Month: April 2017

550. ANZAC DAY 2017…

Monday 24th April

In the afternoon BIL Ken arrived from Noosa. He joined a handful of men and helped us set up the shade pergolas and 100 chairs for the Anzac Day services in the morning.

Tuesday 25th April

ANZAC DAY.

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Cenotaph before the dawn
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A crescent moon overlooks the Cenotaph beside Biggera Creek.

At Dawn Service this morning I proudly wore my medals from National Service for the years 1966 to 1968.

I wore an Armoured Corps beret and regimental badge.

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Frank with Service Medals
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Ken early in the morning. “I will be awake soon”

I had hoped to wear my fathers medals from WWII from his service in North Africa – Egypt – .His date of enlistment and service are for the years 1939 to 1946. More information about those medals appears below.

I placed a small wooden cross (with my fathers details printed on clear plastic tape) in our small Garden of Remembrance.

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One side of the memorial garden with small crosses
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Dad among the crosses.

All four of those items has a story. Some stories are longer than others. Be prepared for a long read or skip to tomorrow.

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After the Dawn Service comes the Rum in coffee or tea. What a waste of a good rum.

War Service Medals.

My father had his war service medals withheld by the Department of Defence, Department of Honours and Awards since 1946.(The reason is another long story which I will not labour over in this post.) I knew nothing of this until after my fathers death in 2,000. In 2011 I was visiting Canberra and went to the National Archives and on a whim asked to see my Army record. The record was not yet available so I asked to see my father’s records. There was not much to see. A paragraph giving name, regimental number, date of enlistment and place of birth (which was incorrect and is the source of another long story which I will not post about today). Date of birth was also incorrect but that was not unusual for the time, many young men falsely declared a date of birth during the war years. The rest of the records were “Not Yet Reviewed” and not due to be released until somebody somewhere approved the release. At the time I thought “Oh well just one of those things” and apart from asking the staff at Archives how to get the record released I went no further until we stopped travelling full time and settled back into our house at Airlie Beach in 2013. I was looking for my old school records when I came across a small briefcase which held my fathers personal papers and which was given to me after my father’s death. One of the items which caught my attention was a DVA (Department of Veterans Affairs) Card. The card was for medical treatment and pension. I wondered how, if my father’s war records were locked, he managed to get a pension and DVA card. It did not make sense. I further wondered why there were no medals in his belongings and why he never went to an Anzac Service or marched in the once a year parade and never had any medals to show my brother, sisters or myself. I recalled then that at some time in the past my mother lamented my father was never able to join the RSL (Returned Soldiers League) or the RSS & AILA (Returned Sailors, Soldier and Airmen’s Imperial League of Australia). Later my mother was pleased that finally Dad was able to join the RSL as an Associate Member. Clearly there was more going on than I was aware of.

I then started writing to the Defence Department asking if my father had ever been issued any medals and if not, why not. Once again I was told the records were locked etc etc etc. I wrote again advising my reasons for following up and why I wanted information about any medals which were or were not issued. A reply in 2016 advised a Parliamentary Committee was looking into the subject of Blocked or Withheld Medals and Honours and once their findings were complete, they would respond to me. On 11th April I received a letter from Department of Honours and Awards to advise the medals were now released and would be sent to me via immediate registered mail.

Wow!

Regrettably those medals did not arrive in time for this years Anzac Day Services.

Armoured Corps beret and Regimental Badge.

In 1968 I was discharged from the Army (Australian Armoured Corps – A Squadron 2 Cavalry Regiment based at Gallipoli Lines, Holsworthy NSW) and took up a position working for a bank in the city of Wollongong. I shared a house with three other staff members on Mt Ousley Road, Balgownie. In October 1968 the worst bushfires in Illawarra history roared through thick dry timbered land in the hinterland. The fire was so intense it jumped the Mt Ousley four lane highway. Thirty three houses and lots of other property was destroyed. All my Army gear, other personal belongings and my surfboard which were stored in the garage were destroyed. The garage was destroyed but the main house was unsinged. The fire then raced into a gully beside the property and missed the house altogether. I was working that day and unlike my workmates in another branch, did not take the day off to rescue possessions. I believed the highway would stop the fire.

