Two Mile, 11 May 2022

Autumn is a good season for sizeable swell along the Victorian west coast between Gibson Steps and Peterborough. Sometimes the swell is less than forecast. But on this day it was bigger than forecast. I discovered this while driving to Warrnambool and it was just good luck I had the camera and telephoto lens in the car.

The two surfers in the photos were out at Two Mile late morning alternating between driving the jet-ski and being towed by it on to these waves. The three photos immediately below were taken during three different rides. They were a good team. Of course they caught a lot more than three waves. Each of these surfers is a goofy footed rider – they surf with their right foot forward on the board and their left foot back. On a right such as the waves in these photos, a goofy footer is surfing on his backhand i.e. his back is to the wave.

I have placed these shots at the start of this post because they are the three that I most like to ponder when I revisit the session I witnessed through my photo files. These photos appear again below in context with other photos of the three rides.

Surfer riding big wave at Two Mile

The coast around Two Mile

The swell at Gibson Steps

There were no riders out on either of the two occasions I drove past Gibson Steps on Tuesday.

Scenery on the paddle out or jet-ski ride to Two Mile

Ride 1

Surfer being towed by jet ski into large wave at Two Mile
The jet-ski is turning left to accelerate the surfer along the face of the wave from the outside of the turn just before he releases. This shot was taken at the exact moment the surfer released the tow line. See enlarged detail in the next image.
Surfer being towed by jet ski into large wave at Two Mile
Surfer riding large wave at Two Mile
Surfer riding large wave at Two Mile
Surfer riding large wave at Two Mile
Surfer riding large wave at Two Mile

Ride 2

Surfer riding large wave at Two Mile
Surfer riding large wave at Two Mile
Surfer riding large wave at Two Mile
Surfer riding large wave at Two Mile
Surfer riding large wave at Two Mile
That falling lip is starting to look ominous.
Surfer riding large wave at Two Mile
Compare the rider’s body position here with his posture in the previous two images. The white water was catching up with him fast and max board speed was required. The jet-ski operator was keeping a close eye on the rider, while staying clear of the approaching wall of white water.
Surfer riding large wave at Two Mile
I lost sight of the surfer at this point. When he surfaced some distance away from where he disappeared under the white water, the jet-ski was right on the spot to pick him up.

Closer examination of this image revealed that the nose of his board is just visible in this shot. See enlargement of this detail in the next photo.

Surfer riding large wave at Two Mile

Ride 3

Surfer being towed by jet ski into large wave at Two Mile
Surfer being towed by jet ski into large wave at Two Mile
The exact moment at which momentum from the tow and then gravity took over as the source of speed.
Surfer riding large wave at Two Mile
Surfer riding large wave at Two Mile
I imagine the rider appreciated the vigilance of the jet-ski operator in staying in close touch throughout the ride.
Surfer riding large wave at Two Mile
My favourite image of the session.
Surfer riding large wave at Two Mile
Surfer riding large wave at Two Mile

2 thoughts on “Two Mile, 11 May 2022

  1. they are fabulous shots John; and what a co incidence that you just happened to be driving past that spot, happened to see them, happened to have the camera and telephoto lens and happened to be a gun photographer.
    that really is a scene for a surfing movie
    cheers, Richard

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Richard.
    I had no inkling when I left Apollo Bay that I would see waves of this size and quality around Port Campbell. In fact I had the snorkelling gear on board as I thought it might be a quiet enough day in the bay at Port Campbell to have a look underwater around the pier. It wasn’t.
    Cheers, John.

    Like

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