Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Kiama Blowhole and Bombo - in a heavy swell

Firstly, let me apologise for not having written anything for nearly a week. I have been sneezing, and coughing all week. Very annoying, but not a major illness, but enough to be off-putting to me, and to anyone else who might have been around. So I took to my bed, to try and get over it.
Today, as I was feeling better, I suggested to Dave and Petra that we go down to Kiama. There has been a major storm off the southern Queensland coast, and its effects are visible as far south as the Illawarra coastline, so I figured the Kiama Blowhole might be impressive.
Unfortunately, the swell was running from the north-west, and the blowhole faces south-east, so the waves were not really "running in" the narrow channel leading to the Blowhole. Rather it was pretty choppy, and every now and then there would be a good "blow".

But the rough seas around Kiama were pretty impressive.
There is a rock pool below the headland, and one brave soul was out on the ocean end of the rock pool, and was enjoying being washed off the end of the pool, back into the relatively safe waters of the pool itself. He would then run back along the concrete edge of the pool, back to the ocean end of the pool, to await the next huge wave. And then he would do it all over again, and again.In many cases, huge waves crashed over the pool, and washed right back to the entrance of the pool, (to the left) and even mounted up a few steps (on occasions), causing bystanders to scurry further up the hillside, in order to try to stay dry.

Dave, being an Illawarra native, knew of an interesting place just north of Kiama, called Cathedral Rock. It is just north of Bombo, the next headland north from Kiama. Here you can see the huge waves breaking over the rocky Bombo headland, as seen from the Blowhole area.So we drove over to the site of an old Cleary Brothers quarry. The rock in this headland (and at Kiama) is trachyte, a particularly hard volcanic rock, a form of "bluestone".
In the site of the old quarry, there is a rock wall which obviously was the original cliff edge, but the hill behind it has been quarried down to the just above sea level. In the photo above, you can see a wave crashing over the rock wall, into the flat quarried area (on the right) behind the rock wall.

This part of the old cliffline faces north-east, so the waves were really crashing into it, in all their amazing full force. Occasionally a huge wave would crash right over the highest point of the rock wall. David was much bolder than I was, and went relatively close to the wall of rock. It was quite safe, (really) because I was well back, but using a telephoto lens, which foreshortens the distance between Dave and the amazing crashing wave.

So, you end up with an image of what appears to be a waterfall - coming from nowhere. The sound of the huge seas crashing over these rocks was awesome.

1 comment:

Miss Eagle said...

Beaut photos! Hope you are feeling better - but then yu walked to the rock, didn't you.