Craig Holden reports a strong wind change has brought an end to calm swimming conditions at local beaches but conditions might be okay for surfers.
The past week has certainly delivered some outstanding weather for beachgoers.
It's been very warm with only light winds, which has certainly had our local beaches looking their pristine best.
All changed yesterday unfortunately, with a strong south-east wind change moving into the region through the day and kicking into overdrive overnight.
In a nutshell the next few days are going to be very windy, with the chance of showers through today and tomorrow as well.
Today brings us a strong wind warning with E/SE winds forecast at 25 to 30 knots, so don’t bother with the beach umbrella or gazebo at the beach.
Tomorrow is looking very similar too, with E/SE winds at 20 to 25 knots and perhaps gusting stronger as well through the afternoon, while Sunday will bring a slight respite as the winds ease back to around 20 knots but gust to 25 knots.
Swimming conditions across our local beaches were unbelievably good up until yesterday, but I can't say the same for the next few days unless you can find a sheltered and protected location. Hervey Bay would probably be the only one.
The ocean will be very choppy and messy today and across the weekend, particularly on the open and exposed beaches, with a strong side current or sweep running along most beaches from right to left as well, so swimmers will need to be cautious.
Morning high tide heights are also on the increase over the next six or seven days as well, so there will be strong tidal currents and more so around those creek and river mouths.
The best time for a swim over the coming days will be in the very early mornings while the tide is still high and hopefully the winds will be slightly less intense, or else around late afternoon at a protected location.
The best beach for swimmers over the coming days will be Hervey Bay, but outside of that, Agnes Water (southern corner) will be okay although the predicted increase in wave heights will mean there will no doubt be surfers everywhere as well.
Locally, perhaps Nielson Park and Moore Park Beach could provide slightly better conditions for swimmers.
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: Weekdays – 8am to 6pm at Kellys Beach, Nielson Park and Agnes Water; 9am to 5pm at Elliott Heads, Oaks Beach and Moore Park Beach plus a roving lifeguard operating in the Bundaberg Region.
Saturday and Sunday – 8am to 6pm at Elliott Heads, Kellys Beach, Nielson Park, Oaks Beach, Moore Park Beach and Agnes Water, plus a roving lifeguard operating in the Bundaberg Region.
Early morning RWC surveillance patrols are also operating each morning around the Bargara and Mon Repos areas – with times of operation being from 6am to 8am or 9am, depending on the day of the week.
Surfing: The ocean has been pretty flat and calm for the most-part this week, but this strong SE wind change should quickly start to change things and hopefully whip up plenty of messy, but fun-sized waves from today onwards.
For best results try the very early mornings or again from mid to late afternoon on the local beaches, with Nielson Park, Mon Repos and Moore Park likely to be the better options.
Agnes Water should also be slightly better over the coming days if you are keen for a drive (and battling the holiday crowds). Good luck!
For the more experienced SUP and ocean ski/kayak paddlers, there will be plenty of opportunity for some rapid, ocean down-wind paddling today and on the weekend – provided you are paddling from south to north!
So once again, the protected waterways, creeks and rivers will be the better options for those less-experienced paddlers!
- Recent report: Cool temps before conditions calm for Christmas swim