The Call of the Sea

The Southern Ocean is wild, clean and full of life.  Most of its beaches on the southern coast of Australia are without footprints, and most shore breaks and reef breaks are unseen.

I regularly walk the beaches and cliffs of this coast around Apollo Bay and points west, usually with a camera over my shoulder. The images in this post are just a few I took in recent weeks, as I came across things I hadn’t expected to see on such walks.

The call of the sea in this part of the world is indeed, for me,  ‘….a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied…’

John Langmead_Aug 2018 Swell_6209_20180821_Online
Late winter swell.  This wave had already broken across Little Henty Reef near Apollo Bay.  But there was enough energy in it as it surged towards Mounts Bay to allow the gentle northerly to send a plume of spray into the last sunlight of the day.
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The wave in the foreground is breaking on an inner section of Little Henty Reef.  The wave out the back was about to break as it approached the outer southern part of the reef.  There was quite a bit of water moving around this particular evening.  This shot was taken from the shore at the Point at Marengo.
John Langmead_Aug 2018 Swell_6218_20180821_Online
The tide was coming in and white water lapping up on the dry part of the reef was at my feet as I took this shot from Marengo Point.
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Little Henty Reef fascinates me because the underwater shape of it does such interesting things to lines of swell which are clean and orderly until they hit the reef.  I have many photos of sizeable swells breaking over this reef – they are all different.
John Langmead_Warrnambool Whales_6388_20180822_Online
Southern right whale exhaling as it cruises in glassy seas.  The area where this was taken is a whale nursery, with whales visiting regularly between July and September each year.
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Southern right whales – mother and calf.
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A southern right whale calf which perhaps left its dive a little late as the wave approached. The mother was already on the other side of the wave. Not a great photo I know, but it nonetheless captures the interesting moment of this young whale negotiating shore break.
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Southern right whale relaxing close inshore in a glassy but unsettled swell at Warrnambool.  The calf was closely keeping company with the mother shown in the image.  The male (possibly the father) was cruising nearby.  These warm and mild conditions are such a contrast to the sub-Antarctic waters where these whales spend summer.
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A boat from the Apollo Bay fishing fleet returning to port.  I took this photo from Point Bunbury (Apollo Bay). There was only a moderate swell and a head wind of 15 knots or so at the time, yet this boat was rolling and punching through waves giving the impression of bigger seas. I suspect it was well loaded with a fresh catch.
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Some commutes are more fun than others.
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The hull temporarily hidden behind a line of swell.
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This boat gives the impression of being entirely comfortable and safe in these conditions, and indeed, well suited to much wilder seas and winds.
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Entering the safe and quiet waters of Apollo Bay harbour to offload the catch.

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