Topic: Storm - 2009

Topic type:

2009

11 January 2009  

PHO2011-1487, PHO2011-1488, PHO2011-1489, PHO2011-1490, PHO2011-1491, PHO2011-1492, PHO2011-1293, PHO2011-1294, PHO2011-1295, 1512

 

On Gibbs’ farm above the Three Sisters Beach.

The Three Sisters Beach.

The Point.

The Four Brothers Beach.

On the Three Sisters Beach looking north over the Tonga River towards Pilot Point.

 

A 0.3m low tide was due at 5.03 pm.  Full moon.

 

There was a south-easterly blowing and the sky to seaward was mostly a mix of  high cloud with some blue visible.  Rain was however painting the northern hills with moisture.  Though not overly wonderful weather-wise up at Tonga, due to some drizzle, down south, an annoyingly clear Mt Egmont basked in blue.  Later on, the drizzle and breeze died off and this made for comfortable T. Shirt conditions.  The sea state was calm with small waves.

 

 

12 January 2009  

PHO2011-1513, PHO2011-1514, PHO2011-1515, PHO2011-1516, PHO2011-1517, 1557

 

Te Kawau Pa.

 

A 0.2m low tide was due at 5.53 pm.  Full moon.

 

CLIFF SEQUENCING.  What a difference a day makes!  Though buggered from yesterday, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to finally do cliff sequencing at Te Kawau Pa.

 

Upon arrival, there were some nice cloud build-ups over the hills, but out to sea it was a mixture of blue sky interlaced with wispy white cloud.  This allowed the sun to shine through at around 85% intensity.  The wind direction however was another matter.  It had swung around from the south-east I experienced yesterday and was now directly on the beach.  It was most likely just an onshore breeze.

 

The sea state was fairly choppy with some vigour, but nothing really to worry about as there was no storm surge.  The sea could best be described as being playful.  Though the beach was well built up combined with a very low tide, I was UNABLE TO ACCESS THE SEAWARD SIDE OF LION ROCK AS I HAD DURING THE ORIGINAL CLIFF SEQUENCING DONE ON 8.3.2004.

 

As the low tides were comparable, this could be due to either one of three reasons.  The first could be that the beach height beyond Lion Rock was lower than in 2004.  (The beach height between Lion Rock and the cliffs was comparable to that of 2004).  The second could be due to the wind direction.  It was a south-easterly offshore breeze in 2004, while on this occasion it was a westerly onshore breeze;  one pushed the sea out while the other pushed it in.  (I am assuming this).  Finally, the third reason could be due to actual sea level rise.  As of 2 June 2010 I have still been unable to access the seaward side of Lion Rock.

 

 

8 February 2009  

PHO2011-1558, PHO2011-1559, PHO2011-1560, PHO2011-1561, PHO2011-1562, PHO2011-1563, PHO2011-1564, PHO2011-1565, PHO2011-1566, PHO2011-1567, PHO2011-1568, PHO2011-1569, PHO2011-1570, PHO2011-1571

PHO2011-1573, PHO2011-1574

 

The O’Sullivan family.

The Gibbs family.

The MacKenzie family.

The Tonga Reserve looking north across the Tonga River towards Pilot Point.

The Tonga Reserve with caravans.

The road on the landward side of the Tonga baches.

One of the Tonga baches.

At the public overlook on the southern side of the Tonga estuary looking to seaward towards Mammoth Rock and Pilot Point.

Near the public overlook on the southern side of the Tonga River looking south towards the Tonga baches.

The Three Sisters Beach.

The Four Brothers Beach.

 

A 0.5m low tide was due at 4.00 pm.  Just before full moon.

 

The weather was very hot with little to no wind and the sea state was small and relaxed.  Later on the sky was filled with a boring ceiling of light grey cloud.

 

 

11 March 2009  

PHO2011-1575, PHO2011-1576, PHO2011-1577, PHO2011-1578, PHO2011-1579, PHO2011-1580, PHO2011-1581, PHO2011-1582, PHO2011-1583, PHO2011-1584, PHO2011-1585, PHO2011-1586, PHO2011-1587, PHO2011-1588

 

On Gibbs’ farm looking north over the Tonga River towards Pilot Point.

On Gibbs’ farm looking down on Mammoth Rock on the Three Sisters Beach.

On the Three Sisters Beach looking past the landward side of Mammoth Rock across the Tonga River towards Pilot Point.

The Three Sisters Beach.

