Weather generated in the roaring forties hits this part of the world with glorious force. The reason is that Apollo Bay is just around the corner from Cape Otway which extends unprotected into the Southern Ocean.
The Southern Ocean in a post-frontal gale
Summer announced its arrival around here with a series of cold fronts and all that comes with them. Gale force winds and rough seas swept in from the west and south west.
A glassy wave in the lee of the headland at Wye River
The story of these few shots is simple. I was driving to Apollo Bay and passing through Wye River. I watched the rain shower passing over Wye as I approached from the east. As I climbed up the hill after crossing the river and passing the general store, the rain was receding to my east, and the sun was shining from the west, with the inevitable result. I did a quick U turn and parked illegally but sort of out of the way, and caught these couple of shots before the rainbow disappeared.
A storm sweeping across Apollo Bay
These six images were taken in late winter. The passage over Apollo Bay and surrounding coast of this substantial cumulo-nimbus cloud included very heavy rain and hail. I didn’t see any lightning or hear any thunder. Between the squall lines which brought this storm were short periods of bright sunshine. An irresistible light combination for a photographer.
The Great Cormorant on a low level mission over the shore break
I was standing on the point at Lorne looking towards Split Point lighthouse at Aireys Inlet, when two great cormorants (their formal name, not my adjective) flew fast and low straight towards me then straight past me. I captured what I could.
Australasian Gannets feeding 600m offshore at Apollo Bay
I have included these five shots because of the interesting bird behaviour they show. They are of poor photographic quality, principally because this activity was happening 600m offshore from where I was standing. I know the distance because they were diving near an orange buoy I sometimes swim around, and I have measured the distance with my GPS watch. The 150-600mm telephoto lens was set at a focal length of 600mm for these photos.
The Australasian gannet cooperates with other birds to round up fish in a loose sort of way, then they dive at high speed into the water and catch them at depths up to 40 feet or so. They can swim and manoeuvre quite well under water. The fish is generally swallowed before they surface. These birds are also great flyers. Many have been recorded flying between Australia and New Zealand. Their large wings are built for soaring and efficient flying. It is therefore all the more remarkable that they can tuck the wings in so well to permit a streamlined high speed dive and entry into the water, without doing any damage to themselves.