South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales Surf Forecast (issued Friday 21st March)

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thermalben started the topic in Friday, 21 Mar 2014 at 5:19pm

South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 21st March)

Best Days: All days should have good waves. Biggest Sun/Mon/Tues.

Recap: Building trade swell with fun lumpy waves on the points. 

This weekend (Mar 22-23)

No major changes to the weekend forecast. Today’s punchy trade swell will throttle back a bit overnight, but there’ll still be good waves at most locations on Saturday with mainly light variable winds and an afternoon sea breeze. 

Sunday morning should see the arrival of long range E’ly groundswell courtesy of TC Mike. I've already detailed the complexities around this swell in the various forecast notes since last Friday; suffice to say that this swell is due to peak in size overnight Sunday or early Monday morning. Winds look OK for Sunday on the whole, mainly light and variable (again) with moderate afternoon sea breezes. 

As for the size potential on Sunday - set waves will be extremely inconsistent due to the large travel distance of this swell, but should be somewhere between 3ft and possibly 5ft at most open stretches by the end of the day. If you’ve got a particularly reliable swell magnet or bombie that accentuates long period easterly swells particularly well, then rogue 6ft+ sets are certainly possible. However, most of your surfing will be done at the bottom end of this size range and the wait between sets could be up to fifteen or twenty minutes.

Next week (Mar 24-28 onwards)

The surf outlook for Monday remains similar to Sunday, although we’ll be on the backside of this event (rather than the frontside), so expect the biggest waves in the morning (again, a very inconsistent 3-5ft at open beaches with infrequent sets to 6ft+ at swell magnets).

With a weak pressure gradient across much of the coast conditions should be quite clean first thing, but afternoon sea breezes will bump up things into the afternoon so aim for an early session once again. 

This E’ly groundswell will then slowly abate through Tuesday (although still with plenty of push, albeit very infrequently) to become significantly smaller by Wednesday.

However, the good news is that restrengthening trades in the southern Coral Sea early in the week will kick up a punchy - and far more consistent - trade swell for the middle of the week that’ll replace the easing E’ly groundswell. It won’t be so much noticeable as an increase in swell size - because the E'ly groundswell will still be quite prominent on Tuesday - but it'll be more easily distinguished as an increase in the frequency of closely-spaced, peaky waves through Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday.

Freshening E/SE winds will confine the best waves to the protected points during this period, and as was the case yesterday and today, the Sunshine Coast will see the biggest surf due to its closer proximity to the swell source.

Looking beyond the middle of the week and next Thursday onwards suggests a quieter period as the trades slowly ease in strength, and the Tasman Sea labours through an extended period of inactivity. As such, make the most of the swells due this weekend and early next week as there’s nothing of any great interest in the long term outlook right now. More on this in Monday’s update.

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wellymon commented Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 at 4:23pm

Where I live, you wouldn't think I live here on the GC , I like the weather, I like the bush, I like listening to the Yowies at night as of recent....! I do get good waves other than the GC not far away.
I hate the crowds MVG, but it gets me thinking on different levels ie between 10- 2pm when I'm home, light onzie's, little sneaky south swells during winter and TOS on those swells, hey the water is warm too.
Over surfing the Catlins in 4-5mm steamers feeling like a bag of cement but I do miss NZ, its so under rated as of waves, many people here say get rid of the North Island but have they travelled there thru autumn, it pumps both West and East.
Anyways got a mortgage so paying it off at the mo, might look further a field later on, would like to check Tassie out :)

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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wellymon commented Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 at 4:40pm

Mitch Very Good, Can I ask the same question.......?

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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mitchvg commented Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 at 4:56pm

I'm hearin ya Welly, the hinterland is quite rainforesty and beautiful. I like the idea of the Catlins, must be the most consistent spot on Earth, and surely the locals have every nook and cranny for winds sussed. But I'm not afraid to wear a steamer in December, so not sure how I really would go down there haha.

I moved to SEQ for uni, but now, I'm waiting for enlistment. Off to sail the seas my friend.

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Sheepdog commented Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 at 5:44pm

Welly.... "tassie" -4/3.... bootys.... hood........gloves... real estate is cheap though..... Down near Port Arthur is good... On one side you get the sw swells... On the other is the east coast..... Don't bother down my way.... No surf here...... ;)

Mitch, here's the graph...... Dunno about "sandcastles"..... Note all graph lines peaking around pre lunch 24th...... ???

