Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Port Skies

Australia day 2009. We decided to go fishing on the inlet. Around 9.30am the temperature dropped and this storm front rolled in from the south. It rained every bit as hard as it looked like it would...and then some.

One of the advantages of spending time in one place is that you are able to get to know it just a little better than if you were simply passing through. Seven months is certainly not a long time, but it did give us an opportunity to see Port Douglas change from the cool of winter to the build up in November and December and finally the rain of January. It is a beautiful place and we often walked along the beach or around town of an afternoon or evening. These shots show some of the moods of Port Douglas that we experienced during our stay.

Thunderheads gather north of Port Douglas. Mt Thornton is obscured, but it stands at approx 1300m, so that storm above it cloud is probably about 2km in height.

A gentle December sunset. The sky turned pink, followed the water and then the sand as we walked along Four Mile Beach.

I was amazed by the height of some of the storm clouds that built up in December. This one unleashed just a few kilometres off the beach.

Low winds in November mean calm seas and it is often the best time to get out on the reef. This shot looks toward Woody Isle taken from Low Isle. The pair are easily visible from Four Mile Beach.

Storm clouds doing some weird layer/circling stuff over the ranges. I was waiting for the space craft to come hovering out of the top ring.

Same evening as the pink shot above, but earlier and facing south. It started out as an ordinary sunset but turned on some amazing colours as it went on.

Storm clouds bowl across Stinger Park in October 08. The clouds began to threaten around this time but the action didn't start until the end of December.

A catamaran coming into the channel under quickly fading light. It was rare to get pinks in the eastern sky.

The old cane wharf during the build up in November 08. I really started to enjoy the silver light it seemed to have so many subtle variations and could still be quite strong and vibrant.

Woody Isle cops a downpour. It is amazing how the rain can be so isolated and intense. It was very common for it to be raining on the reef and not a drop in town.

A menacing swirl of cloud over Four Mile Beach, new year 09. I'm not sure how a cyclone forms but I thought this was giving a pretty good impression.

A gentle winter sunset looking north from Stinger Park toward Newell Beach. The smoke from a cane fire is visible between the two groups of people.

Rarely did cloud clear the range to the west. Here the sun provides a volcanic effect as it sets behind the mountain.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Welcome to Wet Season

Swim in the sea anyone? Cyclone swell, king tide, logs, crocs and stingers.

I'm going to go out on a limb and declare that wet season has started. It had been trying to rain, I mean really rain. The humidity had been building and the thunderheads had gathered every afternoon, but it hadn't come to very much....until yesterday. Port Douglas received 310 mm in 24 hours. Further north in the Daintree it topped 400mm. We also had a double whammy with the highest tides of the year occurring on the same day. What happened to the beach? Well, it went under.

Jane and I had the day off and took a drive up to the Mossman Gorge in the afternoon. Our usual swimming hole was flowing a little faster than usual.

It's been brewing for a while. Looking west from Flagstaff hill last Sunday afternoon..

On Sunday afternoon we decided to go to the movies in Cairns and made the 15km detour to Barron Falls. The falls were impressive and Marley and Me was better than expected. It rained all the way back and all night, with some heavy stuff waking us at about 3am. 310mm in the 24hours to 9am. Welcome to wet season.