|Will the rain ever stop? Find out by visiting a weather website|
I'd love to live within walking distance of a beach in Sydney.
Fancy waking up every day and strolling down to the beach for a swim before work. I envy the lucky buggers who can do it.
For me the beach is, on a good traffic day, a 40 minute drive with the eastern suburbs and northern beaches being a similar distance (maybe east is a bit closer, say, 30 minutes sans traffic).
If I plan to do an ocean swim, I like to check out the conditions via my friend Mrs Loveachat, who lives near the beach at Mona Vale on the 'insular peninsular'*. But Mrs Loveachat doesn't have a handle on what's happening at the other beaches so I check out websites to help me gain an overview.
I thought you might like the links to a couple of the useful sites I've discovered since I started ocean swimming. My daughter The Hiss and partner Spanner love to sail and they introduced me to http://www.seabreeze.com.au/
Seabreeze started out as a resource for kiteboarders down in Victoria but has expanded so it now gives weather statistics nationally. I use the seven day wind and wave forecast to keep an eye on wave height.
Another great site is http://www.willyweather.com.au/nsw.html
There's lots to look at on this site. Willy Weather gets stuff from the Bureau of Meteorology and features radar, satellite and synoptic charts (exciting).
Oh dear, Willy Weather predicts rain for the rest of the week and over the weekend. What is going on in Sydney? It's madness. We should be complaining about the sweltering heat. Instead, we're all wearing jumpers and carrying brollies.
I'M OVER IT. I WANT TO WHINGE ABOUT THE ENERVATING HEAT AND LIE IN BED AT NIGHT WITH A TRILLION MOSQUITOES BUZZING AROUND MY EARLOBES. I HAVE ONLY SEEN TWO FLIES SO FAR THIS SUMMER. IT'S NOT NATURAL. IT'S UN-ORSTRAILEEAN.
The other site I love is http://www.coastalwatch.com/
Coastalwatch is designed specifically for surfers but anyone involved in water sports will find it informative. I love the surfcams so I can see what's happening in real time at beaches across Australia. I use it to check out beaches from Bondi to Palmy. I can even look at Sydney Harbour. Have a squizz: http://www.coastalwatch.com/camera/cameras_large.aspx?cam=3700&state=NSW&t=11:34:12%20AM&camName=Sydney%20Harbour How cool is that? The surf reports are written by enthusiasts who obviously have insider information.
Finally, where would I be without http://www.oceanswims.com/
This is where I head for all the news and gossip on ocean swims locally, nationally and overseas. It's an excellent resource, created by one of those boofy blokes you often see on the beach who was baptised in salt water and can read the ocean at a glance.
There's a swim at Manly this Sunday. I might see you there though Christmas has caught me by surprise and I still have lots to do before December 25.
*Simple explanation of a blinkered mindset: Like 'The Shire' down south, the 'insular peninsular' up north is named so because its inhabitants tend to view their slice of heaven as being superior to the rest of Sydney. It's parochialism on a micro scale. Could that then be parochialism within parochialism? It devolves into itself... hey, I could do a PhD on this topic and rant on for 80,000 words about life in the 'burbs. I take no responsibility for this opinion. This is how it is.