Sydney Harbour Great White pictured with favorite snack.
Sydney Harbour Great White pictured with favorite snack.

Shark-pocalypse: “Severed heads and terrified kayakers…” Sydney Harbour completely overrun with Great Whites!

"I've been fishing guiding on Sydney Harbour for 28 years and this is the worst I've ever seen it."

And you thought I was being shrill. Admit it, up until this moment right now you thought I was carrying on like an Alzheimeric old bitty clanging the gong in our town square, screaming “The sharks are coming! The sharks are coming!” when it was only just shadows upon the water. Only Nick Carroll out for his morning 100 kilometer paddle race.

Well, first they came for my once bucolic North County, San Diego then they came for once popular tourist destination Cape Cod, Mass. and now they are at your doorstep, Doubting Thomas, bumping sailboats, terrifying kayakers and severing heads for the shark-pocalypse has arrived in Sydney’s famed harbour.

Oh the prehistoric beasts have no manners whatsoever, and also no impulse control, man-eating whenever they feel the slightest urge and we must not delay in reading the latest horrors straight from the pages of the principled Daily Mail. We must go straight away.

Craig McGill, a respected guide and owner of fishing company Fishabout, said there are more sharks in the harbour than he has even seen before.

And the recent influx is having a devastating result with gory pictures showing half-eaten fish and even a shark severed in two found in the harbour’s waters.

Experts say reports of increased sightings are due to warmer waters allowing the sharks to come close to shore as they follow fish to eat.

Talking about the recent increase, Sydney-based Mr McGill told Daily Mail Australia: ‘There’s been a huge influx of sharks seen this year.

‘Yesterday I saw a hammerhead and then spotted a shark attacking a fish in the harbour.

‘I also recently saw a terrified kayaker being harassed by shark in the harbour,’ he added.

He said finding severed fish in the harbour has become regular, especially after sharks feed at dawn and dusk.

‘I’ve been fishing guiding on Sydney Harbour for 28 years and this is the worst I’ve ever seen it,’ he said.

The selfish bastards have not only completely overrun the harbour, they’re menacing Sydney’s northern beaches as well. Just yesterday a pleasure sailor was out mere meters away from Manley Point when he spotted an ominous fin jutting out of the water. Upon closer inspection he realized it was a juvenile Great White and nearly 1.5 meters long.

He was reported as saying, “‘Holy shit, that is a baby great white…” and when asked responded, “It looked like an exact mini replica of a full grown white, with that crazy black eye and gaping mouth.”

To be honest, “that crazy black eye and gaping mouth” sounds a lot like Nick Carroll out for his evening 100 kilometer paddle race but, unlike you, I always believe in the shark crier.

More as the story develops.


Postscript: “Chas makes being fucked up a virtue and that’s his deal to be a fucked up virtue but that degrades my civilization!”

I actually listened!

God bless Drew Kampion and I mean that seriously, honestly, with every ounce of passion in my fucked up heart and, truly, I am three sheets to the wind right now on Grey Goose (thanks to the Florida Surf Film Festival founders Kevin Miller and John Brooks who brought a bottle over recently buy tickets here (if it ain’t already sold out)) and La Croix Berry (which I hate but was just at Target buying daughter and her best friend toys because I just just got paid from Lonely Planet for contributing to their epic Epic Surf Breaks of the World book which will indeed be epic because I think Finnegan, Warshaw, George, Etc. have entries and remembered I had no mixer and La Croix Berry was the only anything besides Coca-Cola Target had at its self-checkout checkout.)

But I actually, really listened to the entire Drew Kampion x David Lee Scales podcast and God bless him (Drew Kampion… not David Lee. He shaves his balls).

Drew Kampion, for the surf culture tourist, was  the man who put the “journalist” in “surf journalist” and is epic. Almost as epic as the epic surf breaks of the world but I’m serious(ly fucked up) but also serious.

