Motorbike Ride in the Otways Rainforest, Black Kites and Winter Ocean Swell

BMW R1200 GS motorbike ride through cool temperate rainforest in the Otway Ranges

BMW R1200GS motorbike in Otway Ranges
Afternoon sun in the Otways State Forest. The temperature in the hills didn’t get above single figures.
BMW R1200 GS motorbike on dirt road in the Otway Ranges
These coastal hills get a lot of rain.
BMW R1200 GS motorbike on dirt road in the Otway Ranges
BMW R1200 GS motorbike on dirt road in the Otway Ranges
The cold clear air smelt deliciously of rich damp soil and the abundance of temperate rainforest vegetation.
Motorikes on dirt road in the Otway State Forest
Muddy dirt track in Otway Ranges
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.
Motorbikes on dirt road in rainforest in Otway Ranges.
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.

Black kite flying
Pair of black kites flying
Black kite flying. Raptor
Black kite flying
Young black kites on the ground
Young black kites.
Young black kite on the ground
Young black kite.
Black kite flying and one on the ground
Two young black kites on the ground.

Ocean Swell near Apollo Bay


Ocean surf at sunrise at Marengo
Early morning light at Mounts Bay (near Marengo) with a bit of swell about and a very strong offshore wind.
Ocean surf at sunrise at Marengo
A fleeting glimpse of the morning sun backlighting a section of this wave.
Big breaking waves at Little Henty Reef Marengo
At the southern end of Mounts Bay, a little later in the morning, the swell breaking over Little Henty reef was solid.
Big breaking waves at Little Henty Reef Marengo
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.
Australian fur seals at Little Henty Reef
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.

Breaking  large wave - four photos
Breaking  large wave - four photos
Breaking  large wave - four photos
Breaking  large wave - four photos
Seals and white water at Little Henty Reef
Quite a bit of water moving around the reef. The seals seemed to be revelling in it all.
Seals and pied cormorants on Little Henty Reef
Two pied cormorants stood out from the crowd as they rested amongst the seals for a short time.
Barrel on breaking large wave
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.
Surfboard on a wave without a rider
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.
Surfer on large wave
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.
Surfer on large wave
I’m guessing he was pretty happy with how his new board performed. It must be especially satisfying to ride a board you shaped.
Cape Patton, winter surf breaking on coastal reefs
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.

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