Posts in Comment

Initial thoughts on the American election

Posted on November 10th, 2016 in Comment.

Last night I spent hours talking with mates in California as the final nails were pounded into the coffin of Democrats’ hopes. We’re all on the progressive side, so it was not a fun chat.
My childhood friend Peter is an American history expert and his take was that this is without precedent in the US. At this early stage it is impossible to know what the longer term implications are, but it’s not a good or hopeful kind of uncertainty.
As an Australian I would say the greatest threat of all is the president-elect’s rejection of climate science. If he follows through on his statements in that area, it could profoundly impact global efforts to respond to what is unequivocally an existential threat to all humanity.
Coming a close second is the knowledge that an extremely unstable, easily angered man will have his finger on the nuclear button. (Fortunately there are many safeguards in the chain of command between that button and the missiles.)
Jostling around for third place in my mind on the Australia-specific consequences are topics such as our commercial and political treaty arrangements with the US (some treaties can be abrogated by a president on his own); secondary effects from treaty changes between the US and major Australian relationship countries such as China.
More thoughts later…

Howdy all!

Posted on August 26th, 2013 in At large, Comment, Dee Why, Surf Reports.

Hello RealSurfers!

Rob here — back for a quick visit to RealSurf after a 6 month hiatus.

You may have heard: we pulled up stakes from Dee Why in February and have since relocated digs to mostly-sunny Geraldton, Western Australia. It’s been a big change from just being able to turn your head to the left 90 degrees for 15 seconds to collect enough data for a surf report to now living a distant 4oom from the beach where there’s no real surf to speak of without a 10 min drive over the sand dunes to Glennies Point or a 30 min drive up the beach to Coronation.

So, just in case you’re wondering where the heck Geraldton is, and where we are in Geraldton, have a look here:

Don has been nudging me for a surf report and well, I’ve been struggling actually–frankly, since I arrived it’s horrible to have to admit that I’ve been working so much I’ve only been for a surf twice in six months! Longest time without a surf since I started surfing many years ago!

So, here’s what I can tell you about Geraldton:

Quaint little town of 40,000. Largest population centre north of Perth on the W Coast. We get some BIG swells here from across the Indian Ocean — Like 6 metres and sometime the swell interval kicks out to as much as 20 seconds! You can imagine what that must look like. Well, you probably can’t, because the big issue with the surf here is that we’ve got this bloody big reef that pretty much runs the length of the coast from Perth to Exmouth that blocks most of the swell from getting into the beach here. So the chances for surf are basically only around the spots where there are breaks in the reef where the swell can get through, else, you’ve got a 1-2 km paddle to get out the back. And lots of tigers and whiteys out there from what all the cray fishermen tell me.

Well, last weekend I made a trip down the beach and took a few shots. I don’t expect anyone to be dropping everything and rushing over after seeing these shots because of the great surf, but here’s a pretty typical day out on the reef at Glennies. Looks like we’ve got a bit more swell coming in the next few days; I’ll try and get a few more shots to post. now and again, we do get the head-high to double-overhead swells, so it’s not always small.

But, just imagine a few of these spots with some swell getting in and you can see the potential. Oh, and did I mention, a “crowd” here is usually 8 max.

Just another little note, if you’re not content with what you see here, about 60km up the road, there’s Horrocks, where there’s a pumping left hander; another 100km further from Horrocks there’s Jake’s Point and The Bluff  at Kalbarri (no, not THE Bluff) but the real Bluff is only another 4.5hrs further north, at Gnaraloo! And THAT’s some serious surf…

Will make an effort to drop a report in a bit more frequently now that I’m currently without a job, following a fallout with the City a few weeks ago:

So, if you know anyone out this way who may need some help — I’m available!

Best wishes,


Pt Moore Lighthouse

Easy dunk! Yep, we get some big storms here! Hillview Sunset More Drummond Sunset Drummond Sunset3 Drummond Sunset Yep, it gets windy here... Drummonds Reef You can see some potential here Drummonds Cove Sunset3 Sunset2 Sunset Beach

Yes, we do have waves in Geraldton!

Yes, we do have waves in Geraldton!

Some swell coming later in the week. Check out the swell intervals!

Some swell coming later in the week. Check out the swell intervals!

Crackin swell on the way!

Crackin swell on the way!

Glennies Glennies2 Glennies3 Glennies5


HorrocksReef Horrocks2 HorrocksLeft

A new meaning for nipper?

Posted on February 11th, 2010 in Comment, News Stories.

In the email…
A small shark nipped a surfer on the leg at Mona Vale this morning. Expect a few more “nippings”. White Pointer sharks have been protected since the late 1990’s, therefore there’s going to be a lot more in the water.

The sharks that attacked surfers last year were identified as small White Pointers and I’ll put money on it that this morning’s attack was the same species.

Thankfully, BIG White Pointers aren’t doing the damage. This is because Whites are what are called “developmental habitat dwellers”. That is, a female shark gives birth about every 18 months to a small number of pups. About a metre in length at birth, they’re vulnerable to attack out in the open, deep water miles offshore, so they swim into shallower water to feed on bait fish, tailor, salmon etc. This is obviously around headlands and beaches.

Therefore, before they “develop” into bigger sharks and can target bigger mammals and fish further offshore, their “habitat” is going to be where we play in the ocean. If all those mature female White Pointers have been producing a litter every 18 months since the White Pointer’s protection in the late 1990’s, we will be seeing a lot more little sharks biting people in the surf.

We’re lucky we don’t have seal colonies close to surf beaches like in South Africa, otherwise the BIG White Pointers would be a problem.

As a surfer who grew up in the South Island of New Zealand, I had a couple of moments with White Pointers. This instigated a healthy respect. I’m now on the committee for a recreational fishing lobby group and have access to some really interesting State and Federal Govt. fisheries data on this species.

Just take consolation that these smaller sharks aren’t targeting humans. They see our flailing extremities such as arms and legs are fair game, something smaller than them. I’ve been told by a fisheries scientist that the reason why White Pointer sharks don’t “usually” carry on with it and eat us up is because of how we taste. His comparison was “sink your teeth into an unripe lemon and you’ll get the drift”. Most probably why the shark repellent kits issued to airmen in World War II contained acetic acid (bitter lemon taste).
-Warwick Gibson

How much would carbon tax add to price of petrol

Posted on July 17th, 2008 in Comment, Environment.

‘Burning one litre of Petrol releases 2.36 kg of CO2 (under the ‘perfect’ fuel/air mixture). I know this sounds unreasonable when one litre of petrol weighs around 0.75 kg, but the majority (over 70%) of the CO2 weight is made up of the oxygen which is consumed from the air and does not originate from the petrol.’ ref.

Wikipedia entry on carbon trading mechanisms

Indicative pricing: at AUD30 per tonne, petrol would increase by

1 tonne of petrol = 1333 litres

1333 litres of petrol produces 3467 kg of CO2 which, at AUD30/t = AUD104

So, AUD104 divided by 1333 = AUD0.08 extra per litre.