Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Rough waves off Lover's Isle

The tide around Penang has been pretty high the past few days, no doubt due to the effects of the full moon. However, because of the rainy weather we've been experiencing too, the seas were also pretty rough, what with the strong winds churning up the waves.

I was on my way to Balik Pulau yesterday to visit a friend at the Bao Sheng Durian Farm and had decided to detour through Gurney Drive. At first I thought it would be an ordinary drive and didn't pay any attention to the sea but then I was startled when a wave came crashing against the embankment and sprayed onto the road.

Now that was unusual for Gurney Drive. I had not known of the sea reaching almost up to the road before but here, as I headed towards the roundabout, the mudflaps had all but disappeared under the high tide.

Leaving Gurney Drive, I didn't give this phenomenon any further thought. After all, my mind was set on Balik Pulau. But then, as I began driving along the northern coastal road, it struck me again that the sea level was very high. Higher than I've ever seen before.

And I could see the strong waves coming inshore. Wave after wave, they kept pounding the shoreline all the way towards Teluk Bahang. I wouldn't want to be around, I thought to myself, when the waves break and sweep up on the beach. The energy would be unpredictable and possibly fatal too.

Much later, as I came back from Balik Pulau, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to stop by a sandy area off Lover's Isle to see this force of nature up close (but not too close, okay?).

The result was this video, one minute and 40 seconds of sheer energy. Watch out for the initial "explosion" at the 49th-second mark of the video. There's also another impressive spray at the 56th-second mark. Howling winds, salty air (yes, Andrew, smell, smell, smell), darkening skies, raging seas, disappearing horizons. The drama of them all. This wasn't even a mini-tsunami but the occasion was still enough to leave anybody awe-struck.

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