Sheepdog

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mitchvg commented Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 at 6:02pm

Sandcastles comment was about this peak on the 25th at Southport, circled in red, which you referred to originally.

Now you've moved onto this peak? the one circled in red?

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mitchvg commented Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 at 6:10pm

or this one? You also mentioned early on the 24th previously.

Either way, I don't really see anything too out of the ordinary, when you look at the overall trends. A guy from MHL has said on another thread that the maths behind it is a black art. I'm not saying it's dodgy, but representing every bump in the ocean in a meaningful way is very complicated. Then, you gotta take into account the assumption that the data is being recorded and transmitted 100% perfectly also.

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thermalben commented Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 at 6:13pm

Jeez, and I thought I was a data nerd.

Seriously guys - just look at the overall trends. Only hone into specific, short term data if there's a real reason.

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Sheepdog commented Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 at 6:25pm

Mitch, Yeah I took the "sandcastles" comment onboard for the 25th. But in my original post, I also wrote "All other readings fall between the two mentioned" ( as in the peak early 24th, and the peak early 25th).

On the mooloolabah graph, could one could argue that the max wave height peak @ roughly 12.30am 24th, could be a "sandcastle"? Afterall, zero period is well down at that stage..... Whereas at about pre lunch to lunchtime on the 24th mooloolabah, all 4 sets of data seem to peak at the same time.... Seems to be a similar peak at North moreton bay too, and a 9.00am ish' peak at caloundra.....

Sheepdog

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Sheepdog commented Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 at 6:27pm

Hey.... Ben!!!! I found a new toy!!!!! Shouldn't you be drinking double decaf soy lattes in Manly right now? ;)

Sheepdog

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thermalben commented Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 at 6:30pm

Nah, I prefer the Double Ristretto Venti Half-Soy Nonfat Decaf Organic Chocolate Brownie Iced Vanilla Double-Shot Gingerbread Frappuccino Extra Hot With Foam Whipped Cream Upside Down Double Blended, One Sweet'N Low and One Nutrasweet, and Ice.

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mitchvg commented Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 at 7:21pm

Ok well, for starters, I've been using coastwatch.com.au. So I didn't even realise the Caloundra buoy was there! my bad.

So, you've identified a smaller peak in Hmax and a rising Hsig, to varying degrees, at various buoys...
- after forerunners of groundswell arrive
- but before groundswell trains consistently fill in (Tzero peak)
- and before the Hmax and Hsig peak peak

a) disregard it as an artefact
b) synoptically, we had a slackening ridge (until the 25th), correct? So I don't see a source of sandcastles there. Not impossible as there could've been imbedded features not shown on the BoM charts.
c) I guess it's just the nature of squash zone groundswells (should this be distinguished from a cyclone groundswell, even though teher was a cyclone?), consistently pumping out bigger and bigger swell trains. Then some of those trains (not sets? I dunno?) happened to double up under the buoy, and probably 10s of kms E & W of the bouys too?

Don, help me out. Sub polar low groundswells have different characteristics to squash zone and cyclone groundswells right? When they are generated and when buoys record these swells from great distance, 1000s of kms from the fetch? i.e. compare virtual buoys from inside the fetch to adjacent to the fetch to distant from the fetch.

Lastly, fyi, I surfed the arvo of the 23rd and it was pretty dismal. High tide around Moffs. After surfing punchy,low itde waves in the morning, the gutlessness of Moffs was doing my head in. So I was giving a boog infested shorie a crack and rolled my ankle a bit. Punchy waves are a dangerous addiction :|

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mitchvg commented Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 at 7:01pm

Ooooh, double blended!? Gotta try that one.

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Sheepdog commented Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 at 7:30pm

Well...... As far as my forecasting goes, I can see why I've stuck to my old tried and tested ways........ :) Jesus..... :o) The old deckhand just looks at the maps and goes "yep"...... ;).

To strip it down to it's bones, mitch, incase others are reading our boring jargon, Let's compare that graph to the stockmarket...... yeah, I know, you're shaking your head.. hehehe........Lets say the 4 lines represent different shares..... And the questions were, " between the 24th and 25th, at what time were all 4 shares simultaneously performing well"? "When did they all peak together?"

I'd have to say, at around 11am to 12 noon on the 24th..... Yeah?