Huh!

I was proved wrong.

I wanted to wear my beret and badge along with my medals and my Dad’s medals at the Dawn Service. So began a hurried search to find an ex member of 2 Cav Regiment who might still have his beret and badge. Noel who lives at Kilcoy in Qld found his beret and badge in an old cardboard box in the back of a wardrobe in his garage. They had not seen the light of day for almost 50 years. Noel agreed to mail them to me.

My service medals

I was not even aware medals had been issued for National Servicemen. Until that is, I attended an Anzac Day Dawn Service at Balgal Beach near Townsville in 2005.In fact it was the first Anzac Day Service or March  had attended since being discharged in 1968. The local RSL President and organiser of the event was somebody I went to basic training at Singleton NSW and later Corps training at Armoured Corps base at Puckapunyal in Victoria. We had not seen each other since 1966. During a conversation over a quiet beer he explained his medals and how I could obtain mine. I wrote to Honours and Awards and in due course received my first medal. A few years later, unexpectedly, the second medal arrived.

Small Timber Cross.

In 2013 The Australian War Museum in Canberra had 200,000 small timber crosses made to be used as a Commemorative Project for the WWI 100th Anniversary Years 2014 to 2018.

https://www.awm.gov.au/1914-1918/commemorative-crosses-project/

This year honours the anniversary of the Western Front and the Charge of the Light Brigade Battle of Beersheba in Syria. (The Light Brigade Cavalry became the Armoured Corps) I received a cross and prepared service details on a clear plastic tape which was attached to the cross. I placed the cross in our small Remembrance Garden, (surrounded by Rosemary, the Remembrance floral symbol) along with another 20 or so crosses placed in the garden by other village residents.

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Rob. Mastyer of Ceromonies for the Dawn Service and the 11 am service.

After the service a man came up to me. He was staying with his family in the Treasure Island Holiday Resort next door and decided to come to our 11am service. It turns out he was also part of A Squadron 1 Cavalry Regiment in 1966 and early 1967 when Noel and I were both part of the Regiment. Noel and I were National Servicemen while he was Regular Army. Originally he was part of 1 Cav when they were based in Puckapunyal in Victoria. When the Regiment was moved into bush in Holsworthy he was part of the team who lived in tents while establishing a camp made from Nissan Huts. He was also on parade with Noel and I when the Regimental name was changed to 2 Cav (short story reason – our Regiment was selected to go to Vietnam and a US Armoured Corps named 1 Cav was already stationed there. It would be confusing operating two 1 Cav Regiments from the same location. So… our name was changed. At the same time our fancy yellow silk scarves, silver belt buckles, silver buttons and black tank suits were replaced by more practical green tank suits and standard army issue green scarves, brass buckles, buttons and bush hats Oooh how I loved those yellow silk scarves, black tank suits and silver badges etc. On a couple of occasions we had to parade through Sydney streets in the M113A Armoured Personnel Carriers and all drivers and crew members wore our clobber with aplomb, the yellow silk scarves blowing in the breeze, newspaper and TV showed us all at our finest)

We had not seen each other since 1968 and only had a few minutes to talk with each other as he had a function to attend and I had an Anzac Day Luncheon at the Treasure Island Holiday Resort.250417 service250417 service1

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Slow moving people were catered for. This is the wheelie walker parking station.
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549. Sunday 23rd April 2017. Sore knees, sore back and Rugby League but they are not related…

Monday 17th April

Hmmm! I hurt my back yesterday while standing up after sitting in a chair. Although quite painful I thought it would be OK this morning.

Nope! No better, perhaps a little worse.

Sunday 23rd April

This week I have been resting my back. NO bike riding, no table tennis, no bowls, no line dancing. Not lifting anything heavier than a cold beer.

