Monday 16th February.
We had a busy day with medical appointments. Donnis had acupuncture at Robina then it was a quick drive back to Runaway Bay where I had x-Rays on my suspected broken toe. (two weeks of constant pain) then after a quick lunch we drove to another appointment for Donnis.
Wednesday 18th February
Cyclone MARCIA , category 2, has formed off the coast a few hundred Klms north east of Mackay. The predicted track will bring it across the coast at Yeppoon near Rockhampton. Heavy rain, strong winds and huge seas are predicted as far south as Ballina on the NSW north coast.
Thursday 19th February
Cyclone MARCIA is heading down the coast and expected to cross near St Lawrence (about 800 Klms to our north) early Friday morning. It is currently a category 3 but may be a category 4 when it crosses the coast. We are affected in that we will have stronger than normal winds, higher tides, huge seas and predicted 300mm or greater rainfall.
In the afternoon we drove to the spit to see the wild seas and as we walked along the breakwater were bombarded by wind- blown sand.
Back at the car we found our legs were caked in fine powdery sand.
While in the middle of the wet, windy, sand blasting conditions we were surprised to encounter a Japanese wedding party having their wedding photos taken. Wow! What a memorable set of photos they will have!
On the beach below the breakwater was a television news crew trying to conduct a weather report.
We expect the heavy rain predicted for tomorrows will keep us indoors.
Friday 20th February
On waking this morning it was too wet to have my daily bike ride. Instead I turned on the TV. MARCIA has formed into a category 5 cyclone, the highest most destructive level. Yeppoon directly in the path has been evacuated or moved to cyclone shelters which have gone into lockdown. The cyclone crossed the coast at Shoalwater Bay a less populated area than Yeppoon. By the time MARCIA reached Yeppoon it was a category 4. That was still enough to cause widespread damage and the rain created floods wide and far. MARCIA tracked land along the coast, losing intensity as it moved. It was downgraded to a rain depression just north of Brisbane. We spent the wild wet day indoors watching continuous reports of the cyclone and the human stories of fear and courage.
Saturday 21st February
Another day spent indoors staying dry from the constant rain.
Sunday 22nd February
The rain eased to showers, on and off, all day. In the morning I managed to ride to Southport but got caught in a downpour.
In the afternoon we drove to Burleigh Heads to watch the seas which had been whipped into a brown foam. Experienced surfers were being towed by jet skis out to and onto the waves.
The headland was populated by spectators braving the weather and scattering when a downpour arrived.
The conditions were simply too rough for any but very experienced surfers.
Next we drove Tallebudgera Creek on the south side of Burleigh Heads.
On our way home we stopped at the Charis Fish markets at Labrador and bought fish n chips for dinner. This fish market is very popular and has a huge range of fish. It also seems to be on the tourist bus route as it is always crowded.