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.