Notes Tone Unturned
formerly Asia/Pacific Computer Services, closed down at the end of
2013). This is now the PERSONAL website of Tony Austin,
not a business site.
Do not contact me offering to provide business-related services, such
Web Design and SEO, marketing campaigns, or any other such proposal. If you do, you will be billed for wasting my valuable time!
NOTE: These pages are no longer being
The Great Wave off Kanagawa (circa 1829)
OCEANOGRAPHY "A surfing website on a single page"
It just grew and grew, over more than twenty yearrs!
Contact us using
(click this button to call)
"the essential resource for surfers, windsurfers and kitesurfers around the world ...
wave, wind and weather forecasts for over 5900 surf breaks and swell maps for every major surf location."
- Companion site
Get the latest surf reports in Australia and around the world. Founder Ryan Blundell told me on September 2023:
"We are the newest surf forecasting website on the block and since launching just over a year ago we are
already reaching more than 100,000 people every month and we don't hide any information behind any paywalls.?
Surf conditions - Victoria, Australia (home state of
this webmaster) ...
Surf Cams - Note: most of the
surfcams locations below became imoperative suring 2022 (replaced by
The following surf spots are all with an hour or two driving time from Melbourne:
The Wimbledon of surfing - Why it means so much to ring the Bell (The Age - 07 April 2023)
The enduring appeal of Bells Beach ... What makes the Rip Curl Pro so special is its history,
steeped in the sport from the illustrious list of winners to the famed trophy, surfing’s most coveted prize.
“It’s got that really strong history about it, and not only the waves at Bells Beach,
but Torquay was the birthplace of Rip Curl as a surf brand internationally and Quiksilver as a surf brand.”
Western Port not the answer to channel deepening -
"the environmental effects statement for channel deepening in Port Phillip Bay departs seriously from effects statement guidelines in
refusing to consider alternatives. But we do not agree that the "real and genuine" alternatives should include Western Port ..."
The Human Centipede - Snapper Rocks - Total Chaos
(Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia - June 2023 - YouTube video) - The most crowded / busiest wave in the world.
Would you go out in the human centipede to get a wave? ... Is this what surfing is coming to?
The BLUElink Project (Ocean Forecasting Australia) -
Forecasts now available to the public provide information on coastal and ocean currents and eddies, surface and subsurface ocean properties
(such as temperature), that impact and are linked to maritime and commercial operations, defence applications,
safety-at-sea, ecological sustainability, regional and global climate.
>> BLUElink Ocean Forecast Regions
Rottnest Island: Surfing -
"Some of the best surfing conditions in Western Australia are found around Rottnest Island.
Strickland Bay, Salmon Bay and Stark Bay in particular are popular breaks for surfers and bodyboarders."
Bachelor of Science (Surf Science and Technology) -
a three-year full-time or equivalent part-time degree offered by the South West Campus (Bunbury)
provides an opportunity for well-qualified individuals with an interest in surfing
to pursue the scientific and technological aspects of the surfing industry.
At "Shipstern's Bluff" all the slackers broke new ground...
The Ozzy Way Part 1 (Big Wave)[Ed: the Aussie Way, surely] Australia is the only island continent on the planet
surrounded by no less than 3 oceans and 4 major seas, while
as a continent it presents a surfable coastline of epic
proportions. The history of surf culture is written deep in
the heart of this country. But there is special place in Australia where
you can find the ultimate surf thrill. Just a stone's throw
away on the island of Tasmania, 170miles below the southeast
corner of the continent. Known as the "Tasmanian Devil" or
"Man Eater" is what they like to call one of the gnarliest
and thickest big waves on earth.
Taking on the Giant (Shipstern Bluff) -
"I walked into Shipsterns bluff every few months, just to remind myself that it was there,
that yes Mother Nature is indeed boss, and to bask in the amazing natural beauty and energy
that permeates from the area." ... "For a surfer living in Tasmania, to drop into the abyss
of a hissing Shipstern monster and come out at the end unscathed is nothing short of the holy grail." ...
"Bodyboarders and surfers from all around the world come to test themselves on its heaving, icy waves."
(includes video clips)
The Chemistry of Fear -
"Because it's on the very southern area of Tasmania you already feel like you're at the edge of the earth. Then here's these huge
1000 foot cliffs that hang over the place, so the whole place is pretty daunting. At one point in the trail as you're hiking in you
can spot the wave from a mile or so away and it's just amazing. It's so wild and cold, it's like nothing I'd ever experienced
before. The world is just dwarfing you. Once you get out there you find the takeoff zone is only 40-yards in front of these massive
boulders. And you have to take the sets because the smaller ones throw you right up on those rocks. The only thing you have going
for you is the current pulls you away from the rocks into the channel if you're lucky enough to avoid them on your wipeout.
Heavy Swells -
"On 26 August 1982, a light to moderate westerly wind was blowing over
Tasmania, and seas were slight - hardly the conditions for monster
waves. Yet those whose business took them near Tasmania’s south coast
that day observed a rapid and spectacular increase in southwesterly
swell waves in the late morning and afternoon. By mid-afternoon enormous
waves - as high as 15 metres - crashed on to the beaches and rocks
lining the rugged coast between Maatsuyker Island and the Tasman
Peninsula. Waves moved up Frederick Henry Bay and swept over the beach
at Lauderdale (washing most of it away). Even within the sheltered canal
at Lauderdale, the waves still possessed enough power to damage boat ramps and sheds.
Having peaked in the afternoon, the swells declined substantially over the next few
hours, and by next day, little trace remained except for the battered
structures and scoured beaches. The event took no lives and affected few
people: yet the arrival of such large and potentially destructive waves
from a far-off source remains an intriguing feature of our climate, and
one with obvious practical significance for marine and coastal operations."
