Posts in Postcard

Cali surf pics from today

Posted on January 19th, 2018 in Postcard.

Hi all,

Just a few stills from my trusty GoPro rig. I went back to the same place I’ve been surfing all week and again it was glassy, chest to head and a bit and uncrowded (2-6 of us in the water!). Swell angle just a little too steep for the place so got smashed by more shutdowns. Still, got a couple of very fun head high plus set waves, so I’m happy.

West Goleta again!

Standing up

Here it comes!

Not makeable, but pretty

The scene from the lineup. Air: 18C Water: 15C, Swell 1.3 m 18sec from 269°


In California today

Posted on January 18th, 2018 in Postcard.

Just a few pictures from near Santa Barbara this morning and evening. Swell still firing for us. Wonder if it’ll be here tomorrow…

 

West of Goleta, CA this afternoon

West of Goleta, CA this afternoon

West of Goleta, CA this afternoon

West of Goleta, CA this afternoon

Rincon from the train, Weds morning


Postcards from Cali: late afternoon at Deveraux point

Posted on January 18th, 2017 in Postcard.

Hello Friends,
Your jetlagged correspondent checked the conditions just on dusk at a spot near the University of California at Santa Barbara. It’s a point called Deveraux and it will pick up most winter swell action and hold it across all tides. Quality is in the fun not scary category and I was stoked to see that tomorrow after the travel fog’s worn off, I should be able to get a little something.
As the pics showed, it was a busy waist to chest plus with glassy late afternoon conditions.
Have a great day and catch you tomorrow!

Late afternoon light

Long lines from far away, SUP rider hunts fun with Santa Cruz island in the background

Distinct sets coming into Deveraux late afternoon, Tuesday

Busy but if you’re in the spot

Heading out to catch some waves on a late winter afternoon in Isla Vista, Calfifornia


Postcard from Cali: Skunked beyond belief

Posted on July 10th, 2015 in Postcard.

Hello Friends,

Just had to share my pain. After two weeks of flatness, I decide to go on a landscape photography expedition to a spot called Jalama. I figured it’d be totally blown out since I was heading up mid-afternoon and the place is a famous wind hole. I didn’t bother chucking a board and wettie in the car.

Well, as you can see from the snaps below, it was approaching as good as it gets. The offshore kelp beds and light winds ensured it was glassy. Sets were irregular, but when they turned up the 20 sec period meant they had lots of heft.

And, on top of everything else, there were only a dozen people in the water.

Unbelievable.

But, I have absolute confidence that everyone reading this could match me with a similar or worse tail of missed opportunity. That’s surfin’ I guess.

Have a good one!

tarantulas at Jalama

Late take-off at Tarantulas, Jalama Beach

Tarantulas surfer

Tide getting high, but so was this lucky pup at Tarantulas


Postcard from Cali and a few thoughts about Sydney surf outlook too

Posted on June 25th, 2015 in Postcard.

Hello Friends,

Through a fog of jet lag, your correspondent can report that surf conditions between LA and Ventura were not wildly dissimilar to what your’re seeing in Sydney today. Although there were healthy crowds at places like Malibu and California Street in Ventura, wave faces were in the knee to waist (at best) range. There’s a nice line though, which meant that if you didn’t mind rail-bumping business at Malibu, you could definitely get the odd slide.

Today’s postcards come from the lookout near Rincon’s top carpark. Although the point is pretty much an autumn-winter spot, there can be some interesting peaks up the beach to the north in the right conditions. When there’s a steeply angled south swell (say from a hurricane off Mexico), backside Rincon can come into play too.

north of Rincon

Up the beach from Rincon nice lines

rincon tiny

Messing around in little wind swell at the top of Rincon


.
.
Outlook for Sydney is not too brilliant. The MHL buoy was detecting less than a metre of 11-sec SE swell as of 0700. Wind was light offshore but a southerly’s due through around midday and when that hits I’d expect things to really fall apart surfwise.

The swell prediction models are pointing to some hope of an improvement next week, but right now the tomorrow and the weekend are not looking too interesting.

That’s it from me for now, will try to file postcards etc as regularly during my stay here. Have yourself a great day!

