Over the Xmas – New Year period I have not had time to see the dolphins but today they were at Sandpatcheshaving fun in some good surf.
I had a pleasant afternoon photographing the Sandpatches dolphins. The afternoon sun backlights the waves beautifully. Afterwards I called into Pt Picquet and saw a blue whale go past. All in all a great way to spend a Tuesday afternoon.
I frequently go out to Sugarloaf Rocks and check to see if the dolphins in the bay north of Sugarloaf (called Sandpatches) are there.
It seems to be a pod that are resident in that bay, and they love to surf. When there are reasonable sized waves (2m) often you will see the whole pod surfing. They ride the wave in close to the shore break, then do a tumble turn and leap out of the back of the wave. Today was typical.
Here are some photos of the dolphins playing in the surf.
The dolphins leap out of the back of the wave at the end of a surfing manoevre. While surfing they suddenly dive and come back under their previous track. Then they come up. I think the wave motion helps lift them out of the air.
I went out to Sandpatches today. My favourite pod of dolphins were busy chasing salmon. I first saw them close in, but when I went down to the rocks to photograph them they moved north, so I was photographing these at around 2km distance. Today they were very active, with as many as 6-7 leaping out of each wave. There were some complete loop the loops as well! Wonderful stuff.
The conditions were great for photography. After a rain shower, the sun appeared in the distance and provided some great light.
Notice the fisherman on the rocks in the background!
Windmills is the name of the surf break just north of Sugarloaf Rock. There were several large groups chasing small fish. Whenever a nice wave appeared they all went for a surf.
This morning over 100 dolphins were hunting in a bay just north of Sugarloaf Rock. They were well organised, and herded schools of fish towards the shore before attacking them. When they were close to shore they often burst out of the back of the surf leaping high into the air. Here are some examples.
This pod of dolphins swam straight through a group of surfers at Three Bears this morning. The waves weren’t great and they didn’t seem interested in catching a wave unfortunately.
The images of the dolphins have been very popular, so here is another one.
I dont think this surfer saw the dolphins, even though a few seconds later three more burst out of the wave!
This group of four dolphins caught a wave at Yallingup this morning.
I have been trying to get a shot of dolphins surfing for a while. This morning I got lucky. I was at Moses Rock, and there had been dolphins earlier. They were feeding offshore and a school went past. Then a pair of dolphins decided to go for a surf. They picked the same wave as a surfer was about to catch – he got quite a fright initially! I am sure they deliberately picked that wave – perhaps to show him how it was done.