Surfing is a national pastime — but it has a dirty little secret [sustainable surfboards]
(ABC News - Australian Broadcasting Corporation - 08 March 2020) -
The boards used to catch waves are made from toxic, non-biodegradable petrochemical products
that belie the idyllic images of humans interacting with the forces of nature. ...
Veteran surfboard builder Tom Wegener now hopes to start a revolution by getting more surfers
back onto wooden boards, using Australian-grown paulownia.
Surfing Australia -
"recognised by the Australian Sports Commission and the Australian Olympic Committee as the governing body of the sport of surfing in Australia.
Surfing Australia is Australia's representing body for the international Surfing Association of which there are 42 member countries
all recognised by their respective federal government."
Wild Weather - Thursday 03 February 2004 An intense 150-year freak mid-summer depression - described as a
"southern Australia cyclone" - passed over the Victoria-Bass
Strait-Tasmania region. It was Melbourne's coldest recorded February day.
Other places in the state were colder - it even snowed in the
Victorian alps. The maximum temperature was 13.2 Celsius in downtown Melbourne
(in stark contrast it reached 36 Celsius two days earlier). Also, moist
air sucked in from the southwestern Pacific caused the heaviest
February rainfall across Victoria since weather records began in 1855.
Click the image to see a four-step colour infrared animation of the cyclone.
This shows the clockwise southern-hemisphere cyclonic airflow,
mixing cold Antarctic air with warm, moist Pacific Ocean air.
Bass Strait ocean was like a huge froth-filled washing machine, far too cold
and dangerous to try surfing (except for the foolhardy or daring, at those
few relatively protected spots like Point Leo or Shoreham inside Western Port Bay and Kerferd
Road inside Port Phillip Bay).
Commonwealth of Australia 2005, Bureau of Meteorology.
A river of smoke more than 25 kilometers wide flowed
southeast toward the Tasman Sea from fires burning in the Great
Dividing Range Mountains in Victoria, Australia, on December 5,
2006. This image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer
on NASA’s Terra
satellite shows the smoke crossing Ninety Mile Beach and
spreading out over the sea. Fires (red outlines) were detected
across a broad area of the mountains between Lake Eildon and the Dartmouth Reservoir.
Fires in Victoria, Australia - 05 December 2006 Here's a somewhat similar image, but in this case the swirl is anticlockwise (the storm
above, being a southern cyclonic depression, was swirling clockwise). To quote
NASA Earth Observatory article:
According to news reports, 50 fires—most of them in remote forests and parks—were
burning out of control across Victoria in early December, and
fire conditions were predicted to worsen in subsequent days.
Across Australia in 2006, fires sprang up before summer was even officially underway.
An ongoing drought and high temperatures have created extremely risky conditions
for fires in many parts of the country. In late November and early December,
satellites captured numerous images of fires in places as far flung as
northwestern Australia and Southern Queensland. (See other images in the
Natural Hazards: Fires section.) In most of Victoria (among
other places in the country), rainfall in the six months
preceding the outbreak of these fires was categorized as either
at a “severe deficiency” or “lowest on record,” according to
maps provided by the Website of the Australian government’s
Bureau of Meteorology.
The Bureau’s 22 November seasonal
Niño-Southern Oscillation update indicated that the current
El Niño had strengthened throughout November. A strong El Niño
could be bad news for firefighters in southeastern Australia.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology Website, “El Niño events
are associated with an increase in the number of extreme
fire-risk days over southeastern Australia, that is, days which are hot, dry and windy.”
In distinct contrast, during late December south-eastern
Australia suffered an icy southwesterly blast for several days.
On Christmas Day 2006 it was even cold enough for snow to fall in Victoria and Tasmania!
height, the dust-storm extended across the entire width of
Victoria, and was many kilometres across. The dust-cloud was
some 320m deep when it struck Melbourne, but in other areas
extended thousands of metres into the atmosphere. It was
estimated that about 50,000 tonnes of topsoil were stripped from
the Mallee (approximately 1,000 tonnes of it being dumped on the
The Melbourne dust-storm of 08 February 1983
El Niño brought exceptionally dry conditions to almost all of
eastern Australia, and in Victoria’s Mallee and northern Wimmera
districts 1982 was the driest or second driest year on record.
Late on the morning of 8 February 1983 a strong, but dry, cold
front began crossing Victoria, preceded by hot, gusty northerly
winds. The loose topsoil in the Mallee and Wimmera was quickly
picked up by the wind, and as the front moved east, the soil
collected into a large cloud oriented along the line of a cool
change. At Horsham, in western Victoria, raised dust could be
seen by 11am; by noon it had obscured the sky.
In Melbourne, the temperature rose quickly as the north wind
strengthened, and by 2:35pm it had reached 43.2°C, a record
February maximum. A short time later, a spectacular
reddish-brown cloud could be seen advancing on the city,
reaching Melbourne just before 3pm. It was accompanied by a
rapid temperature drop, and a squally wind change strong enough
to uproot trees and unroof about 50 houses. Visibility plunged
to100 metres, and according to witnesses “everything went black”
as the storm struck. The worst of the dust-storm was over by
4pm, when the wind-speed dropped rapidly.
Tale of four lows -
early February 2021 (source) This synoptic map above shows that we could see four distinct low pressure systems surrounding Australia
by Saturday 6th Februart 2021, with lows sitting to the north, south, east and west of the country.
This is an unusual synoptic pattern and it's likely to bring brollies right
The combined influence of these four low pressure systems is likely to cause rain
in part of every Australian state and territory during the period.
