Topic: Caves - The Point
THE PASSAGEWAY CAVE - The Point
The Point is a substantial promontory (The Point or the Point Proper), that separates the Three Sisters Beach from the Four Brothers Beach. It is bisected by a fairly large cave that I call the Passageway. The smallest entrance is on the north-western (3SB) side. It has a small to medium sized overhanging bowl/dome. Immediately to its right (seaward side), there is a small, forming blind cave or indentation that is being carved out about five feet above ground level.
The cave is quite narrow for part of its length and is about 20-30 feet in height. Roughly in the centre it rounds out into a cave proper. This has a blind corridor going landwards. This leads around to the main entrance on the south-western (4BB) side. This has two large open overhanging bowls on either side giving a cavern-like appearance. The bowl on the landward, main cliff side is the larger of the two. This more or less encompasses a small, horseshoe bay that culminates in a massive, high promontory that I have called the Buttress or buttress cliff. This is all part of the Point and forms the northern boundary of the Four Brothers Beach.
On the beach close to the Point are two rock platforms, separated by a channel in the middle. On the Three Sisters side of the Point, there is a small rock stack that I call the Hole in the Rock. The reason for its name is obvious. It has a hole in it!
CLIFF SEQUENCING. The photos show the site location. Access to the Four Brothers Beach is mostly obtained from the seaward side of the Point, dependent on whether the sand is built up or whether there are deep channels. Cave access is rare due to it usually having a pool of deep water on the Three Sisters Beach side. There is a small ledge about eight feet in that leads safely through to high sand in the cave proper and out the other side, but the pool can be deep prior to reaching this ledge. No internal cave photos.
This image was taken from the Three Sisters Beach side. The cave’s entrance is partially visible to the right of the frame.
This location photo shows the cave’s entrance at the Point, also, the Hole in the Rock. Most of the 30.7.03 cliff collapse material to the left of the cave’s entrance had washed away. This cliff collapse is noted in Section Four on Cliffs.
20.8.2005 PHO2008-1391-1392, 1394-1395, 1397-1398, 1402, 1405
I documented the interior of this cave system. Bright sun meant that internally the shadowed light reflecting off the cave walls would have a blue cast to it. On the Four Brothers Beach side, a large flat rock platform, well endowed with small mussels and green algae, led up to the cave. This was on the seaward side. On the landward side of the rock platform, it rose about seven feet from the sand floor, creating a mini-canyon of around seven foot in width from the land side cliff across to the top of the rock platform. Apart from a few insignificant shallow pools, the bottom was mostly sand based leading into the main cave chamber. Continuing north towards the Three Sisters Beach, the sand gave way to a deep pool which is present to a greater or lesser degree for most of the time. This is due to the water being funnelled through the narrow channel that separates the Hole in the Rock from the Point. I used the 55 mm lens on my Pentax 6x7 camera.
21.8.2005 PHO2008-1414-1415, 1424-1427
I did more interior photography of the cave, plus some exterior photos in the small horseshoe cove on the Four Brothers Beach side that the cave leads out to. This time the light was high overcast; perfect for interior photography. I used my 135 mm macro telephoto lens. The downside is that the depth of field is less. The cave itself appears to be quite stable at present.
The low tide was quite high due to surging conditions and waves were surging around the Hole in the Rock. Even though there were another couple of hours until actual low tide, I didn’t hold out much hope of accessing the 4BB. On my last visit (1.1.06), the pool on the Three Sisters Beach side of the passageway cave had been chest deep. I knew this because two boys in togs went through. The reason I have put an entry in here is because much to my surprise, the passageway was completely built up with sand, apart from a small pool that was only ankle deep. I haven’t seen it like this before. A miracle! (14.7.2009 - That’s what I thought and noted at the time).
At the base of the Buttress there is a small indentation/arch that is fronted by a pool. It had been on my ‘to do list’ for some time, so today I photographed it. Another thing I documented was the high indented cliff face that is part of the southern (4BB side) cave’s large, open bowl. I included some of the sky for scale.
Little change observed. On the 4BB side of the Point, the interplay of bright sun and dark shadow highlighted the overhanging bowl. That is, the overhanging and indented part of the cliff was shaded while the normal flatter cliff wall was well lit. The cave’s 4BB entrance was obscured. The horizontal image shows part of the Buttress cliff on the right, with the Point and the Hole in the Rock on the left.
CLIFF SEQUENCING. Overcast day. I didn’t do any internal photos, but documented the Point area from several viewpoints. The one here was taken from the Four Brothers Beach of the Point. The cave proper is obscured to the rear. As can be seen, a small, blind cave is forming on the Point proper. There is also a relatively clean area at the top half of the Point. Any cliff falls that occur here would quickly vanish, so unless you were present close to the time of the cliff fall, there would be no evidence of it.
Access via the seaward side of the Point to the 4BB looked tricky. I really wanted to access the 4BB so I checked out the passageway cave. There was just a smallish pool of water. It was quite deep, just over my knees, but a narrow rock shelf underwater with a convenient shelf above water for holding onto, gave me access to the other side. I have mentioned this here because apparently it was the first time I had paid any attention to the low rock shelf! The cave itself appeared unchanged, although the blind cave indentation being carved out on the 3SB side (just right of the main entrance) appears to be growing larger.
Access past the Hole in the Rock to the 4BB was once again blocked by the sea, due to bedrock being exposed. At the passageway cave however, the bottom was built up to the left-hand ledge which gave me access. Usually there is a deep hole here. The cave itself appeared little changed.
I had been wanting to access the Four Brothers Beach since last September. As the tide was still too high to pass on the seaward side, I checked out the passageway. In bare feet and wearing a skirt, the resident pool had sanded up on the northern side to the point where there was a short distance to wade through to access the underwater platform. The water was thigh deep. Inside the cave proper, the sand level was good. There is nearly always a sand high cover in the passageway’s centre, with pools of water usually inhabiting both entrances. The cave itself remains in a stable state thus far.