Students have returned from their mid-semester break with good stories, beach tans, and one important lesson on learning to be flexible. Cyclone Nathan’s first approach towards land over a week ago required us to leave the Daintree a day early to accommodate its watch zone. On this occasion, Nathan never hit land but turned tail and went back out to sea for a while.

Students managed to thoroughly enjoy the wonderful lush wet forest of the Daintree. They got a good sense of the lowland rainforest during their stay at Crocodylus Lodge where they camped in wall tents and enjoyed the sound of rain through the night.

Students were guided through the Jindalba walk by Catherine Pohlman, professor of Rainforest Management, and Amanda Freeman, Centre Director. This view of a lowland tropical rainforest gave the students enough to think about for the premature return to the Center.

The students quickly and easily adopted a flexible mindset as we stopped to visit Mossman Gorge on the return trip for a swim and short hike along a foggy forest track.

For several days prior to mid-semester break, Nathan’s path was lining up on Cairns as a category 3 cyclone. Nathan’s predicted return made the students carefully consider their plans and adjust to having multiple versions of activities. However, as Nathan swung back around towards the coast it drifted north of any area the students were planning on travelling, allowing the students to carry out their initial adventurous plans. The students arranged wonderful plans to hike Hitchinbrook Island from end to end, sit in natural hot springs, and tour the city of Townsville and Magnetic Island. So as stories of a cassowary sighting and sunrises from coastal peaks were exchanged, the good weather was appreciated all around. A lesson in flexibility was taught well by cyclone Nathan.