Severe weather is possible in multiple states on multiple days.
Organisers of a world record surfing bid say 73 surfers rode the same wave at a South African beach
on Sunday [17 September 2006]. ... "We have smashed the record," said veteran surfer Paul Botha,
who helped organise the feat at Muizenberg Corner near Cape Town, a favoured haunt for surfers.
... Guinness World Records will be told about 300 surfers were involved, with 73 surfers standing up
on the same wave for more than five seconds. The previous record was set off the west coast of Ireland
when 44 people caught the same wave in May.
The Earthwave Global Surf Challenge is an initiative created by the Cape Town based Kahuna Surfing Academy that showcases the
global nature of the surfing community, highlights their environmental concerns and issues a "call to action" on how we
can reduce our impact on climate change. Read some more about it
Hardcore surfers are known to travel far and
wide in their search for the perfect wave, braving
often choppy and dangerous conditions others
wouldn't dream of dipping a toe into. These waves,
however, are a different matter altogether. Three
surfers jumped at the chance to ride the torrential
swell in Karitane on the south island of New Zealand.
Up to 120 surfers have broken the official record set by the Guinness World Records,
during the 25th anniversary of the Go Ride a Wave Surf School. Surfers had one hour to set a new
record, from when the first attempt kicked off at Anglesea. The event attracted more than 200 wave riders.
Silver Dragon - world's most dangerous wave (YouTube) -
Located on the Qiantang River in Hangzhou China, the world's largest tidal bore
creates a wave that runs up river allowing surfers to ride it for miles. "This wave I cannot
compare to anything. It's uncomparable, It's unique,
Maybe not the world's most
dangerous wave [in terms of size], so be sure to
read all the comments!
Bachelor of Science (Surf Science and Technology) -
a three-year full-time or equivalent part-time degree offered by the South West Campus (Bunbury, Western Australia)
provides an opportunity for well-qualified individuals with an interest in surfing
to pursue the scientific and technological aspects of the surfing industry.
Bachelor of Science in Surf Industry Technology -
a 3-year degree program which aims to provide students with the knowledge and
skills required for employment in the Surf Industry. A full fee course –
students must pay “up-front” each semester. It is anticipated that the program will commence in 2004.
DEAD LINK (DOES IT EXIST ANY MORE?)
A Tale of Two Bridges ...
What's lacking underneath Sydney Harbour Bridge, on the west side of the Pacific Ocean, that seems to be in
abundance at the equally iconic bridge on the east side of the Pacific? Why, it's surf of course!
The San Francisco Bay area is much more open to the ocean, enabling swells to roll in below and beyond the Golden Gate.
Take a look at the photos of surfing underneath the Golden Gate Bridge at
Fort Point, San Francisco.
There's a spectacular sailboat capsize that occurred there in 2005 (the slideshow shows how surfers rescued the unfortunate sailors):
The slow-motion slide show of the
yacht YachtSea capsize
the following web address:capsize
the following web address:
But PLEASE BE CAUTIOUS ABOUT VISITING THE ABOVE,
because Google's Safe Browsing monitor is issuing a WARNING against visiting the entire sfsurvey.com site which may be an over-reaction by Google,
nevertheless the webmaster has removed all live links to this site
as a matter of course.. If you choose still to visit the above sailboat capsize slideshow page
it will be AT YOUR OWN RISK. Webmaster opinion: This particular page (the yacht capsize slideshow) seems safe enough to me,
but I have no way of so guaranteeing! UPDATE (January 2019); The above San Francisco photo
site link no longer works, so now there are few
photos of the capsize available. See also
this description of the capsize by Charles Thrasher
which has another small photo, plus a description of
here. There's also a discussion thread
here which includes
a few more photos like this
Summary of program on ABC Radio National (Australia) on Friday 15/03/2002: "Surfing has an unwritten code of behaviour that protects people from injury e,g., not cutting in
on anybody when they're on a wave and making sure everyone gets a fair share of waves.
However crowded conditions and an increased number of surfers has meant this code
may need to become more official. If litigation was to occur in the surfing world
many would feel the soul of surfing had been destroyed."
Biggest Waves on the Planet (YouTube video, December 2015) -
Biggest and heaviest breaks around the world. Chile, Mexico, USA, Ireland, France, Portugal,
South Africa, Australia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Tahiti, Hawaii.
The Psychology of Big Wave Surfing - Sine Qua Non
an intimate portrait of the mentality, risks, and lifestyle associated with pursuing monstrous waves around the planet
through the eyes of the world’s most decorated big wave surfer, Greg Long. The film’s title,
Sine Qua Non, is a Latin phrase, which, roughly translated, means, “Without which, [there is] nothing.”
Greg Long presents the viewer with a first-hand account of the life-threatening pursuit of big waves
as well a look at the horrific wipeouts involved, including one that nearly ended his life.
Going deeper, Long admits his pursuit could be viewed as selfish, especially when
surrounded by a very close-knit family that is concerned first and foremost about his safety.
Biggest Waves Ever Surfed in History (YouTube - 11 December 2017) -
a range of monsters starting with 7m (25ft) going up to 33m (108ft)
... ON THE OTHER HAND, WE SHOULD ASK ABOUT WAVE HEIGHT MEASUREMENT DISCREPANCIES ...
‘You don’t feel the size. You feel the power’ - The largest wave ever surfed (Sydney Morning Herald - 25 May 2022) -
German Sebastian Steudtner set a new Guinness Word Record for the largest wave surfed by riding this 86 foot (26.21m) monster
at Nazaré on 29 October 2020. It took a full 18 months for the German surfer to learn just how big the wave actually was that day.
