665. Sunday 24th February 2019. A flight home, escaping from illness, hot days and a cyclone hovering off the coast…

Monday 18th February

I had a rough night of some sleep. Mostly troubled by chest pain and the urge to cough which produced more pain but I felt well enough to travel.

Shan dropped us at the airport at 9am for our 11.30am flight. Yes we were 90 minutes early but we can relax and wait with no rushing. On arrival at the ticketing counter we were told the flight was delayed until 2.30pm !!! Donnis wanted to take the bus into Mackay, find a doctor, any doctor, get medication for me and take the bus back to the airport. I countered with the suggestion we take the bus to Canelands and drag our carry on baggage with us around the shopping centre. Both proposals were vetoed by the opposite person. Instead we spent the next 6 hours (the plane was further delayed until 3pm) sitting in the Ibis Airport Hotel, TurBARlance Bar, and in the airport food area and in the waiting area. Somehow we managed to fill in all that time. I used the time wisely by making a doctors appointment for tomorrow morning.

After a couple of misunderstandings about where to wait for the Gateway Airport Parking shuttle bus we were on our way but not before heading over to the International Airport and filling up the shuttle with a full load of passengers AND their luggage. Soon we were at the depot, handed our car keys and we were on our way. I must say the Gateway crew are very well trained and know their role. It is a smooth operation and the price is reasonable.

I was not well enough to drive but with Donnis driving and me navigating we were on the M1 motorway within 5 minutes and on our way home. Although traffic was heavy it was moving. I had a couple of spoons of soup, showered and in bed by 8pm.

Tuesday 19th February

I woke feeling like baked beans for breakfast while Donnis woke with a headache, sore throat and a cough.

Uh Oh!

My doctor checked me out and said Bronchitis and gave me a prescription for antibiotics.

Donnis had an appointment with her doctor who prescribed the same medication although her symptoms are a bit different.

The rest of the day we spent resting, relaxing or sleeping.

My appetite returned in a limited way and I had a bowl of soup for dinner. Yay!

Wednesday 20th February

Nothing much happened. We both stayed near a lounge or a bed, took our meds and coughed a lot. We did manage to watch a couple of movies via Popcorn and Chromecast. We saw a documentary about a man who climbed a rock called El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. He climbed the sheer rock face alone and without safety gear. The movie was called Free Solo and is nominated for an Academy Award.  We had both previously seen Bohemian Rhapsody and despite myself enjoyed it. The performance by Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury was stunning. He deserves a personal Oscar for his performance. We also watched Green Book and know it has been nominated for Academy Awards and quite honestly there must be an award for this movie. Finally saw A Star is Born. Yawn. Yep seen it. I suppose the music may have been great but I could not understand  what the words were. I suppose it will win an award.

All this week, Cyclone Oma has been hovering off the coast bringing strong winds, huge seas of more than 5 metres but no rain.

200219 cruiser
Even on the Broadwater the wind was whipping up whitecaps.

I took a drive out to The Spit to photograph the big seas and King tides.

200219 erosion
Although there have been high tides, strong winds and bigger than average seas, the beaches were not yet closed. This was the last day this week when surfing lessons can still be carried out. Note the dune erosion. By the end of the week some erosion walls are as high as 4 metres,
200219 lessons
Last day of surf lessons.

I can see where the big tides and waves have carved out the sand dunes but waves are no larger than a good day.

200219 sand
The wind was whipping at around 75 klms per hour and you can see the dry sand being blown off the beach.
200219 grounded
This houseboat, blown up on the beach is a bit of a puzzle. If it was being blown by the wind it would have ended up on the opposite shore.
200219 grounded1
I could not see all the damage and getting in amongst the tree branches and roots was too much of a challenge.

Friday 22nd February

We both went to The Spit to look at the big swells and strong winds. The beaches are closed all along the coast. Donnis elected to stay in the car. The wind is so strong it was difficult to hold the camera steady and sand is being whipped off the beach and it tears against exposed skin of the legs and face.

220219 sand
Two days later and the wind is even stronger.

Five minutes in the open and my eyes had a cake of salt around them, my ears were gritty with sand and my hair is filled with sand. This is no fun. Although the beach is closed with signs and barriers there are still stupid people who want to risk being blown or washed off the seawall.

220219 spit
I am struggling to hold the camera steady as well as trying to keep the wind driven sand off the camera.
220219 spit1
Trying to hide from the sand was near impossible.

Sunday 24th February.

Today marks the 46th straight day where the temperature has been above 30°. A coolish change is predicted for tomorrow.

The cyclone has started to move away from the coast but the strong winds and big waves remain.

We are both beginning to feel better although we are as lethargic as walking through wet cement.

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