King tides Rule

One of the things I love about living by the sea is the dynamics of the outdoor experience. Sunny, hot days lazing and swimming or rumbling thunderstorms with lightning thrown across the sea, moon light shining a path of water or sunshine turning the ocean into a brilliant expanse of sparkling jewels (one of my favourite effects). And then there are the times when mother nature takes over completely and shows us a bit of drama on the beaches. Good drama.

Anyone living on the East Coast of Australia won’t have missed the experience of a low pressure system that came up from the South and blasted us with Cyclone Category 2 gusts of wind, torrential rain, a bit of flooding, fallen trees, roof damage, un-mooring of boats, cancelled ferries and, amongst other things you can expect from a mammoth storm such as this, a huge ocean swell. Along with the spring tides the low pressure has caused a stir in the sea off the coast of Sydney’s Northern Beaches that has been felt on land.

There have been photographers, news reporters, weather reporters and many a photo opportunity and I wanted to attempt to scrapbook the occasion myself. I missed a lot of the good stuff being stuck in the office yesterday from early doors til dark but here’s what I did record…

Yesterday I took a walk along Manly where the beach was closed completely and not one surfer was even seen (although some were at the deadly dangerous Fairy Bower head further round the shoreline) and the rest were even able to make use of the harbour side of Manly (normally a wave-free place and certainly never ‘surfable’). Looking up the coastline where you can see the headlands of Freshwater, Curl Curl and Dee Why/Long Reef the water was mass of huge white, foaming crests. And the photo to the right (above) shows the tide line on Manly beach… well, actually, on the promenade!

As my bus came into Manly earlier that morning at high tide Queenscliff beach was literally a lake, not a inch of sand in sight. Twitter was full of tweets about the rough waters back home at Dee Why and also at various other beaches up and down the coast.

Over to the right is a great video of a weather reporter at our very own Dee Why beach yesterday – although I hadn’t seen the beach myself that day this showed me enough to know that this was no ‘normal’ big swell – it was ginormous! He’s stood at the top of the steps by the beach pool. It takes pretty rough waters to even go over the edge of the pool walls – this was a good couple of feet higher!

And below you can see that same same taped off area today – not as impressive but still pretty big.

I took a walk his morning which I normally take down this route anyway, and it’s a beautiful day… with the most amazing, roaring waves crashing into the beach.

Influenced, I think, by my dad I am a little bit fascinated by the weather and by the forces of nature, so this has been a bit of an indulgence for my weather geek in the last day or so.

Below I’ve compared our beautiful Dee Why on a normal summer day, to the pictures I took today.

Dee Why headland, south – this area is normally like this even at high tide…

Courtesy of

Same place, same angle, flooded with swell

Dee Why headland north, over pool, and out to Long Reef – standard view

Courtesy of

Today down by the pool… yes there is a solitary swimmer…

And on the beach looking out to Long Reef today…

And that about concludes the excitement of the ocean here on the East Coast of Australia for the time being… got to love Mother Nature. Signing off for now, from a sunny but pounding… beautiful Dee Why beach….


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