Rugby League season is in full swing. Today we drove to Springwood to watch grandson Chris play schoolboy Rugby League.

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Chris is also a good tackler.

Sitting there in the Junior Rugby League grounds I must say I was impressed by the facilities and could not help making comparisons with when I played the game.

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Chris being tackled. He is probably the tallest boy on the field with the biggest feet and lanky but powerful legs. The opposition always find it difficult to tackle him.

For a start the number of parents who make the effort to support their boys by attending games and helping in the canteen

The canteen? We never had a canteen.

In fact we had to walk to the football fields in our game clothes carrying our footy boots. Then walk home after the game. There were no showers. No electronic scoreboard. No shaded seating area. No canteen.

No trainers. No training. No medical staff. No water person. No linesperson. Nobody to collect the soiled jersey and shorts to take away and have them cleaned for the next game. Nobody to take statistics. No advertising on jersey’s.

No mums and dads to support us. Usually the teachers from the opposing team schools would co-operatively act as referees and linesperson and timekeeper and coach.

We simply showed up for the game at the appointed time and place, played the game and walked home, then put away our gear (after mum washed it) until the following week.

So, on reflection it is good to note that each year brings progressive improvements to the game, the facilities and the support services. Especially the support services.

Chris team won – narrowly.

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A happy team. A win is a win but considering they expected it would be an easy win they were a bit shell shocked. Photo credits this week goes to Chris mothe,r Regelyn Dizon, using my Panasonic Lumix FZ 200..
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Lucky to escape with a win.

548. Sunday 16th April 2017. A quiet week with a birthday and walks along the beach…

Wednesday 12th April

Happy Birthday Donnis.

Wow! No lunch or dinner at an expensive restaurant.

No trip in a limousine to see a stage show in Brisbane.

No visit to see a first release at a movie theatre.

No flight over the Gold Coast in a helicopter.

No bath in champagne.

No specially baked and iced birthday cake.

No expensive piece of jewellery.

I did make her a cup of tea – twice.

I made breakfast but she had to get out of bed to eat it.

Other than that it was just another day.

Love you.

 

Thursday 13th April

We went for a walk along the shore of The Broadwater as we usually do. Donnis had a swim in The Lagoon.(Remember it is mid- Autumn with Winter fast approaching but the weather is still good enough for a swim.)

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The Lagoon on the Broadwater is a popular spot for tourists. Families and overseas visitors enjoy the safe water and the barbecue and playground facilities. The Seagulls and Pelicans also enjoy the free fish lunch, every day, when Charis Seafoods gives out all the offcuts from their fish filleting and cleaning. A veritable frenzy takes place at the same time every day. The seabirds start arriving an hour before. The tourist buses arrive about the same time.

I on the other hand took photos of some boats on The Broadwater.

There are a number of live aboard boats here.

Illegally.

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One of many live aboard boats moored around The Broadwater.Enlarge the photo to see what the well eqipped libve aboard looks like.

Some of those boats are still afloat thanks to the power of imagination. Some are in the later stages of rotting apart.

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This live aboard has seen better days…..many many days ago. Note the rotting timbers along the deck line.

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In November 2015 I reported on a small covered catamaran owned and used by Commando Knights Australia. This group likes to dress in camouflage outfits and use camouflage canoes and spend weekends together in the small catamaran with no windows. At that time they flew the Israeli Flag, the US Flag, the Australian Flag and the Australian Ensign.

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This was the Commando Knights boat in 2015

They often played paintball games on the bottom end of South Stradbroke Island. Here there were mangroves, thick shrubbery and sandhills to hide and play commandos. Now the family/group have built a much larger covered catamaran, again with no windows. Maybe the family/group is getting larger.

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This is what the new Commando Knights new catamaran looks like beached beside the older boat. Still the same basic design of no windows and only one entrance. It seems they now only fly the Israeli Flag and the Aboriginal Flag.

