Topic: Sand - Beach Two
Beach Two leads south directly from Beach One. Access, like to Beach One, is via the Pipeline creek that flows down to the beach. Beach Two is on the southern side of the large bluff that bounds the creek. Beach Two, unlike Beach One, is not always accessible due to the bluff. It is only accessible during low tide and under reasonable sea state conditions. If the beach is well built up, then the sea state is not so much of a problem, but during scoured out conditions, access can be arduous. That is, having to sploosh through rock pools between incoming waves.
Beach Two is a very long beach. It travels all the way down to an impassable bluff that is the boundary between Beach Two and Twin Creeks.
Beach Two like Beach One also has its particular sections. It doesn’t just run down in an undifferentiated straight line. It is bounded by high cliffs, and like Beach One, does not have a dry upper high tide area. Consequently, logs and flotsam cannot accumulate here.
The first part of the beach, like the other parts, gently curves in and out. This first part or northern section of the beach also contains a substantial boulder field that I have nicknamed ankle cracking territory. These rocks are for the most part fairly smooth, large and rounded to a remarkable degree. These and other rocks on the coastline vary in their size, but have all been sculpted by sand and sea. The rocks at Beach Two are for the most part, larger than ones seen at other sites. The rocks closer to the water-line support colonies of mussels of varying sizes. However, these rocks are subject to ‘shuffling’ so the colonies are for the most part transitory.
These boulders, due to their size, are frequently above the sand height, but can on occasions be buried.
Beyond this boulder field, the beach continues as a more usual sandy beach, but there are rock shelves and platforms in places. About three-quarters of the way down (south) the beach curves inward to form a large, open horseshoe type bay. This in turn leads around to the impassable bluff that forms the boundary between Beach Two and Twin Creeks.
I have never accessed the southern-most part of the beach due to time constraints. There being only one way in and one way out. Navigating over boulders is very time-consuming, quite aside from the considerable length of Beach Two.
23.1.2004 PHO2008-563-564, 566-567, 601-602, 605, 607, 611, 638, 642-643, 645
CLIFF SEQUENCING. The weather was fine with a slightly choppy sea. Fortunately, most of the waves’ energies were being directly up the coastline. That is, their angle of direction was roughly 65 degrees up the coastline and 35 degrees to the beach. This meant that subsequent wave tongues didn’t come inwards much. Also, they carried no storm surge venom. This was important as I was working at the wave-line with my back to the sea.
At the Pipeline bluff that separates Beach One from Beach two, (PHO2008-563), everything looked promising. I could just get around the bluff as the sand cover here was quite good. This was the first time I had accessed Beach Two.
Stupendous cliffs soared high above me. On the beach itself, a largish boulder field extended right down to the wave-line and beyond. Further along, these petered out and the beach was more sand oriented. Walking closer to the cliffs than I was comfortable with, I noticed that the medium sized, roundish rocks were incredibly smooth, like they had been highly polished but minus the shine. I also noticed several gargantuan cliff face collapses – the main reason I felt uncomfortable being so close to them.
No debris or loose driftwood was spotted. There were no upper dry beach areas. No escape points, unlike Beach One, where though you couldn’t climb up the cliffs if caught out by the tide, in the middle section of the beach, you could at least scramble up onto an area of soil and rock fill to wait out the next low tide.
The sea state, like this morning, was moving at a right angle north up the coast. Down towards the low water mark, the beach was definitely being built up, like a sand bar. This was raised slightly upwards so that waves coming in were coming in ‘uphill’, helping to reduce their length, along with the reducing chop and angle of movement. Paradoxically, it was here that I became acutely aware of there being no escape should a huge, rogue wave appear out of nowhere. If such a wave hit the beach, I’d be trapped. I pushed this thought to the back of my mind, but it wouldn’t completely disappear.
