The clarity of Bondi before all the rain 23rd Feb 2017

Feb Vs March

We’ve been experiencing a very wet March. I bet you didn’t know that historically March actually is the wettest month of the year? Yesterday, remnants of ex-cyclone Debbie blew and dowsed the city for hours. Its looking 1,000 times better right now (10:40 am Friday).
5 things you need to know about the weather:

Partly sunny and nice on Saturday, a few random showers on Sunday (very mild temps)
Should be fun 3-foot waves all weekend, a little junkie on Sunday. SW offshore winds tomorrow morning, S winds Sunday morning. Saturday morning the pick of the surf days.
Monday to Wed next week – more showers predicted
Easter, at this early stage, is looking to be a dry one (yes!) – go camping
We’ve had 22 days of rain this March, 284.2mm for the month

I’ve been trawling through all my shots from last month, plenty of summery images that haven’t be posted – so here they are – the B-Sides.
:: uge

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Luke Bubba Kennedy, down the line turns at Tamarama

Debbie does…

Debbie is coming to town. She’s gonna take over. The deluge is just kicking off now as I write to you. The winds will hoooooowwwwl at 30 knots (from 2 pm today). Temperatures will drop into the afternoon and your garden is going to get a good dowsing.
There was some NE swell at sunrise, in the calm before the storm. The inbound southerly will sure make a mess of that. Tomorrow you will wake up to large surf (5ft), but horribly junkie onshore. The sunrise showed so much promise today then when to black/grey!
Currently, I have around 18 surfboards, but I always need more. More, more, more. Our buddies at Corona have partnered with the World Surfing League and giving you the chance to win a new stick – sick! Enter
Did you watch North Point yesterday in Drug Aware Pro? Shame there weren’t more waves. Sebastian Seitz’s 10 point ride was pretty special. It’s back on at Marg’s Main Break and looking very, very big (15 foot faces). Watch
:: uge

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Mr. White Undies, ready for the sun to come out

Mute

A dead calm morning down at Bondi Beach. Grey skies muted the morning hues…I kinda like it, makes for shadow-less photography.
Waves – yes, surfable on logs (knee to waist high). There actually is a finely tuned sand bank towards the middle – could be interesting when the swell arrives. The sun will break through and heat up this afternoon to 30.
We are hoping the WSL Drug Aware Margaret River Pro will kick off in minutes at North Point – a epic right-hand tube we grew up surfing as kids. Now THAT’S exciting. It’s gonna be hard to do any work with that running.
I owe you an apology. I purchased a new PC and monitor. I’ve had some screwy colour settings (which are now fixed, I hope)…so you’ve probably been subject to some disgusting unnatural colours and out of gamut burns. I will ‘fess up, after 18 years of doing this, I am still learning – daily.
:: uge

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Perth Standlick, grovellage

Bounce

Well, this morning wasn’t the most memorable. Complete opposite to yesterday. Grey, dark, 1 foot and onshore. Much cooler too.
Look forward to tomorrows 30 degrees and sunnier skies. Cyclone Debbie, no, not my wife, is looking pretty serious up north.
National Battens awareness day is this Friday the 31st March – bounce4batten have applied to set a Guinness world record for Mia Murchison (a 7-year-old girl who suffers from battens disease) to raise awareness of this incurable disease.
They need 50,000 people – so really all of you Aquabumps subscribers to bounce, jump – oh what a feeling Toyota and load your image here www.bounce4batten.com. Do it for Mia.
:: uge

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Andrew Weetman, morning log patrol, Bondi Beach before sunrise

Glorious

It’s a good thing that it rained for weeks and weeks this month, as, when the weather came good, you REALLY enjoyed it. The weekend just gone in Sydney was immaculate. I am talking sunshine, waves, little wind….and perfect temps. Just glorious.
This morning was no different. People walking around with a face full of smiles and wet hair. Hit it, go surf, walk, swim, anything down the beach – it’s all good.
The weekend’s booming swell is fading, but still surfable.
Enjoy.
:: uge

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At precisely 2:34 I took this photo, with sunshine at Bondi

Damp

I’m not gunna talk about the weather. That’s all everyone has been discussing this month. I know, I know, it’s weird.
Waves – yes, we have some. It’s a junkie 3 foot, but surfable. Some decent rip bowls at Bondi. The southerly arrived with the swell – making it a little bumpy.
Yesterday morphed into a beach day, in the arvo, before erupting, again around 6pm.
Robert Plumb are having a big sale, it’s good stuff. Check it.
Laters :: uge