Sheepdog

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donweather commented Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 at 9:02pm

Unfortunately the multi-spectral Byron buoy data for the 24th is no longer available bit if it was (and if my memory serves me well) you'd see that the long period groundswell peaked pre dawn on 24th. It also shows multiple period swells in the water, more so later on on the 24th and I think this is what has tended to think the other buoys peaked later on the 24th (the trade wind swell in the 11-12sec band).

If we an get access to the multi spectral analysis for Byron for the 24th/25th then this would help show my point (and hopefully that my memory isn't that bad!!!)

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mitchvg commented Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 at 12:05am

Not bad a bad analogy Sheepy. As a surfer, I would define the peak of the swell as something like: The sets have to be in the, say, within 20% of the highest. (e.g. 8ft max, then 6ft sets( I know that doesn't add up) and must be more consistent than not (e.g. more consistent than every 2nd set). Hsig and Tzero are pretty much the mathematical approximation of this. Looking at all 4 lines works can help, but I think that's how we got in this muddle.

So, I wouldn't go so far as to say 11am-12noon. I'd say mid morning. But I wouldn't say you're wrong.

So Don, basically what you're saying is it would show a typical groundswell pattern where the 'bulk' of the swell arrives after the forerunners?

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thermalben commented Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 at 6:43am

Tzero isn't very useful for measuring wave quality, as this data is very easily contaminated by local windswell/chop (Tzero is the average of ALL waves).

MHL and other agencies use Tsig which is correlates much higher with surfing waves (it's the average period of the highest 1/3 of all waves).

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donweather commented Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 at 7:47am

Agreed Ben but when Tzero is very high it shows that there is very little windswell contaminating the data, which was the case around the 24th.

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thermalben commented Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 at 8:01am

Sure Don. I suppose this was an event without a lot of wind (which is uncommon) so as a general rule it's more efficient to be able to correlate Hsig. And this would also make it much easier to compare Byron buoy data with that of SE Qld too.

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mitchvg commented Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 at 11:15am

Yeah cheers. Agree with all points here. I generally look to the spectral analysis first, then the graph, then Point lookout data, then the rest. The spectral analysis realllllly has been a great addition.

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wellymon commented Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 at 12:49pm

Sheepdog wrote:

I'd have to say, at around 11am to 12 noon on the 24th..... Yeah?

I reckon too Sheepio, was in the water around that time and it was consistent solid 6ft, more that one wave sets at 20 min intervals, thats for sure, maybe the push of the tide helped as well....?
That morning was great as well but a lot less waves with longer waits, as what was predicated.

IMO it helps to just check the waves at the coast all day and surf different intervals, thats what stands out in my mind with size, period etc :) Good work fellas, interesting to say the least.

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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mitchvg commented Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 at 3:38pm

Ha yeah Welly, that would be better.

now that I think about it a bit more, Tp/Tzero/Tsig doesn't directly have anything to do with set consistency. More of just a guide as to whether there's more ground or windswell trains in the water. Then you infer frequency of sets.

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Sheepdog commented Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 at 5:19pm

All well and good....... minimal wind at the time..... minimal windswell etc etc etc.......
So, in hyndsight, looking at the graph..... I'll ask a simple yes or no question..... Please no politicians answer....... yes...... or no.

Did the swell at mooloolabah generally peak (across the board - all aspects) late morning/lunchtime on the 24th? Yes?........ or....... No?...... ;)

Sheepdog

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donweather commented Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 at 5:40pm

SD, now I know where you've got your login name from. You're just like a fecking sheep dog continually nipping away at the sheeps heels until you put the sheep in the pen and then your job's done. Give it away mate. We beg to differ on this one, so just let it go mate!!!!

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wellymon commented Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 at 5:51pm

donweather wrote: SD, now I know where you've got your login name from. You're just like a fecking sheep dog continually nipping away at the sheeps heels until you put the sheep in the pen and then your job's done. Give it away mate. We beg to differ on this one, so just let it go mate!!!!

Probably one of those dogs that jump on and over the sheeps back, suppose its a lot quiker to cover ground eh Sheepio.

"YES"

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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Sheepdog commented Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 at 8:19pm

Wellsy, actually got the name at high school.... My mates labelled me after the WB cartoon -sam the sheepdog ( you know- the coyote and that sheepdog)... Long hair hangn' over my booshot red eyes.. Real friendly dog unless you try steeling his sheep...... ;)

Donny.... Chillax mate..... Stop being so touchy and taking everything as a dig..... It's not mate.... You didn't have to answer at all. The question was open to mitch, you ,ben, or anyone...... Not just you.... There is a reason I asked the questions...... So chillax and don't take part, mate. I didn't mean to offend you....... sheeesh......
Mitch, if you are out there..... The reason i ask the questions above is re' my old theory about cyclone swells generally rocking up a bit later than most expect. Before the Luci swell, you even commented that the bar graph had the luci swell peaking at late one evening, yet the actual records show it peaked some 8 hours after that...... Now this swell, looking at the graph, peaked 11 hours after what was predicted...

