No bluebottles for the next few days

Posted by: Tanya

No bluebottles for the next few days - 31/12/2001 10:21

The only good thing to come out of the current weather situation is that those pesky bluebottles that invade our shores every nor-easter have been blown off the coast by the strong westerly winds. We had a similar situation of south west to westerly winds a couple of years back. There were hardly any bluebottles whenever a NE wind blew that summer.
I hold a faint optimism for this year although the winds have been westerly over NSW and their strength has not extended up to the QLD area where the bluebottles come from. If these winds had a SW component, then the bluebottle problem would be reduced.
The stray bluebottles we see under this weather situation are ones that are refloating off rockshelves on the king tides of the Christmas period and then coming ashore with light afternoon seabreezes.
It will be interesting to see how long it takes before we get some big bluebottles coming in large number again!
Posted by: ozthunder

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 31/12/2001 22:33

I could be a fair while before we see Blue Bottles again.

What is everyones pet Blue Bottle sting cure - after years of surfing I have found only one sure thing - and that is simply to get stung a few times and soldier on. Believe it or not after a few stings you seem to actually become immune, I'm serious.
Posted by: Blizzard

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 01/01/2002 17:48

That's about the Best one Oz, I'd say. Just soldier on. Although there was a time when I got multiple stingers wrapped around me and it was pretty hard to soldier on that day.
Posted by: pingtang

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 01/01/2002 22:47

Well I try not to get stung in the first place.

You will usually find blue-bottles during on-shores,and thats when the surf conditions are rather pathetic anyway.

I do most of my surfing in winter,and if I go for a surf in summer,it will most likely be at 4:00AM,when the winds are most likely to be favourable for a surf.Usually,if I surf at Redsands(shellharbour),im more worried about the reef rather than blue-bottles.

if im walking along the beach,I always try and keep aware of blue-bottles.Prevention is the way to go.
Posted by: Beltane

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 02/01/2002 20:50

The westerly winds have pushed back the appearance of bluebottles for the moment. At North Narrabeen, none have been sighted for the past 2 weeks but they will be back. Many years ago a surfer at South Maroubra swallowed a bluebottle and was in a serious condition at the Prince of Wales Hospital for a short time. The only thing I know that reduces the stinging is an application of either vinegar or Tiger Balm.
Posted by: ozthunder

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 19/01/2002 21:26

Hi Ping tang, Good old Redsands !! I am 45 now, but up until I was in my early thirties I used to surf it whenever it worked.

I used to ride a kneeboard. In 1986 I actually broke my shoulder going left at Redsands. This was without hitting the reef. The wave was about 8ft and the bottom just fell out of the wave, somehow I fell from the lip and hit the water back first arms out a nano second before the lip came down. It came down just on one arm and practically tore it from the socket-- well actually I did tore it from the socket, the arm dislocated, stretching the tendons, the tendons did not snap, but the bone they where attached to did. To complicate everything the broken bone wenr into the shoulder joint affectively crippling me. The goods news was an operation a few weeks later fixed everything fine.

I first surfed Redsands back in 1970 something, possibly 75-76, we used to get it by ourselves. In those days you could park your car on the hill overlooking reddies.

I have scores of stories about it.

I remember seeing one guy go out with no wettie, he thought it was a sandbank. He was plastered back first onto the reef on his first wave. His back looked like a Pizza. Never saw him again.
Posted by: pingtang

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 20/01/2002 17:09

Gday ozthunder.

I have been surfing at Redsands for about 2 years now,and since then the wave has become one of my favourites.Alot of my surfs here have actually been completely un-crowded.

My best surf there,was during that clean 5 metre swell that occured on July 6-july 9 last year.The waves out there that day were incredible.

The sets were about double-head,and there was a light to moderate breeze coming in from the west.The barrels were huge,and as you can imagine there were injurys.One bloke broke his coller-bone,some-ones face got lacerated severly,there were burst eardrums,some-one sparained his ankle,and another got a sea urchant through his foot.There were pro bodyboarders out there going left,on 3-4metre waves eek I was only going right,and picking off the more peaky ones,which didnt threaten to close out.

