I guess you have all heard by now that Tropical Cyclone Yasi smashed into the Qld Coast at Mission Beach last night. Rated at Cat.5 it is the largest storm to impact Qld in a century.
The coast between Townsville and Cairns copped the brunt of the storm with places such as Tully,Cardwell, Mission Beach and Innisfail sustaining major damage. Luckily no reports of major injury or death have been received so far.
The Qld Government should be commended for the planning and procedures they have implemented during this event and our Premier, Anna Bligh has been an absolute trooper during all the disasters that have hit Qld in recent times!
Here in the Whitsundays we had gale-force winds all night but once again no significant damage has occured. Early modelling suggested that TC Yasi would come ashore not to far away from the Whitsundays so everybody was prepared for much worse conditions than we actually got.
Driving around Airlie Beach this morning I was flat out finding anything dramatic to photograph apart from the “surf” in the bay.
A marked contrast to what it is normally like! A few desperate surfers even paddled out in to the mushburgers risking stingers and sharing the line-up with a yacht that had dragged anchor overnight.
Every now and then it would get nailed by a wave that would break outside it and I am amazed the anchor was holding it at all!
The vessel featured in my last two posts was getting a hammering so I thought a couple of shipwreck shots were in order just to have on file.
While we here have escaped this time many people further north have not been so lucky and will take a long time to recover.
Here it comes! TC Yasi is barreling towards the tropical Qld coast as a Cat 4 system and is expected to cross the coast near Cairns sometime early Thursday morning.
Here in the Whitsundays we are expecting some serious winds and rain. The one thing about Qld cyclones is that they often recurve to the south as they approach the coast. That could put us in the firing line, so we are not out of danger yet! Everybody is apprehensive about Yasi for good reason, it’s a biggie!
In my last post I thought the grounded vessel may have been lucky by coming ashore in a sandy area. Inspection at low tide showed it managed to strike a couple of submerged rocks sustaining substantial damage underwater. Unlucky!
Well, TC Anthony crossed the coast at Bowen last night at about 10:30pm. Even though it was wild evening with wind gusts up to about 130kmh,Airlie Beach escaped with minimal damage, lots of broken branches and only one boat driven ashore that I could find.
I was pretty surprised that there weren’t more boats on the bricks as Airlie Bay would have been like a washing machine at the height of the storm. This guy was lucky as he found a patch of sand surrounded by a lot of rocks!
Even though we dodged a bullet last night, we are staring down the barrel of TC Yasi which looks like it is a large and potentially destructive system forecast to impact the Qld coast on Thursday.
The next image is an attempt to capture some of the gale force gusts ripping through the trees outside my door yesterday afternoon
Anyway, it will be a nervous few days coming up, stay tuned!
Well, it looks like I may have spoken a bit prematurely in my last post! As I type this, TC Anthony is making a beeline towards the Nth Queensland Coast and is forecast to cross the coast somewhere north of Bowen as a Cat 2 system, sometime early tomorrow morning.
Airlie Beach, being on the southern side of the cyclone will cop some wild weather tonight and we are expecting some heavy rain over the next few days!
Of more concern is another system forming near Vanuatu which is expected to move west and impact the Queensland Coast as a Cat 4 or 5 system later in the week.
After Cyclone Ului last year people are a little more switched on and have been stocking up with supplies and fuel. Not sure what use a car load of fuel will be when the roads are likely to be impassable?
Also, the SW of West Australia is still under threat from TC Bianca which thankfully seems to be weakening. That is one out of the box as it is extremely rare for a cyclone to be that far south! Anyway, hope you guys over there don’t cop it too badly.
Here we go again!
This is another angle on the boats that were driven ashore recently during TC Ului. Wanted to see if I could get a darker feel to it, not sure if I actually succeeded. Constructive comments welcome!
Happily all the boats pictured have been returned to their native element although they will need some time in the shipyard to undergo repairs.
On another note, I am having trouble with my stitching. They come out all shapes and sizes! Is there a way to get a certain ratio, 2;1 or 3:1 without making them look stretched or squashed?
Any help would be much appreciated!
I went back down to Shute Hbr today to try and get some images that give an idea of the desolate look of vessel that has found itself on the beach due to forces that are sometimes far greater than the seamen who spend a lot of their time doing everything in their power to keep their boats afloat!
Luckily these vessels have suffered little real damage compared to many others and hopefully will be afloat again, albeit with some ingenuity,brute force and funds.
“We don’t have a problem, it’s just an unresolved situation we haven’t thrown enough time and money at yet!”.
The biggest cost will be the loss of earnings for the various commercial vessls that have found themselves in this predicament.
Well, the Whitsundays scored a direct hit by TC Ului on Saturday night and it was a wild night indeed! Ului crossed the coast at about 1:30am as a Cat 3 system with gusts of about 200km/h.
Power had gone about 11:30 and from then on it was a dark and stormy night literally! As the eye passed over the wind dropped to about 15 knots and light drizzle before it all resumed from the opposite direction but nowhere near the previous intensity. By daylight it was pretty much all over.
As sleep was nearly impossible we decided to hold an impromptu party to celebrate the rare experience of passing through the eye of a cyclone.
As a tree had fallen across our driveway I couldn’t get out and about to inspect things until late afternoon and everyone else had the same idea.
There was surprisingly little structural damage to buildings but the trees in some places looked like they had been torn apart by something extremely violent.
Hearing some of the gusts the previous night I was not surprised but I was still shaking my head just looking at it.
On the marine side of things there was carnage at Shute Hbr which is open to the south with many vessels dragging their moorings into the mangroves or onto the beach.
As a lot of the vessels went ashore at the peak of the tide and storm surge, it will be problematical to refloat the larger ones and large cranes will need to be utilised.
Once the eye passed over and the wind switched direction any boats left in the bay were exposed to open sea and about half a dozen ended up on the bricks. As most of the shoreline around Airlie Beach is now sea wall these boats did not fare so well.
What you can’t see in this photo is that there is a smaller boat crushed between the large yacht and the rocks!
Power was out for about 40 hrs and is still out in some areas but things are slowly returning to some sort of normalcy. It is interesting how your life changes when you don’t have some of the things that you take for granted, like light,TV, internet and how quiet it gets! Similar to camping really.
The local council, SES and energy companies have worked their rings off to restore normal services as quickly as possible and deserve the fullest praise for their efforts!
I for one am glad it wasn’t a Cat 5!
Talk about great timing! I have arrived back in the Whitsundays after some time in Tasmania (where the weather was sunny and mild) to a cyclone threat!
As I write this, TC Ului is a Cat 2 system with winds of approx 170kmh near the centre, about 350km offshore and appears to be heading sraight for us. Up until this morning you wouldn’t have thought there was a cyclone heading our way but within the last few hours the weather has slowly detriorated. Winds are getting very gusty and no birds to be heard anywhere, rain hasn’t set in yet but no doubt it will come.
Ului is expected to cross the coast sometime early tomorrow morning so I guess it will be a pretty wild night. Glad I won’t be at sea!
In the meantime this is an image taken while I was in Tasmania. Taken from a very narrow bridge in an area called Paradise, hence the title.
5 image stitch, Processed in LR2 & PtGui.