A Very Wet Men’s Weekend

Flooding along the NSW mid-north coast.

Thurs 21st February to Sun 24th, 2013

It was only the first day and we were holding our February 2013 “Gathering of Men” at Ellenborough, when record rains hit the north coast of NSW and southern Queensland.  Along the Hastings-Ellenborough River catchment many inches of rain fell in just a few hours due to an east coast low pressure system travelling just offshore all the way down the seaboard.  Flooding on the Ellenborough River itself reached major levels and locals commented that they hadn’t seen anything like it for many decades.  The waters came within a few metres of the work rooms at the Inner Journey Centre where the men were working, and at my old hermitage the water was lapping the underneath of the floor boards, in fact you could stand on the river-side deck and be level with the water.  The roads were cut.  Wauchope flood plain was under.  Port Macquarie was being inundated and the women who were holding a similar weekend on the North Shore at Wendy’s and Janine’s had water through the lower levels of their homes.  Kempsey was badly flooded and Grafton was almost.  Even Brisbane was being threatened with yet another possible washout.

Resulting from the deluge the power was out.  So were the phones.  Mobile phones were low on power and quickly ran out as we tried to make contact with the outside world.  Fridges were off and food started to spoil, so we ate up big.  No power meant no water.  Out came the buckets.  At least the rainwater tanks were full. No work music or lights, so we improvised and either went with out or made our own music.  Breathwork in silence is another experience again!

By Sunday 4pm things had started to right themselves again after two days of isolation.  With the power and phones back on and the rivers dropping some of us, we hoped, might be able to go home.  The photos above are of my journey back to Port Macquarie to catch my flight.  Unfortunately, the runway was still submerged and no planes were moving.  Fortunately, one of the men, who lives in Port, kindly gave me exquisite lodgings for the evening.  Next morning I got a flight back to Melbourne – rerouted through Brisbane instead of through Sydney, as the clouds had moved south and were dumping rain there.

All in all a very memorable Men’s Weekend.