Friday 14th April

In the morning our village had a Hot Cross Bun morning tea in our clubhouse. About 50 residents turned up to enjoy hot Hot Cross Buns lathered in butter and enjoy an hour of social interaction.

We even had an Easter Egg Hunt. Imagine lots of people over the age of 55 searching for Easter Eggs and being 5 again.

Today we walked along the beach to the north of Surfers Paradise.

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Surfers Paradise late afternoon sunset.

The erosion of the sandhills is a stark reminder of the tidal surge associated with Cyclone Debbie.

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Beach erosion.

Although we only faced the tail end of Debbie there was still plenty of power in the sting of the tail. Flooding occurred throughout Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Northern New South Wales. Huge seas were whipped up and tore sand away from the sandhills. For the first time in over two years when we have wandered along this same shoreline there were small rocks exposed on the beach.

Sunday 16th April.

Dunno what I did but I am suffering from huge lower back pain. I suspect when standing up after using the laptop I stood and turned too quickly and at an unusual angle.Sitting at the laptop is most uncomfortable despite ingesting 1,000 Mg of Paracetamol combined with 30Mg of Codeine. The only relief is when I sit in my Recliner chair with either a heated beanbag or a hooked up to a TENS Machine. At least I am catching up on recorded back up episodes of Mythbusters.

Sigh!

547. Sunday 9th April 2017. Noosa, a waterfall, a dam and the rest of the Sunshine Coast…

Tuesday 4th April

Autumn arrived this morning.

It arrived late and unannounced.

I mean not even a text message to say “I’m on my way”.

The visit was short – thank goodness – but a promise was made to return soon, maybe as early as tomorrow and would bring a friend.

I’m not sure if I enjoy having Autumn come for a visit because while you are just getting used to Autumn along comes the stupid cousin – Winter.

Winter never stays for a short visit, it comes and stays for three months at least and has friends such as chill winds, cold and early onset night. Even after it has outworn its welcome Winter insists on staying longer. It cannot take a hint and even direct requests for Winter to leave are ignored.

Anyway back to Autumn. We put the equivalent of three sheets on the bed in expectation it would keep us warm. Mind you two of those cotton sheets only had a 250 thread count each so long pyjamas were also needed. Autumn decided to stay outside so we had a pleasant night indoors.

Wednesday 5th April

Happy Birthday to my daughter Melissa.

Well while we were rugged up in our three sheets Autumn left overnight to go visit somewhere else but left a message, which read, “I’ll Be Back”.

Hmmm!!! Who else said that?

Friday 7th April

Just after mid- morning coffee we packed i30 and sped north along the M1 to Noosa. We plan to stay with BIL Ken for a couple of nights. Instead of going to the beach as we usually do I suggested as the weather was iffy with strong winds, we go somewhere different.

Just to the west of the town of Yandina, famous for the ginger factory is a little known waterfall known as Wappa Falls.

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The twin Wappa Falls. When the water stops flowing there is a cave to the rioght of the left hand fall.

Wappa Falls is located on the South Maroochy River and are unspectacular in their drop. I suppose when in flood as they were last week it would be a different sight. Ken commented that his parents lived a little north of Yandina and as teenagers would swim in Ye Old Water Hole  at a bend in the river below the falls. Scrambling around the river bank below the falls we noted the flood level was about 1.5 metres above the current level. We found an old Honda motorcycle which must have lain under mud for a long time but the flood last week has uncovered it.

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The remains of a Honda trail or agricultural bike which appears to have been buried in river silt for a long time.

Across the creek was the body of a motor car. I can only wonder how both of them managed to get so far along the river.

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There must have been one helluva flood to get this car so far down the river.

https://confessionsofaserialbather.wordpress.com/2015/11/14/wappa-falls-sunshine-coast-qld-australia/

Wappa Dam a few hundred metres to the west of the falls holds back a large supply of water and prevents or at least slows down any flooding during heavy rains.