The Point looking south along the Four Brothers Beach.

The Three Sisters Beach looking north towards Pilot Point.

 

A 0.2m low tide was due at 5.13 pm.  Full moon.

 

The weather consisted of south-westerly gales and showers.  On the beach I had to don my sunglasses as a measure of protection against the horrendous wind.  The wind was so ferocious that it was driving bands of sand before.  Normally I wouldn’t go down on the beach under such conditions, but I had to come up to drop off the farming families’ photos.

 

There was some pale blue sky that showed up against the grey murk and Whitecliffs were ‘lit up’.  Well, when I say lit up, that was what you could see of them through the surf spray.  As such, the weather conditions were ‘interesting’ to say the least.  Boiling surf, swirling sand, blasting winds and angry clouds.  Boring didn’t come into it.

 

 

12 April 2009  

PHO2011-1589, PHO2011-1590, PHO2011-1591, PHO2011-1592, PHO2011-1593

PHO2011-1758

 

Te Kawau Pa.

On the O’Sullivan’s farm looking down on the Pilot Point cave and south towards the Three Sisters Beach and White Cliffs.

The Three Sisters Beach.

The Point.

 

A 3.3m high tide was due at 11.23 am and a 0.5m low tide was due at 5.39 pm.  Just after full moon.

 

The weather was fine, except that due to it being a ‘dirty’ high, the sky was congested with grey cloud.  The wind was a south-westerly but nothing untoward.  The sea state was fairly vigorous, but with no storm surge.  Some blue sky did present itself later on.

 

With regards to the panoramic images, all are under-exposed to some degree.  This was my first test drive of Adam Buckle’s Fuji Panoramic G617 professional film camera.  I subsequently did everything wrong that you could do wrong, while learning the finer points and idiosyncrasies of this fully manual camera.  This included having to factor in the filter factor, when at the beginning I didn’t even know that the camera had a filter to factor!  This was due to Adam being unable to find the Idiot’s Guide Manual.  A kind person subsequently acquired one for me later on.

 

 

20 April 2009  

PHO2011-1759, PHO2011-1760, PHO2011-1761, PHO2011-1762, PHO2011-1763

 

Twin Creeks.

The Gibbs’ top paddock looking south across bush towards White Cliffs.

The Gibbs’ top paddock looking south along the coast towards White Cliffs.

The Gibbs’ top paddock looking north towards Twin Creeks.

The Whitecliffs Walkway above Beach Two looking south towards White Cliffs.

 

A 2.6m high tide was due at 5.31 pm and a 1.2m low tide was due at 11.25 am.  Just after the last quarter before the new moon.

 

The weather was fine and the sky consisted of light high cloud and some blue sky.  Some darker cloud was also present.  There was virtually no wind and the sea state was mostly glassy.  What breeze there was, came from the north-east.  A deep low was due to attack the country over the next day or two, although Taranaki would probably miss out on most of the rain.

 

 

25 May 2009  

PHO2011-1594, PHO2011-1595, PHO2011-1596, PHO2011-1597, PHO2011-1598, PHO2011-1599, PHO2011-1600

 

Te Kawau Pa.

The Three Sisters Beach.

The Four Brothers Beach.

 

A 0.3m low tide was due at 4.22 pm.  New moon.

 

There was a very strong south-easterly blowing and the sky was overcast with grey cloud.  Due to the strong off-shore winds, the atmosphere was very clear and the sea state was quite calm.

 

 

3 June 2009  

PHO2011-1601, PHO2011-1602, PHO2011-1603, PHO2011-1604, PHO2011-1605, PHO2011-1606, PHO2011-1607, PHO2011-1608, PHO2011-1609, PHO2011-1610, PHO2011-1611, PHO2011-1612, PHO2011-1613

PHO2011-1764, PHO2011-1765, PHO2011-1766

 

Pilot Point Beach including the dune.

Te Kawau Pa.

A 0.8m low tide was due at 12.28 pm.  Full moon was due on the 8th.

 

Being sick of going up mostly when it was cloudy, which seemed to coincide with very low tides, I decided to go up on a fine day instead – today, irrespective of the tide.  The day was great with some white high cloud about, but there was also a lot of blue sky.  It was cold but sunny and what slight breeze there was came from the south, south-east.  The sea state was good.

 

 

22 June 2009  

PHO2011-1767, PHO2011-1768, PHO2011-1769, PHO2011-1770, PHO2011-1771, PHO2011-1772, PHO2011-1773

 

On the reef at Beach One looking north along Beach One.

