Topic: Storm - 2006

Topic type:

2006

1 January 2006  

PHO2008-1535

At the locked gate looking north along Beach One towards Gull Rock.

Gibbs’ Fishing Point.

The Three Sisters Beach.

 

A 0.4m low tide was due at 5.51 pm.  Just after new moon.

 

The forecast was for heavy rain and high winds for tomorrow.  The late low tide gave me a narrow weather window to work in.  It was extremely windy as I drove up and had been for the past couple of days.  Not a good sign.  Also, being a westerly, it would be right on the beach.

At the locked gate above Beach One, the wind was howling and the sea raged white.  Three shorn sheep sheltered against a fence from the sun which was diffused by high cloud.  Part way through my lunch I took a photo of them with Gull Rock in the background.  That was the last frame on the roll of film that I had wanted to clear from the last time I was up at Tonga.

Such were the conditions that I only ended up taking one photograph.  Down on the Three Sisters Beach, the wind was such that photography was all but impossible due to windblown sand and lots of salt spray.  The water temperature was warm though.  Of all my trips to Tongaporutu, this has been the most unproductive day photographically speaking that I have ever experienced.

 

4 January 2006  

PHO2007-217,   PHO2008-1536, PHO2008-1537, PHO2008-1538, PHO2008-1539, PHO2008-1540, PHO2008-1541, PHO2008-1542, PHO2008-1543, PHO2008-1544

Twin Creeks.

Gibbs’ Fishing Point looking north along the Four Brothers Beach.

 

A 3.6m high tide was due at 2.01 pm.  Three quarters new moon.

Stormy conditions have prevailed with very high winds for a while now so I wanted to photograph storm conditions at Twin Creeks.  This is something I haven’t done properly before.

 

Down at Twin Creeks, Russell Gibbs was there with a number of people.  Surf was spraying high up the cliff and above the Middle Rock.  Where I was parked next to the northern creek, the wind was being funnelled through the gap with a great intensity.  A few minutes later we all drove over the low hill and parked on the southern side of Twin Creeks.  The surf was boiling and a lot of foam was backed up against the northern creek, along with loads of logs.  The breaking surf wasn’t as high as I had imagined, but the sea was ferocious nevertheless.  If you had fallen in you’d have been a goner.

After lunch the sun came out, but the wind continued to howl.  It was so bad that I couldn’t photograph Gull Rock off the Gibbs’ Fishing Point.  I had to settle for some ‘record shots’ instead.

I am getting quite dejected at the moment.  All I am doing is ruining my camera gear and tripod by exposing them to extreme weather conditions.  In particular salt water spray, sand, etc.  I just feel like chucking it all in.

 

15 January 2006  

PHO2008-812

PHO2008-1545, PHO2008-1546, PHO2008-1547, PHO2008-1548, PHO2008-1549, PHO2008-1550, PHO2008-1551, PHO2008-1552, PHO2008-1553, PHO2008-1554, PHO2008-1555, PHO2008-1556

The MacKenzies Picnic Table Overlook, looking down on Horseshoe Cove and north along the Four Brothers Beach.

The MacKenzies Picnic Table Overlook, looking south towards Cathedral Cave and Gibbs’ Fishing Point.

The Three Sisters Beach.

The Four Brothers Beach.

A 0.7m low tide was due at 5.47 pm.  Full moon.

The weather had been relatively benign up until yesterday, but a weak front was forecast to cross during the day with increased westerly winds.  There were a lot of high, grey clouds and as the day progressed, the sky filled up with cloud.  Up at Tonga there was a moderate breeze but it wasn’t cold.  The sea state was energetic but not rough.  The weather hadn’t been too good for a number of visits.

 

30 January 2006  

PHO2008-1557, PHO2008-1558, PHO2008-1559, PHO2008-1560, PHO2008-1561

The Three Sisters Beach.

The Four Brothers Beach.

A 0.2m low tide was due at 5.39 pm.  New moon.

