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.
Well nearly. I went out to Sandpatches again yesterday and my favourite dolphin pod was there playing in the surf, leaping out of the water, and what appears to be hunting fish.
At one stage I thought a dolphin had caught a fish and had it in its mouth, shaking it. However when I photographed the dolphin it turned out to be a piece of seaweed. The dolphin (or maybe more than one was involved – very hard to tell) was catching it, throwing it up in the air, and chasing after it. They seemed to be having a lot of fun.
Here are some images.
The dolphin(s) was obviously playing some game with the seaweed. Very curious!
We have had some pretty wild weather lately – lots of rain, wind etc. The conditions made it unsuitable for surfing for most on the west coast, but in the bay it was different. The swell came around the corner and created some good fun surfing conditions. It was very popular – Pt Picquet carpark was full.
I shot this image of Meelup. Unusually large surf for Meelup, and the young girl and her dog running to get to the surf conveyed the atmosphere very well.
The second shot taken around the corner at Gannet Rock looking towards Castle Rock in the distance shows the conditions.
Its hard to think of a better place to go to in the morning to enjoy a cup of coffee looking out over the lagoon and surf break. Yallingup is regarded as the birthplace of surfing in the South West. Many of those who pioneered surfing in this area in the 50s and 60s have subsequently retired to this area and surf this area daily.
In this image I was trying to capture an image that was instantly recognisable as Yallingup, and these trees in the foreground are the essence of Yallingup.
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.
Very often sunsets here fizzle out due to a large band of cloud that forms over the horizon. Last night looked promising, so I went down to Wyadup. At the last minute a small band of cloud appeared on the horizon, and this prevented the sunset from developing into a full blown knock your socks off sunset, but it was pretty good.
The shore along this stretch is interesting. Over summer the sand will build up, and this whole area becomes a sandy beach. Most of these rocks are either covered by sand or partly covered. Then during winter the storms wash it all away again and the cycle starts over again.
This was taken on Saturday evening – a glorious winter day with temperatures around 24c.
After I had finished photographing the sunset I turned around and found a large crowd watching (the sunset – not me). This place seems to be a popular place to watch the sunset. I have previously sold a print of a sunset taken from this spot to someone from Brisbane who wanted it as an engagement present for a friend. Apparently the friend proposed to his girlfriend on this spot while watching the sun set!
Not much to say really – a perfect day, nice smallish waves. This is at Rabbits break late afternoon – the sun was backlighting the waves.
This was taken at Three Bears – this guy was consistently doing 360 turns mid air. Most impressive.
Its been a while since I saw one of these! The driver was training the young horse. This was taken at Moses Rock.
Moses Rock is often thought to be the name of one of the rock formations on the beach. However Moses was an aboriginal farm worker who looked after the sheep in a nearby farm. Moses used to sit on a rock in the middle of the paddock so he could see all the sheep. Moses Rock is actually inland!
This group of four dolphins caught a wave at Yallingup this morning.
The last two days has seen the best surf at Yallingup for a while. Here are some images. (I have a lot of others, so if anyone was surfing there over the last couple of days, I may have some shots of you. Contact me and if I do, I will send some that you can print).
On Monday afternoon the surf right along this coast increased in size. To paraphrase Banjo Paterson
“So all the cracks had gathered to the fray.
All the tried and noted riders from the coast near and far
Had mustered at the beachfront after lunch”
There were a lot of people out surfing, and all the carparks were full.
It was quite spectacular. However it also was raining heavily. This shot was taken from inside my car with the windscreen wipers on high and the airconditioning running to stop the windscreen fogging up.
I liked the black and white version of one of those Yallingup surf images, so I thought I would put it up for comparison.
Here are some recent shots of surfing at Yallingup beach.
On Sunday morning I got a call from Mark Stothard. He was at Sugarloaf Rocks and wanted to know if I wanted to join him in a shoot. I think he was really looking for someone to watch out and rescue him if he got washed in! (See his recent post, although he wasn’t in any danger when he got wet). As I had just got a new Nikon D7000 the day before, I was out there before you could say “ISO6400 wow”! There are a few differences with my old D90, and I had a bit of learning to do. This is my first panorama from the D7000. It was a bit tricky because of the waves.
So far I am very pleased with the D7000. Focussing while zoomed-in in Liveview wasn’t possible with the D90, so at times especially in low light it was hard to focus accurately. The low light capability of the D7000 is a leap ahead from the D90, and it has better mirror up functions, an intervalometer, slightly more megapixels and much more.
This is a beach that you reach by walking in from the Boranup Forest. 4WD tracks will get you part of the way there, but the tracks are pretty rough. The Cape to Cape track at this point is inland, so this beach has very few people on it, not even Cape to Cape walkers.
This was taken about this time last year. There was a good swell, and a strong easterly.
I was looking through some old images and came across this one which I had previously ignored. The original was lacking in contrast and was somewhat overexposed, but I thought it had promise. I reprocessed it to correct those faults and this is the result. Stormy days where the sun is occasionally breaking through can offer some good opportunities.
This shot was taken from Canal Rocks looking towards Wyadup Rocks. I originally thought it was at Yallingup, but on checking other shots taken at the same time I now see it is Canal Rocks. Hence I have changed the title of the post!
I went down to Surfers Point to have a look this morning. In between the showers I got this shot of the crowd, and the surf – 10-12 ft, and probably going to get bigger before the competition is over. There was a crowd of probably 4-500, and growing rapidly. The car park went from half full to full while I was there.
I decided to stick with the landscape shot, and leave the closeups of the surfers to the guys with the monster lenses on that platform at the bottom RHS of the image.
This is one of the many beautiful beaches in the Cape to Cape area. Just offshore is the wreck of the Georgette ( where Grace Bussell rescued the people on board by riding out in the surf). Apparently the wreck can be seen at certain times of the year – probably the end of winter when the sand has been washed away).
The red on the rocks is a lichen that is common on the granite rocks from Dunsborough to Cape Leeuwin. It contrasts beautifully with the white sand and blue sea and sky.
Redgate Beach was a welcome sight at the end of a 10km walk from Prevelly (at the mouth of the Margaret River) along the Cape to Cape Trail! However there is a sealed road to the beach, and this is one of the beaches with easy access.
Update: I have reprocessed the image according to Mark’s suggestion and my response. This is the reprocessed image.
I am in awe of these guys when they are out in conditions like this. The wind was well over 30 knots, and it was a freezing cold day with occasional squalls coming through.