Tauranga's beaches have been free this summer of a sight which usually sparks horror among bathers - sharks.
A survey of Bay surf clubs has revealed that no sharks have been spotted cruising close to shore.
"We have not seen a shark," Papamoa Surf Life Saving Club patrol captain Shaun Smith said yesterday.
"I think they are still out there but the weather and surf conditions make them hard to see." This was in contrast to the same time last summer when glassy surf conditions led to numerous shark sightings at Papamoa.
Washed up export lamb roasts from the Rena were also blamed for bringing lots of sharks into the shallows at the beach.
Mr Smith also put the lack of sightings down to the difficult beach conditions at Papamoa where lifeguards were kept busy herding people back inside the flags.
He said the whole beach was a mess with big sucking holes and a deep channel at the Arataki end. "It can be knee deep and then you take two steps and it is head deep."
They were constantly rounding bathers up, he said, with six lifeguards flat out on Thursday. Ten to 12 swimmers were pulled out, mostly children swimming just outside the flags, who needed a hand to get back to shore.
Overcast weather meant the Bay's beaches were back to being quiet yesterday.
The Mount Maunganui, Omanu and Maketu surf clubs have also not spotted any sharks.
The harmless bronze whaler is the most common species seen off our shores but visitors also include makos, threshers and sevengill.