The surf had been solid for weeks now and we wanted to get away from the Gold Coast for a bit and find some different waves. While perfect point breaks are always on the top of the list, sometimes a wave that keeps you on your toes can be much more rewarding. There are many types of waves in Australia and reef slabs are all over this surf blessed country. Reefs come in all shapes and sizes and can bend and transform waves into all kinds of different forms. In this case the shape was round, sometimes almost square and somewhat below sea level. It wasn’t the biggest day but there were a few on offer and Asher Pacey and Josh Kerr traded barrels for an hour before the tide turned and the waves turned off.
“The loss of Kirra Point has been caused by an excessive build-up of sand that has been pumped and dredged into Coolangatta Bay over the past 12 years. In this time there have been relatively low levels of storm activity and the sand has not naturally made its way north at the same speed at which it was placed in the bay.
An increase in the level of sand in the bay by 3–4 metres on average has resulted in a significant widening of the beaches – in some cases by over 150m, the loss of surf quality, an increase in rips which has made swimming more dangerous and the loss of Kirra Reef. The reef, which is located at the northern extent of the temperate marine zone and the southern extent of the tropical marine zone supported a diverse range of marine species.”
Although Kirra looks nothing like its former self, it can still produce fun waves with a barrel or two on offer. With the swell up a bit Asher and Kerrzy gave good old Kirra a go and found some clean long lines and a very light crowd. After all the rain from the previous storm the water was far from the usual topaz blue making Kirra look a lot like California or anywhere else but the gold Coast for that matter.
Here is a wallpaper with photos from the Gold Coast Australia. The ocean was alive with surf and there was no shortage of barrels. The shot on top is classic Greenmount wrapping it’s way in to Kirra. The photos in the bottom right is through a rearview mirror, sometimes you can find interesting views of waves through simple reflections. The bottom left photo is from the bluff looking into a random right on a mostly lefthand wave. 1280 X 960 wallpaper 1024 X 768 wallpaper
Sand is of the up most importance to the many world class points on the Gold Coast and during the summer and fall months the sand bars can take quite a beating and change drastically. We witnessed such a change when one of the biggest storms to hit the region in decades came ashore and demolished the sand bars. We were lucky enough to get a few days before the sand was displaced and the wave know as Snapper Rocks disappeared completely only to turn into a mushy close out for months before the sand would regroup. Although this wasn’t classic Snapper, it was the one of the last days it would resemble anything of its normal shape for the months to come. Asher Pacey, Mick Fanning, Dean Morrison and friends took full advantage of the dark barrels before the storm hit and the sand disappeared.
Every now and again a day rolls around where you find yourself in the right place at the right time. In Asher Pacey’s case these days seem to be more often than not and this day was no exception. The swell had swung just the right direction for a few out of the way places to potentially light up. We took the gamble and it payed off in the form of a near perfect right peeling around a rock ledge with multiple tube sections on offer. These are the days everyone lives for, just you and the ocean and the clarity that comes with solitude.
Australia’s waters contain all five of the world’s ocean temperature zones: polar, sub-polar, temperate, subtropical and tropical. Luckily for us, we found ourselves in a subtropical zone with comfortable water and air temps. Generally Australia is a relatively dry continent, however prior to our arrival they had seen months of torrential rains along the East Coast, particularly in Queensland and Northern NSW. Another generalization is crystal clear blue water. This was not the case after so much rain and flooding. Most of the line ups closely resembled a Mexican beach break rather than the pristine swimming pool colors you so often will see. With the rain came very green landscape, tons of mosquitoes and lots of silty run-off, oh yea and a few sneaky sandbars as well.
Day 5 : The waves were pumping for the first four days and Asher had already locked into many dozens of filthy dark caverns of moving water. Just when we were ready for a rest we happened upon a fickle gem of a left point. It takes a lot for the sand to line up correctly but on this day all the stars aligned and with no rivers or inlets for miles in either direction the water color was an impressive emerald green. Knowing that these days are few and far between, Asher spent nearly seven hours in the water and mostly in the tube hiding from the glaring sun.
PORTS® stands for Physical Oceanographic Real Time System. NOAA PORTS® is an information system that measures and disseminates the oceanographic and meteorological data that mariners need to navigate safely. Continue reading →