Monday, 08 September 2008
The weather has played a large part in our lives over the past few days. Due to storm damage from 18 months ago we have been forced to take certain detours away from the coast, as well as this the areas that we could finally get back to, the coast line have been so overgrown with alien vegetation that we can hardly move- eventually just before Port Elizabeth we could head back to the coast and then we thought it was beach to the Sundays river and beyond, but oh no, not so quickly some one had other ideas.
The temperature started to drop ,massive streaks of cloud were been painted across the sky with long magical strokes, but suddenly the artistic hand seemed to be crazed into a frenzy, strokes were now swirls of twisted spiralling cloud, toned down with dark shadowing of black. The leaves all around us were now abuzz with the permanent howl of the wind; the branches were bending ground wards in toe touching manoeuvres. Debris has stopped scurrying around our feet and now spent large amounts of their time air born, giving me the odd “clap” on the back of my head. The sea was a sheet of white spray, huge dollops of foam were spewed from the waves, hitting the rocks and disintegrating into a shower of bubbles. Each step forward was now turned into a step and a half by the wind as we were flung from side to side, trying to maintain our balance and avoid ending up in the bush.
To add to this, our chances of returning to the beach were totally smashed. It was spring tide, but behind the high tides, the storm was pushing a massive head of water with waves up to 12m. The waves were crashing into the dunes, taking big bites out of them, as the water pulled back, large pieces of the coast would collapse into the sea, as the next wave rolled in, all traces of the damage would disappear and then the next chunk of dune would disappear.
On arriving along the beachfront in PE it seemed if the anger of the sea had reached breakpoint. Massive walls of water were rolling in back to back as they pummelled the shoreline heaving huge rocks on to the coastal road, bringing the town to a standstill. Further down the coast at bushman’s river, caravans were washed into the sea, boathouses trashed and the shoreline torn apart. As we moved on the news from the locals was all of massive destruction.
After days on the road, the storm having subsided we turned back down to the beach and to our joy we found out that further down the coast towards East London, the storm had played into our hands as all the parallel dunes had been washed away and a freeway of beach lay ahead, 130km of beach running and counting.