Articles tagged with "coastalwatch"

29.01.09 news and cams of interest

Posted by: on January 29th, 2009

Hi All

The best of the Australian surf cams I could find this morning was coastalwatch’s Margs cam. Proper waves out west for you lucky pups. Qld, NSW and Vic all look knee to waist high for the most part.

About the best live cam I could find overseas was’s Rocky Point unit on the north shore. Not super clean, but some size at least…

Looks as though today’s high tide spots will be the low tide spots for our kids and grandkids – according to the latest research from the CSIRO. Here’s a taste from the story on the ABC site.

Dr John Church told the committee a sea level rise of 80 to 90 centimetres by 2100 seems likely.

He says strong action now will not stop significant coastal disruption.

“We cannot prevent all sea level rise. We will have to adapt to some sea level rise,” he said.

The scientists say that uncertainty about melting icecaps means it is hard to predict the impact of rising sea levels on the Australian coastline.

I wonder what the rising tide’ll do to surf spots such as the Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare, Ireland? According to this write up in the Santa Barbara Independent, there’s a good new surf movie about Irish surfing making its world debut in my old home town. The doco is called Waveriders and is the work of a guy named Joel Conroy. Here’s a bit of the blurb from the film’s website:

Waveriders is the previously untold story of the unlikely Irish roots of the worldwide surfing phenomenon and today’s pioneers of Irish big wave surfing. The story unfolds through the inspirational and ultimately tragic history of Irish/Hawaiian legendary waterman, George Freeth. Freeth, son of an Irishman, was responsible for the rebirth of this sport of Hawaiian kings in the early twentieth century. With its distinguished cast of world-renowned Irish, British and Irish/American surfers WAVERIDERS journeys full-circle from Hawaii to California and back to Irish shores following Freeth’s wave of influence. This journey reaches a spectacular climax when the surfers conquer the biggest swell ever to have been ridden in Ireland catching monster waves of over fifty feet.

23 Dec 08: cam picks

Posted by: on December 23rd, 2008

Thanks to the NE windswell, the most interesting cams on the east coast are those at beaches with good exposure to that direction – funny that.

Swellnet’s Manly cam shows surprisingly uncrowded little things coming in, but I reckon it looks a bit nicer for the early at Coffs Harbour.

The tide’ll probably be an issue later, and the wind is starting to work over the south end, but ZeeBra looks the tastiest option for eastern suburb surfers if the Coastalwatch Maroubra cam is any guide…

I know the waves aren’t any better than here in Sydney, but I wouldn’t mind messing about in the little things at Lennox Beach (coastalwatch cam).

Doesn’t look as though we’re missing much in Hawaii – if the Surfline Backdoor pipe cam is anything to go by. (You have to wait for this one, and then they only give you 30 seconds of vision.)

I looked around the world to see if I could find any other interesting surf, but it seems that anywhere with a cam has dud waves. Steamer Lane looks wretched for instance. About the nicest looking view I could find was of reporter Bruce’s stamping grounds. The Surf still snap looks clean and empty.


Posted by: on December 18th, 2008

Story by DOUG LEES, from the latest issue of Surfing World Magazine

Tony inside bowl - Honky's, late 70s

Tony inside bowl - Honkys late 70s



On 27 May this year, Anthony “Tony Hussein” Hinde, the surfer who discovered the waves of the Maldives, died surfing the wave he found in 1973 — the wave where, he said his “soul became complete”.

Having ridden a wave to the end, Tony did not get back on his board and was spotted floating in the water. Despite the best efforts of fellow surfers and the local doctor he could not be revived. Tony had suffered a sudden heart attack as he finished that wave.

Tony’s story is one of the truly great surf fairytales. He was the 20 year old from Australia who went on a surfing adventure at a time when many of the world’s best surf breaks were yet to be discovered. A shipwreck on a deserted island in the middle of the Indian Ocean landed him on the then-unknown Maldives, where he found his own nirvana and made it his life and livelihood.


Tony with the first surfboard ever ridden in Maldives.

Tony with the first surfboard ever ridden in Maldives.



In 1973, Tony was traveling with his good friend Mark Scanlon on a surfing trip from Indonesia to Africa. By December they had come as far as Sri Lanka, where, despite neither having any sailing experience, they talked their way onto a 56-foot ketch bound for Africa. The captain’s plan was to set sail and let the current push them north, but the December currents drove them south towards the Maldives.

On the third night, when they thought they were in the middle of the ocean, the boat was hit by a four-foot wave. Luckily they managed to surf the boat in to the deserted shore – Tony Hussein had landed on the Maldives. In the morning they realised they were “in a beautiful lagoon, surrounded by a beautiful reef and covered by an equally beautiful sky”.


