Storm Surfing

It’s just an hour’s drive north to where Brisbane is in the middle of what is reportedly the worst ever natural disaster in Australia’s history. However, down here on the Gold Coast it has remained relatively rain-free, and all the major storms and floods have passed us by. The only reminder here that we can see of nature’s fury is just in the chocolate brown-tinted ocean, which has been filled with silt, dirt and debris from the runouts of all the rivermouths and creeks.

But all the junk in the water and lumpy, wind-blown swell isn’t enough to deter the avid Goldy shred-head. Yesterday there was only one small strip between Snapper Rocks and Greenmount that was breaking and rideable, and it was amazingly busy. The waves were wild and massive, with the whole of the rocks covered in a bubbling, shimmering foam of brown sand & seas-water scum. There was such a huge drag and no let-up in the smashing waves that some guys were waiting 10 minutes at the Keyhole to find a break to paddle out furiously to the take-off zone. Admittedly, it was well beyond my capabilities, and so I stood in the shallows by the rocks and snapped a few shots into the evening. I hope you like them.

Queensland: Beautiful one day…flooding the next!

It’s probably a good thing that Queensland recently changed the State promotional slogan to “Where Australia Shines”, because taking a look at the weather up here the old “Beautiful One Day, Perfect the Next” would get them in trouble with the ACCC for false advertising! It hasn’t been a typical Spring and Summer on the Gold Coast – sunny days, like the one above, have been fairly infrequent. It is the rainy season up here, as South East Queensland gets hit by the remnants of tropical summer storms and cyclones further up north, but I don’t think anyone would have predicted downpours and floods like this!

I saw some pretty decent flooding down in Victoria during winter and spring, but Queensland is sure getting hit harder. I flicked through Brisbane’s Courier Mail today, and it showed that rainfall was up to a foot within 24 hours in some locations across Queensland, and I just heard that Toowoomba received 170mm in one hour! Fortunately, the Gold Coast isn’t affected by floods because the nearby mountain range and numerous rivers flush out all the water into the sea. However, it does turn the waves a murky, dark green which takes a few days to clear up, especially around the rivermouths. Yet even in the rain and gloomy skies you can still find some colour and brightness. You have to be careful, though, as the  rainfall has brought all sorts of creepy-crawlies into urban areas.

But I can’t complain too much: the ocean temperature is 23 degrees celsius,  the waves have been pretty good, you can still find quiet little seaside towns to escape the GC holiday crowds just 25 minutes down the road, and even when it’s teeming down with tropical-style rain, the outside temperature still hovers around 25 degrees. Just don’t count on getting a tan if you come up here for a holiday anytime soon

(Note: WordPress seems to be uploading photos at a very low resolution for the previews, so if you like a photo, click on one of the thumbnails, then click it again on the next screen to see the original higher quality jpeg)