East Coast Low

For the last two days we’ve bore the brunt of another East Coast Low. Enormous seas continue to pummel the coast and ferocious winds are lashing the shoreline. Rain is torrential at times. With all the hallmarks of a tropical cyclone, but with slightly less intensity, the ECL (East Coast Low) is generally short lived in comparison lasting only a few days and with wind strengths marginally lower. There is however still the risk of flash flooding and storm damage.

The ECL can occur on the east coast of Australia at any time of the year, sometimes as a hangover from a tropical cyclone and at other times of the year, more commonly during Autumn and Winter, due to favourable upper atmospheric conditions.  Air pressure over warmer sea temperatures found in eddies of warm water travelling in the East Coast Current collide with weather conditions such as a cold trough travelling across the land and produce a rapidly forming intense low pressure system. They are very unpredictable and can form rapidly. Similar conditions are also reported off the coast of Africa and America where they are known as an east coast cyclone.

So for us, well we’ve hunkered down with the windows shut tight and the gutters overflowing. Hot soups and casseroles are the order of the day. Our little butcher bird friends have visited our windowsill in between showers, their appetites bigger than usual.

As the low passes tonight, the clouds are still heavy but the relentless seas still batter the coast. Stay safe beautiful people. xxx

view a short video on my vimeo account here:

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My Good Luck Dolphins

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I sat on the verandah with my very good friend. We shared a laugh and a recipe or two. Normally it would be considered bad manners not to maintain eye contact but we knew each other well and neither of us could resist the view.

Our gaze wondered out to the East. We chatted on. The morning was clear and bright. The ocean smooth and glossy. A gentle breeze ruffled the shoreline and the wisp of coolness in the air reminded us that the season was changing.

Glinting in the sunlight , catching our attention, smooth backs and black fins sliced through the sea. The dolphins were back just beyond the shore break and today they were in a playful mood.

Most days at about this time the pod feeds on the schools of fish out in the channel behind the line of surfers. Swimming slowly in groups of 4 or 5 they surface, dive, surface. Drawing an imaginary serpentine through the top few meters of water filling their bellies as they travel. But today we had front row seats as the show got underway.

The spectacle that followed was breathtaking; athleticism like no Olympian you’ve ever seen; playfulness like a herd of miniature goats; and friendships built on trust and respect that lasted a lifetime.

Centre stage the first act rose up out of the water and performed a beautiful tail walk., his head nodding at his own brilliance. His friends applauded him as they surfed past on a wave like a well rehearsed and choreographed dance troupe. The water so clear it seemed they were encased in glass. Some more splashing, diving and surfing quickly culminating into a spine tingling crescendo as the lead dolphin leapt clear out of the water in a perfect air born arc and as his final act re entered the sea without a splash and was gone.

As the curtains lowered on the liquid stage we sat there in wide eyed wonder, smiling in the knowiledge that we had just been testament to a special moment in nature.

Full Moon Rising

The surf pounds against the shore, and with it the wind, occasionally lulled between the sets, it’s white petticoat of froth illuminated in the twilight. Out over the darkening sea to the East my old friend appears. Golden and rounded to his fullest and slightly cloaked in smouldering clouds he rises slowly against the horizon. Proud and strong he surveys all before him, watching down with his old man smile to see what has become over the last month. All is well as I listen to the sigh of the waves as he breathes his golden spangled light over the dancing sea. It’s good to see you old friend.