On the reef at Beach One looking south towards Beach Two and White Cliffs.

Beach Two looking both south and north.

 

A 0.4m low tide was due at 3.16 pm.  Just before new moon.

I haven’t accessed Beach One or Beach Two since September 2007.  This is mostly because the track down to these beaches is a right arsehole, as in sloppy banks, a slippery stream bed and knee jerking logs that loafed at the Pipeline’s entrance.

 

The weather had been fine for a while;  fine to mean no rain so the stream would be low enough to safely slosh through.  The sky was mostly blue but there was a mix of broken cloud.  The wind however was a bitterly cold southerly.  Even though I was thoroughly rugged up, the wind ate through everything.  I regretted not having my hanky as my nose and eyes were constantly watering.  The sea was freezing cold, but the sea state was moderate, there being no storm surge.

22 July 2009  

PHO2011-1614, PHO2011-1615, PHO2011-1616, PHO2011-1617, PHO2011-1618, PHO2011-1619, PHO2011-1620, PHO2011-1621, PHO2011-1622, PHO2011-1623, PHO2011-1624, PHO2011-1625, PHO2011-1626, PHO2011-1627

 

The Fledglings Overlook, looking south along Beach One.

The Fledglings Overlook, looking north along Beach One.

The Fledglings Overlooking, looking down on the Fledglings.

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

The Three Sisters Beach.

 

A 0.2m low tide was due at 3.55 pm.  New moon.

 

Today was a weather window between active weather fronts.  Though it was a very low tide, I wasn’t expecting the tide to be really low due to storm surge conditions.  The wind in New Plymouth was a very strong south-westerly.

 

Upon arrival at Tonga, I was pleasantly surprised at how little wind there was.  It appeared to be deflected by the angle of the hills.  The sea however was big and noisy.  The atmosphere was saturdated with salt spray.  A lot of cloud was forming, but just as quickly it was being whisked away.

 

 

2 August 2009  

PHO2011-1628, PHO2011-1629

 

The Three Sisters Beach.

 

A 1.1m low tide was due at 1.25 pm.  Full moon was due on the 6th.

 

I hadn’t planned on doing any beach photography as I had arranged to go up to Tonga to photograph the Gibbs family.  However, after this, I did toddle off down to the Three Sisters Beach for a look-see at the gap separating Mammoth Rock from the dune area.  Due to the high low tide and big seas born from a succession of vigorous fronts, access would be limited to the Three Sisters Beach.

 

Today was once again a short weather window between fronts.  It was sunny with some broken cloud and the wind was from the west.

 

 

22 August 2009  

PHO2011-1630, PHO2011-1631, PHO2011-1632, PHO2011-1633, PHO2011-1634, PHO2011-1635, PHO2011-1636, PHO2011-1637, PHO2011-1638, PHO2011-1639, PHO2011-1640, PHO2011-1641, PHO2011-1642, PHO2011-1643, PHO2011-1644, PHO2011-1645, PHO2011-1646, PHO2011-1647, PHO2011-1648, PHO2011-1649, PHO2011-1650, PHO2011-1651, PHO2011-1652, PHO2011-1653, PHO2011-1654, PHO2011-1655, PHO2011-1656

 

The Three Sisters Beach.

The Four Brothers Beach.

 

A 0.1m low tide was due at 5.09 pm.  Just after new moon.

 

The weather had been quite calm for a while with breezes coming from the south-east.  Today there was a north-easterly breeze.  At Tonga there was a mix of cloud and blue sky, but mostly it was cloudy.  A roughly one metre swell was running, but as there was no wind here, the sea, despite the swell, was essentially quiet.

 

 

26 August 2009  

PHO2011-1657, PHO2011-1658, PHO2011-1659, PHO2011-1660, PHO2011-1661, PHO2011-1662, PHO2011-1663, PHO2011-1664, PHO2011-1665

PHO2011-1883, PHO2011-1884, PHO2011-1885, PHO2011-1886, PHO2011-1887

On Gibbs’ farm looking down on Mammoth Rock on the Three Sisters Beach, also, the beach itself.

The Three Sisters Beach.

On Gibbs’ farm looking down on the Sisters.

A 3.1m high tide was due at 1.48 pm.  Just before the first quarter of the full moon.

