Gallery: East by north-east
Most eyes were on today regarding the peak in wave size, as this is what the virtual buoys were reporting across all forecast sites, even ours. But herein lies the value of the Forecaster Notes and identifying that today's apparent spike in swell was on top of a large, easing easterly groundswell from Monday, and consisting mostly of poorly aligned, localised southerly swell.
One look at the buoys and beach yesterday morning and visions of June 6th, 2016 (the Black Nor'easter) sprung to mind. Very similar but just a tad smaller.
On the weekend a strengthening coastal low saw an infeed of strengthening east-northeast gales on its eastern flank, aimed directly at the southern NSW coast. Such systems result in a rapid increase in size as the strengthening fetch develops on top an already active and growing sea state.
The first signs of life were on dark Sunday with building sets to 4-5ft out of the north-east, but come Monday, the low had slipped south, swinging winds offshore across the Northern Beaches as consistent and strong 10-12ft sets focussed in on Manly.
The only spot really handling all the energy was empty at 8am, but on grabbing some moody photos I spied three paddlers in the mist, taking a very wide line out to the Bombora. This included Jarrad Howse, Brent Symes and Kevin Tucker, followed by one late straggler..
I only hung around for two waves before the rain set in and I had to head to work, but the first ride of Kevin's was late and committed (9’6” Webster, Black Hula), while Jarrad's menacing as it peaked up but more of a shoulder ride as the surfers were still trying to find their position.
Below I've also attached some footage of rides seen through the morning, unknown on the first and Brent Symes on the second bigger bomb (first vid).