CYCLONE APPROACHING – Southern section The Coral Sea

cyclone (45k image)

We made two visits to Lord Howe Island and Middleton Reef while aboard Coralita – and as fate would have it, a bad cyclone arrived at Middleton Reef on both occasions.

Captain Wally Muller was concerned and kept his cool. A Captain sets the mood for the rest to follow. A nervous skipper would be a bit of a worry.

Wally got us through some very difficult days – years later confessing that it would not have been a good outcome without our help.

Ron Taylor has good technical suggestions. He anchored his 15 foot aluminum dinghy a hundred meters away to provide a reference point as Coralita was predicted to drag anchor in the shallow sandy lagoon.

A deep water lagoon would allow extra anchor chain and a spring effect to be possible eliminating drag. This is not possible in the shallows of Middleton, therefore it’s not a safe anchorage for large boats in strong winds.

Pictured may be Runic (the 10,000 ton shipwreck of Middleton Reef) or, more likely one of the international long liner fishing boats aground out there.

There are many shipwrecks at Middleton Reef – a legacy from the era pre satellites when strong currents played havoc with old style navigation methods.

(Cyclones in the southern hemisphere – typhoon and hurricane above the equator. All the same things).

The southernmost Coral Sea boundary is south of Middleton Reef – Lord Howe Island misses being a part of The Coral Sea by less than 100 km.

COLOR OF JELLYFISH ……. \food for thought\

jellycolor.jpg (32k image)

Has anyone studied the IQ of jellyfish? It exists and is surprising to see and observe. They alter shape to swim between the bars of swimming enclosures (at Melbourne’s Brighton sea baths)!

A huge jellyfish in the ocean Coffs Harbour spread it’s tentacles over a very wide area when I began taking flash pictures.

Our video \Sea Safari\ showed the colors within jellyfish as they drifted in a current off Heron Island.

Usually there are better things to photograph and jellyfish are overlooked. The colors in this digital picture were not apparent until some tweaking was done much later.

How jellyfish can communicate with each other seems fascinating – if in fact they “talk” at all. We are still in the dark ages of understanding all that happens within the sea. Divers have been among the pioneers.