AFTER all the media lately about what a mess Byron Bay has become, perhaps it is a good time to remember that there are still some good people in the community who choose to give back, rather than just take.
This has been done through events that raise funds for local charities and services.
One such event is happening on Saturday week. It's the Australia Day Paddle 2013.
This is a purely non-profit, non-ego, family fun event for surfers and ocean lovers alike.
It's a chance to get together and paddle your craft across the bay and raise money for worthy local causes along the way.
So get involved, pre register at info@australia daypaddle.com.au or turn up to register at Wategos Beach on Saturday January 26 at 8am.
The race starts at 10am. Little tip: considering the current parking situation at Wategos it may be an idea to either get there early or organise a drop- off.
It all finishes at the surf club with a barbecue on the deck. It should be a great fun day.
After the Australia Day paddle is all over, if you feel inclined to have your say about the mayhem in the bay, then get over to the community centre at 6pm for the open public forum on what to do about the problems in Byron.
Although I do question the motives of holding such a forum on Australia Day, I can't help but wonder if they're hoping that very few people will actually show up.
Okay, let's take a look at the waves and beach conditions this weekend.
First off, expect rain. It's anyone's guess how much we get, but it's all pointing towards being wet with onshore winds.
Tomorrow will most likely have winds from the E/NE while Sunday is forecast to swing south, although I suspect we'll see E/SE on Sunday in our region swinging back north on Monday.
The swell is going to be small, 0.5-1m primarily from the east, so it will get in most spots.
There will be a secondary south swell around 0.5m that really won't make its presence felt until Sunday afternoon or Monday.
By Monday the south swell may increase and become the dominant force. Although it could get big way out in the Tasman, there appears to be little hope that we will see any more than 1-1.5m of this swell for the last week of the school holidays.
Don't forget guys, there have been some pretty potent bluebottles around and several shark sightings this last week.
Remember to have fun, wait your turn, and surf today like you want to surf again tomorrow.
Ben 'Bear' Bennink is a former professional longboarder and retired NSSIA master coach. He writes for Pacific Longboarder Magazine and is semi-retired in Byron Bay where he is editor of inbyronbaytoday.com.