Drew Kampion hates me for such perfect reasons but also hates me for the wrong perfect reasons. The evil threatening force he perceives, he fears, is not fucked up-ness but rather the Wall of Positive Noise. That is surfing’s great enemy and if we don’t beat it back now we are done. Surfing is done. Surfing becomes a purely athletic pursuit.

A purely athletic pursuit layered with layers and layers of whitening toothpaste smiles.

No?

Disagree?

Tell me why because I refuse to become old (mentally).

I’m going to my Pacific Northwest soon and forcing Drew into the water but until then…

…I forgot.

*This message was brought to you on the wings of Grey Goose.


"We were all in the carpark later, debriefing, giving Riley shit and letting him know he was lucky he doesn't ride a boogieboard otherwise he wouldn't be with us. It wasn't until about eight o'clock that night a bit of shock came across me. How close it was and how it could have been me, could have been worse for him, or worse for any one of us, you know” | Photo: 7 News

Shark attack on teen surfer shatters Queensland town’s twenty-seven-year calm!

Local grommets who witnessed the incident described it as a full Mick Fanning deal.

World War II history records Japanese attacks on the Australian mainland and a strategy of planned retreat from the Allies below the sub-tropics, the so-called Brisbane Line. The Brisbane Line was actually the Bribie Line. Part of its defences were fortifications built on the beach at 8th Avenue, Woorim, where we played as kids.

Fifteen-year-old Riley Orchard was surfing in front of Red Fort, 8th Ave, when knocked from his board by an unknown species of shark Thursday around four pm, surfing what eyewitness and long-time Bribie shredder and old pal Brad Highlands described as a “classic nor-east day”.

Highlands, who is currently en route with a chainsaw to help clear a bushfire affected property in Northern New South Wales, was about forty metres away when the attack occurred, right on the low tide.

“He was just sitting there,” said Highlands “and all of a sudden, bang!, he’s off his board. He felt nothing brush him, no swoosh, nothing. He jumped back on his board, yelled out to Cain (his brother) ‘I think I just got hit!’ Cain thought he was bullshitting, he started paddling into shore and it wasn’t until he got to the beach and saw the board that he realised it was a shark.”

Normally, to fight the sweep on a nor-east day, surfers are required to constantly paddle, which helps the Bribie surfer hold their own in line-ups around the World. Luckily for Riley, he was sitting up and drifting, otherwise he “would have been bitten on the arm or shoulder” according to Highlands.

“He was just sitting there,” said Highlands “and all of a sudden, bang!, he’s off his board. He felt nothing brush him, no swoosh, nothing. He jumped back on his board, yelled out to Cain (his brother) ‘I think I just got hit!’ Cain thought he was bullshitting, he started paddling into shore and it wasn’t until he got to the beach and saw the board that he realised it was a shark.

“He was just shaken” said Highlands, “white as a ghost, non-stop shaking like he had hypothermia”.

Highlands said it was “was pretty weird. We were all in the carpark later, debriefing, giving Riley shit and letting him know he was lucky he doesn’t ride a boogieboard otherwise he wouldn’t be with us. It wasn’t until about eight o’clock that night a bit of shock came across me. How close it was and how it could have been me, could have been worse for him, or worse for any one of us, you know”

In thirty-knot winds, local grommets who witnessed the incident described it as a full Mick Fanning deal.

Police paid Highlands a visit Friday night, taking a statement to ensure the attack was not a hoax.

At the time of writing no shark species had been implicated in the attack, the first at Woorim since March 8th, 1992, according to local surfer and historian Brian “Gicka” Box.

Currently available data from the Queensland Shark Control Program, administered by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries lists 17 drumlines off the beach at Woorim. Two sharks were captured on the drumlines in 2018, none in 2019.

Presumably, Taronga Park zoo, which maintains the shark incident register in Australia will list the incident as “unprovoked attack”.


Listen: Legendary surf journalist Drew Kampion says “that filthy Chas Smith” is denigrating surf culture!

"A prize asshole..."