I am not suprised that you broke your shoulder at Redsands.The wave can punish you,even on the smaller days.They say that SE swells are best.If the swell is E or NE,it can be a little more dodgy with more close-outs.I dont like close-outs at redsands.
Posted by: ozthunder

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 20/01/2002 20:22

Hi Ping Tang, the advice you got about swell direction is spot on. Even though it is somewhat protected from a SE swell, it does line up better. A cyclone swell just refuses to peak, although you can get some monsters on the bowl section.

The largest swell I saw there was many, many years ago, probably 1979-1980. We pulled up overlooking the reef ( like you could in those days ). We knew the swell was huge as every other break in Shellharbour, including shallows was out of control. There was a huge crowd watching and we saw a couple of 10-12ft waves, this made us a bit nervous as that is pretty much as big as we wanted it. But we started pulling on our wetsuits.

Half way through changing this monster set appeared. It was huge, the 6 or so guys out at Redsands started paddling in a NE direction for their lives. No chance, the first set wave broke about 200m clear off the back of the reef and cleaned up everyone. The next wave was even bigger, I swear it was 20ft plus, the biggest wave I have ever seen in Australia with guys in the water. You can guess we put our wetsuits back in the car.

Even though I have surfed Redsands perhaps 200-300 times, it is not my favourite wave. Windang Island is by far my favourite.
Posted by: Adiabatic

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 20/01/2002 22:23

We saw a few on our trip around the Malua Bay and Mckenzie's Beach region on the south coast. I did not know they can that far south.

4 SEASONS laugh
Posted by: pingtang

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 20/01/2002 23:25

Hi Ozthunder

That 20FT clean-up set at Redsands sounds really bad.If you got off the main reef and into deep water,you might have been OK,but I dont want to think about the concequences if you were caught on the shallow reef with that set looming up on you.If the Shallows is out of control,then that must of been one huge swell.
I went surfing with a friend at the boneyard in Kiama,on the July swell as well.It was massive out there,but the clean-up sets were breaking in deep water.I got a few great photos of Boneyard that day.The sets were triple-head or about 15-18FT faces.There was nobody out there,so I guess I was a little keen.

Redsands isnt my favourite wave,but I really do enjoy it.I have yet to surf at Windang Island.I should go out there sometime.Another enjoyable wave around Shellharbour is Cowries.
Posted by: ozthunder

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 22/01/2002 18:41

Cowries was a love / hate relationship. I used to love the wave, but hated the crowds. The locals tend to wire the takeoff zone, affectively leaving you on the shoulder unless you adopted the same agressive tactics. One day I really had had enough, so everytime somebody paddled inside me I paddled inside them. The game became so ridiculous that we were practically on bare reef. I even said to one guy that if I were to stand and walk up onto the rocks would he still have to position inside me.

The Boneyard pictures sound great, never surfed the Boneyard that much, a E/NE swell here is the go, as the SE tends to push across into deep water.

You have to surf Windang Island. On its day it is a class act. It is a world class wave. At 6-10ft on a NE swell at low tide it is magic. The only hassle is the crowds, 40 out is not unusual, although there are several takeoff zones therefore the crowd is strung out. When it was on I used to go out about an hour or two before sunset. The crowds would thin out around sunset and you could get 30 mins with just a handful. Another advantage is that it is an extremely long wave, therefore after the opposition catches a wave you will not have to contend with them for up to 5-10 minutes as they take the long paddle back out.
Posted by: pingtang

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 23/01/2002 17:29

hmmm,6-10FT NE swells are pretty rare.We usually only get those sort of swells from strong Cyclones in the coral sea.How big a wave could Windang Island hold,and what winds does it prefer.
The wave sounds excellent,and I will surf there for sure.

Last time I checked Cowries,there were 20 people out.As you are aware,the take-off area is very small,so 20 people is alot of people.It was actually quite ridiculous,and there were alot of heavy poundings.I have had a few surfs there without crowds,but this is at 5:00AM in the morning.The crowds arnt too bad further down the coast,but Aussie Pipe can get ridiculously crowded on good days.
Posted by: ozthunder

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 25/01/2002 21:34

According to stories in the early seventies Windang Island was surfed at 20ft plus. If the swell is clean it will hold this size and bigger with ease. I have been out when it was a consistent 10-12ft cyclone swell and it held that size easily. We just don't seem to get the cyclones off Queensland that we did 25-30 years ago. Pretty scary looking down from the top of a 12ft wave.When it gets this big you also get a strong slipstream type wind just behind the wave. Windang Island despite the size and lore is actually are very safe wave. It breaks in a sensible amount of water and if you get caught inside you simply get washed down the lineup, eventually into deep water. The price for the safety is Windang Island is not a tube riders wave. It is a fast long wall, don't let the lack of tubes put you off, the wave is the most workable I know. It's very long.

