HIGH WATER IN PHOTOS:
WHILE cyclones were bearing down south, Far North Queensland had to contend with sunny skies and king tides, giving an insight into how wet the Tropics can be even without monsoonal weather.
The Gazette travelled the coast of the region and captured images from Oak Beach, Mowbray, Four Mile Beach, Wharf St and surrounds, Cooya Beach and Newell Beach.
Up in the Daintree, Mike D’Arcy visited Thornton and Noah’s beaches around the Cow Bay, Cape Tribulation area. These are two beaches that are fairly exposed to the open sea and regular south-easterlies, and most parts have no fringing coral reef, so they are especially prone to damage. At any time, they are full of interesting exposed and fallen trees – usually she-oaks, pandanus, coconuts, sea lettuce trees and occasional melaleucas.
But with a combination of high seas and king tides, the damage has been more obvious. ‘‘The beach sands have been churned up, and most of the floating pumice that has gathered over recent months has been gathered and hurled up high beyond the normal high water mark,’’ Mr D’Arcy said. Roots of many plants are exposed and have become raw red and yellowed coloured.
‘‘Oddly, many swamp lilies, a little uncomfortable right on the shoreline, but enthusiastic propagators, have been felled or stripped of their outer skins, and look like giant leeks at the sandy fringes. A Welshman’s paradise.
‘‘The leek is one of their national symbols, of course, signifying their battle against the Saxons, executed on a leek field.
‘‘I guess that we saw a similar battle last week – nature against nature. The sea against the land. It’s been going on for years. But has it been a fair struggle or has it had human intervention? It’s one of the big questions.’’