David Lee Scales and I are almost at the 50 podcast mark. 48 to be precise and 48 podcasts is a lot. Oh not for me, I just sit there with David Lee and jabber into a microphone but a lot for you. That is 48 podcasts, roughly 80 hours, of me jabbering into a glennmicrohall, David Lee jabbering too and sometimes Derek Rielly. We generally swerve from this topic to that but surfing is what drives our passions.

It’s what informs our lives.

I’ve written almost every time that it is our best episode but number 48 might well truly be for today I learned that Drew Kampion, legendary surf journalist, founder of a radical tone, respected, venerated loved by all is not dead. Furthermore he specifically hates me and what I do.

How epic is that?

How truly epic?

For me it is, marking a heretofore never even dreamed achievement and not only never dreamed because I thought he was dead.

I won’t spoil my reaction here, you must listen, but we also discuss narcissism and the very real possibility that Meryl Streep is a serial killer.

Again, this may possibly honestly be The Grit!‘s high-water mark. Don’t believe? Tell me why. Unlike Kelly Slater I crave negative feedback.


Rip Curl Pro, Portugal, Day Two: “Kelly Slater, vintage, dramatic; day a minor classic of beachbreak surfing!”

Riveting viewing!

Best day of the waiting period, on paper at least, so European head honcho Jessie Miley-Dyer had no choice but to wring the sponge dry on what turned out to be a minor classic of professional beachbreak surfing.

My favourite battler, Soli Bailey, whom I predicted to shine in France finally made it out of round three in my highlight heat of the day. There were very many.

The most impressive numbers, seeing as BG is the website of record, were granted to Peterson Crisanto, currently languishing at 28 on the Jeep leaderboard. Seventy-eight percent of the global fanbase expected Jeremy Flores to back up his French win and send the beleaguered Brazilian back for an early vino.

Overcoming the weight of a heavy combination the 5’6” rookie caught a five-foot wave between the 20th and 21st minute and launched a high, corked, tail-high full-rotation reverse onto the bolts. The total distance from maximum height of air to landing was estimated by Peter Mel to be ten foot. Two judges, an Australian and a Brazilian, awarded the single manoeuvre wave a ten.

The score, after averaging, came in at a 9.67. A back up 6.67 was enough to take the heat.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3w5Cxuh0ZI/

All the proper big dogs had bite to the bark. Gabe looked very relaxed, after a quiet start before getting his heat started with an air as stylish as a prawn cocktail. A classic straight air with a subtle, tail-high tweak thrown in. Maybe slightly undercooked by judges for a seven. You could forgive judges a recency bias given Kelly Slater was still in the water after going ballistic in the previous heat against, shit, I’ve forgotten, Kelly was that dominant, ah yeah Seabass.


What’s the spiciest chilli?

I’ve got some really nice Honduran chillis which are mellow and some Thai Birds Eyes which make your eyes water just looking at them. Kelly was spicier than the whole bush. Just the intent to go vertical at maximum speed on the opening left was astounding. The dramatic recovery on the following right was vintage Kelly and drew a subtle rebuke from Ryan Callinan in the booth when they declared Kelly made the “easy things look really hard.”

As if responding to, not just Ryan but all his critics, Kelly took aim at a bulbous, threatening close-out section that came at him like a mushroom cloud. He rode out so clean for a 7.83, and that, in the opening ten minutes of a forty-minute heat and without any priority, was the heat.

Despite the magnitude of the performance Kelly graciously conceded that when it came to Olympic qualification John John Florence, despite not having surfed for “months and months” was still ahead of him on the ratings and by implication more deserving of the Olympic spot.

I think we can declare Kelly provisionally qualified after that heat.

I’m not for a second saying Filipe Toledo’s back injury is a fake. But if it were, even if some miniscule proportion of it was being somehow sub-consciously manufactured as a way of alleviating this dreadful pressure we know causes Toledo so much suffering , it would up there as one of the greatest rope-a-dope’s in the history of sport.