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Wappa Dam. The spillway is being extended by approximately another two metres in height. Note the works on the right.
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The top of Wappa Dam.

The dam is one of several which supply water to the Sunshine Coast. The dam surface area covers 74 hectares.  For that reason all water activity is forbidden. No swimming, boating, kayaking, in fact no activity in or on the waters of the dam. Passive activity is allowed. It is a pleasant place to bring the family for a stroll or play games and barbecues are provided near picnic shelters. (only during daylight hours, the gates are closed at sundown) Access to the dam is also prohibited. Still it was a nice tranquil place to visit.

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A wall of children on a wall mural at Wappa Dam.
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A group of Cormorants drying themselves in the wind and scarce sunlight.
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Sunlight reflected off the water of Wappa Dam and filtered through the trees.

On the road leading to the dam is Wappa Falls Observatory. We stopped for a look but the place looks a bit rundown. The signs and website suggest it is still a working observatory and access is by appointment only.

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The signs are all fresh and say there is a viewing tonight but nobody was home.

http://wappafallsobservatory.com/

Ken made some yummy chicken pieces on the barbecue and we had a few laughs dressing in silly hats and poses.

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Donnis and Ken enjoy a refrshing ale while the chicken is being barbecued. Chefs hats are just a bonus.
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I am not going to smile.

Saturday 8th April

The day looked unpromising then promising as clouds came and went and a few scudding showers with big fat raindrops and strong winds convinced me it was not going to be a beach day. We elected to drive along the coast through Peregian Springs, Coolum, Maroochydore, Mooloolaba and Kawana.

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Kawana Beach from Point Cartwright.

On previous visits to Mooloolaba I had wanted to visit the lighthouse but had mistakenly thought it was easy to find. Ken pointed out the lighthouse is on the southern entrance to the Mooloolah River and not the northern end as I thought.

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Point Cartwright Lighthouse.

The unmanned Point Cartwright Lighthouse was built in 1978 on a peninsular of land beside the Unitywater Reservoir. The reservoir was painted in a seascape mural by Joel Fergie a local professional street artist.

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Point Cartwright Water Reservoir.

The strong winds with here and gone clouds dropping fat raindrops on us cut our visit short.080417 mooloolaba

http://www.weekendnotes.com/point-cartwright-walk-and-lighthouse/

Next up was lunch and we decided on Sea Life at Mooloolaba, a wharf / marina/ dock area with eating houses and interesting views across the Moololah Bay and marina. Hogs Breath Café had $9.90 lunches so that was enough enticement to eat there.

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This is Hogs BReath Mooloolaba.

We have eaten at many Hogs Breath Cafes around Queensland and New South Wales so we know what is on the menu and what to expect as far as price, quality and service are concerned.

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Did I mention the view from Hogs Breath?

Our first experience was at Hogs Breath Airlie Beach where the original owner, Don Algie, decided to take a chance and begin a franchise of the unique decor, slow cooked steaks and service by pretty young girls, usually backpackers. The franchise system was successful and there are now 80 cafes across Australia and New Zealand. Generally the experience is quite satisfactory but in every store we have visited the music is played too loudly. Hmmm! Makes us sound like old people! Today the music was muted and we got the sound of the wind outside the windows.

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“Hey lady have you got any fish in that bag?”
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What the well ketted out diver is wearing these days. No. The one on the left!

Sea Life Sunshine Coast Aquarium is located here so there is an incentive to visit again.

Sunday 9th April.

Travel day. After helping Ken with a few chores involving computers and car sound systems we left Noosa at 1.30 and were home by 5pm. This included a stop for lunch and side trip to visit Donnis son Peter. (He was not home. Sigh!!!)

546. Sunday 2nd April 2017. Tropical Cyclone Debbie cuts a huge swathe of destruction over two states…

Monday 27th March

Tropical Cyclone Debbie, located off the coast near Townsville is increasing in size and moving slowly towards the coast. The Bureau of Meteorology predicts it will make landfall around Ayr, give or take a few Klms somewhere around 7am tomorrow morning. That predicted crossing of the coast would coincide with a King Tide. If that were to happen there may be a massive tidal surge of around an additional three metres.  I, on the other hand had this gut feeling landfall would be between Bowen and Airlie Beach, more likely Airlie Beach as happened in 2010 and 2014.