Weather Situation
A front will bring south to southwesterly change to Sydney Waters this morning and to the north coast in the afternoon. Southerly winds are expected to turn east to southeasterly during Friday and Saturday as a high pressure system moves over southeastern Australia extending a ridge to the Tasman Sea.
Forecast for Thursday until midnight
Winds
Westerly below 10 knots tending southwesterly 15 to 20 knots in the morning then tending southerly 15 to 25 knots in the middle of the day.
Seas
Below 1 metre, increasing to 1 to 1.5 metres during the morning, then increasing to 1.5 to 2.5 metres around midday.
1st Swell
South to southeasterly around 1 metre.
2nd Swell
Easterly around 1 metre.
Weather
Cloudy. 80% chance of showers. The chance of a thunderstorm offshore during the morning and afternoon.
Friday 26 June
Winds
Southerly 15 to 20 knots, reaching up to 25 knots offshore early in the morning. Winds tending southeasterly 10 to 15 knots in the middle of the day.
Seas
1.5 to 2 metres, decreasing to 1 metre during the morning.
1st Swell
South to southeasterly around 1 metre.
2nd Swell
Easterly around 1 metre.
Weather
Partly cloudy. 30% chance of a shower.
Saturday 27 June
Winds
Southeasterly 10 to 15 knots becoming variable about 10 knots during the morning.
Seas
Below 1 metre.
Swell
Southerly around 1 metre.
Weather
Partly cloudy. 20% chance of a shower.


Thoughts from micro Cali

Posted on November 1st, 2013 in Postcard.
Reef and beachy set up just north of Ventura

Reef and beachy set up just north of Ventura

Hello Friends,

It’s still dark in Sydney as I start tapping out these words. Doesn’t look like much of an early morning sesh coming up if the MHL data is anything to go by. In fact, I don’t think there’s likely to be much of anything anywhere on the east coast because all that’s showing on the buoys is short period S-SE wind swell around the metre mark. Plus, at daybreak the wind was SE. The forecast has it staying SE until late when it’s supposed to go around to the NE. Yeah, great.

So not much for you today, but gee, mid next week is sure looking the goods. Potentially 8/10 conditions if the models have it right for Weds-ish.

Meanwhile on this side of the ocean, it’s another beautiful, clear and mild autumn day with almost no waves at all. As the pictures show, I did spot a tiny peak at a swell magnet spot (and wind hole) called Ventura Overhead (because of a bridge, not the waves). The biggest ones might’ve had 3-foot faces, but that was really it. Every where north from there to Santa Barbara was unsurfably flat.

Maybe there will be little waves here late Sunday, early Monday…

Have yourself a top old day!

Dude!

Probably too small to surf, but classic California glass at Ventura Overhead

Probably too small to surf, but classic California glass at Ventura Overhead

Forecast issued at 4:10 am EDT on Friday 1 November 2013.
Weather Situation
A high pressure system near the Bass Strait this morning extends a ridge over coastal NSW and is associated with generally light east to southeasterly winds. Winds turn northerly as the high pressure system moves slowly over the Tasman Sea this afternoon. A cold front intensifying over the Southern Ocean during Saturday will then bring a gusty southerly change along the southern and central New South Wales coast on Sunday, continuing to the north early Monday.
Forecast for Friday until midnight
Winds
South to southeasterly 10 to 15 knots becoming northeasterly 15 to 20 knots in the late afternoon.
Seas
Around 1 metre, increasing to 1 to 1.5 metres by early evening.
Swell
Southerly around 1 metre.
Saturday 2 November
Winds
North to northeasterly 15 to 20 knots.
Seas
1 to 1.5 metres, decreasing below 1 metre during the morning.
Swell
Northeast to southeasterly around 1 metre.
Sunday 3 November
Winds
North to northwesterly 15 to 20 knots ahead of southerly change 20 to 25 knots in the afternoon, increasing to 25 to 30 knots from the late afternoon.
Seas
Around 1 metre, increasing to 2 to 3 metres during the afternoon.
Swell
East to northeasterly around 1 metre.


From the land of cold water

Posted on October 31st, 2013 in Postcard.

Sunset at California Street

Hello Friends,

Sorry about running late, but it’s been a day spent driving for me.

From what I can see, it’s pretty puny in Sydney at lunch time. Just a weak little SSW wind swell of a metre or so showing on the MHL buoy. Throw in an east north-east sea breeze and I’m guessing there’s only the most marginal of offerings in the northern corners.

And the outlook as nearly as I can tell is for not much over the next few days, but gee the forecast models are looking intense for Tue-Wed next week. If the models have it right, by the time I land in Sydney next Friday morning, the swell will have faded away completely.

Oh well.

At least there’s a chance of my getting some waves here late on the weekend. Really keeping my fingers crossed for a little west swell action to light up the points. Today, as the picture below shows, there really wasn’t much of anything going on. We couldn’t stop for me to take a photo, but on the way back from visiting my friend in hospital (she was better again today which is just brilliant), we passed Malibu where there were about 40 people waiting around for glassy little waist high peelers. A long board out there would’ve been so fun…

Have a great day and I’ll try to send another postcard your way tomorrow if I can.

