Monday, 11 February 2013

(ex tropical) Cyclone Oswald

Before we left to go to Queensland we were using our weather apps a lot, to check out what the weather was going to be (remember the old days when we would only have the weather man on TV to tell us what the weather would be for the next day or two!?:).    Unfortunately we knew we were heading up to some not-so-good weather, but knew it would be humid and warm still.

That not-so-good weather started off as a little bit of rain now and then, and then on Australia Day is started pouring down and the wind started to really pick up.   Late on Saturday night we saw some warnings on the internet about destructive winds and heavy rain.  We didn't think much of it until we woke up on Sunday morning and knew that the storm was getting pretty bad. 

We were planning on going to church that afternoon in Surfers Paradise, and then going to my cousin's house for tea that night, but the warnings were saying to stay off the roads if you didn't have to go out, and we knew that things were going to get a lot worse as we realised that we were right on the path of ex tropical Cyclone Oswald which had caused a lot of destruction and severe floods up north, and was making its way south, to the Gold Coast.

We ended up having to stay in the hotel for two days which was frustrating because all we wanted to do was get out and have some fun, but all I could think of was to be grateful that we were safe and okay, because further north so many other people had lost their homes, power and even lives. 

It's so hard to describe what a cyclone is like, but the power of the wind was incredible and it didn't let up for 24 hours.  It was raining so heavily that if we went out on the balcony for just a few seconds we would be drenched.  The whole building must've been moving a little because we could hear the TV on the wall creaking. 

We couldn't imagine the winds getting any stronger, but suddenly there was an announcement over the speaker system of the whole hotel.  It told us that the winds were going to become stronger over night and they asked everyone to bring in all the furniture from the balcony.  It was funny sitting there all night with the outdoor table inside with us.
The boys were quite scared because the gale force winds were so loud and just didn't stop.  We all decided to sleep in the same room together that night and Kobe and Harri finally fell asleep, but Jay and I could hardly sleep because of the noise of the wind and rain right on our window and because the huge waves were so loud. There was so much rain, that although we were on the 23rd floor, it was coming through under my balcony door, into my bedroom. By the morning I could put my foot down off the bed and my toes would be covered in water! The hotel ended up having to get a carpet cleaner to come in, to suck all the excess water out of the carpet in my room (and many others around the hotel).

Luckily we had an indoor pool at our hotel so to get out of room for a bit, we would go there to have a swim, but to get to it you had to walk outside for about 20 metres.  It was crazy to see that branches and debris was being blown around everywhere and to feel the power of the wind (the lady in the pic was trying to not get blown away!).

When we went to the indoor pool on Monday morning the winds were still so intense. It was amazing seeing the power of the wind in the trees.  Harri is making sounds like he's really scared, but he was actually loving it!

Finally by around lunch time on Monday we could see that the winds were starting to die down.  We were so glad to see the sun coming out and on the way to visiting some of our family for tea that night, we stopped off at the beach to have a look.  When we drove around Surfers Paradise we couldn't believe how many trees were down and saw lots of glass that had smashed out of shop windows. 

All week the beach had been closed because it had been stormy and the water was too dangerous to swim in, so we knew that there wasn't much luck of us swimming at the beach the rest of the week, especially after a cyclone.
Right then it didn't really matter that we couldn't swim, because there was so much amazing sea foam everywhere because of all the huge waves. After having a day of deserted streets and beaches, everyone else was out checking it out as well. 

Every time a wave would come up it would wash a whole heap of new foam onto the beach.  I took my brand new thongs off to have a run in it, and before I knew it they had been swept away! The power of the waves were still so strong, even though they didn't seem that big on shore.  Chrish also lost his shoes for a bit, but luckily we both found them again after a little while.

We would see the foam coming up and would think that it was just a little bit of foam, but before we knew it we were swamped in it!

We had the best time playing in the foam and didn't want to leave.  Luckily we didn't realise at the time that the foam could actually be toxic because of all the pollutants in the water from the cyclone as it would've ruined our fun! I'm sure that was more the case further up north where there was a lot more flooding, but I haven't heard of anyone becoming sick from playing in the sea foam and we are still alive to tell the tale :)

We were covered in it but the boys weren't worried one bit, even though we had our clothes on.  I absolutely love this photo of Kobe.  He was having the best time.

It was so nice to have such a fun time in the foam after being stuck in the hotel for a couple of days. I wish that everyone else who was affected by the cyclone had been so lucky though.  I couldn't stop thinking about all those people whose homes had been flooded and whose loved ones had died.  If only a little bit of fun in the sea foam could make up for what the cyclone caused for them too.


  1. It was funny that it was the most alive I have ever felt, and to think I slept like a
    I really felt for the people who had lost their homes yet again, and for the lives were lost.
    It was so good to see you, Chrish and the boys having so much fun in the foam and waves.
    The sun always shines after a storm sweetheart.
    Love mum

  2. I had a second look at the photos, and there I am uploading photos to Instagram, what a laugh.
    Love Mum.

  3. The sea foam looks like bubble bath!

  4. Great pictures! Kobe looks like he just got out of the bathtub. Funny! Glad you are all safe--that's the important thing. Enjoy the rest of your vacation.

  5. It sure made for a memorable holiday. The sea foam does look fun though!

  6. That looks like such a good time!

  7. What an exciting adventure! Sorry about being stuck (and scared) in the hotel room, tho. Glad you all survived!


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