The World Surf League and a team of scientists, along with Guinness World Records, revealed on Tuesday [24 May 2022]
that Steudtner’s wave measured 86 feet (26m) tall, making it the largest ever surfed.
>> Spectacular video at World Surf League ... SO WHAT COMES NEXT?
Surf's down - Climate change likely to bring fewer big waves
(The Conversation - 10 March 2014) A warmer climate is likely to
result in fewer large waves along Australia’s central east coast,
according to Australian Bureau of Meteorology research that predicts
a decline in the frequency of storms known as East Coast Lows.
However, the storms and large waves that do occur could potentially become stronger,
and rising sea levels are likely to increase the impacts of these waves on coastal regions.
How a 100 foot wave is created at Praia do Norte, Portugal Brazilian surfer Carlos Burle claims to have ridden a 100 feet high wave off the coast of Portugal -
and potentially setting a new world record at a spot famed for its giant waves.
This article explains why the waves get so big at Praia do Norte.
Big Wave Surf Movie Goes 3D (March 2012) -
To make a 3D documentary about riding monster waves, Australian surfers used a 3D camera small enough to mount onto a surfboard.
Maui's monster surf break getting bigger by the day -
"Jaws -— or Pe'ahi, as many locals call it -- offers some of the largest surfable waves on earth.
About a dozen times each winter, wave faces reach 40 to 60 feet and more from trough to peak, taller than a four- to five-story building."
>> Be sure also to visit
TowSurfer.com and watch some of the Jaws videos!
Surfers ride watery giants -
"The waves have been nicknamed Cyclops, Jaws and Dungeons and are the new life-and-death
playground for a unique breed of surfers who ride gargantuan ocean waves as big as a seven storey building.
Australian surfer Alex Cater, 25, has been chasing giant waves for the past five years and knows only too well
the agony and ecstasy of what they call tow-in surfing, where a surfer is whipped by jet ski into giant waves
bigger than most tsunamis. In July, at an offshore reef called Cowaramup Bombie off Margaret River in Western Australia,
Cater was part a group of surfers who tackled the biggest waves ever ridden in Australia. ..."
Surf Sessions at Jaws, Maui, Hawaii -
"Sessions de surf tracté par des professionnels locaux (ne pas imiter) sur des vagues estimées entre 10 et 15m ; les vagues
mesurées sur ce spot ont parfois dépassé les 20 mètres. Ces journées exceptionnelles sont appelées "BIG WEDNESDAY"
si ça s'est passé un mercredi par exemple. A ce jour, pas de mort sur ce spot.
[Webmaster: This clip includes one of the longest left slides that you'll ever see,
starting at about 1 minute 55 seconds into the video.]
Surf sur les vagues géantes de Belharra (Video - November 2002 - Location: Saint Jean de Luz, Basque country, France) -
"Voici un document exceptionnel, des vagues de plus de 10 mètres surfées pour la toute première fois sur le "spot" de Belharra en France.
La vague de Belharra déferle sur un haut fond rocheux au large de la corniche qui sépare les deux villes de St Jean de Luz et d'Hendaye (64).
Six surfeurs de haut niveau, équipés de trois jetskis, avides d'adrénaline et d'émotions fortes, osent s'aventurer au large dans des conditions de mer
complètement titanesques pour affronter ces vagues monstrueuses... jusqu'alors inconnues... L'émotion suscitée par la conquête de nouveaux horizons
traverse l'esprit de la majorité des surfeurs... mais il fallait ce jour là avoir une sacrée dose de courage et une préparation physique
a toute épreuve pour oser affronter ces vagues géantes."
Tow Surfing Adventures -
"on a mission to find and conquer unridden waves from exotic locations around the world."
... Jaws, Cortes Bank, the Psychos Project, and more!
Worst Surfing Wipeouts Ever (YouTube) "
Most surfing wipeouts are hardly extraordinary, or even dangerous. Nine times out of ten,
a wipeout is more akin to launching a flying squirrel off the diving board than, say,
plunging backwards from the coping of an eight foot half-pipe while skateboarding.
After all, it’s only water, right? Let’s not forget about the one time out of ten.
It’s the terrifying moment that leaves us wondering how we ever got talked into this surfing thing in the first place,
and although it is indeed rare, it’s also unavoidable. Going face-first into the reef,
taking a 10-wave set on the head, getting rag-dolled beneath a malevolent closeout –
these are a surfer’s true test of strength, skill, and will-power.
Biggest waves ever surfed. riding giants, full movie, rip fallen surfers.
Film captures massive waves as Sligo, Donegal coastline gets battered (The Sligo Champion, December 2007)
Weather experts said this monster of a storm was the biggest in ten years.
"It was about as dangerous as it gets. I’ve seen it as big in Hawaii, but it’s different.
It’s warm there and people are watching. Ireland is a surfing frontier. It’s lonely, cold, and scary.
I was worried for the surfers out there; I know first hand that iron nerves can lead to trouble."
Just add surf: Easkey Britton at TEDxDublin (2013) While finishing her PhD in Marine Science, Irish surfer Easkey began to explore the transformative power of surfing and
how it can create positive social in places -- like the province of Baluchistan, Iran, where in 2010 Easkey
became the first woman to surf there. Her surfing career has been one of many firsts: aged just 16, Easkey Britton
became the first Irish person to surf the 'hell-wave' Teahupoo in Tahiti, and has since become a Billabong XXL Global big-wave finalist
and Ireland's 5-time surfing National Champion. Now she is sharing her passion for surfing and the ocean
by bringing her pioneering approach to the more isolated regions of the world exploring how
the creative expression of surfing can empower women everywhere.
