Topic: Storm - 2012

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8 April

Tongaporutu Coastline - Four Brothers Beach



The Three Sisters Beach

The Four Brothers Beach

A 0.1m low tide was due at 4.54 pm.  It was two days after full moon.

The weather was fine with a fairly brisk sea breeze.  The sea state was moderate with a 2 metre swell running.  The water was cool, but not uncomfortably so.


I’d come up firstly to drop off the written diary entries to the Gibbs, the O’Sullivans and the MacKenzies for them to check prior to my putting the written part of the Impermanence project online.  Secondly, I wanted to check on the evolution of the Three Sisters Beach dune, the New Sister and the Twin Arches cave system on the Four Brothers Beach.


I observed a full cliff face collapse at the northern end of the Four Brothers Beach that appeared to be several months old.  However, the biggest surprise was the Fractal Rock.  This had now evolved to be a large, open arch.  Rock/cliff debris to the rear of the Fractal Rock indicated a fairly recent rock/cliff collapse.

As it was Easter, there was a lot of people up at Tonga.  Quite possibly the most I have seen at any one time.



6 May  

Tongaporutu Coastline - Four Brothers Beach



The Three Sisters Beach

The Four Brothers Beach

A 0.1m low tide was due at 3.46 pm.  It was full moon.  It was also what is known as a “perigee moon”.  For those of you that don’t know, a perigee moon occurs when it reaches its closest spot to Earth.  On this occasion this also occurred when the moon was at its full phase.  This meant that it would be 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than it wil be at any other time during 2012.  (Source - The Taranaki Daily News, 5.5.2012.)

The weather was exceptionally sunny, warm and calm for this time of the year.  And it has been for a while.

I particularly wanted to go up to Tonga to photograph the Fractal Rock with my Pentax 6x7 film camera.  At Tonga, the sea state was almost flat with small wavelets, there being no swell to speak of.  The sand cover at both the Three Sisters Beach and the Four Brothers Beach was good overall, but rock shelving and some bedrock was exposed in the middle V section of the beach on the Three Sisters Beach.  The dune there also continues to be cut back.

At the Point I had to cross a deepish channel to enter the Four Brothers Beach.  The sand cover on the Four Brothers Beach itself was good overall.  Due to the very low tide and sand bank at the low tide mark, a number of small reefs and some rocks were visible.

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