Foot for foot Cowries is the most dangerous wave in my thinking, even hairier than Redsands.

Have you ever surfed Port Kembla reef, that is another good wave on its day, but can be dangerous if you lose it on takeoff as there is a huge boulder 10 metres in front of takeoff called 'big charlie'. Once clear of the rock the wave is much safer.
Posted by: pingtang

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 25/01/2002 22:33

I have never surfed any breaks in the Illawarra north of Cowries.The majority of my surfs occur around the Gerringong,shoalhaven heads,Culburra,Currarong reigons.I go down to Ulladulla quite often to surf at the Golf-Course reef,and I dont mind surfing at Green Island,and Aussie Pipe.Next time I go up North,I will consider checking out the spots around Wollongong.I might take advantage of it while the petrol is cheap(72.9).

Unfortunaly because I live in Nowra,I dont usually surf during the week.Most of my surfing occurs during week-ends.I sometimes catch the train up to Dunmore,and walk to Redsands via the quarry.If I want to surf further north,I will have to drive up,as the train travels away from the coast after Dunmore.

Tomorrow(saturday),I will probrably go surfing around Culburra.I know a spot,which is offshore in Easterlys but can pick any swell which comes from the North.There should be some swell tomorrow,but most spots will be messy because of the onshore Easterlys.

So have you surfed much,further down the South Coast?
Posted by: ozthunder

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 26/01/2002 13:58

Starting with some of the breaks you know. Chips at Geroa is a minture Windang Island. The wave is very similar in the way it lines up. The big difference is Windang Island holds bigger, is much longer and the wall stretches further.

Tried to surf the Bombora off Geroa once too, that ended up an extreme exercise session with 1 wave. You could not win, one set would bowl down the point and batter hell out of you, the next would come off the reef and do the same except push you back into the break zone of the point.

Down the coast you cannot beat Merimbula Rivermouth, even at 2ft it is surfable. I suppose it depends on the sandbars but at 4-6ft with perfect wind and swell you will be pushing to find a better sandbar break anywhere in the world. At the other end of the bay is Pambula Rivermouth, not as easy to surf as Merimbula and nowhere near as long, but good on its day. Merimbula works on NE winds, and Pambula on SE winds.

I have surfed pipe a couple of times, but the crowds can put one off. Green Island is as you mention a top little spot, so to is Bendalong Beach, there used to be a permanent gutter in the middle of the beach with peaks either side, don't know whether it still exists.

Moruya Breakwall ( on the Broulee side of the river ) used to have a great bank to, but this was 20 years ago. We used to camp right next to beach and have roaring fire and wake the next morning and get stuck into the waves.

Betweem Narooma and Tarthra, amd again from Tarthra to Merimbula there are some secret spots. I have names like Bunga Point, but have not surfed it.
Posted by: pingtang

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 26/01/2002 23:15

Hi Ozthunder,

I had a look at your home-page,and I have to say its pretty good.On the bottom left hand corner of your home-page,there is a link which says surfing.It takes you to a site called Illawarra surf spots.I found great photos and info,about Redsands,Windang Island,and all of the other good breaks around the Illawarra.Windang Island looked very good.Did you design this site?

[ 26-01-2002: Message edited by: pingtang ]
Posted by: ozthunder

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 29/01/2002 21:05

Thanks Pingtang. The site you refer to is

I have had this site for many years, although I have revamped somewhat.

I would say at least 1996 or earlier.

Do you like the cowries picture

This day was 12-15ft and there was only 2 guys out. I wonder why ? Sure as hell it was beyond my limitations, even at my prime you would not get me out at 10ft -15ft Cowries.
Posted by: pingtang

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 31/01/2002 13:56

Yeah,you have a great collection of photos,including the Cowies photo.You have some nice Redsands shots as well!

It must of been hard to get out the back that day,at Cowries.It looks huge,and dangerous.It would have been very physical thats for sure.
I have been to Redsands in all sorts of swells including NE swells.You just have to have your wits about you and choose the correct sort of wave.I went out to Redsands on that 5 metre east swell.It was hard to get out,and even the boat-ramp had some Head-high sets.Tomorrow I might be heading up to the Boneyard,because the NE swell is still lingering on.