It's called "learning", maybe putting old style forecasting together with your "elite uni' style new wave forecasting ( just stirring, mitch, us working class deckhands do that sort of thing lol ;) ).

But look, if no one gives a fuck, neither will I..... I'll just keep to my way of doing things..... That's cool.....

Sheepdog

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mitchvg commented Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 at 9:26pm

Yes

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mitchvg commented Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 at 9:39pm

Fuck me dead haha. Welly actually surfed it throughout by the sounds, so I'd go by his word. I vaguely remember the automated forecast peaking Mon morn, early. Definitely didn't come early though!

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donweather commented Friday, 28 Mar 2014 at 12:38pm

SD, according to the forecasting website I use, it had the following forecast for SE Qld for Monday 24th:

Mon 24th
12am [email protected]
3am [email protected]
6am [email protected]
9am [email protected]
12pm [email protected]
3pm [email protected]

So I'll let you decide where it was forecasting the peak.

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wellymon commented Friday, 28 Mar 2014 at 12:49pm

Nice work Don,

But were you surfing BH between 11am and 1pm, IMO it was cranking even tho light onsies and was solid sets not just one or two waves.

:) love your research tho, is your Octiva (Skoda) Black.....?

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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Sheepdog commented Friday, 28 Mar 2014 at 1:07pm

Don.... I have decided via the mooloolabah chart above.... It peaked between 11am and 12.00pm . note... I also supplied the chart for your perusal...... ;)

Sheepdog

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donweather commented Friday, 28 Mar 2014 at 1:53pm

Gents, the results I posted above are "forecast" swell heights, not actual recorded observations. SD is claiming that the forecast was set to peak early on the 24th, whilst it actually arrived just before lunch (according to him). I was merely indicating that the forecast wasn't really showing a peak, rather a plateau for some 9hrs+ or so.

And Welly, my Occy is an RS blue wagon

http://i860.photobucket.com/albums/ab161/donweather/IMG_5180.jpg

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Sheepdog commented Friday, 28 Mar 2014 at 2:41pm

Nice car, donny.......Sweeeeet ride...... :) Now, you write "SD is CLAIMING that the forecast was set to peak early on the 24th, whilst it actually ARRIVED just before lunch (according to him)".....

1. It didn't "arrive" just before lunch....Just above, I said "It PEAKED between 11am and 12.00pm ". Arrived and peaked are two different things, Don.

2. re' "SD is CLAIMING that the forecast was set to peak early on the 24th"...... Um ... Don.... maaate... Go up to the top of the page and read Ben's notes, written only 48 hours before...... Better still, I'll paste them here to save you time....

"Sunday morning should see the arrival of long range E’ly groundswell courtesy of TC Mike. I've already detailed the complexities around this swell in the various forecast notes since last Friday; suffice to say that this swell is DUE TO PEAK IN SIZE OVERNIGHT SUNDAY OR EARLY MONDAY MORNING."

There in black and white, Don........

Wellymon was "on the frontline".... He doesn't seem like a bullshit artist.... He reckons late morning/lunch the swell was at it's biggest, and most consistent..... The Mooloolabah graph seems to back his claim.....

Anyway, probably no more cyclone swells this season, unless we get a rogue forming quite a ways north..... So next season, we'll see if my 3 decade long observation of cyclone swells being a bit late for Dons party will continue..... heheh... Cheers big fella....

Sheepdog

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donweather commented Friday, 28 Mar 2014 at 3:27pm

Apologies SD, I meant PEAK rather than ARRIVE.

My point above was that not ALL websites were forecasting the swell to peak overnight Sunday.

And if only can stop the axle tramping she'd be an even sweeter ride since my new tune!!!!

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wellymon commented Friday, 28 Mar 2014 at 3:41pm

"And if only can stop the axle tramping she'd be an even sweeter ride since my new tune!!!! "

Classic Don,
Yeah I have seen you zooming around from time to time, next time I will say hello if you stop going WOT:) I like those wagons, a good mate went back home and drove his dads around the South Island, said it was the sweeetest ride he'd experienced.
Did you get some good waves during the last 2 swells....?