Forecast issued at 4:10 am EDT on Thursday 31 October 2013.
Weather Situation
A weak trough brushes past the southeast this morning as a high pressure system moves south of NSW and across into the Tasman Sea by Friday afternoon. Winds tend northerly later on Friday ahead of an approaching trough arriving by the end of the weekend. This will be followed by a fresh and gusty southerly change.
Forecast for Thursday until midnight
Winds
South to southeasterly 10 to 15 knots.
Seas
Below 1 metre.
Swell
Southerly around 1 metre, increasing to 1 to 1.5 metres during the afternoon.
Friday 1 November
Winds
East to southeasterly 10 to 15 knots becoming northeasterly 15 to 20 knots in the late afternoon.
Seas
Around 1 metre, increasing to 1 to 1.5 metres by early evening.
Swell
Southerly 1 to 1.5 metres, decreasing to around 1 metre.
Saturday 2 November
Winds
Northeasterly 10 to 15 knots turning northerly 15 to 20 knots in the afternoon.
Seas
1 to 1.5 metres.
Swell
Northeast to southeasterly around 1 metre.

Not much activity at C-Street, Ventura as we ran out of daylight.

Not much activity at C-Street, Ventura as we ran out of daylight.


Over the horizon

Posted on October 30th, 2013 in Postcard.

Hello Friends,

It was still dark in Sydney as I wrote this early on Wednesday morning. Wind was lightly out of the SW and the next tide was a low at 1050. The MHL spectral data was showing a fair amount of south swell – up to 3 metres – with an average period of 9 seconds. If the wind stays SW, then day breakers could be in for some solid waves at magnet spots. I’m guessing chest on up to potentially solidly overhead on the bombs. The Bureau is calling for southerly wind through the day, so it may be kinda ordinary. There also seem to be a few showers about on the radar too.

Swell looks likely to fade overnight, but maybe Thursday morning at south spots will be worth the effort.

Beyond that, the models are currently showing not much in prospect for Sydney until maybe early next week.

Oddly enough, the same is true for southern California. Right now the weather is perfect, but there’s no wave energy to speak of. The nearest magnet spot to me at the moment is California Street in Ventura (about 50km south). Looking at the local cam, it’s just barely twitching with sub knee high dribblers. However, the current modelling is predicting waist to chest at west magnet spots from Sunday to Weds (when I get on the plane to come home). I’m hoping by that stage my very sick friend will be well enough to get out of hospital and be recovering at home.

So, here’s what the webcam showed Ventura looking like earlier:

C-street about as marginal as it can get and still be catchable. Weirdly wind free too.

C-street about as marginal as it can get and still be catchable. Weirdly wind free too.

Forecast issued at 4:10 am EDT on Wednesday 30 October 2013.
Weather Situation
Winds along the coast are expected to ease during Wednesday and Thursday as a high pressure ridge develops over the western Tasman Sea. Next southerly change is likely to affect the coast during the weekend.
Forecast for Wednesday until midnight
Winds
Southerly 15 to 25 knots turning southeasterly below 10 knots in the evening.
Seas
2 to 2.5 metres, decreasing below 1.5 metres during the morning, then decreasing below 1 metre during the afternoon.
Swell
Southerly 1.5 metres.
Thursday 31 October
Winds
Variable about 10 knots becoming easterly 10 to 15 knots in the late afternoon then tending southeasterly in the evening.
Seas
Around 1 metre.
Swell
Southerly 1 to 1.5 metres, decreasing to around 1 metre , then increasing to 1 to 1.5 metres during the afternoon.
Friday 1 November
Winds
Southeasterly about 10 knots tending easterly 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon then tending northeasterly during the evening.
Seas
Around 1 metre.
Swell
Southerly 1 to 1.5 metres.


Sticky: Micro in SoCal

Posted on October 29th, 2013 in Postcard.

Hello Friends,

At 0700 the MHL buoy was showing a mix of SE and NE swell, with the later dominating. It was showing close to 2 metres at sea, but the average period was a sloppy 7 seconds or so.

It looked as though there was a small wave maybe along the southern end of the Collaroy-Narra stretch and at Manly for the early. However, wind is supposed to go NE and then southerly at 25-35 kts. At the same time, the south swell should become the more dominant factor in the mix.

The models look pretty so-so for Sydney. The southerly is set to hammer along for 24 hours or so before going more SE (bah). Might possibly be a brief window of opportunity in a south corner tomorrow, but I bet it takes some looking around.