 

A series of potent fronts emanating from a very deep low to the south of the country were swinging across the country delivering big seas and gusty northwesterlies.  I came up today because I particularly wanted to document the dune area during storm high tide conditions to observe how the sea is eating away at the dune banks.  This to include the dune facing the beach proper (west) and at the gap that separates the dune from Mammoth Rock (north facing).  Also, to see how the Tonga River impacts on the dune under such high water energy conditions and with the river currently being close to the Three Sisters Beach side of the estuary.

 

Up at Tonga it was sunny but very hazy due to a dense salt spray ‘fog’.  This extended several kilometres inland and was evident along the entire western coastline that I could see.  It was very warm and quite windy.  I had expected to see waves splooshing over the top of the dune area opposite Mammoth Rock, but that didn’t happen.  From the cliff-top, the sea was a seething white mass of waves and wash, particularly around the Sisters and Mammoth Rock.

 

For more detailed information on dune damage due to wave action, refer to Section 8 on Beaches.  Specifically, under the Three Sisters Beach on 26.8.2009.

 

Down on the beach at the gap, I noted rather disconcertingly, that it was evident that powerful wave tongues had climbed up the cliff wall for several feet.  I guessed that this had occurred last night when the storm was at its peak.  The Tonga River was brown with runoff and in flood mode.  While this was flowing outwards to sea, the tide was coming in.  Thus you had two flows of water travelling in opposite directions to each other and both were in very high energy states.  From what I could see, the river had an undercutting effect causing the sea and its incoming waves to run over the top of the river.  Obviously there was some water mixing.

 

At the gap that separates the dune from Mammoth Rock, there were THREE SEPARATE WAVE ACTIONS.  These sometimes coincided, either altogether, twice, or separately.

 

The predominant wave action came from the main Three Sisters Beach with Mammoth Rock causing a funnelling action.  Periodically, waves would bunch up and send a surging tongue of water right around the back of Mammoth Rock, which would then spill into the Tonga River side.  Sometimes it would have sufficient volume to surge right across to the dune and pummel into the dune bank.  The water depth averaged around 6 CM, with occasional wave tongue depths reaching around 20 CM.  There were relatively lengthy periods between these bigger than normal wave surges.  Most of the time the wave tongues didn’t reach the dune at all and often wouldn’t sweep right around Mammoth Rock.

 

On the Tongaporutu River side of Mammoth Rock, incoming waves would occasionally surge in and around Mammoth Rock.  Sometimes these were in isolation and sometimes they were in tandem with waves from the seaward side of Mammoth Rock.  At all times the waves were highly energetic and when they mixed, it enhanced the spread rate.

 

The third wave action was I believe directly attributable to the location of the Tongaporutu River.  Currently it is running close to Mammoth Rock.  Sometimes, incoming waves running down and over the top of the river would slam into outgoing waves that had first come in, then collided with the mainland cliff situated to the rear and eastward of Mammoth Rock, before backtracking out to sea.  Specifically, parts of the wave would backwash out to sea and then slam into an incoming wave, while the rest of the wave would surge along the cliff base, sometimes climbing several feet up and along the cliff wall towards the dune area.  This wave tongue would also spread out and across to Mammoth Rock.  On occasion, it would link up with an incoming wave from the river side and also with a wave tongue coming from the opposite direction.  That is, from the seaward side of Mammoth Rock.  Thus in this scenario you have a triple wave action effect.

 

As I watched the debris of branches and twigs swirling around in the gap, a log rolled past as if it was a twig, such was the power of the water, even though shallow.

 

On the beach proper, the dune face is only subject to the action of single waves.  Though the angle of hit/energy level can vary, the single wave action remains a constant, unlike at the gap where the dune bank is subject to three separate wave actions.  The surf conditions on the main beach were such that large stones were being rolled around and up the beach like they were grains of sand.

 

Up on the cliff-top, wind was flinging soil particles up and over the top of the cliff.

 

 

6 September 2009  

PHO2011-1774, PHO2011-1775

PHO2011-1888, PHO2011-1889, PHO2011-1890, PHO2011-1901

The Three Sisters Beach.

Pilot Point, looking north over the Tonga River towards the Three Sisters Beach.

Te Kawau Pa.

 

A 0.5m low tide was due at 4.49 pm.  Just after full moon.

 

The sky was maxed out with blue thanks to a resident high.  There was a slight south-easterly breeze.  The conditions today couldn’t be more different than those encountered on 26th August when the beach was being napalmed by huge surf.  Today the sea was a contented pussycat, not a snarling tigress.

