121. Sunday 31st January 2010. Of big cyclones and little observations…

We started the week with a tropical cyclone, “OLGA” crossing the coast north of Port Douglas and turning into a rain depression then heading west to the gulf country. There was also a cyclone called “WTF” (cause I cannot recall the name) which crossed the west coast and headed east. It turned into a tropical low and hovered off the east coast and joined forces with a monsoon trough. In the meantime “OLGA” re-formed in the Gulf of Carpentaria, did a 180 degree turn around and headed east once more crossing the coast near Karumba, also turning into a rain depression and joining the monsoon trough all headed south down through most of inland and eastern Queensland.

Thats where we live.

So this week we have had strong winds heavy rains followed by sunshine followed by strong winds and rain and to cap it all off, King Tides, the highest in 9 years. This means that low lying areas got tidal water where they do not normally get tidal water. Combined with swells stirred up by the winds we also got surf where there is normally no surf. The heavy rain combined with low pressure sytems, King Tides and swollen creeks and rivers there is nowhere for the water to go except outwards so some flooding occurred in towns on waterways. Drainage systems backed up.

Fun but not for those with flooded cars and houses, especially for the salt water flooding.

Here in Airlie Beach as far as I could see we escaped the flooding part but did get some incredible swells breaking against rock walls. The local kids loved it as the photos will show.


The swells rolled and broke along a rock wall sending showers of water into the air. The kids sat or stood or ran through it all. Even at my age I felt like stripping downand joining the kids. Probably dangerous for me but what the heck I enjoyed the thought anyway.

Kids getting waved at Cannonvale Beach. We got married on this beach 11 months ago.

Wave running along rock wall at Cannonvale Beach.

This looks like fun at Cannonvale Beach.

On thursday WHEREWILLWEGO had the rear springs levelled up and an extra leaf put in the drivers side to compensate for the weight of fresh and grey water tanks on that side. So now instead of being down 35mm unladen on that sise it is 10mm unladen up on that side. Should make for a more level ride although to be honest I had not noticed  bad riding or handling charateristics. I did have some reverse parking problems on our hitherto steep and uneven ground beside the house. The mud flap got caught under the wheels a couple of times. With the ground now built up and leveled, the springs lifted and the mud flap bar bent back into shape we should not have that problem anymore.

Thursday night in the wind and rain as I was walking Donnis to her car as she headed out for night shift at the Nursing Home I discovered a couple of toad stools growing out of a plant pot. The toadstools are a creamy colour moving to yellow at the top. They really stand out as a ghostly colour in the night.

Ghostly Toadstools.

 That was also the night the frogs in the area started celebrating the rain and the damp. Not only can they start mating but there is an increase in mozzies and wrigglers. Frogs love mozzies and wrigglers.


The noise was a cacophony of frog calls all night and has been every night since. Walk outside and it is almost like a wall of sound. Not like the Phil Spector Wall of Sound. Can anybody can remember Phil???

Today there have been increasing periods of sunshine which is a problem as the humidity levels scream upwards. Last night we went to bed without AC. The night was cool, about 20 degrees C, so we left all doors and windows open to take advantage of the cooling winds which found their way indoors. I woke a little after 3am hot, sweaty and uncomfortable with some half formed half remembered dream on playback loop in my head. I put my pillow and myself at the foot of the bed in the hope of it being a little cooler. It was no use. I tossed and turned and the half formed dream was now on fast forward. I turned on the AC closed the bedroom window, the ensuite door and the bedroom door after stepping into the hallway. I stood at the front screen door and listened in the darkness to the falling rain – heavy – the strong winds and the frog orchestra. After a few minutes I went back to the bedroom and in that short space of time could feel the cooler air and lower humidity levels. I feel asleep with the sheet over me only to wakened by the telephone at 5am when the Nursing Home called Donnis asking her if she would like an early morning shift at 6am! I had walked to our bedroom door and heard the message recorder on the phone in the kitchen kick in. I refuse to have a phone in the bedroom, even mobile phones are confiscated. I went back to bed and pulled the light cotton blanket over me (Donnis had pulled it over herself when the AC was turned on) and went back to sleep. I woke at 7.40am. That is almost a late sleep in record for me. If not a record it is in the top three.

During the day today the sun had made a few brief appearances but mostly it has been overcast and threatening rain although it has not rained since I woke this morning. Looking across at the mountains it is as if I am looking through a veil of gauze. The humidity is so high without raining. It is like walking through water and Donnis says each breath is an effort. The humidity has invaded everything. Even clothes in the wardrobe, laundered and ironed now feel limp and heavy with mositure. Donnis was packing to go to Canada and because the clothes have humidity they also have extra weight so she may have to put the clothes through a drier before packing them.

My clothes are hanging limply on me. We should put on the AC but will persist until after our showers then turn on the AC in the bedroom. Outside it is almost dark at 5pm due to the heavy cloud layer.

I just checked the radar. There is quite a bit of rain about 150 klm south of us and a little rain about 300 klms to the north. Nothing else is showing up on the radar.

This weekend I finished cutting a shelf (well a couple of shelves) for the MH. I have put on several layers of varnish. They look quite good. One has been installed the other still needs some support brackets. We have also decided another overhead locker will have a lower shelf, with dish rack above and a book shelf to one side. That will really test my carpentry skills.

This morning as I went to start varnishing I noticed the biggest stick insect I have ever seen on our gargage door. I thought a photo would be a good idea. Look at the size of his little eyes.

Our Stick Insect. Really looks like a stick.


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