The humpback having fun in the previous image was doing it out to sea a few hundred metres in the left of this image. The water is 30-50m deep here making it more likely the whales will breach (perhaps to celebrate the rounding of Cape Naturaliste – a milestone on their journey south). Cape Naturaliste is the western limit of Geographe Bay.
I was recently asked if the early settlers were naturalists or something similar. The questioner was referring to the names. Not so. The Naturaliste and the Geographe were the names of Nicholas Baudins two ships when he visited the area in 1804 (the first settlement in Western Australia was in 1829). Baudin’s visit explains the French names along the coast in this area.
Answer: Find a limestone cliff that faces the rising sun. This one is about 3km west (towards Cape Naturaliste) from Bunker Bay. The cave is natural even though it doesn’t look it because of the square shape. (I have been trying for this shot for a while now. It can only be taken for about 3 months in the middle of winter because in the rest of the year the sun rises so far south it is behind the cliff. You need a calm day to make it easier to get there and also so the water shows the reflections of the colors of the sun. A low tide helps as well). When all the photography planets are aligned, you still need to wake up early enough to be there when the sun rises above the horizon. Cloudless days are normally cold and this morning was no exception. The bonus today was that I saw about 20 seals swimming around. The seal colony is on the low lying rocks at the RH edge of the image.
It has been wet and windy down here lately. I went out to Canal Rocks last night to see if I could capture a nice sunset. There were some nice clouds around.
A short time after this storm came across Cape Naturaliste.
There is a large seal colony at Cape Naturaliste between Bunker Bay and Cape Naturaliste. This area is relatively inaccessible (it requires a substantial climb down the cliffs and then back up afterwards) and therefore the seals have few visitors. If you don’t get too close they will forget about you and you can get some great shots. Along this stretch of water they have areas that are protected by reefs and inaccessible to large sharks, and you often see them swimming in large numbers in these protected areas.
This image won a bronze award in the 2011 International Loupe Awards.
Its been a while since I posted anything – been very busy moving house, and a consulting job has kept me busy. This is taken from just South of Cape Naturaliste. The sun broke out briefly for this photograph.
This area just south of Cape Naturaliste is known as ‘The other side of the moon”. It is popular with surfers. It was a bleak day but the clouds were interesting.
There is a fairly large seal colony off the coast between Bunker Bay and Cape Naturaliste – they live just under the whale lookout. This part of the coast has very few visitors and the seals like it that way. It is possible to go down the cliffs and get a good view, if you know where the informal tracks are. However it is a very, very steep climb back up. If you go to watch the seals please keep your distance – they are nervous when people are nearby. Take binoculars and/or a telephoto lens. (Signs on the beach ask people to keep at least 30m from the seals, and warn against going between the seals and the water if they are on land).