In 2010 Airlie suffered a direct hit and a tree crashed into our bedroom roof

tree on roof
We were asleep while Tropical Cyclone Ului, Category three was raging outside. It was mid February 2010. Around midnight we were awoken by a falling tree over our bedroom roof. Just in case we moved a mattress and cushions into the bathroom in case the roof came off in the winds. Somehow we managed to get back to a troubled fitful sleep.

and another punched a hole through the garage roof.

tree on garage
Naturally we heard the noise of the tree on our bedrtoom roof but were oblivious to this heavy tree branch which punched a hole through the garage roof.

Sixty four boats were washed up on the rocks in Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour.

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Cyclone Ului 2010 twisted the arm of this crane used in the construction of a new marina and resort complex at Airlie Beach.
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Cyclone Ului 2010. The catamaran Jade was a popular bareboat based out of Airlie Beach. It was a total loss.
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Cyclone Ului 2010. This well known and popular backpacker charter boat was washed up on the rocks near the yacht club. The conditions were too savage to begin and salvage works and over the next few days was ground into a splintered total loss.
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Cyclone Ului 2010. The debris scattered along this beach at Airlie Beach had been washed out of two live aboard boats moored off the Sailing Club.

In 2014 I was living in our motorhome at Airlie Beach waiting for our tenants to move out. There was no damage to our house and the caravan park, despite large trees all around me was a safe place…for me. Around 70 boats were washed onto rocks, beaches and mangroves. Both cyclones were rather fast moving and level two…winds to 160 Kph when they crossed. Debbie was a slow moving system and was a level four…winds to 270 Kph…when it crossed the coast. The width of the cyclone would have swallowed the entire British Isles and perhaps even Iceland as well.

By tonight the cyclone started slowly tracking south and Bowen was the predicted impact point. I still felt Airlie Beach would be the impact zone. By bedtime heavy rains were falling and winds were screeching and throwing debris around. Of course we saw all this on the news reports from the comfort of our lounge room on the Gold Coast 1,000 Klms away!

Tuesday 28th March

Up early to watch the special news coverage. TV networks had reporters in Townsville, Ayr, Bowen, Airlie Beach and Mackay. They had all bases covered. Reporters were to report on what they could see from wherever they were accommodated but not to go away from the safety offered by a building. Good thing they did. Even filming from a balcony in Airlie Beach the reporter could barely stand in the wind and were drenched by driving rain. By now all power was out in Bowen, Airlie and Mackay. As the morning progressed it was clear Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour would cop a direct hit but places like Proserpine, Collinsville, Bowen, Mackay, Mirani and many other small towns would cop the whip from the tail of TC Debbie. We managed to call our neighbour in Airlie Beach who had no power but was charging his phone in the car. The cyclone was still raging but so far, all OK. The cyclone eye would soon pass and then the winds would change direction and intensity. As it turned out, after the eye passed, the wind changed direction and unbelievably was stronger and rain heavier and lasted far longer. Even after TC Debbie had crossed the coast and moved inland the wind and rain continued all night.

The fabulous resort islands of Hamilton, Hayman and Daydream were impacted with buildings unroofed, windows blown in, water seeping through open roofs and marina damage and beach erosion adding to the confusion. Guests who elected or had no choice but to stay now began demanding refunds or a better room and free meals and unbelievably, removal from the islands.  Damage to marina especially in the case of Daydream where the entire jetty system was destroyed meant that after the seas abated nobody could be removed by sea from the island.

Meanwhile the Shute Harbour Ferry terminal and jetties were also totally destroyed.