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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mitchvg commented Saturday, 29 Mar 2014 at 1:08pm

Sheepdog, creature of the night, was there a resort in the next bay over from Ratshit when you were there? you must've met a few interesting characters? I still can't get over your insights into the personality of /\lift. Best call, and I believe you're not just having a dig. Seriously, who gives a fuck.

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Sheepdog commented Saturday, 29 Mar 2014 at 1:55pm

Mitch.....No, no resort at turtle bay.... Used to get a little brown peeler in there sometimes too... pebblys, up near yule point, wanghetti, Ellis, Buchans sandbar, Yorkeys beach, and the yorkeys cove (little cove right next to the rock wall - actually a fun little 2 foot wedge off the cliff sometimes).

2 photos of ratshit in all her mushy brown glory, and one of a young sheepy with his single fin pointing at a wedge in the cove, all around 1981;

Sheepdog

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fitzroy-21 commented Saturday, 29 Mar 2014 at 2:29pm

Ah, Sheepie, been a resort at Turtle bay for a long time now. Maybe you should drop in for a visit..........

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Sheepdog commented Saturday, 29 Mar 2014 at 4:30pm

fitzroy..... Ith that an invite thweety? Yeah.... heard the rumours..... Very funny...... :)

Sheepdog

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wellymon commented Saturday, 29 Mar 2014 at 6:27pm

"And Welly,"
What the,,,,.......Come on Don give us some love mate.....?

Tagged

"And Welly, my Occy is an RS blue wagon"

Be ready for a kiss through the side window champ.

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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wellymon commented Saturday, 29 Mar 2014 at 6:34pm

Sheepio what aclassic 70's photo, single fin, cropped long hair done from ya missus with a long bowl around ya haed :)

Maybe you did the head cut....? who knows.

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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wellymon commented Saturday, 29 Mar 2014 at 6:36pm

UMMMMMMM

81 :)

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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Sheepdog commented Saturday, 29 Mar 2014 at 6:45pm

Yeah... Wish I had that much hair now hehehe :)

Sheepdog

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Sheepdog commented Sunday, 30 Mar 2014 at 3:06pm

Mitch - cyclone gene - 2008 - struggled to get to 5 foot for one day.

...... Cyclone des, 2002..... A 1 1/2 day wonder swell. The best quality 6 foot granite I have ever seen.... But swell vanished by the second afternoon...

Sheepdog

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wellymon commented Sunday, 30 Mar 2014 at 9:40pm

The fetch Sheepio Dawwgio
The fetch????
:)

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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mitchvg commented Sunday, 30 Mar 2014 at 10:00pm

Thanks SD, so what do you think? they move around too fast?

Oh and that wedge, fuck yes I've mind surfed that a few times haha!

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Sheepdog commented Monday, 31 Mar 2014 at 8:40am

Fetch, doggy! Fetch! ;) Mitch, welly is right onto it.... You can have a stationary cyclone/low just south of New Cal', but if there isn't a decent high parked under it ( over NZ) causing a "squeezed" fetch, it'll be lucky to get to 4 foot.... And the lows that move "too fast" are generally the ones that aren't being held in position by a "blocking high". So what you are saying makes perfect sense....
ps- the wedge in that photo at it's peak was nearly 3 foot..... I'm actually standing up on the groyne, which you should be able to tell by the photo angle...... It's about as good as the cove ever gets lol...

Sheepdog

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mitchvg commented Tuesday, 1 Apr 2014 at 1:50pm

A guy drowned on the south side of that groyne. A strong enough rip got moving there and he couldn't swim his son back in amongst the 25kt wind chop. The son was rescued though.

Back to the lows. Gene looks pretty legit, even had 1025 under it on that day. So it is surprising. Especially comparing it to ECLs, which can whip up 6ft overnight, and boost into the 13sec range on the 2nd day. So I guess the difference is down to the decay.

i'm driving back up north on Fri, taking a board(s). I think I'm gonna take my fave 5'10 King's Groyne "Axe" cos I can grovel with it a bit too... do you think it is mistake to not bring a real grovel board though??? I've seen punchy beachies up there, but I dunno...

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thermalben commented Tuesday, 1 Apr 2014 at 1:45pm

Jeez, those old BOM synoptic charts are difficult to assess for swell potential.

4hPa spacings never worked in anyone's favour.