Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Coal Ship Runs Aground Richards Bay

Smart Shipwreck off Alkantstrand Richards Bay. Pic M Mersham
A large 230m ship called 'Smart' caring coal has run aground just north of the main surfing beach at Alkanstrand in Richards Bay. With the large swell yesterday the ship had already caused a beautiful A-frame peak. Maybe this is Richards Bays version of the Seli??

The 'Smart' broken in half.
The long ship has broken about two thirds down, and does not look like it is going to be easy to remove. Being in the bay we can only hope that the salvage guys get out there and remove all the fuel oil and other potential pollutants before Richards Bay lands up with a serious environmental disaster.

If all works out well there is potential for Richards Bay to add to its already great surf spots. I can already see some crackers forming on the next cyclone swell.

If you know any more details please post a comment below.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Daga Salmon are Here

Grant Powell - 44kg Daga Salmon
Over the last 2 weeks a number of Daga have either been seen or shot off the North Coast. Many of them in very shallow water while the guys have been hunting Garrick. One of the best fish so far has been Grant Powell"s 44kg beast of a Daga shot off Umhlanga. This pic did its rounds last week on social media and caused quiet a stur.

Here is a short account of this epic catch by Grant:

My biggest fish ever!
Saturday, 27th July, at about 8am. I Swam in off Umhlanga, off the shore, super close to my house. I was out with a mate, Andy Zwiers, we were only in for about 30 minutes in total.

Conditions were pretty good vis about 6m. We swam out to my usual spot, but today since the water was a bit cleaner I saw I reef a bit further out, and swam onto it. Thought I saw something behind the reef, but was black so had to swim down to check it out. There 4 of these beasts were chilling! Slowly moving off, one was clearly the biggest. I had two guns in my hand, a 900mm and 1200mm with 18mm & 20mm rubber, both Rob Allen. So I lined up the big guy and as I was about to shoot I reckon, wait they in no rush, let me try get 2. So I lined up the Big one with my gun in my right hand, and the smaller one (Probably about 35kg) with the gun in my left hand, then shot at the same time. Swam to the surface thinking I had gotten both.

Unfortunately those things have like massive plates for scales and the smaller guy somehow wasn’t on the end of my gun when I got to the surface. I was more concerned about the big guy anyway, I shot him good but my spear didn't even go straight through it was so fat! He hardly noticed I had shot him, and just cruised slowly away like nothing happened, then suddenly realizing and towing me off with him... After about 5minutes of being towed around I decided to reload my other gun (which was no easy feat) to give him another securing shot. Plugged him and he stopped swimming...

I decided to hot foot it out of there before the sharks got a whiff...  so stoked!!! It was quite a swim in gripping a 44kg fish and trying to swim! I didnt want sharks to come so was trying to rush. Gripped it in the bottom of the gills and swam. He was still slightly alive so every now and then he would try breathe almost crushing my hand. Lucky I didn't get smoked by any waves.

When I got out, I couldn't believe it, neither could the o’s on the beach! For the next few hours between being very STOKED it was photo’s, weighing and trying to figure out what to do with this beast. In the end decided to give most of it away to the local fishermen and my dive buddy Andy, ended up with less than half, but at least it fitted in my freezer ready for an awesome fish braai and camp fire stories.
Campfire stories for sure ... fish like these fuel fires for years, well done :-)


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Waves , Glass and Broken Locks.

My son Braidy getting pitted.
This past week had some great waves, we had almost given up hope that we would have any memorable days surfing this winter. My highlight was getting my lighty on film in an insane throaty barrel. We snuck in for a quick hour before school and got some crazy waves. In hind sight we probably should have bunked and spent another hour in the water. I just don't know if we will get a day like this again this winter.

But its not all roses. My car got broken into the next day at Bog, they smashed a window and broke the drivers door lock and the rear canopy lock trying to get in. All they got was a cell phone, but the damage cost and hassle of fixing the car is ridiculous.

The car breakins and thefts along the surfing spots is insane. In July alone 4 surfers cars were stolen and many have been broken into and fleeced. It seems that none of the parkings are safe, even the ones in the open with car guards!! Worst thing is that the police do nothing in response and there is even speculation that there is on group of cops that are in on the whole thing. So if this is true between the corrupt cops and dodgy alcoholic car guards we are pretty screwed!!

We need some solutions people!!