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Sensational morning down the beach, go for a muggy swim

Gap

We’ve got a gap in the storms, it’s all nice and still (and not raining). Savor this moment. 19 days of rain out of a possible 22 for March. It bucketed yesterday after we last spoke, again. I believe it to be cloudy but dry this afternoon. But who really knows?
The waves are tiny, knee-high. Loggers were out early on the middle Bondi bank. Nice chunk of sand under there, like a big hump – hope that hangs around.
Looking at the forecast I predict tomorrow afternoon the waves should improve and be head high – it will be messy with a planking southerly, but I don’t mind. At least we can go for a paddle.
Take3, the Sydney-based not-for-profit organisation committed to reducing plastic pollution, is holding a fundraising event on Saturday 1st April at the Bondi Bowling Club. Please join in, and bring fellow ocean loving citizens. Their vision is to remove 3 million pieces of rubbish from our oceans and educate 300,000 students in the next 3 years. Tickets are $25 (kids are free) and are available to buy online here #TAKE3FORTHESEA 
Have a great day,:: uge

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Ignition, Bondi Beach this morning

Outta the Darkness

Today we’re getting a little arty – get your french berets on. On 1 foot days with dark overcast skies, that’s just what you do…slow shutters, grain, grit and logs. It’s not pumpin’ but it sure is humid and muggy. Not really how I remember autumns.
Good old Henry Crouch, he’s been reading Aquabumps for decades. I bumped into Henry last night and he told me to lift my game on the editorial of Aquabumps (thanks Henry!). That it’s getting a bit monotonous. I’ve written over 4,500 of these updates, on Bondi, from the morning…yeah, I can get his point, especially seeing I wasn’t a great English student at skool. I never thought I would end up sitting here, writing to 45,000 people a day! How did this happen? Where did you all come from?
Later this week I am gonna get Henry to write an update, and hear about Bondi from a new point of view.
Thanks for putting up with all the typos, the sentences that don’t make sense and stories that go nowhere. I’ve distracted you enough from your work, back to it.
:: uge

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About the only sunshine I saw all morning

17 out of 20

It’s rained 17 days out of 20 this March in Sydney. This could be the wettest Sydney March on record. I hope your garden is thriving. Mine is. It’s actually just started raining again, as I type these fine words.
Some activity ideas for a rainy day:

Watch the Quicky Pro at Snapper – tick, done (how good was that, Owen, what a comeback – he was in a bad way last year and is now #1)
Fly to WA, Perth is 27 degrees and not a cloud in the sky today
Surf in the rain. Yes, it’s allowed. You can do it.
Come to the Aquabumps Galleries (you betta). Don’t forget we have one in The Rocks @ 119 George Street
Clean out your inbox. We all get too much email.
The Indo season is just starting – book a trip to the Ments

Swell has faded but it’s much, much cleaner and in control. Out there.
:: uge

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Bondi Beach rentals

Flight

Today I am gonna take you around the world…via a heli. It’s pouring with rain in Sydney and I’m nestled into my cubicle digging through archives. I reckon if I stopped shooting today, I would have ‘nuf images to still show you something, every day, for the rest of my life.
Don’t worry, I am a photography junkie…and not stopping. These rainy days are a great time to find hidden gems, hiding in gigabit land.
William Dangar and Billie Clifton are Bondi locals who don’t surf [email protected]#$  (not sure they can even swim – they like their motorbikes and spinning rims). They worked on my gallery garden/jungle that everyone comments on. The boys have an outdoor furniture range called Robert Plumb – and they are having a big sale. Grab a cuppa and peruse their online sale catalogue now.
Winds go south tomorrow. Stormy times…
:: uge

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Perth Standlick, South Bondi, 7:45am, finding rampage

Volatile

Volatile weather at the moment in Sydney. You just can’t predict what’s next. Last night we had some very heavy downpours. At sunrise it was pitch black and drizzly. Then, around 7:30am it busted out into sunshine??
Waves – yes, it’s bigger today with a few little sections. Windy – yes, that too. Looks like a ENE wind – that’s a horrible wind for most beaches in Sydney – gets in everywhere. If you’re a good surfer, you probably like this wind to practice your airs.
:: oogie (that’s how the Euros say my name around here).