Biggest Wednesday video - "Never in the history of surfing has the ocean
roared as hard and as full-on as Wednesday the 28th of January 1998,
to create the biggest surf ever to be ridden. Surfers are towed into 30 to 50-foot walls of death. ..."
Big winter waves headed for O'ahu -
People wanting to see the waves should avoid beaches without lifeguards and areas close to the ocean. ...
Because not every wave is large enough to wash ashore, people are lured to the edge
and can be swept to their deaths when a larger wave arrives."
What's That You Said? Surfer's Ear? - after 20 San Diego winters the SurfShot Magazine articlewriter's ears
are over 90% closed, and a recent study at the American Academy of Otolaryngology says that 40% of surfers suffer from
external auditory exostosis -- also known as "surfer's ear" -- and the ailment is more likely to occur
if you surf for long periods in wintery conditions. ... "Cold water surfers were six times more likely to have exostosis
than those who surfed in predominantly warm water. If the bony growth continues it may result in total hearing loss, in which case
surgery (canaloplasty) may be called on to restore hearing. Exostosis can also create another serious ear problem: it can hinder
proper drainage of the ear canal, which can lead to very painful ear infections."
A study by Peninsula Health, Prevalence of external auditory canal exostoses in Australian surfboard riders confirms this finding:
This study found that a male surfer who has surfed regularly for 20 years or more has a one in two chance
of developing significant obstruction of the external ear canal resulting from exostoses.
For females, the chance is three in seven. Cold-qwater swimmers are also at risk.
Earplugs apparently aren't always enough to prevent the problem. Regular ocean-goers are urged
to protect their ears from exposure to the cold with neoprene, headbands, hats and helmets.
SunSmart - a key education program of
The Cancer Council Victoria with the aim to lead, co-ordinate, implement
and evaluate action to minimise the human cost of skin cancer in Victoria.
Provides information about sunburn and sun protection.
The Risks - Saving The Day On a Surf Trip
Even on a dream trip, things go wrong. How to be ready when they do (Surfline - 2023) -
How safe is surf travel these days? And how can we make it safer for ourselves?
Emergency calls: USA 911 - Australia 000 - UK 999
Anywhere 112 (connects to regional emergency service worldwide)
The Dangers of Surfing After a Rain -
A study found that surfing during or after wet weather exposes the body to higher chances of gastrointestinal illness. ...
And the age-old “72-hour rule” was once again confirmed by the study, meaning water levels typically return
to what’s considered safe three days after a rain. Is the 72-hour rule still the foremost guideline for avoiding sickness? (Surfline - 15 February 2019)
Two Indian students drown in a rip at Hutt Gully on Victoria's surf coast(December 2007) -
"The pair, a man and woman, were wading with two friends at Hutt Gully, near the seaside town of Anglesea, 110km south-west of Melbourne,
when they were caught in a rip about 6.20pm" a Lifesaving Victoria spokesman said. "It's an unpatrolled area, a remote area
along the Great Ocean Road, and it looks as though a wave came up and swept them off their feet and they were swept out to sea, out of their depth in a rip."
Australia - Australia is the only country that has a whole continent to itself.
World famous for its natural wonders and wide open spaces (beaches, deserts and "the bush"
or "the Outback"),
Australia is ironically one of the world's most highly urbanised countries
and is well known for the cosmopolitan attractions of its globally significant cities.
Bananas could power Aussie homes -
"banana benders" (Queenslanders) might become "banana burners" ...
Australian engineers have created an electricity generator fuelled by decomposing bananas,
and hope to build a full size fruit-fired power station.
Thirsty koala flags down American cyclists for a drink
(March 2016) -
the thirsty Australian koala has been pictured climbing upon a cyclist's front wheel
to beg for a sip of water from a bottle. The cyclists -- believed to be travelling Americans --
had stopped beside the South-Western Freeway outside Adelaide to aid the furry fellow
during a run of hot weather.
7 fantastic Australian mythological beasts and where to find them
- While international mythical creatures may have more notoriety, like the
Abominable Snowman, Bigfoot, or the Loch Ness Monster, Australia is
rumoured to be home to a plethora of bizarre, strange, and at times,
terrifying creatures. ... Bunyip, Otways Panther, Hawkesbury River
Monster, Yara-ma-yha-who, Yowie, Burrunjor, Drop Bear.
Web tourists nuts about Almond Land -
"Brian Bay", "Almond Land", "Drunk Island" and "Cans" are among the most
popular holiday destinations for Aussie travellers, according to an accommodation website. ...
chief operating officer Robbie Cooke said a new search tool was
providing insight into the weird and wacky misspellings for some of
Australia's most popular destinations. [The locations mentioned above are
actually called Byron Bay, Arnhem Land, Dunk Island and Cairns.]
Zorba the Greek, Yolgnu style -
The "Chooky Dancers" is a group of young Aboriginal dancers that has achieved international fame
with their unique interpretation of the well-known dance from Zorba The Greek.
>> Also, on ABC TV 7.30 Report
Australia Eastern & Central 2008 Daylight Saving Changes -
Australia Eastern (New South Wales, Victoria, Australia Capital Territory and Tasmania) and Central (South Australia) time zones
will extend daylight saving and also harmonise start and end times commencing April 2008. From April 2008, daylight saving
will end on the first Sunday in April and recommence on the first Sunday in October in all states.
See the Australian Government Time web site for more information.
earthalbum / Earth Album - a simple, slick mash-up that allows you to explore some of the most stunning photos in the world
courtesy of Google maps and Flickr.
Earth Alerts (freeware) --
a Windows-based application that "allows you to monitor in near real-time
a variety of natural hazard events that are occurring anywhere around the world.
