Unusual easterly weather

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This week at Macquarie Island: 9 May 2014

For about 98% of the time, all our weather at Macca comes from the north around to the west, as the regularly gale force winds of the 'Furious Fifties' - that's the one that comes after the 'Roaring Forties'! So it was quite a change for us this week to get two days of 50 knot plus winds (90 kph) with heavy driving rain from the southeast. This neatly reversed the usual beach surf patterns on either side of the isthmus and drove rain into the wrong ends of the station buildings, which were sited and constructed in order to best survive the normally prevailing conditions.

The animals were not sure what to make of it all, but afterwards the elephant seals on the eastern beaches have made the most of the opportunity to enjoy themselves, lying luxuriantly on the huge mounds of bull kelp produced by the high surf conditions. 

A calm beach on the isthmus
Our normally wild western isthmus beach was a mill pond
(Photo: Ivor Harris)
A wild beach on the isthmus
While our normally calm eastern beach had a roaring surf
(Photo: Ivor Harris)
Six elephant seals lie on a mound of kelp on the beach
Elephant seals on the eastern beach enjoying a mound of bull kelp…
(Photo: Ivor Harris)
A group of elephant seals lying in kelp on the beach
Elephant seals on the beach
(Photo: Keon Stevenson)
Two elephant seals facing off in a play bout
Elephant seals on the beach
(Photo: Keon Stevenson)
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This page was last modified on 9 May 2014.