For your convenience, here’s the marine forecast and below that, a few postcards from Cali…

Forecast issued at 4:10 am EDT on Tuesday 29 October 2013.
Weather Situation
A low pressure trough is expected to move across the eastern New South Wales today bringing a strong southerly change along the coast. A ridge will strengthen along the coast in a wake of the change during Wednesday to Friday.
Forecast for Tuesday until midnight
Gale warning for Tuesday for Sydney Coastal Waters
Winds
Northwest to northeasterly 15 to 25 knots tending southerly 25 to 35 knots later this morning then decreasing to 20 to 25 knots in the late evening.
Seas
1 to 1.5 metres, increasing to 2.5 to 3 metres around midday.
Swell
Northeasterly around 1 metre, tending northeast to southeasterly 1 to 1.5 metres around midday, then tending southerly 1.5 to 2 metres by early evening.
Weather
The chance of thunderstorms until this evening.
Wednesday 30 October
Winds
Southerly 15 to 25 knots turning southeasterly below 10 knots in the evening.
Seas
2 to 2.5 metres, decreasing below 1.5 metres during the morning, then decreasing below 1 metre during the afternoon.
Swell
Southerly 1.5 metres.
Thursday 31 October
Winds
Variable about 10 knots becoming easterly 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon then tending southeasterly during the evening.
Seas
Around 1 metre.
Swell
Southerly 1 to 1.5 metres.
Please be aware
Wind gusts can be 40 percent stronger than the averages given here, and maximum waves may be up to twice the height.
Nearby Coastal Waters

A little front is blowing through from the NW as I write this. We’ve even had a few spots of rain (which is always welcome in perpetually dry southern California). After visiting my sick friend in hospital yesterday (she was a whole lot better thankfully), I got up this morning and made the drive north to Santa Barbara. Although everything was blown out and there was essentially no swell, I still stopped to walk on the beach at Rincon.

The cove at Rincon is quite sheltered from the NW (their equivalent of our SEr), and the summer sand was still in, so it looked like a long, sandy point instead of it’s more usual heavily cobbled self. There were only a couple of folks in on long boards and after catching the “wave” in the picture, they got out and left it to a pair of SUPsters who’d just arrived.

There seems to be a slight chance of a wave in the knee to waist range tomorrow, but the real hope is out toward the weekend when a small winter angled swell looks to be a possibility. So who knows, I might even get in the water on this trip.

Have a great Tuesday!

The first big west swell will remove this and it'll be back to cobbles for the surf season.

The first big west swell will remove this and it’ll be back to cobbles for the surf season.

Hauling their paddleboards down for a 2-person sesh at the point

Hauling their paddleboards down for a 2-person sesh at the point

Ultra micro Rincon


Postcard from Cali: not happening here

Posted on October 27th, 2013 in Postcard.

Hello Friends,

An intense couple of days for your correspondent, so it was good to get a look at the beach. There wasn’t much to see though. Autumn here isn’t a patch on autumn on the east coast of Oz. They still get summery fog and junky seabreezes with only very occasional pulses of tiny, long period swells. The pictures below come from a couple of surf spots on the coast just north from Ventura. It was mainly grey and foggy along the beaches (although it’s clear inland) with air temps around the 18 mark (inland will be in the mid 30s – which is typical). As you can see there was barely any swell energy around. The biggest set I saw might have been waist high on the take off, but mainly it was sub-knee to knee and very weak. I haven’t been in the water, but I’d guess it was 16-18.

My friend was at an alarmingly low ebb just before I got here, but she’s improved a tiny bit each day since. So, at least the trend is headed the right direction.

From the MHL data, it looks as though there should be a little something at south spots because that’s where the energy is coming. It’s about 2 metres out at sea and 7-8 seconds apart. Not much of a tide swing today from the low at 0735 to the high at 1355.

Wind at 0730 was NW and light, but it should gradually drift around to be onshore from NE around lunch.

The Bureau has a warning up about deceptively powerful swells, and the 0400 Pt Kembla spectral data is showing close to 3 metres of SE swell with a healthy 13 second period. That should translate to thumping sets, but from what I can tell, it’s not really showing yet in Sydney.

From the Bureau’s modelling, it looks as though the swell fills in later this afternoon (sheltered corners) and then sticks around with a possible little bump up mid-morning tomorrow, before slumping back into the marginal zone.

Here’s the Bureau bumpf, and postcards are below that…

Go well!

Forecast issued at 4:11 am EDT on Sunday 27 October 2013.
Weather Situation
A ridge of high pressure extending across the NSW coast will remain the dominant feature today, promoting light to moderate winds. This high will shift to the Tasman Sea by Monday, with generally northerly winds developing ahead of the next cold front and southerly change, currently expected to affect most areas during Tuesday.
Forecast for Sunday until midnight
Winds
Variable about 10 knots becoming east to northeasterly 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon and evening.
Seas
Below 1 metre.
Swell
Southerly 1.5 metres, increasing to 1.5 to 2 metres around dawn.
Caution
Deceptively powerful surf conditions are expected to be hazardous for coastal activities such as crossing bars by boat and rock fishing.
Monday 28 October
Winds
Northeasterly 15 to 25 knots.
Seas
Around 1 metre, increasing to 1.5 to 2.5 metres during the morning.
Swell
Southerly 1.5 to 2 metres, decreasing to 1 to 1.5 metres around dawn.
Weather
The chance of thunderstorms.

Micro Mondos

Tearing it up

Surf photographer


 

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