January 31st 2010
The tide came up and the rain came down
While Islanders were enjoying all the thrills of yesterday morning's king tide combined with 428mm of rain (since he 24th when this monsoon started), there was a serious side that few could ignore. Magnetic Island's beaches, particularly Nelly Bay beach was again seriously undermined and eroded by the ever advancing shoreline.
The impact of the storm, which was delivering winds over 30 knots to Magnetic Island, on top of the 4.11 king tide - the highest for the year - appeared to have removed at least another metre of foreshore from Nelly Bay and while the waves were bigger at Alma Bay the beach-eating was most evident at Nelly.
Magnetic Times was out an about observing the storm and tide at various locations begining with one local passenger off Sunferries' 7.05am service from Townsville who said it was the worst she'd experienced and that she was still shaking from the trip.
The Palm Cat rides the storm in Cleveland Bay
And while the ferries were ploughing through the big seas their was nobody in the water at Magnetic's most popular beach at Alma Bay where large waves were rolling up the beach and under the beach-side gazebo.
Radical Bay was experiencing far less angry swell, protected yesterday by it's north-facing aspect but the surf was nonethless tipping up and over the foredune.
Radical Bay 30 minutes before high tide
A lone kiteboarder at Horseshoe Bay. Photo courtesy Mya Couchman
But for sheer excitment there was nothing to match the fun being had at the Picnic Bay jetty where the wind howled past observers huddled at the shelter watching kids and some adults playing amidst the wild weather on the jetty. Some adults were concerned for the young children who were jumping off the jetty as the stinger season is in full flight but when Magnetic Times ventured to the jetty's end there was a sight to behold as the Bowden-Hamilton family from Nelly Bay lept in joy as each wave passed under the jetty and shot spray up between the planks.
Kids playing along the jetty The Bowden-Hamilton at the jetty yesterday
Sadly the jetty has suffered some damage with sections of the walkway wrenched up from their supports and a number of heavy timber planks also lifted out by the swell at the jetty's old mooring shelter. Just observing the action one could feel the jetty lifted as the waves hit. It was a day to remember.
Damage to the jetty
As for the rain, which absolutely bucketed domwn yesterday afternoon, Mr Bill Timms from West Point, informed us that since January 24 he had recorded 428mm of rain to 7am this morning.
We have also learned from Elena Timms that the beach at West Point has been eroded by 3 to 4 foot waves and that at least two more casurina trees have been lost to the sea.
Magnetic Times has heard that very large waves are presently pounding Horseshoe Bay beach and, as we are unable to attend, we hope local readers with cameras will, as in past events, send in their snaps for us to share as well as any from yesterday you think were worth a look. To do this please identify the photographer's name so we can properly acknowledge them and file sizes below 500kbs are appreciated.
Story and photos: George Hirst
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