I am starting to get a nice collection of surfing photos at the moment.I have got some great shots of 5 metre Boneyards,Aussie Pipe,Lobster Bay at Currarong,and Dolphin Point down at Ulladulla.I also have a few nice shots of Backdoor,in Gerroa.If I could show you these shots,I would but I dont have a scanner.

All of these shots have been taken with a disposable under-water camera.I must get a decent camera one day.
Posted by: ozthunder

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 05/02/2002 21:59

Lobster Bay, Currawong, now there is a place I haven't even heard of....tell me more ?
Posted by: pingtang

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 05/02/2002 22:39

Lobster bay,is quite simular to Redsands,but it breaks 10 metres in front of a dry rock island.It is a pretty quick wave,and the end section breaks very close to dry boulders.You get about a 40 metre ride,which is all barrel.I would say it is more dangerous than Redsands,mainly because the take-off(and the whole wave) is particulary close to the rocks.If you dont make a section,then you have to bail.You cant straighten out,otherwise your on the rocks.I have seen numerous injurys out here before.It is pretty dangerous,thats for sure.I have been out at Lobster at about 2-3 metres,but I have seen people surf it at 3-4metres.If you get caught inside when its that big,youll be very worried thats for sure.

You have to walk about a kilometre through bushland to get to the place.The bush eventually opens up,and you can see the island.If you want to check it properly,then you have to swim out to the island.It sounds isolated,but I can assure you it can get crowded.Experienced surfers only.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 06/02/2002 10:52

Ozthunder.....I've been reading your site for years! Legend. Alot of surfers use it. Top stuff.
Posted by: pingtang

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 14/11/2002 23:12

Well its nearly summer,so I'll bring up the subject of blue-bottles again.

Lately we have had pretty strong N/NE winds.I have noticed that some blue bottles have started to come in.Usually they hit our beaches earlier than this,but the sea surface temperatures have been un-usually cold lately.Things are just starting to warm up in the water,and its probrably 18C now.They probrably drift around out to sea where the sea-surface temperature is warmer.Then a NE wind just blows them in.Hopefully we dont get tons of the things this year.
Posted by: ThD Ht

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 13/12/2002 23:30

is the bluebottle the same as the man-o-war?

TH laugh
Posted by: pingtang

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 14/12/2002 14:41

Originally posted by Thunda Hunta:
is the bluebottle the same as the man-o-war?

TH laugh
Yeah I think so.

I had to dodge a few blue-bottles in the surf the other day.I came with half a metre of getting stung.The NE winds are sending the blue-bottles in now.You can see heaps of the on the high tide mark of the beach.
Posted by: Stephen-wx

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 15/12/2002 17:26

Hi Pingtang and Ozthunder, What is your opinion on the the farm also known by the tourists as Killalea beach,

My dad used to take us to there before there was even a proper road and you could park right down next to the spot known as the alley. It used to be my fave break with sometimes nice hollow barrels and some nice rides, most memorable was body boarding the alley in about 8 foot plus waves with 14 - 16 foot faces on the waves, was hollow as and very fast,

Beauty part is cos its a beach break you don't get hammered into any reef and also with the way the waves were they were clearing the rocks by a mile.
Posted by: pingtang

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 15/12/2002 18:39

Hello Lightning chaser,

I have been to the farm about 3 times.I usually stick to the reefs though,as they're heavier.

I have found that The Farm is one of the better beaches around.Quite often there are some great banks.Most beaches tend to close-out once it gets to 1-2 metres,but the Farm often seems to hold larger waves to 2metres or more.
You can also find a clean wave there in N/NE winds.I personally quite like this spot.Usually I just forget about beaches,and stick to reefs/bommies,but I will go to The Farm again sometime soon.

Maybe Ozthunder will visit this thread sometime in the near future,and give you his opinion of The Farm.From what I can remember,I think he liked Windang Island the best.

Posted by: Stephen-wx

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 15/12/2002 18:52

Yeah I noticed he mentioned windang island. I have been there a few times its not bad but what deterred me was i almost got bitten by a wobbegong and then a shark of some sort charged at me out there. I would never go back there after that. I love my beach breaks and have surfed reefs on occasion, Shallows and the Boneyard are my two favourite reefies.

