Sea Breezes – The Reason Nothing Much Good Happens After 8am

Learn what a sea breeze is and how timing your swim before a sea breeze kicks in will result in better water surface conditions and a more enjoyable swim.

I reckon nothing much good happens at the beach after 8am.

The traffic starts backing up, parking becomes scarce, the sun starts to bake, the day-trippers arrive…

And then, in the summer, you’re likely to be hit by a sea breeze.

A sea breeze describes a localised onshore wind that blows from the ocean inland towards the shore, and on long sunny days, it’s likely to occur during the morning.

For ocean swimmers, the onshore wind chops up the water surface making swimming lumpy, bumpy and all-around not good [learn how to combat this].

Surfers aren’t going to be impressed either, because it’ll flatten waves and spell the end of nice surfable faces.


Every minute you’re at the beach after sunrise increases the chances you’ll encounter a sea breeze, because as the sun warms the land, at a faster pace than the water, the air above the land starts to rise, causing low pressure at the surface.

Over the water, high surface pressure will form because of the colder air. To compensate, the air will sink over the ocean. The wind will blow from the higher pressure over the water to lower pressure over the land causing the sea breeze.

The sea breeze strength will vary depending on the temperature difference between the land and the ocean.

By contrast, a land breeze or offshore breeze is the reverse effect: dry land also cools more quickly than water and, after sunset, a sea breeze dissipates and the wind instead flows from the land towards the sea, gifting us a calmer, cleaner water surface.

And so the scene is set for the next best time to be at the beach… a #sunriseswim the next day.


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