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Bondi Beach, Skies lit up like a Christmas Tree

2 in a row…

What, not two in a row? Yes, the sky lit up again this morning, like a Christmas tree. I gave up on it, thinking it was just going to be a sky of grey – when clouds parted and light erupted. I am quite liking the late sunrises – you don’t have to get up too early to see the spectacle.
Surf – there’s two little rip bowls at Bondi, they’re fun and hard to stay on. I feel the recent big swell pounding has damaged our good banks though.
Should be bigger tomorrow. Autumn, always something to surf!
:: uge

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Andrew with a back drop of pinks

Photo-Chop

It’s always interesting hearing feedback on my photography. Sometimes you’ve got to be thick skinned, especially when someone walks into one of our galleries and goes “Aw, it’s all photoshopped, the skies can’t possibly be that pink…” pointing at a Bondi sunrise shot on the wall. Well today, I dedicate this post to the non-believers. Today the sky lit up – bright pink at 6:30 am. I am talking one of the most vivid, saturated sunrises I’ve seen. The water was a pinky purple…it was incredible. It stopped commuter traffic on Campbell Parade. I hope you saw it!
It was very brief though and returned to muted greys in minutes. The sunrises on the East Coast of Australia can be mind-blowing. Today was quite exceptional. I kinda wish I wasn’t swimming when it blew up pink – a tripod and selection of lenses would have done this stunning morning more justice.
The pumping swells of late last week have chilled. I really hope your arms are sore from paddling.
Have a great day,:: uge

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Cronulla 9am Jack Irvine, setting a line and made it

Cronullification

I like Cronulla. It’s a good Aussie beach suburb. I spent a bit of time down in ‘The Shire’ this morning. The people are just so damn nice, every says G’day.
Cronulla, a surfing reserve, also hosts some of the best barrelling, slabbing reefs in the country. They’ve got a setup for every condition which is why it breeds mad-chargers (Occy, Grigga, Terapi, Kingy, Mick Marjanovic and lensman Jon Frank). The waves aren’t for everyone, it’s reef breaks that bite. It’s definitely not a joint for beginners.
With all this swell around Cronulla put on a show. Some really thick, chunky shacks on offer. The weekend looks good for everyone, everywhere. Cash in the brownie points, surf your brains out.
Don’t forget our Rocks store is open all weekend, 10am to 6pm 119 George Street The Rocks
:: uge

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Icebergs, lots of movement in the pool

Patience.

We are all patiently waiting for it to turn, for the rain to stop, mercury to climb, and the winds to go offshore (OK, even cross shore would be better than this onshore flow). The swell is medium sized, rogue, wild and pretty much unsurfable. Saturday is going to be in the GOOD – PUMPING range. Yes, red alert. I would definitely book a drive out of town…don’t hang around here when it goes offshore.
I sat and watched all the sand movements down the beach. Lots going on down there. Sand being ripped off the beach in places that I reckon would be good for us in the future.
Be patience, it will happen. But it just hasn’t happened yet.
:: uge

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Bondi this morning. Wild. 7am

Low-down

I’m back in the hood…
We’ve got a nice big fat low-pressure system hanging off the coast of Sydney and it’s generating wild conditions. The longer it sits off our coast, the better surfing is going to be in a couple of days. I’m expecting it to be big towards the weekend (8ftish).  Yeha!
I inspected Bondi Beach this morning at 7am. No one surfing, too wild and onshore. I did see nice chunky bites out of the shoreline which tells me there is going to be decent sand banks for surfing soon. The beach isn’t just dead straight like it is all summer. Love autumn.
I only took 1 photo of the beach today to prove I actually went down. There wasn’t much else to document and I have gigabytes of California still to show you.
Did you know we opened up a gallery in The Rocks, Sydney? Yep, 119 George Street just across the road from the MCA. Come see us sometime you office jockeys. I worked in a cubicle 200 metres from this store for nearly 10 years!
:: uge

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Santa Monica main beach, at sunset

SoCal

It’s a wrap…
I hope you’ve enjoyed our little sojourn in Santa Monica. I love traveling to new places, your eyes are just wide open and everything is so new. It really reinvigorates my photography.
The USA is an exciting place to be. L.A. is quite simply pumping – so much life! Around Santa Monica the food/service is amazing…the beaches are very interesting and there is even a little wave nearby. You can ride a push bike around everywhere – you know I am mad about that. It does remind me a little of Bondi. But Bondi on steroids.
Sydney has been super stormy in my absence, so it’s time to clear now! Swell will be pumping later in this week with a low stalling off the coast.
Big thanks to Air New Zealand who fly from Sydney to L.A. every day. Try their SkyCouch or Prem Economy and you’ll thank me later. You’ll sleep all the way – trust me. Go
Outta here :: uge