This was a beach of almost two halves, or perhaps more accurately, three thirds. At the Pipeline (northern end), the cliffs were particularly large and ‘slabby’. There were also plenty of rocks and boulders, many of which inhabited a distinctive boulder field. Down at the southern end there was a large open bay with good sand cover, but due to its distance and time constraints, I didn’t physically access this. The middle third was more beach and beach sand bar. Down here there were, or seemed to be, more creek outflows that fanned out fairly widely on their way out to sea. In a lot of places the sand was quite slushy. This squishy sand as well as the ankle cracking rock field, all ate into my limited time on the beach.
There were some large blind caves down here. Close to one of these were what appeared to be the remains of a collapsed arch. This resembled a large reclining sphinx. There were also some rock shelves, rocks and pools here. Beyond this area, the beach opened right out into the bottom third. I took a photograph here, but didn’t go all the way down to the bluff boundary that led around to Twin Creeks.
On the way back, upon reaching the boulder field near the Pipeline, the tide had retreated further. This exposed more sand, making it walkable between the rocks. These rocks down at the wave-line, like the ones up towards the cliffs, were generally quite roundish in shape. The rocks at the water-line, unlike the ones up near the cliffs, were chocker-block with good sized mussels. They looked in pristine conditions and I left them that way. The beach here appeared to be lower or more hollowed out than the beach on the southern side of the boulder field. Perhaps the prominent Pipeline bluff was a causal factor.
Water was flowing in the channels through the rocks. This was a combination of the incoming sea and out flowing fresh water that originated from a waterfall tumbling over the cliff. I noticed quite a few four to five inch sprats zipping around in them.
With Beach Two cliff sequencing in the bag, I rested up at the Pipeline, then continued along Beach One to continue my cliff sequencing there.
7.3.2004 PHO2008-709, 712, 719
A 0.4m low tide was due at 5.29 pm. I accessed Beach Two before doing Beach One. Again, I had come down here to document cliff collapses triggered by the Super-Storm event of last month. At the bluff where you enter Beach Two, the sand level was lower and more rocks were exposed. The boulder field just beyond this was also well exposed. On the southern side of this, sand prevailed, although rocks were present. Just before the beach turned around into a large open bay at the southern end, rocks, rock platforms and shelves became prominent.
16.10.2005 PHO2008-1466-1469, 1471-1474
A 0.3m low tide was due at 3.47 pm. It was fine with a cool breeze. Down at the Pipeline, a huge amount of sand had been lost. This was most probably due to the alpha storm which had occurred on 19.9.05. At the bluff that led onto Beach Two, I had to scramble over rocks and through pools of water where once there had been sand. The major boulder field was present and slavering to chomp my ankles if careless. Beyond this, sand cover returned. Further south again, rocks and platforms were present. Waterfalls tumbled over some of the cliffs as they do all along the coast. One was conveniently located so that I could include Whitecliffs and Mt Egmont through it.
The headache I started the day out with wasn’t improving. I had planned to photograph Beach One, but discovered that I hadn’t packed an extra roll of film so I couldn’t. Normally, I would have done my bun, but I was so buggered and my legs had all but crapped out clambering over the tortuous boulder field that I wasn’t bothered.
This view, taken from the Maori Pa Promontory, looks down on the southern part of Beach Two. The sand level here appeared good.
I didn’t access Beach Two, but did take a photo from the Pipeline bluff that looks south along the beach. The sand level was building back, but rocks were still present, as was the boulder field. A 0.5m low tide was due at 3.24 pm. There was a south-westerly wind and it was showery.
The weather was clear with a south-easterly. Mt Egmont was clear, but clouded up later. The sea was very calm. With it being a south-easterly, the cliffs gave total shelter from the wind at sea level. A 0.7m low tide was due at 4.23 pm.
At the bluff that gives access to Beach Two, roughly two feet of sand had been scoured out. This sand removal exposed the bedrock. The lower edge of the small mussels shows where the sand level had been earlier. The clear area at the bottom gave an idea as to how much sand had been lost. A large ‘lake’ perfectly mirrored the surrounding cliffs and Whitecliffs. Though rocks and the boulder field dominated, areas of sand were present. I didn’t go down Beach Two due to the high low tide and low beach state.
