Craig Holden takes a look at the beach conditions ahead of the Christmas long weekend, with Christmas Day tomorrow and residents and visitors set to enjoy a four day long weekend.
Historically, the week between Christmas and New Year is one of the busiest times of the year on our local beaches, but this will of course be weather dependant.
It has been a very warm and muggy week just gone, with plenty of sunshine and plenty of sensational beach conditions too, but looking ahead to the long weekend, the early forecast suggests there might be some overcast skies and rainy days coming our way, with perhaps Sunday to Tuesday potentially being the days where showers are more likely.
Aside from the chance of showers though, the wind forecast is looking a little more promising, so the ocean conditions should not be too bad for swimmers.
This morning will once again bring super-light N/NE winds at only 5 to 10 knots before they increase through the late afternoon to just over 10 knots.
Christmas Day will then bring E/SE to N/NE winds at around 10 knots for most of the day before they increase to 10 to 15 knots by late afternoon.
Then for the remainder of the long weekend, the early forecast suggests we are in for E/SE to E/NE to N/NE Winds at around 10 to 15 knots.
The swimming conditions have been very good this past week, with plenty of gentle ocean conditions, and even the water clarity has been improving rapidly.
There still have been some Catostylus (Blubber) jellyfish about, but numbers have been decreasing, which is pleasing.
For the Christmas Long Weekend, the message for swimmers and beachgoers will certainly be to check the sky, as showers are predicted from tomorrow onwards, but aside from that, the ocean should remain mostly OK for swimmers with slightly choppy conditions expected through the afternoons.
The best times for a swim will either be in the very early mornings while the winds are light, or again from late morning through until mid-afternoon when the tide is high.
All beaches should be quite OK through the early mornings, but through the afternoons when those winds are a little stronger from the NE, beaches such as Kelly’s Beach and Elliott Heads will be the better options.
Please check with the Lifesavers or Lifeguard 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!
Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday – 8.00am to 6.00pm at Elliott Heads, Kelly’s Beach, Nielson Park, Oaks Beach, Moore Park Beach & Agnes Water, PLUS a Roving Lifeguard across the Bundaberg Region; ALSO Early Morning RWC Surveillance Patrols operate from 6.00am around the Bargara and Mon Repos areas.
Weekdays (Non-Public Holidays) – 9.00am to 5.00pm at Elliott Heads, Kelly’s Beach, Nielson Park, Oaks Beach, Moore Park Beach & Agnes Water, PLUS a Roving Lifeguard across the Bundaberg Region; ALSO Early Morning RWC Surveillance Patrols operate from 6.00am around the Bargara and Mon Repos areas.
Please Note – some beaches and services may have longer hours of patrol.
Once again, there has not been much happening in terms of waves about our local beaches this past week, but there were still a few options for those that found the right location on the right stage of the tide – particularly earlier in the week.
Unfortunately, it does not look like Santa will be bringing much joy for the board-riders either, with the Xmas Long Weekend forecast suggesting that there will only be small waves on offer for the next few days.
Your best chance may be to drag the longboard out early in the morning, or again around mid to late morning, and check out locations such as Kelly’s Beach and Elliott Heads while the winds are more northerly, but also keep in mind Agnes Water, Nielson Park and even Mon Repos or Moore Park while the winds are lighter in the mornings. Good Luck!
For the SUP and ocean-ski paddlers looking for a more relaxed float, you will hopefully find calmer ocean conditions through the very early mornings over the coming days, but the earlier, the better.
For those looking for a downwind paddle, the late afternoons may just provide enough wind for a south to north run.
On behalf of all of the volunteer Surf Lifesavers across the Bundaberg Region, I would like to wish everyone a very Safe and Merry Christmas!
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