Yesterday I was called “insane”, “crazy” and “the raining princess of pedal power”. Each affectionately. You see, it’s raining again and I’ve been riding in the rain. It’s too interesting out there to stay inside.
Wind and rain whipped up by tropical cyclone Marcia has stretched over 700kms along the Queensland coast. On the Gold Coast we’re lucky to be far enough south to feel only the fringe of this Category 5 storm. Communities further north around Yeppoon and Rockhampton experienced its full force when it crossed the coast early yesterday morning. While property and infrastructure have been severely damaged, reports are that everyone is safe. Shaken but safe.
I rode out early in the morning to take a peek at the paths, the creek and the beachfront. The creek was rushing soil stained water towards the sea, remnants from the paddocks and national parks that sit up the Currumbin valley. A king tide with a three to five foot swell was pushing into the Currumbin Alley. I spotted a couple of tow-in surfers riding along a wave face on their jet-ski, the driver steering it skilfully ahead of the breaking wave, the passenger holding his surfboard underarm.
The prospect of surf fuelled by a king tide brought sightseers out for a look.
The prospect of surf fuelled by a king tide brought sightseers out for a look. Streams of cars crawling along Pacific Parade. People with cameras leaning out of car windows or leaning into the wind as they walked with raincoats zipped and eyes squinting.
Although wild, unruly and dangerous, the surf wasn’t very big. Usually tropical lows send spectacular surf but this system seems likely to bring better surf this weekend (1).
The Currumbin Surf Lifesaving Club car park is a popular attraction when the seas size up. With the club perched on the edge of Elephant Rock, the seas swill through the car park making the club and the rock an island passable only with a dash between the waves. With a large enough swell, cars and industrial rubbish bins have been pushed into the sea by the surge. Yesterday, not so. It was mild compared to other times. TV cameras arrived before high tide to film any action and left with images of a car park awash with sand and seagrass.
I don’t mind riding in the rain. It’s generally not cold in the rain at our latitude of 28 degrees south. It is the wind gusting, unpredictable and breaking branches on large trunks, that makes me scurry home.
(1) For more about TC Marcia’s impact on East Coast’s surf conditions see Ben Macartney’s write up and forecast here.
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