FILM SHOOT WITH THE CREW FROM STICKY PICTURES FOR TE PAPA MUSEUM, Wellington as part of their upcoming major exhibition entitled: Earth, Wind and Fire.  Filming was scheduled to take place over two days, namely Monday 30th and Tuesday 31st of January.

The weather on the preceding days had been calm with just a slight easterly breeze.  Today the weather was relatively clear.  There was some light cloud, but it was mostly sunny and the mountain was visible.  The sea was flat calm and there was no wind.

 

31 January 2006  

PHO2007-211,   PHO2008-1562, PHO2008-1563, PHO2008-1564, PHO2008-1565, PHO2008-1566, PHO2008-1567, PHO2008-1568, PHO2008-1569, PHO2008-1570, PHO2008-1571, PHO2008-1572, PHO2008-1573, PHO2008-1574, PHO2008-1575

Gibbs’ Fishing Point looking towards the Wall and north along the Four Brothers Beach.

In a helicopter above the Four Brothers Beach.

In a helicopter above Gibbs’ Fishing Point.

A 3.8m high tide was due at 12.09 pm.  Just after new moon.

Today there had been a weather change.  It rained early but cleared a bit later in the morning.  The sky however consisted mostly of grey cloud.  What breeze there was came from the north.  At the Wall, just because we all wanted to see waves splashing up the cliff face, there was nothing at all.  Not even baby splashes!  Of the aerial photography, only one image came out sharp.  This was because I had been unable to obtain any fast 200 ASA film in time for my big Pentax 6x7 camera.

1 March 2006  

PHO2008-1576, PHO2008-1577, PHO2008-1578, PHO2008-1579, PHO2008-1580, PHO2008-1581, PHO2008-1582, PHO2008-1583, PHO2008-1584, PHO2008-1585, PHO20081586, PHO2008-1587, PHO2008-1588, PHO2008-1589, PHO2008-1590, PHO2008-1591, PHO2008-1592, PHO2008-1593, PHO2008-1594, PHO2008-1595

The Three Sisters Beach.

The Four Brothers Beach.

Below Gibbs Fishing Point, specifically, the northern side where the Wall is.

A 0.0m low tide was due at 6.05 pm.  (The 0.0m low tide and correspondingly opposite 3.9m high tide were the lowest and highest tides to occur for three years).  Just after new moon.

There was a westerly wind blowing and there were boring slabs of cloud skulking over the hills with clear blue patches out to sea.  On the beach the wind was blowing quite a bit.  I had my woolly hat on as the sunhat would have blown away.  The sea was quite ‘wavy’ but the waves were mostly short, windblown chop.  There wasn’t much grunt to them as there hadn’t been any storms recently.  The waves were therefore just local wind generated waves, not distant storm generated ones.

 

30 March 2006  

PHO2008-1596, PHO2008-1597, PHO2008-1598, PHO2008-1599, PHO2008-1600, PHO2008-1601, PHO2008-1602, PHO2008-1603, PHO2008-1604, 1616

The Three Sisters Beach.

The Four Brothers Beach.

 

A 0.1m low tide was due at 4.40 pm.  Just after new moon.

There had been wind from the easterly quarter for quite some time.  Today, the sea state was calm and the day fine with no clouds.  I wondered how much longer this exceptional calm period of the Tasman Sea would last (from a wind perspective).

 

 

10 April 2006  

PHO2008-813, PHO2008-1617

Gibbs Fishing Point looking north along the Four Brothers Beach.

A 2.9m high tide was due at 8.25 pm.  The moon was three quarters full.

This was a planned night photo shoot.  The moon was due to rise at 4.36 pm and the sun to set at 6.04 pm.  The sea conditions were rough with a very strong westerly.  This had been generated by a recent deep low pressure system.

