Animals that delight and intrigue! Sixty bull sharks visit popular stretch of Australian coastline. | Photo: NSW Shark Smart

From the animals that rarely fail to intrigue and delight dept: 60 Bull Sharks Close Popular Surf Town!

Call in the drones, the joint is crawling with sharks…

The NSW town of Ballina confirmed its position as the shark capital of Australia yesterday with a stunning display of fireworks at North Wall, activity that shut the stretch of beach from North Wall to Lighthouse down.

The clarity of the water, a dazzling turquoise relatively common in winter, meant the happy pod of sixty six-foot long bull sharks was spotted by drones as well as spectators watching from the rock groyne that gives North Wall its name.

Between 2011 and 2016, Ballina hosted eleven shark attacks, including 2015’s Great White hit that killed Tadashi Nakhara, and serious hits on bodyboarder Matt Lee and Sam Morgan. At the time, the town accounted for almost ten percent of the world’s shark encounters.

In 2016, Dan Webber, who is the brother of Greg Webber, watched as the surfer Cooper Allan got what is described in these part as a “Ballina hickey” from a Great White.

“I was standing in waist deep water, about five metres away, when I saw a shark in the face of a wave between me and three guys sitting further out,” said Dane. “A few seconds later, I heard a shout, followed by the nose of a board sailing through the air.”

The joint finally got shark nets in 2017, but were removed a year later, over concerns they might catch a migrating whale.

Fifty surfers stayed in the lineup yesterday which prompted the town’s mayor David Wright to call ’em “selfish”.

If I wore the mayoral robe I would’ve said, how the fuck did Ballina ever get this crowded?

Out of purely academic curiosity, have you ever wondered what it takes to kill a Great White? Click here. 

If you just want to scare hell out of ’em, click here. 


Bon Voyage: I’m sailing from California to Cabo on a boat crewed exclusively by four-year-olds!

Screw you conventional wisdom!

Are you a sailor man or sailor woman? Does the thrill of a stiff wind set your heart soaring? Do you understand the words clew, tack, staysail and jib? Have you unfurled a spinnaker? Well then you’ll appreciate my next ten days.

I’m boarding my best friend, other than Derek Rielly,’s 70 foot sailing yacht tomorrow morning with my child. My best friend will be there with his two children and our other best friend will be there with his two also. No mothers allowed. We’ll be sailing from Newport Beach, California to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with our five children (ranging in age from two to six… averaging out at 4), eighteen hot dogs, three large bags of potato chips, a backpack filled with American Girl Doll accessories and just enough tequila.

Or maybe exactly not enough tequila.

Now, this may not sound like fun but these two best friends and I have been relatively aimless for the past few months. You’ll meet them next year in the book Reports From Hell (Tentative title. Spring 2020 publishing date.) as we spent the better part of two decades playing with radical Islamic fundamentalism in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Somalia etc.

They were fantastic times and we continue to go back, refusing to write the last chapter of this saga, but we also all had kids and what other adventures are possible?

Oh, of course. Sail with them from Newport Beach, California to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in order to prepare for a Panama sail in order to prepare to shoot the Panama Canal and play with Venezuela’s new social order.

Or who really knows? The world will be their oyster on a sailboat. Very ecological as we’ll be using the wind and eating our hot dogs off bamboo plates.

I apologize in advance for my lack of production over the next ten days. I’ll be writing in between cooking hot dogs but who knows what sort of internet connectivity I’ll have.

Until then… so long!

Superhero: Cappy Goodtimes saves hundreds, maybe thousands, from certain riptide death!

Saving people from drowning is the right thing to do.

And look at me. Look at me just feeding the damned mainstream media narrative that only people already in the spotlight deserve more spotlight. Look at me furthering the damned elite agenda while studiously avoiding the brave works of The People.

BeachGrit only exists for The People and only exists because of The People which makes my transgression twice as bad but would you allow me to fix? Would you permit me to come correct?