The main Airlie Beach Marina at Abel Point had the main passenger pontoon and gangways totally destroyed. Boats simply cannot leave Airlie Beach to service the Islands and the islands have no landing facilities anyway.

The Hamilton Island Airport was closed and the control tower and radar installation were damaged.

What is in store for tomorrow?

Wednesday 29th March

Unbelievably and unpredictably, the wind and rain continued along the coast. TC Debbie moved inland as a Category two and not yet downgraded to a Tropical Low. Inland towns such as Collinsville and Proserpine also copped a hammering, lost houses, power, and roads were cut and flooding began. Further south but west of Mackay in towns along the Pioneer Valley were also drenched and flooded and houses unroofed. The main western road to Nebo, Moranbah and the mining towns were cut off when the Eton Range road was washed away in several places. Still further south at Sarina and the alternate main road to Nebo and the mining towns, The Sarina Range Road was also washed away in several places.

Power was cut in most towns with fallen power lines and flooded or washed away roads or trees fallen over the road simply added to the mammoth destruction still occurring.

As ex TC Debbie started to move south wind and rains lashed Queensland from the coast to the Great Dividing Range. Flooding was occurring in places far removed from the original impact zone at Airlie Beach.

Thursday 30th March

Ex Tc Debbie continued its southward push dumping huge volumes of rain and still punching out winds of over 100 Kph. Rainfall of 700mm to 1,000 mm in 24 hours was being recorded. Flooding occurred all along the south east Queensland area from Gympie to Brisbane to the Gold Coast and across the Tweed River into NSW where Lismore was in flood as were many smaller towns. The rain continued all along the east coast of NSW as far south as Sydney and Wollongong.

Here on the Gold Coast 30 roads were closed due to flooding and or bridges being washed away. In places roads were washed away. Most of the hinterland was isolated due to flooding and or road closures.

The State Government declared a state of Emergency and closed all schools from Ayr to the NSW Qld border. They also asked that all non -essential businesses to close for two days. This had the effect of keeping huge volumes of traffic off the roads (except for some people doing stupid things like getting caught in floodwaters or simply clogging up roads with their rubber necking) and allowing essential services to move around more easily.

To date there has been no deaths due to TC Debbie and ex TC Debbie. Our emergency procedures worked as they were planned. Thanks to all essential services such as Police, Ambulance, Ergon Energy, SES and from today, the Armed Forces.

I’m guessing not many new born daughters will be called Debbie in the next few years.

Here at our home enormous volumes of water were dumped on us but the Biggera Creek coped with the volume and never looked like breaking its banks.

Here, life went on as normal.

Friday 30th March

Life goes on but for those people affected by the cyclone and the aftermath and all the rain and flooding and power failures and road closures we can only sympathise and hope for a speedy recovery.

Saturday 1st April.

Virgin Airlines announces it will be using specially trained friendly dogs on its flights.

That would appeal to about 50% of passengers.

Today is April Fool’s Day.

Sunday 2nd April

Overcast, windy and cool.

Cool? Yep only 27° today!

Actually it was cold last night. We have been sleeping with only a sheet or even no sheet, during summer. Now that autumn has arrived we needed the equivalent of two sheets on the bed last night. I am reliably informed the temperature dropped as low as 19° last night. Hehehehe!

In the southern districts of Brisbane around the Logan and Albert Rivers, floodwaters are continuing to rise. Tales of losses are a major feature of the news every night. Every few hours a new flooding emergency arises. Towns such as Beenleigh and Eagleby are popular with small acreages and lots of small farms with horse or cattle. Today they are in flood. The mud army which cleaned up after the Brisbane floods of 2011 are at it again.

Rockhampton in the Capricornia District of Qld, dodged a bullet when TC Debbie and ex TC Debbie raged around it but did not dump wind or rain on the town. The cyclone did dump huge amounts of rain inland in the tributaries which feed into the Fitzroy River. Now almost a week since TC Debbie fist started its path of destruction, Rockhampton, on the Fitzroy River is now bracing for major flooding sometime tomorrow.