Alert notifications, reports, and imagery provide the user with a convenient way to view natural phenomenon
as they occur, whether close to home or some far-flung corner of the globe."
Google Maps online version of Earth Alerts...
Tsunamis in Australia (click to enlarge in new window)
Tsunami Facts and Information -
a nice scientific summary, by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, including formulae
for calculating wave height and speed in deep ocean and coastal areas.
Tsunamis in Australia- The Australian tsunami database up until
2014 records 145 tsunamis. This includes 125 events documented since
European settlement (about 1 every 2 years). and 20 'paleotsunamis'
before then (Bureau of Meteorology, Australia)
Power of the Indonesia 2004 earthquake -
"The total energy released by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake is equivalent to 32,000 megatons of TNT or 133 exajoules (1.33×1020
joules). This exceeds the total amount of energy consumed in the United States in one year by 30%, or the energy released by the
wind of a hurricane like Hurricane Isabel over a period of 70 days. ... Equivalently, this amount of energy is enough to
boil 10,000 litres (2,600 US gallons) of water for every person on Earth."
Australian Surfer Describes Riding Out Samoa Tsunami (YouTube video) ...
Read more at
"The tsunami that devastated American Samoa has left much tragedy in its wake, but this Australian surfer was extremely lucky that he was
out in the water when the giant wave hit. Listening to him describe the swells that came in and how the water was sucked off the reef
as the tsunami began to land, and how the strong current just pulled them out to sea, is chilling. The fact that he and his fellow
surfers, four guys from New Zealand, stayed out in deeper water while the tsunami swelled probably saved their lives."
Tonga eruption was so intense, it caused the atmosphere to ring
like a bell (The Convesation - 24 January 2022) - The Hunga
Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption reached an explosive crescendo on 15 January 2022. Its rapid release of energy powered an ocean tsunami that
caused damage as far away as the U.S. West Coast, but it also
generated pressure waves in the atmosphere that quickly spread
around the world.
The Chile Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Alert - 27 February 2010 -
"Fortunately, the very severe earthquake only generated a relatively small tsunami, ranging from 0.3 to 2.4 m in height
along the Chilean coast and less elsewhere. The tsunami propagated out across the Pacific at a speed of about 700 km/hr.
It reached Hawaii 15 hours later with a wave 1 m high on Maui, 1.5 m high on New Zealand’s Chatham Island, 0.5 m at Norfolk Island,
0.4 m at Vanuatu and only 0.1 m along the Tasmanian and NSW coast, where the tsunami arrived 15 hours after the quake.
The tsunami finally reached Alaska 18 hours later where it was 0.1 m high."
How it Happened -
video download links for program shown on U.K. Channel 4, Thursday 24th March 2011.
Investigates the science behind the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan.
It takes viewers on a journey with Professor of Geological Sciences Roger Bilham -
in Japan only days after the earthquake struck.
2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami - from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This earthquake, officially named the
Great East Japan Earthquake,
was a 9.0-magnitude undersea megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan
that occurred at 14:46 Japan Standard Time (05:46 UTC) on Friday, 11 March 2011,
with the epicenter approximately 72 km (45 mi) east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tōhoku
and the hypocenter at an underwater depth of approximately 32 km (20 mi). It was the most powerful known earthquake to have hit Japan, and one of the five most powerful
earthquakes in the world overall since modern record-keeping began in 1900.
In addition to much loss of life and destruction of infrastructure, the tsunami caused a number nuclear accidents.
The overall cost could exceed $300 billion, making it the most expensive natural disaster on record.
Lankans see 'Allah' written in picture -
God signed His name in the tsunami that battered Sri Lanka and other countries on Dec 26,
and sent it as punishment because humans have been ignoring His laws, Sri Lankan Muslims say.
About tsunamis -
"Tsunamis are a series of very long waves generated by any rapid, large-scale disturbance of the sea.
Most are generated by sea floor displacements from large undersea earthquakes. Tsunamis can cause great destruction
and loss of life within minutes on shores near their source, and some tsunamis can cause destruction within hours
across an entire ocean basin."
Tsunami Data and Information -
a unique set of tsunami-related products as part of a continuing program to support the interests of
tsunami warning centers, engineers, oceanographers, seismologists, and the public
Tsunami Event Database -
provides information on tsunami events from 49 B.C. to the present in the Mediterranean
and Caribbean Seas, and the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.
Sumatra, Indonesia Earthquake and Tsunami- The 26 December 2004
magnitude 9.1 earthquake generated a tsunami
that was observed worldwide and caused tremendous devastation and
deaths throughout the Indian Ocean region. The tsunami that
followed killed more people than any other tsunami in recorded
history, with 227,898 dead or missing. The total estimated
material losses in the Indian Ocean region were $10 billion and
insured losses were $2 billion.
About 25 meteotsunamis on average hit the US East Coast each year
- A meteotsunami is a small, weather-driven tsunami caused by
changes in air pressure created by fast-moving severe
thunderstorms, tropical storms, squalls or other storm fronts.
Driven by severe weather, these waves exacerbate flooding, erosion
and can cause injury. East Coast meteotsunamis happen most often
in summer, especially in July (because of thunderstorms), and in
The tsunami that followed killed more people than any other tsunami in recorded history, with 227,898 dead or missing. The
total estimated material losses in the Indian Ocean region were $10 billion and insured losses were $2 billion.
The same diagram in PDF format Wind waves come and go without flooding higher areas.
Tsunamis run quickly over the land as a wall of water. Even a tsunami that looks small can be dangerous!
Any time you feel a large earthquake, or see a disturbance in the
ocean that might be a tsunami, head to high ground or inland.