This morning I wrote about our bold World Surf League President of Content, Media, Etc. Erik “ELo” Logan saving two children from possible drowning in Manhattan Beach, California. Now, he deserved every ounce of praise for that selfless act but it didn’t even occur to me that other selfless acts were going unrecorded. Selfless acts like those of our own Cappy Goodtimes who has saved hundreds, maybe thousands, from certain riptide death and let’s read his words from the comments.

“I always trip out when stuff like this makes the news. I’ve yanked so many people out of rip currents and never once has it gotten me anywhere close to being on the local morning news with “Hero” next to my name.”

Does he expect praise? No. Does he expect platitudes? No. He saves people because saving people is the right thing to do whether recognized here or not.

But let’s recognize him here. Let’s shower him with praise and platitudes. Cappy? You’re more than a hero.

You’re a superhero.

Hero: World Surf League President of Content, Media, Etc. Erik “ELo” Logan rescues two drowning children!

The man for our time!

And how many drowning children have you ever saved, Mr. and Mrs. Judgmental? Six? Nine? Zero? Me? Oh, I’ve rescued zero which makes me exactly half the man of our World Surf League President of Content, Media, Etc. Erik “ELo” Logan who rescued two over the weekend.

This heroic bit of good news comes via a friend who sent a screen grab from the Nextdoor app which bills itself as the “private social network for your neighborhood.” Since I don’t live in Manhattan Beach, California I am not invited to see but we have the beginning of the saga and let us read together from surf photographer Dave Weldon’s account.

“Howdy all, while doing my Sunday morning surfing photography at El Porto, I realized that surfer Erik Logan of Manhattan Beach spotted two kids that had been swept far out from where they started in shallow water. Erik quickly paddled over to the two and got them onto his board. Lifeguard Chris Maloney spotted the activity as he was passing nearby in his vehicle and dashed into the water with his rescue…

And that’s where the screenshot ends but we must assume that everyone is safe and happy and all thanks to our Mr. President.

Now, do you feel bad for making fun of his SUP? The only sort of board that doubles as a boat hearty enough to float drowning children high above the water’s grabby hands?

You should.

Scientists declare: “Go surfing in New Jersey after a storm and guarantee yourself a disease!”

No fine print!

Honest to goodness guarantees are more and more rare in this modern life. Oh sure companies, schools, restaurants etc. still use the word “guarantee” but it is chased by so much fine print as to be rendered not a guarantee at all but rather a “hopeful outcome.”

Well, leave it to the fine state of New Jersey to bring heart back to the guarantee. You’ll hopefully recall that I fell in love with the home of Bruce Springsteen, Tony Soprano, Tommy Ihnken etc. when we filmed our Wetsuit Fairytale. It is an earthly paradise and you should book your trip today and if you love exotic diseases you are guaranteed one for a surf after a rain.

Oh of course you know that sickness is a possibility after a rain but nowhere but New Jersey adds that guarantee and let’s head straight to New Jersey’s Post Register to learn more.

Most surfers know it’s best to avoid surfing near pipes that dump storm water into the ocean soon after a storm, due to the increased chance of getting sick from bacteria that enter the surf.

Many do it anyway because the periods just after storms often bring bigger waves, prompting them to hold their nose and brave the so-called “chocolate tube” or the “root beer float.”

Although the relationship between heavy rain, outfall pipes and water-borne bacteria has been well established, it continues to be studied around the country and the world.

One such study is underway at New Jersey’s Monmouth University, where researchers are evaluating water quality at popular surfing beaches along the Jersey shore with an eye toward documenting higher levels of harmful, illness-causing bacteria in the water after storms.

The idea is to give surfers and others who use the water more information to make more informed decisions about when to surf and what might be in the water around them.

“It’s not a question of if you’re going to get sick, it’s when,” said Richard Lee, a surfer and executive director of the Surfers Environmental Alliance, which is funding the $30,000 yearlong study in New Jersey. “There have been ear infections, eye infections, respiratory infections, intestinal problems.

“The water is murkier; sometimes we call it the ‘root beer float,'” he said. “You get this orange-brown float on the surface.”

And there we have it. It’s not a question of if, it’s when.


And now let us sing together.