The grass up on the cliff tops and the paddocks were scorched brown so the weather must have been worse yesterday.  The sky didn’t look promising.  I saw glimpses of the moon, but it kept on sulking behind the clouds.  Later on, the moon came right out and everything lit up dramatically.  The cloud surrounding the exposed moon looked magnificent, being backlit by the moonlight.  Further away, stars winked in the black void between the dancing clouds.

 

 

15 May 2006  

PHO2008-1618, PHO2008-1619, PHO2008-1620, PHO2008-1621

 

Pilot Point Beach.

 

A 0.6m low tide was due at 5.17 pm.  Just after full moon.

 

A stiff southerly was blowing.  It was in connection with an active front that had moved through yesterday.  It was partly cloudy with a fair sized swell running.

 

 

17 May 2006  

PHO2008-1623, PHO2008-1624, PHO2008-1625, PHO2008-1626, PHO2008-1627, PHO2008-1628

 

The Three Sisters Beach.

The Point.

 

A 0.7m low tide was due at 6.46 pm.  Just after full moon.

 

The weather was fine with light westerly winds.  The sky was a mix of blue sky and high, fine cloud.  There was a moderate swell running.  The conditions weren’t dangerous, more a reducing swell from the storm of a few days ago.

 

 

13 June 2006  

PHO2008-1629, PHO2008-1630, PHO2008-1631, PHO2008-1632, PHO2008-1633, PHO2008-1634

 

The MacKenzies Picnic Table Overlook, looking down (north) on Horseshoe Cove.

Gibbs’ Fishing Point looking north along the Four Brothers Beach.

Gibbs’ Fishing Point looking south along Beach One.

The Three Sisters Beach.

 

(NOTE)  Due to camera problems, only the photo from Gibbs’ Fishing Point looking south along Beach One and the photos taken on the Three Sisters Beach came out).

 

A 0.6m low tide was due at 5.03 pm.  Just after full moon.

 

Yesterday, a WEATHER BOMB crossed the country.  It affected the South Island worst of all.  We had fierce northerly winds and heavy rain.  Today, it started off with a strong south-westerly, then around 10.30 am, the wind changed to a strong south-easterly.

 

Up at Tonga the river was well up.  Ferocious seas were flattened by the offshore wind.  Up on Gibbs’ Fishing Point at the northern end, I observed that the grass had been badly burnt by salt spray.  This was an unusual occurrence as the grass is more usually affected by burning from the west, south-westerly direction.

 

Down on the Three Sisters Beach the vegetation bordering the beach had taken a hammering.  Lots of flaxes, grasses and coprosmas were doomed to be washed away in the next big sea.  A powerful storm surge meant that low tide wasn’t low in the strictest sense.

 

As was usual during such dangerous conditions, I always looked out for the highest and reachable rock within runnable distance in case of a sudden and very fast incoming surge.  These surges were coming right up to the cliffs and were full of venom.

 

My last photos were of the Sisters being reflected in the wet sand.  Despite being taken late in the day, there was no magic light.  In fact the last light was remarkably flat and dull.  Perhaps this was due to it being softer and subdued in the salt haze.

 

 

20 June 2006  

PHO2008-1635, PHO2008-1923, PHO2008-1924, PHO2008-1925, PHO2008-1926, PHO2008-1927, PHO2008-1928, PHO2008-1929, PHO2008-1930, 1935

The MacKenzies Picnic Table Overlook, looking down on Horseshoe Cove and north along the Four Brothers Beach.

The MacKenzies Picnic Table Overlook, looking down on Cathedral Cave.  (South).

The Fledglings Overlook, looking south along Beach One.

The Fledglings Overlook, looking down on the Fledglings and north along Beach One.

Gibbs’ Fishing Point looking north along the Four Brothers Beach.

Gibbs’ Fishing Point looking south along Beach One.

The Brothers Overlook on the MacKenzies farm, looking south along the Four Brothers Beach towards the Gibbs’ Fishing Point.

 

A 3.2m high tide was due at 5.18 pm.  Half new moon.