 

 

19 September 2009  

PHO2011-1666, PHO2011-1667, PHO2011-1668, PHO2011-1669, PHO2011-1670, PHO2011-1671, PHO2011-1672, PHO2011-1673, PHO2011-1674, PHO2011-1675, PHO2011-1676, PHO2011-1677, PHO2011-1678, PHO2011-1679, PHO2011-1680, PHO2011-1681, PHO2011-1682

PHO2011-1902, PHO2011-1903, PHO2011-1904, PHO2011-1905, PHO2011-1906, PHO2011-1907, PHO2011-1908, PHO2011-1909, PHO2011-1910, PHO2011-1911, PHO2011-1912

At the locked gate looking north along Beach One.

At the locked gate looking north along the Whitecliffs Walkway with my car in the picture.

On the Gibbs farm looking down on the Sisters and the Three Sisters Beach.

The Three Sisters Beach.

The Point.

The Four Brothers Beach.

 

A 0.1m low tide was due at 4.03 pm.  New moon.

 

It had rained here overnight, but the weather was forecast to improve as the day aged.  The wind was from the south-east.  Driving up to Tonga, I kept pace with the southern boundary of the northward retreating front.

 

Down on the beach, cloud occupied the sky up here, while down at Mt Egmont it was exasperatingly clear.  On a positive note however, the cloud up here was rapidly dissipating.  There were in fact two cloud layers.  The lower one was ordinary cloud and this was vanishing fast.  The higher cloud cover was a lovely small white speckled cloud that alternated white with blue.  Later on, blue dominated the sky.  There was virtually no wind on the beach and the waves were just small fry.

 

 

18 October 2009  

PHO2011-1683, PHO2011-1684

PHO2011-1913, PHO2011- 1914, PHO2011-1915, PHO2011-1929,

1931-1937

 

Twin Creeks.

The top paddock, looking south towards White Cliffs.

The top paddock, looking north towards Twin Creeks.

The Three Sisters Beach.

 

A 0.3m low tide was due at 4.41 pm.  New moon.

 

There was a light to moderate southerly breeze.  The weather was forecast to be showery but clearing later.  It rained while I had lunch in the car at the locked gate, but thankfully it stopped just before I set off on the long trudge down to Twin Creeks.  Both streams at Twin Creeks were running high after the copious amount of rain we have had.  The sky was a mix of cloud and blue sky.

 

At the Three Sisters Beach, the sea state was moderate and there was a lot of frothy foam in the pools and on the rocks.

 

 

15 November 2009  

PHO2011-1938-1947

 

The Three Sisters Beach.

The Point.

A 0.5m low tide was due at 3.38 pm.  Two days before new moon.

 

At Tonga the weather was crap.  It was raining with a fairly stiff north-westerly wind.  The sea state was choppy.  Normally I wouldn’t have come up to Tonga under such conditions, but I had arranged to take members of the TARANAKI GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY on a guided walk of the Three Sisters Beach.  Only three people turned up.  No surprise there.  Despite the weather, I got some good images.  Under such appalling conditions it would have been impossible to have used my big Pentax film camera.  There was too much wind and rain.  Also, I was guiding people and their safety was my prime concern.

2 December 2009  

PH02011-1685-1687, 1689-1700

The Fledglings Overlook, looking north along Beach One.

Gibbs’ Fishing Point looking south along Beach One.

Gibbs’ Fishing Point looking west over Gull Rock.

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

Pilot Point Beach including the dune.

The Three Sisters Beach.

 

A 0.5m low tide was due at 4.40 pm.  Full moon.

 

We were straddled by a family of lows that delivered swamp-like conditions.  Today, there was a north-westerly breeze, low cloud and sea fog.  This was the third day of horizon to horizon fog.  There was however no rain, apart from the odd spot or some light Scotch mist.

 

Up at Tonga, the pea soup atmosphere was quite dense.  Whitecliffs was invisible as was much of the coastline and surrounding hills.  The fog increased and decreased in intensity, so much at times that you could see more of the coastline and the sea than at other times.

 

At Gibbs’ Fishing Point looking north towards the Wall and the Four Brothers Beach, the sea was choppy and brown in colour.  This was due to the sandy bottom being churned up.  The breeze, being directly off the sea was cool, but otherwise the conditions weren’t really unpleasant.  Later on the fog lifted, but it was replaced by sullen grey clouds.

Discuss This Topic

There are 0 comments in this discussion.

join this discussion