Tony doing a cutback at Pasta Point.

Tony doing a cutback at Pasta Point.



Despite the captain deciding not to stay, Tony and Mark salvaged the boat and sailed it around the islands – at the time one of the most deserted places on earth. One day on this journey of discovery they rounded a headland where “there was a wrapping, blue, perfect left-hander, offshore wind, six feet, breaking off a deserted island with no other surfer for a thousand miles”. As luck would have it, there was a right-hander just as perfect on the other side of the island. After just one session there, Tony decided this was where he wanted to live.


Tony sailing his dhoni.

Tony sailing his dhoni.


Captain Tony

Captain Tony




The Maldives opened to tourists in 1972 but by December 1973, Tony estimated, there had only been “maybe 100 people through”. Tony and Mark were the first to arrive on their own and the local government agency didn’t know what to do with them. There were no guest houses in the Maldives, so they billeted with locals until Tony rented a house, for seven dollars a month for a year.

“I was 20 and thought I’d died and gone to heaven,” he said.

From 1974 to 1984 Tony and selected friends surfed the Maldives area by themselves. They would simply walk to the end of the island and paddle out or sail in Tony’s small dhoni, a single-sailed local transport vessel, to other islands nearby. They would leave their boards in the jungle and sail back and forth.


Ton in a bottom turn.

Ton in a bottom turn.



If they saw another yacht sailing by they would belly the waves straight in and hide in the bush. Tony gave the waves he’d discovered names, by which they are now widely known. He originally named both the left and right breaks Sultans, but later changed the left to Honky’s after his nickname Honky Fats Waller.

In 1984, Tony got his first outboard motor, mounted on the back of his dhoni. This was a major advancement after ten years of sailing and poling between islands and in and out of lagoons. In the Maldives Tony found personal as well as surfing nirvana, converting to Islam in 1977. He said his conversion was a “way of thanking Allah for guiding me to the Maldives and for the good fortune I’d had there”. He also liked the fact that the people of the Maldives were like Polynesian Muslims, a more casual, but very respectful sort of Islam. “They respect the religion here but theyíre not hardcore about it,” he said. In 1983 his naturalisation was completed when he married a local Maldivian, Zulfa, with whom he had a son and a daughter.


Young Tony and Zulfa

Young Tony and Zulfa



It’s estimated that only about ten different white men had surfed Honky’s up until 1984 – now that’s a well kept secret. But in the mid-eighties, more surfers arrived through the introduction of friends. Tony said he’d always known that one day the Maldives would be exposed to the world and thought he would open a surf travel company. So, in 1989, in partnership with good friend and surfer Ian Lyon, Atoll Adventures was begun.

Ian and Tony met in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka in 1980, but it was several years before Tony let Ian in on his secret – the surf in the Maldives – and then it was with some urgency. Tony wrote to Ian saying that, due to a change in the laws in the Maldives, if he was to come surfing there, he had to get there before May 1984. Ian arrived soon after receiving the letter and had two month’s of perfect surf with Tony.

Ian describes Tony as one of the most interesting people he has ever known, a man he admired and loved as much as a brother. He says that first trip was one of the best experiences of his life. “Staying in this isolated country of tiny islands with a culture and people unlike any others I had experienced. Surfing perfect waves with only a few friends and getting to know Tony really well, understanding and appreciating just how amazing his life of the past ten years had been and being part of an incredible secret.”

Together, Tony and Ian introduced surfers to the ìincredible secret. In the early years of the business, Ian says, they had a hard time even convincing people that there was surf in the Maldives. People would ring and abuse them. There’s no surf in the Maldives, they would say, accusing them of running an imaginary surf camp.


Tony at Boppa

Tony and Boppa


Now, Atoll Adventures is the leading surf travel company to the area and the resort they pioneered on Pasta Point has become the most popular surf location in the Maldives.

Tony often said he would spend the rest of his life in the Maldives and this is exactly what he did.

In an earlier issue of Surfing World (SW 299), Tony said: “I have been very happy here, happier than I ever thought possible. Again I want to thank Allah for all that he has given me. I have lived a lucky life, a dream life, in my years in the Maldives. My only regret is that Simon Anderson didn’t invent the thruster 15 years earlier.”

Tony’s wife of 25 years, Zulfa, died in January 2008 while undergoing treatment for Leukemia at Wollongong Hospital. He is survived by his son Ashley (23) and daughter Mishal (15). Ashley has deferred his university course in Sydney to return to the Maldives to attend to family affairs and learn everything about the operations of Atoll Adventures. Mishal is at boarding school in Brisbane.

Tony and Zulfa

Tony and Zulfa