The farm will always be my fave break and yes it holds very well in large swell specially on a nor'easterly.

I have been out redsands a couple of times it was fun but not my cup of tea and as for cowries forget that its way too touristy.
Posted by: pingtang

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 15/12/2002 19:06

Yeah ive surfed at the Boneyard on numerous occasions,and ive surfed the Shallows once.

The surf I had at the Shallows wasnt that good though.It was only 1-1.5metres out there.I read on Ozthunders site,that the Shallows gets better as it gets bigger.
Ive had a few great surfs at the Boneyard.I went there during last years 5metre July Swell.It was triple overhead +,offshore,and there was no-one out.I have had other great surfs there during large NE swells.I have learnt that the Boneyard prefers E or NE swells.You can surf there on large S swells,but most of the waves break to the side of the reef into deeper water.

Redsands is a great wave,but some people just dont like it.I dont blame them too.
It can get super dodgy especially on NE swells.
It breaks into the very shallow reef.Mistakes can cost you.
I was out there in July 01',when it was 4metres.You could have driven a truck into the barrels I swear.

Other waves I like include,Boat Harbour(gerringong),Aussie Pipe,Taboo(sussex inlet),Guillotines and no toes(bawley Point),Golf Corse Reef(Ulladulla),Callala(Jervis Bay,when its big),and Lobster Rock(Currarong).

Sorry I can stop talking about the surf. laugh

Posted by: Stephen-wx

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 15/12/2002 19:30

Aussie pipe and callala bring back memories lol some fun was had down there.

yeah shallows is great in large swells except when waves break out further and you have to go through white water. I have been out there in 8 to 10 foot and you could have driven buses through the barrels as it was blowing offshore after a huge low pressure system and it was so hollow and awesome, big faces like 20 feet high on some of the waves, a few rogue waves broke further out the back and i almost drowned when i screwed up a duck dive on one of them but luckily i had a bikini clad chicky (one of my ex girlfriends) help me out.

shallows is fun though if you get wiped out the reef has plenty of huge urchins in it and i can tell you this cos i have snorkelled around it on a flat day with some friends and its not as deep as you think.
Posted by: pingtang

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 15/12/2002 22:27

I havent seen the Shallows over 2 metres.
It always appears to be pretty full out there with little or no barrels.Like I said,ive only seen it small here.I know it would be a different story,when its huge.

I dont really head up to Shellharbour that often.I will have to check it on a large NE swell with S/SW winds.Then I may see the Shallows in action.

I normually go down south to Bawley Point.
Its such a good wave,that I dont mind travelling 100kms at 3am to surf it.It can hold huge waves to 6 metres.
Posted by: Overshoot

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 16/12/2002 19:38

Avoca was perfect today. I was in just boardies and it was very pleasant!!! laugh I could've stayed in all day easily! laugh
Posted by: pingtang

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 16/12/2002 22:28

Hello Overshoot,

It was certaintly a nice day to be at the beach.There was a little bit of swell about too.
The water temp is warming up nicely now,so now I think boardies are the way to go.Not at 4:30AM in the morning though.

Posted by: Overshoot

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 17/12/2002 19:08

Well it was flat as a tac on the central coast yesterday! I'll be down at Mollymook in the new year, down your way! smile Even then, down there, I still use a springer. You really notice that 2-3 degrees!
Posted by: pingtang

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 17/12/2002 22:36

Mollymook is a very nice area.I hope you enjoy it when you come down this way.The water is about 18C,but it has been warming up.A springy would be a good idea though. smile
Posted by: Overshoot

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 18/12/2002 01:08

Thanks PT, Mollymook has been an annual migration for my family for the last 5 years or so. We like it because it's quite underdeveloped. smile Actually, the whole extended family comes down pretty much and we occupy an entire stairwell in a block of units. It is always eagerly anticipated by the kids (like myself), as it's often the only times we see our cousins from Melbourne, Parkes and Sydney (of course, I'm the Sydney contingent). smile
Posted by: pingtang

Re: No bluebottles for the next few days - 24/12/2002 10:44

Hello overshoot,

I went surfing yesterday up in Gerringong,and the water was freezing.I had a 3mm thick steamer on,and I was still getting cold.I am estimating that the water was 14-15C.I went for another surf near Nowra,and the water was abit warmer at 17C.(still cold though for this time of year).
It could be a different story at Mollymook though.