The weather was dull and calm. A low 0.5m tide was due at 4.23 pm. At the pipeline bluff that gives access to Beach Two, the sand level was building back, but pools of water and rocks were present. Again, the sand cover was higher at the cliff bases and lower at the water-line. The boulder field was present, but was partially buried in sand. I walked down to a small family of large boulders that ranged in size from a mini to a large car. As I had left my camera back at the Pipeline, I couldn’t do any more photography!
27.9.2007 PHO2011-1057-1060, 1063, 1065
A very low tide of 0.1m was due at 3.59 pm. The weather was calm and fine. I had come up with a fellow photographer, Adam Buckle. Normally, the northern part of Beach Two is filled with small to medium sized smooth, rounded stones. Normally, this is ankle cracking territory, but as the beach was abnormally well dressed with sand, most of my walking was on sand. The few boulders I had to go past were conveniently passaged with sand corridors. Further south, some of rounded stones reposed in a medium sized pool reminiscent of a localized V type formation.
Beyond the boulder field, the beach, though still having rocks and shelves, was more beach-like in its sand coverage. Upon my return to the northern boulder field, some of the boulders reached from the cliff base to the wave-line. The only sandy pathways between them were right up at the cliff where the beach had built up higher than usual. I don’t usually like walking so close to the cliffs because of cliff collapses. Mt Egmont was clear.
From the Maori Pa promontory, the beach state appeared good. The small boulder field was a natural feature at this, the southern end of Beach Two.
A 0.8m low tide was due at 2.54 pm. The weather was fine with a light westerly. After I had finished at Twin Creeks, I went to the Maori Pa Promontory that overlooked Beach Two. This particular spot looked north towards the Pipeline bluff. Rocks and platforms loitered at the cliff bases while reasonable sand cover prevailed towards the wave-line.
22.6.2009 PHO2011-1769, 1772
A 0.4m low tide was due at 3.16 pm. The weather was fine, but there was a southerly blowing. Despite being really rugged up, the bitingly cold wind bit through everything. I also regretted not having my hankie as my nose was constantly running. I had brought my panoramic camera down to the beach and left the Pentax 6x7 in the car. I was planning to use both, but due to the crappy track I had to access and the combined weight of this photographic gear, plus my tripod, I exercised prudence. I knew if I had an accident, then I’d be stuffed.
My first photo was taken from the reef on Beach One. This was the ‘have your cake and eat it’ shot – it showed the entire beach in the one frame.
To access Beach Two, I had to remove my gumboots and wade through some bloody freezing cold water that had pooled at the base of the bluff that led around to the beach. Just south of the entrance, large boulders and soil were present. They were the remains of a cliff collapse.
At this end of the beach, most of the round boulders in the boulder field were covered in a good base of sand. However, some of those close to the wave-line were surrounded by pools of water. Some had mussel spat growing on them. A little further on, a narrow ribbon of sand at the cliff base separated the cliff from the boulder field. From the middle of the beach towards the wave-line, sand built up again.
Travelling south beyond the boulder field, the beach continued with a mantle of sand. Then, just before where the beach opened out into a huge amphitheatre, rock shelves and platforms emerged. These were located near to the cliffs. However, as the sand level was good, roughly two thirds of their bulk was submerged.
I had planned to photograph the cliff collapse that I observed near the entrance to Beach Two and some of Beach One. However, due to problems with the camera, I used more film than I anticipated thanks to an unexpected stuff-up on my part. Also, I hadn’t brought up as much film as I had thought. And of course my other camera was up in the car! By now I was livid. Fucking panoramic camera! (I wrote that down in my photographic notebook). The F word was used copiously, but it didn’t change the fact that the other camera was still stuck up in the car because I had been too precious about lugging the extra weight.