There was a lot of hoo haa leading up to the ‘supermoon’ last week, given it would not be this close to the earth for another 70 years or so. I was over in the eastern states at the time, staying with my sister Colleen in Crescent Head and so of course we thought we better get in on the action, especially as we would have an opportunity to see the moon rise on the ocean, unlike in Western Australia. There was a little discrepancy on some websites as to the actual full moon day, with most claiming Monday and a few others Tuesday. A little research indicated that the closest moon period would actually be at 1153 pm on the Monday night, but as we were packing up my mum’s place early the next morning, we would be happy enough with the moonrise. A cloud pattern started to form on the horizon in the early afternoon, coupled with a strong southerly wind, so we were sure to be tested.
Surfers that have been to Crescent Head will know the point break that is a longboard mecca well, whilst holidaying families will also appreciate those big tides flowing into the creek system. The attached photo shows the annual Xmas Santa Surf Day, held on Christmas Eve for the last four years, with the creek flowing back out to sea. But I digress, back to the moon story. So we gear up with jumpers, just a couple of coronas and walk up to the Big Knobby headland for the best view in town. The carpark is full with families, photographers, locals and tourists all anticipating the moon of the century, but the clouds continued to roll in and it became very obvious that it would be a dud. As reality set in for the crowd and they slowly started to disperse, there was a need to lighten up the mood, so Colleen and I started singing any song we could remember with the word moon in it. Of course we couldn’t remember all the words, so hummed, whistled or mimed, as necessary. And all of a sudden it became a competition to sing a new moon song. The older set started with songs like, By The Light of the Silvery Moon and Blue Moon, whilst I chimed in with the Cat Stevens classic, Moon Shadow and then Walking On The Moon, by Police. The crowd milled around, all laughing about the no moon event, but some still a bit grumpy, so I held my arms up in a big circle above my head, much like a divers OK signal from the water and told them this was the best they were going to get. Someone asked if it would get bigger and better later, so of course I marched closer to them with my arms ‘moon’ raised to simulate this, but they were not impressed. As they meandered away, leaving us to the cloudy skies and howling wind, we could only reflect that you can never expect to control nature. As we too headed down the hill, Van Morrison’s Moon Dance came to mind and so as we sang and danced, the clouds parted for a moment and all was revealed.
To answer last week’s question, the species recognised as being the largest freshwater invertebrate on Earth is the Tasmanian Giant Freshwater Crayfish. This week’s question is, “What is the name for the point in the orbit of the moon, at which it is nearest to the earth?”
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