Pip opened with a feet forwards, very stylish tube-ride to lip glide floater, threw in a backside roter, rode eleven waves and looked loosey-goosey against Ribeiro.

Hosed down expectations in the presser before declaring, “I’m staying focussed because God has something special in store for me.”

Wade Carmichael avenged his controversial loss in France with a complicated, gnarly heat against Yago Dora. He swung the axe on a frothy, ugly left punching a fins-free floater that was like throwing a bag of cement off a building, according to a commenter in the live thread*. That turned the heat with a few minutes to go. Dora snapped a board. Carmichael went further in front after lacing a small right with arsenic flavoured turns. Dora threw soft, graceful airs and judges, in my eyes, rightfully paid the power fundamentals of the hairy man.

No-one can deny the fruitfulness of the Australian loin but only one of the Fathers, Jack Freestone, was able to penetrate the draw past the round of 32. Three Australians left in the Round of 16, not a single contender amongst them.

Has the Antipodean zeitgeist shifted back to mid-length twin-fins, acoustic guitars and escaping the system?

Or is this just some temporary blip that history will one day record as an aberration?

Wayne Murphy? Ian Cairns? There are wise heads out there with a broader scope than mine.

What is going on?

No-one will accuse Kolohe Andino of a lack of nationalist feels. He professed to love surfing and love his country after getting the provisional (there feels something vaguely mafioso about it) nod for Olympic quals. He trundles on, under the radar. Title hopes still alive. Michael Rodrigues, beak brilliantly bare, also under the radar and with a lot to play for his next opponent.

Tell me if I am reading this wrong, but despite the closeouts this comp has become riveting viewing. If they could go on hold through the nadir of the tidal cycle we could see a very, very entertaining ending.

I think Gabe will falter close to the end and it will go to Pipe. That’s my prediction and Ziff’s dream.

MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Men’s Round 4 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Griffin Colapinto (USA)
HEAT 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
HEAT 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Wade Carmichael (AUS)
HEAT 4: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
HEAT 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
HEAT 6: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA)
HEAT 7: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Conner Coffin (USA)
HEAT 8: Jack Freestone (AUS) vs. Soli Bailey (AUS)

MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Men’s Round 3 Results:
HEAT 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.57 DEF. Crosby Colapinto (USA) 3.17
HEAT 2: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 10.80 DEF. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 7.54
HEAT 3: Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.83 DEF. Jadson Andre (BRA) 8.17
HEAT 4: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 9.27 DEF. Deivid Silva (BRA) 7.27
HEAT 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.60 DEF. Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 10.10
HEAT 6: Wade Carmichael (AUS) 11.10 DEF. Yago Dora (BRA) 10.60
HEAT 7: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 12.30 DEF. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 11.86
HEAT 8: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.56 DEF. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 1.93
HEAT 9: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.67 DEF. Miguel Blanco (PRT) 8.33
HEAT 10: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 12.97 DEF. Michel Bourez (FRA) 11.57
HEAT 11: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 16.54 DEF. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.00
HEAT 12: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 11.20 DEF. Owen Wright (AUS) 10.93
HEAT 13: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 16.20 DEF. Frederico Morais (PRT) 10.33
HEAT 14: Conner Coffin (USA) 13.64 DEF. Willian Cardoso (BRA) 9.60
HEAT 15: Jack Freestone (AUS) 15.00 DEF. Joan Duru (FRA) 11.10
HEAT 16: Soli Bailey (AUS) 12.70 DEF. Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.43

MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Men’s Elimination Round 2 Results:
HEAT 1: Owen Wright (AUS) 10.96 DEF. Miguel Blanco (PRT) 9.87, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 6.60
HEAT 2: Crosby Colapinto (USA) 12.10 DEF. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 11.47, Seth Moniz (HAW) 9.66
HEAT 3: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 15.90 DEF. Frederico Morais (PRT) 12.76, Ryan Callinan (AUS) 11.33
HEAT 4: Soli Bailey (AUS) 13.00 DEF. Michel Bourez (FRA) 10.60, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 8.46