LifestyleBe alert for algae and bluebottles at local beaches

Be alert for algae and bluebottles at local beaches

best time for a swim
Craig Holden says the best time for a swim this weekend will be either in very early in the morning or mid-afternoon when the tide is high.

Swimmers are advised to be alert for algae and bluebottles at local beaches this weekend, writes Craig Holden in his weekly beach report.

Important note: Remember there are updated COVID-19 restrictions, if you are at the beach, please maintain the social/physical distancing minimum guidelines and abide by the current group gathering guidelines as well.

Weather: It has been another warm and dry week across the local region, with more warm days and mostly light to moderate winds for the most part and just the one breezy day on Tuesday.

Looking ahead to the weekend and we look set to have more warm, dry days, despite the lingering threat of thunderstorms, with an increase in northerly winds set to arrive from Saturday – but the chance of showers and thunderstorms will increase from Sunday onwards, so keep an eye on the sky before planning your beach trip.

The winds on Friday will continue from the E/NE to N/NE at only around 10 to 15 knots, before Saturday brings an increase in wind strength, with N/NE winds forecast at 10 to 15 knots early but then turning more ortherly at 15 to 20 knots from late morning onwards.

Sunday will then bring N/NW to N/NE winds at 10 to 15 knots, although they will gust a little stronger at times.

Swimming: Swimming conditions should remain mostly good on Friday, with just a slight increase in choppy conditions expected through this afternoon, and similar again early Saturday morning.

However, by noon Saturday onwards, we'll see those choppy and sloppy conditions start to become more prevalent and particularly so on those beaches that face in a more northerly direction.

As these northerly winds increase, there will also be an increased sweep/current to the south across all beaches as well, so please be mindful of this when swimming.

The best time for a swim will be either in the very early mornings, or again around mid-afternoon while the tide is higher, while the best beaches will certainly be Elliott Heads and Kellys Beach.

Swimmers should also be on alert over the coming days though, with algae (Trichodesmium) being prevalent across some beaches at present, plus there will be a definite increased chance of bluebottles being present over the coming days as well.

So please check with the lifeguard or lifesavers on duty, read any safety signage or messages, and most importantly please swim only at patrolled beaches, only between the red and yellow flags, and only during patrol times. Remember, if we can’t see you, we can’t save you!

Beach patrols: Today and weekdays – 9am to 5pm at Kellys Beach and Agnes Water only.

Saturday – 9am to 5pm at Kellys Beach, Nielson Park, Oaks Beach and Agnes Water; 1pm to 5pm at Elliott Heads and Moore Park Beach.

Sunday – 9am to 5pm at Elliott Heads, Kellys Beach, Nielson Park, Oaks Beach, Moore Park Beach and Agnes Water.

Surfing: It has been a pretty dismal week in terms of surf across all local beaches with very, very small and choppy waves the norm for pretty much the entire week.

And just to rub it in, the weekend forecast is not looking too much better either!

These northerly winds are never favourable for quality surf across our local beaches, so the best we can hope for are small, choppy waves over the coming days.

If you are super keen to get wet and find a wave, then maybe consider hitting Kellys Beach or even Elliott Heads an hour or two either side of the afternoon high tide. Good luck!

For the SUP and ocean ski/kayak paddlers, it is good news if you are keen for some downwind paddling action this weekend, with the increasing northerly winds likely to provide some okay conditions for a north to south downwind paddle on both Saturday and Sunday.

But for those looking for more calm and gentle conditions, you will need to hit the ocean super-early, or else hit the protected rivers and waterways for a more relaxed paddle this weekend.

Events:  Nil.