Girl saves tourists after raising tsunami warning -
A 10-year-old British girl saved 100 other tourists from the Asian tsunami by warning them
a giant mass of water was on its way ... she recognised the danger
signs because she had done a school project on giant waves caused by
when fishing anywhere in Australia's coastal fisheries, knowing the current surface temperature conditions
will help you identify the best places to begin your search for fish populations.
Pacific Ocean - El Niño, La Niña, and decadal variability cause
long-term temperature changes in Pacific
The Pelamis Wave
Energy Converter - "a semi-submerged, articulated
structure composed of cylindrical sections linked by hinged
joints. The wave-induced motion of these joints is resisted
by hydraulic rams, which pump high-pressure oil through
hydraulic motors via smoothing accumulators. The hydraulic
motors drive electrical generators to produce electricity.
Several devices can be connected together and linked to
shore through a single seabed cable. Current production
machines are 140m long and 3.5m in diameter with 3 power
conversion modules per machine. Each machine is rated
at 750kW. The energy produced by Pelamis is dependent
upon the conditions of the installation site. Depending
on the wave resource, machines will on average produce
25-40% of the full rated output over the course of a
year. Each machine can provide sufficient power to meet
the annual electricity demand of approximately 500 homes.
(Pelamis Wave Power changed its name in September 2007.
It was previously known as Ocean Power Delivery Ltd.)
The Wave Swell Energy (WSE) technology
is based on the well-established concept of the oscillating water column (OWC).
The OWC is an artificial blowhole consisting of a chamber that is open
underneath the waterline. As waves pass the OWC, the water rises and falls inside,
forcing the air to pass by a turbine at the top of the chamber.
This turbine generates electricity.
Previous OWC technologies have all been bidirectional. The WSE technology, however,
operates unidirectionally. This results in the WSE turbine being simpler, more robust
and reliable, and exhibiting a higher energy conversion efficiency.
The only moving parts in the technology are the turbine and bespoke valves, all of which are well
above the water line. There are no moving parts in or below the water.
The wave power generator experts say 'proves ocean
energy can work' is already powering Australian hpmes
(ABC News - 31 July 2022) - For the first time in Australia's history,
a wave energy converter trial has successfully generated energy from the chaotic and wild
ocean waves to power homes. "On average, we've been able to achieve conversion rates of 48 per cent,
so 48 per cent of the energy that comes in, in the wave, is then exported onto the grid on King Island.
That rate is very encouraging and in fact is higher than other renewable energy technologies."
ShakeMovie - Caltech's near real-time simulation of Southern California seismic events portal,
designed to present the public with near real time visualizations of recent significant seismic events in the Southern California region.
Fatal shark attacks on the rise in Australian waters (23 November 2020) -
An increase in coastal living and activity by humans means there’s more people in the water, which means
there’s just a greater chance of human and shark interaction. ...
Educate yourself about the environments and circumstances that attract sharks.
“A common thread is people noting that there’s a lot of baitfish in the water, there’s a lot of marine activity,
there’s a lot of dolphins etc, and still going out.”
Response to the latest shark bite is fuelled by myth and retribution (October 2014) -
Is a shark that bites someone a "rogue" that is likely to do it again?
One commenter on this article opines: "The basic biology of sharks suggests that random killing of a few sharks
will do rather more for the electoral prospects of those decreeing it than the life prospects of those in the water.
Are we going to make them all wear name tags so we can pick the right one [to cull]?"
And another commenter writes: " I am not naïve about sharks. Have spent some time underwater with them.
I know what they can do. The difference is that I accept it as one of life's risks
and am quite accepting that this in one of the many ways that I might die, however unlikely.
I do get scared underwater and cast anxious glances over my shoulder from time to time
but know that am more likely to be cleaned up by a drunk on the way home afterward,
so don't let it dominate my thoughts. The question is whether the fear of an extremely unlikely but horrific event
is a rational basis for public policy, especially in an area in which we know so little
and have so much power to do harm. Our record in 'management' of the environment is far from stellar."
example, we average two shark attacks per summer, then
the chance of having six shark attacks next summer is
obtained by plugging λ = 2 and k = 6 into the
[Poisson] formula above; and this gives
probability of six attacks ≈ (2
6 /6!) × e −2 = 0.01203, which is a little over a 1% chance.
This means that six shark attacks are quite unlikely in
one year, though this would happen about once every ﬁfty
The chance that we go the whole
summer without any shark attacks can also be calculated
by plugging λ = 2 and k = 0 into the formula. This gives
probability of no attacks ≈ (2
0 /0!) × e −2
= 0.13533, which is a 13% chance. We expect a
“sharkless summer” every seven or eight years.
The Teeth of the Great White Debate -
Why shark attack statistics tell us so much, and so little 28% of attacks in Australian waters, a little over one in four,
are fatal. And that ratio of deaths to attacks is falling, as it
is all around the world, most likely due to better medical care.
Considering the sheer number of dangling legs along our coast at
any given time, it is reasonable to call the fatal attacks freak
occurrences. ... We search for patterns to give gravity to terms
like “shark infested” and “man-eater”. If attacks happen close
together, whether in time or physical location, there’s talk of
how far one shark can move in a day, as though an individual
animal has gone rogue and taken victims at multiple beaches like
a serial killer. ... We search for patterns to give gravity to
terms like “shark infested” and “man-eater”. If attacks happen
close together, whether in time or physical location, there’s
talk of how far one shark can move in a day, as though an
individual animal has gone rogue and taken victims at multiple
beaches like a serial killer. ... The scientific consensus is
that such killings are politically effective but practically
useless. Even if every large shark off Perth is caught, killed
and dissected until human remains are found, the exercise has
all the scientific rigour of a witch hunt. There is no research
basis for the idea that sharks involved in one attack will go on
to attack other humans. On the contrary, it is believed that in
the majority of cases sharks immediately leave the area and don't return.
