Topic: Fauna - The Point
This separates the Three Sisters Beach from the Four Brothers Beach. It also includes the Hole in the Rock rock stack and the Passageway. The Passageway is a through going cave that bisects the Point.
I was particularly taken with the green algae growing on the lower part of the cliff. This part of the Point fronts onto the Three Sisters Beach.
20.8.2005 PHO2008-1394-1395, 1405
I did some photography at the cave that bisects the Point. This included the large, flat rock platform and other rocks that were located on the Four Brothers Beach side of the Point. Extensive colonies of small mussels were located here. This rock platform appeared to be above the sand smothering zone, so presumably they lived long enough to reproduce. Green algae was also present where the light levels permitted.
21.8.2005 PHO2008-1415, 1427
Once again I did some photography of the cave and its environment. This included showing the mussels that grow here. The weather, unlike yesterday when it was fine, was overcast. This made for better photography as the light was even.
An ALPHA STORM was pounded the coastline. Interestingly, this current alpha storm hit during the same month, but two years apart, as the first Alpha storm I recorded. (That particular storm struck on the 29th September 2003).
At the Point, huge globs of sea foam frothed up the beach on every incoming wave. Great swathes of them coated the cliffs and where the wind was particularly virulent; they swirled furiously around in the air. Despite the difficulty, I did manage to photograph this spectacle. The best photo, though taken at the Point, looked north towards Elephant Rock (PHO2008-810), so I have placed it in the Three Sisters Beach. So hideous were the conditions that it is not something I care to repeat. (As of August 2010 I haven’t).
As I couldn’t access the Four Brothers Beach via the seaward side of the Point, I had to go through the Passageway. As I waded through, I saw a few purple rock crabs (Plagusia capensis), in the freezing cold water.
After I had finished on the Four Brothers Beach, I stopped at the massive cliff promontory to admire a picturesque rock formation sculpted into its base. I spotted a large crab scurrying around inside it. This was another image I filed away for a future time.
These platforms at the Point were mostly denuded of any surviving mussels. This was because, apart from a few places that remained higher than the sand level, the others had been suffocated to death. Eventually, the lower parts of the platforms will re-emerge from their sand blanket and once again be re-colonised by new mussel spat in a continuing cycle of renewal and death.
At the Passageway, lots of large rocks had been exposed. I don’t think they were from a recent cliff fall as green algae were growing on some of them.
Due to high sand levels, only these mussels clinging to the highest parts of these rock platforms continue to survive.
As I rounded the Point, I noticed that just the tips of the rock shelves were showing. The mussels atop them were being suffocated with sand. Judging by the size of these mussels the beach hadn’t been this built up for some time. Due to the angle of the sun and shadow, the green algae endowed cliffs on the Four Brothers Beach side of the Point showed up beautifully. The upper cliff vegetation was also well displayed. Flaxes predominated as they do along most of the cliff faces. Some have been planted while others are wildings.
You can’t go past the good old flax plant for sheer toughness and perseverance. If ever a book was written on Survivability, they would be up there with the best of them.
The sand was so built up at the Point as it was elsewhere, that the rock platforms and shelves that lead from the Point to part way down the Four Brothers Beach were almost completely buried. Only the three highest points were visible and these were tightly colonised by desperate mussels.
After I had safely rounded the Point, I noticed that as the sea level had been high for some time, seaweed and green algae had colonised many places on the rock platforms and reefs that were now largely free of sand. The lower parts of the platforms and other places that don’t often sprout seaweed were also well endowed. The growth was small, signifying perhaps two to three months of growth.
CLIFF SEQUENCING. The rock platforms at the Point were now mostly buried in sand. Some desperate fairly well grown mussels were clinging to the few exposed tops.
After returning from the Four Brothers Beach, I hopped up onto the Hole in the Rock and took a photo looking north towards Elephant Rock. I also included some of the mussel encrusted base of the Hole in the Rock.
The rock platforms were fully exposed and covered in mussel spat.
Due to the very high beach level now, almost all of the platforms at the Point were buried with sand. Only a few tips were visible, along with their besieged small mussels. All the mussels that were present earlier have been suffocated.
The rock platforms were mostly covered with sand.
The rock platforms were still mostly covered with sand.