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Pacific Park Wave Santa Monica

Air Tour

I was lucky enough to go for a fly over Santa Monica. It’s was jaw dropping…I am still buzzing. So many people underneath us, so much life, so much going on…such a big place!
Firstly, these images are NOT captured from a drone (I get asked that a lot). The image quality from drones, for me, just isn’t there yet. Call me old-fashioned, but I like to be up there in a heli, enjoy the view and shoot in super hi-res so we can blow them up 1.8 metres wide later. I’ve been shooting these aerials for a decade now – and I still get super excited when I get the chance to fly. There is very strict rules in The States about flying drones – especially with LAX and SM airport just down the road. LAX is one helluva busy airport.
A few things I bet you didn’t know about Santa Monica:

They get 300 days of sunshine. That’s a lot of bluebird clear sky days. It’s been perfect the whole time I’ve been here.
94,000 people live in Santa Monica alone – it is its own city (separate to neighboring Venice Beach, Malibu and LA). It feels about the same size as the Eastern suburbs of Sydney.
The Santa Monica Pier is actually 2 adjoining piers which originally had separate owners (circa 1909). The pier(s) were left to ruin in the 1970s and nearly got removed. In the 80s and 90s, the pier was fully restored and seen as an important landmark in the area.
Venice Beach is famous for it’s Muscle Beach. You know, where Arnie used to work out. The original muscle beach began though in Santa Monica in 1934.
Some of the best sunsets in the world are viewed from Santa Monica (reliable source – me!). I don’t know the scientific reasoning, but every single sunset so far has been a ripper. The colours at sunset are amazing.

Big shout out to The Oceana Beach Club Hotel in Santa Monica. They’ve looked after me so well and the service is next level. It’s right on the front so you can see all the action on the beach/pier. I’ve ridden their bikes around Santa Monica all day long and had a ball. More Info
later y’all. :: uge

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Crossing under the pier

Piers

The Californian piers are a huge part of beach culture here. The beaches run on forever, however, these piers are significant gathering points for surfers, fisherman, tourists and in Santa Monica’s case – great spot for an amusement park.
The piers are great for shooting, it’s like having a cheap, low flying helicopter giving me access and angles I’ve not seen before. Just look up Ron Stoner’s work to see what I mean. He was the master of Californian pier surf photography.
The weather has been amazing this week. 26 degrees right now. Feels just like summer. Ok, the water is a lil’ brisk at 15…thick rubber required.
On a very sad note, a man drowned at Bondi yesterday with a woman critical in hospital. Read SMH South Bondi is currently hosting a treacherous rip (even when the waves are small). A reminder, swim in between the flags. South end is best for surfing, not so great for swimming. Take care.
:: uge

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Santa Monica, this morning. Look pretty perfect.

Californification

The weather has kicked up a few gears here in California. The winds are calm and the skies clear. The beaches have become a hive of activity…film crews (many), muscle dudes, tightrope walkers, acro yogis, tourists, fill the beach parks. The water is seriously cold (remember it’s winter here), but some crew still going in for a freshen up.
I found waves! A few shoulder high sets…not many out which I found odd. I’m still keen on seeing someone surf through the piers.
Eating out is quite exceptional in Santa Monica. So many places to try it’s hard to work out where to start.
Have a great day,
:: uge

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Just landed and caught this sky on fire, Santa Monica Beach

Santa Monica

G’day from L.A. I’ve crossed the Pacific to hang out at the coastal town of Santa Monica – which feels a lil’ like Bondi. Santa Monica is a city beach, like Bondi, not far from the LAX. Santa Monica is nestled in between Venice and Malibu…right on the PCH (the big road that hugs the Cali coast).
The health craze revolution is in full swing here also, organic this and that and more yoga studios per capita than anywhere else in the world. It’s now become a hang out for tech-heads too…nicknamed “The Silicon Beach”. For example, Snapchat has just taken space for an office here on the beach.
Like Bondi, famous people live here on the beach. Ya know…The Bondi lifeguards, The Bondi Vet and the hipsters are replaced with Bob Dylan, Jamie Lee Curtis and Gwyneth Paltrow (sat next to her at dinner).
The surf is pretty tiny, waist high. Locals tell me it was pumping and double head high last week – not sure if they’re pulling my leg. Weather forecast looks amazing – sunny every day.
It’s easy to get here, LAX is one connected airport. I flew Air New Zealand (flights leaving Sydney daily) and snored all the way in Premium economy (which is amazing). More on that…
:: uge
 
 

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