Crocodile warning flag at Port Douglas beach, Queensland
worldwide crocodilian attack database "Several hundred attacks on humans by crocodilians are reported annually,
both non-fatal and fatal. Non-fatal attacks may also be debilitating.
This human crocodile conflict (HCC) is increasing each year as crocodile populations recover from
decades of overhunting, and human populations continue to grow and encroach upon crocodile habitat.
This competition for resources between crocodiles and humans is of serious conservation concern."
Ginger Meadows crocodile attack -
The death of Ginger Meadows in 1987, at Cascade Falls on the Prince Regent River in Western Australia,
has received much more coverage than most crocodile fatalities.
4WDs crushing tiny sand dwellers -
Driving off-road vehicles over Australia's beaches has a devastating impact on a hidden ecosystem of tiny animals that live among the grains of beach sand.
Shark Vision and Shark Repellant Research (03 May 2012) -
Imagine coming face-to-face with a great white shark. What could or should you do?
ABC Australia's TV science show 'Catalyst' reveals the latest findings on shark repellants,
with surprising research results about how sharks see and potential new ways to avoid shark attack. ...
Video (MP4 format)
Surfer once bitten, twice shy - New Zealand surfer Olivia Hislop is staying out of the water after
two encounters with sharks on the same day, near the South Island tourist town of Kaikoura on Sunday (9th December, 2007).
White Shark Attacks -- Mistaken Identity or Something Else? -
Humans are sometimes bitten by accident because we happen to resemble normal White Shark food in approximate size and shape.
... How can a slow, 150- to 250-pound (70- to 110-kilogram), unarmed and barely-able-to-see primate so commonly escape
a fast, 2,000- to 4,000-pound (900- to 1,800-kilogram) shark, equipped with a mouthful of razor-sharp, serrated teeth
and exquisitely sensitive food-finding systems? In an influential 1985 paper, ichthyologist John McCosker proposed
an answer to this mystery – the so-called "Bite and Spit" hypothesis.
... Now consider the unusual specter of a primate in the ocean. No matter how good a swimmer some of us might be
in human terms, by the standards evolved over countless eons by life in the sea, we are clumsy and awkward.
Although we may choose to enter the ocean for commerce or recreation, clearly we do not belong there.
When we enter the sea, we impose a change in its rhythms, awkwardly announcing our presence to every resident
creature that has some manner of sensory equipment that can detect our presence. ...
Sand More Deadly Than Sharks at Beach -
More than two dozen young people have been killed [in the USA] over the last decade when sand holes collapsed on them,
report father-and-son doctors who have made warning of the risk their personal campaign.
Klaus wrote to us at Asia/Pacific Computer Services in November 2004, as follows ... "I have really unusual Great White Shark, Tiger Shark and Bull Shark pictures,
plus other marine life and wildlife worldwide. Pictures by me were published in the large magazines
(National Geographic Germany, GEO, Terre sauvage, Universum). I documented
in 2001 the "three dangerous types
of sharks" -- Great White Shark, Tiger Shark and Bull Shark. One of these pictures
(Breaching Great White Shark) was elected as the "picture of the year" in GEO. In the May
2003 edition of Natur & Kosmos was a large contribution from me
about the Great White Shark including the title page. I have worked with scientific institutes worldwide
for years (Florida museum of Natural History, research Affiliate, Moss Landing
Navy laboratories of Monterey Bay, Canadian Shark Research Laboratory, Shark foundation, Australian Museum). My objective is
to document the sharks on the Red List and to make them known to a broad public - and to provoke a rethinking."
Beachgoers witness Sydney's first fatal shark attack in almost 60 years (16 February 2022) -
Fishermen and beachgoers watched in horror as a shark described as a 4.5m great white attacked
a swimmer in Sydney’s first fatal attack in almost 60 years. It was the first fatal shark attack in Sydney
since 1963 when actress Marcia Hathaway was killed after a bull shark mauled her right leg in Sydney Harbour.
ECOCEAN Whale Shark Photo-identification Library -
"a visual database of whale shark (Rhincodon typus)
encounters and of individually catalogued
whale sharks. The library is maintained and used by marine biologists
to collect and analyse whale shark encounter data to learn more about these amazing creatures. ...
You too can assist with whale shark research - by submitting photos and sighting information. The information you submit
will be used in mark-recapture studies to help with the global conservation of this threatened species."
Dangerous Marine Animals - Shark Attack Fatalities -
Putting it into perspective, the number of annual deaths by shark attack is considerably lower that that due to other causes:
motor vehicle accidents, falling coconuts, lightning strikes in coastal regions, bee stings,...
Shark Bites - evidence of attacks and/or feeding
by a species of giant sharks during the Late Cretaceous (Latest Coniacian time, approximately 85 million years ago).
Giant prehistoric fish packed quite a bite - "The bony blades in its mouth, almost certainly enameled like teeth,
concentrated the bite force into a small area at the tip at an astonishing force of 80,000 pounds (36,000 kg) per square inch.
... A huge great white shark is probably only capable of biting at about half that bite force. ... It puts it with big crocodiles
and alligators and big dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus rex in terms of the most powerful biters ever."
Surfer knocked unconscious as
10-metre whale tosses boarders
with its tail (07 July 2013) - Bishan Rajapakse, a
38-year-old doctor from Bondi, was knocked unconscious for 10
seconds when he was struck by a whale, thought to be a southern
right, while surfing at Bondi Beach. "It was as big as a bus,
easily 40 foot long and it just sent the surfers flying like skittles."