Cold with close proximity
We're almost bang on the coldest time of the year in the southern states, as far as water temperatures are concerned. The ocean's high heat capacity means that it takes some time for the ocean to heat up during the summer months and cool down in the winter months. By November we should see the water gradually start to warm, local upwelling incidents notwithstanding.
Right now the Point Nepean waverider buoy (off Victoria's Mornington Peninsula) is recording about fourteen degrees in the drink, which is a little warmer than usual for this time of year - but it only takes ten knots of breeze for the wind chill to slice through thick neoprene. From a surfer's point of view there's just no getting around the cold; achy joints and numb extremities do not make for a pleasant session, no matter how good the waves are.
But you gotta feel for the water photogs too, who spend their time bobbing about instead of paddling around. Surf Coast stalwart Steve Arklay donned the five mil suit during last week's run of swell and captured these great images from close proximity. //BEN MATSON