BMW R1200 GS motorbike ride through cool temperate rainforest in the Otway Ranges
Afternoon sun in the Otways State Forest. The temperature in the hills didn’t get above single figures.
These coastal hills get a lot of rain.
The cold clear air smelt deliciously of rich damp soil and the abundance of temperate rainforest vegetation.
On this cold moist day, we left some side tracks to another day. As it was, we struck a few slippery wet clay patches that made clear how small our total area of tyre contact with the road was.
Neither of us was looking for the shortest way home. What inviting tracks.
Black Kites on the wing near Apollo Bay
These raptors were photographed in the same paddock where I got some shots of two wedge-tailed eagles a few weeks ago near Apollo Bay. The black kite is considerably smaller than the wedge-tailed eagle.
Young black kites.
Young black kite.
Ocean Swell near Apollo Bay
Early morning light at Mounts Bay (near Marengo) with a bit of swell about and a very strong offshore wind.
A fleeting glimpse of the morning sun backlighting a section of this wave.
At the southern end of Mounts Bay, a little later in the morning, the swell breaking over Little Henty reef was solid.
When a wave this size hits the shallow reef tonnes of water ricochet skywards, sometimes well above the height of the wave as shown here.
These seals on Little Henty reef were obviously wet from the spray of the larger waves. But I have never seen a wave put this rock that is home to 100 or so Australian fur seals completely under water because the weather side of the reef extends under water for some distance, meaning the waves initially break on that part of the reef and lose of lot of their force before they reach this rock.
The next four shots are a sequence showing this quite irregular wave forming and breaking. The features of this winter wave result from the irregular shape and varying depths of the reef immediately below the surface in this location.
Quite a bit of water moving around the reef. The seals seemed to be revelling in it all.
Two pied cormorants stood out from the crowd as they rested amongst the seals for a short time.
Closeup of the emerald eye of one of the waves breaking on Little Henty Reef. Regardless of how dull the ambient light is or how grey the sea is at the time, whenever a clearly defined little barrel like this forms in a breaking wave, it has this vivid emerald colour.
For some reason this shot made me think of wild brumbies in the Australian high country. They run sure-footed, wild and free all their lives unless caught, broken-in and forced into a life of being owned and ridden. This board was riderless and was clearly running wild and free – not even touching the water. Boards with riders seem to need a hydrofoil to surf clear of the water like this. Will this board ever be captured and tamed and spend the rest of its days being owned and ridden? I’ll stop before this turns into an idea for a children’s book.
A couple of surfers were catching a few sizeable waves during this swell. This surfer is a shaper, and this is a long board he made very recently.
I’m guessing he was pretty happy with how his new board performed. It must be especially satisfying to ride a board you shaped.
Late in the day with a howling offshore wind, Cape Patton and nearby headlands stood out in stark relief from the great white manes of spray from the relentless lines of waves finishing their long journey on the reefs and shores here after being generated by some storm deep in the Southern Ocean. The wind at the time was bitingly cold and daylight was fading fast. Standing on a lonely headland in this wild place made me feel very alive.