 

The weather had been quite brutal of late – fierce southerlies and south-easterlies.  There were also some south-westerlies associated with polar fronts screaming up from Antarctica.  Today was a one day lull between weather systems.  There was a slight cold south-easterly breeze coupled with a wall to wall blue sky.  There was a moderate swell running, otherwise the sea was calm.

 

 

26 June 2006  

PHO2008-814, 1936-1945

Beach One

From the reef on Beach One looking south towards the pipeline and Whitecliffs.

From the pipeline bluff on Beach One looking south along Beach Two.

 

A 0.7m low tide was due at 4.23 pm.  New moon.

 

The weather was fine apart from some cloud to the east and south of Mt Egmont.  A stiff south-easterly was blowing, but down on the beach it was completely sheltered.  The sea state could best be described as flat.  The tidily waves were so small you could have launched a dinghy or kayak.  There was no swell.

 

 

17 June 2006  

PHO2007-213,   PHO2008-815, 1946-1950

Dulcie Richards’ bach.  (The Tongaporutu baches).

Te Kawau Pa.

A 3.2m high tide was due at 2.44 pm.  Almost half new moon.

Yesterday it had been brilliantly fine and Mt Egmont was clear.  Today there was no wind at all.  There was some cloud, both high and middle cloud as well as blue sky.  The sea was like liquid silver, but a departing storm which had hit eastern parts of the country worst had generated a large swell.

 

 

26 July 2006  

PHO2008-816, PHO2008-817, PHO2008-818, PHO2008-1951, PHO2008-1952, PHO2008-1952, PHO2008-1953-1975

 

The Three Sisters Beach.

The Four Brothers Beach.

 

A 0.7m low tide was due at 4.45 pm.  Just after new moon.

 

The day was bright and sunny with a mostly clear blue sky.  Mt Egmont was clear.  The wind had finally died after the previous few days of rough weather.  The sea was calmer than I expected.  The waves were smallish but had some grunt to them.  They were remnants of a fast dying swell.

 

 

10 August 2006  

PHO2008-1976-1992

 

The Three Sisters Beach.

The Point.

The Four Brothers Beach.

 

A 0.2m low tide was due at 4.30 pm.  Full moon.

 

The weather was partly cloudy with a reasonably stiff south-westerly blowing.  Blue sky out-muscled a lot of the cloud later on, particularly to seaward.  The sea was roughish and even though it was a very low tide, small surge conditions meant that it was pretty much the same as calm 0.7m low tide conditions.  Also later on, the wind died down to just a slight breeze, albeit a cool one.

 

 

9 September 2006  

PHO2007-218,  PHO2008-1993, PHO2008-1994, PHO2008-1995, PHO2008-1996, PHO2008-1997, PHO2008-1998, PHO2008-1999

 

The Three Sisters Beach.

The Point.

The Four Brothers Beach.

 

A 0.1m low tide was due at 4.51 pm.  Just after full moon.

 

There was a slight north-easterly breeze and it was raining steadily.  Down on the beach, as there was virtually no breeze, I was able to photograph with the umbrella up to protect the camera from the persistent rain.  The sea state was calm with a roughly two foot swell running.  This was nothing to worry about.  Though it is a time-consuming pain photographing under such conditions, coupled with the impossibility of changing rolls of film, the moody results are often well worth the effort.

 

I remembered moaning at the time that I was the only one there because no-one else was stupid enough to be there, apart from me.

30 September 2006  

PHO2008-2000

The Gibbs family.

There is NO DIARY ENTRY for this entry as I only went up to Tonga to photograph the Gibbs family.  This was in part a small ‘thank you’ to them for giving me access across their farm track down to the Three Sisters Beach and the Four Brothers Beach, my main working areas.  It saves me both time and difficulty by eliminating the need to access the Three Sisters Beach and beyond by the usual public access via the Tonga River mudflats close to the cliff.  This is accessed from the Tonga Reserve where the dunny is.

 

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