arpoador Inn Ipanema) a little slab formed on a shallow bank. The Brazilians love their beach just like Aussies. There is just 200 million of them running around so it can get a lil’ hectic.
I really hope you enjoy images shot outside of Bondi for a change.
:: uge

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Hola banditos. I’m on the move again.
I took a short flight across the ditch to connect with a long haul flight to South America. It’s actually not that far from Sydney. 12 hours from Auckland and I’ve popped up in the cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires (thanks to Air New Zealand). Si! It’s kind a like Paris. Old. Historical. Culturally rich. Welcoming. Busy.
Today I was drawn to the older areas of the city, like La Boca, San Telmo and La Recoleta. La Boca is a rough neighborhood where the original migrants rolled up making shelter from anything lying around. Left over paint from the ship yards now cover their shacks in a whole rainbow of colours.
Beach? Na. Not here. Tomorrow I’m popping up to Rio De Janeiro for a few days to get that fix. Stand by.
:: uge

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