Saving The Whales

I was lucky enough to get on board one of Sea Shepherd’s vessels when it was in Sydney recently. This is the ‘Bob Barker’ one of three boats that will travel down to Antarctica this summer to chase the Japanese whaling fleet as they hunt for minke whales under the guise of ‘research’. Marine activist group Sea Shepherd (a bit like Greenpeace but much more radical) have been down to the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary to harass the whalers for the past seven years. The Australian government is opposed to the whaling activity and agrees that it’s illegal, but doesn’t seem to do much about it. We got a tour around the boat, met the crew and captain Paul Watson and travelled with them as they brought the ship from the inner harbour to Circular Quay. Here’s a video we made.


Onboard Sea Shepherd boat the Bob Barker

Wild Weather Day

Sunrise

Summer seems to have arrived early. Hot days and balmy nights and it’s only the first week of November! Here’s the day in pictures taken from my balcony: The sun rose to a partly cloudy sky. The air seemed to get thicker and thicker as the day heated up.

6:38 PM

It all came to a head late in the afternoon. Swampy storm clouds rolled in and dumped heavy rain all over the city, causing commuter chaos. I was in the pool at the time and they cleared everyone out because an electric storm was passing over us.

8:19 PM

Later on the storms rumbled out to sea giving us a fantastic light-show this evening. It took me a while to figure how to take a lightening shot — full-manual mode, on a tripod, longish exposure, high ISO and lots of luck to get the timing right.

8:26 PM

Creatures From The Sea

Blue bottles... the curse of ocean swimmers

Blue bottles… the curse of ocean swimmers

Blue bottles, also known as stingers, are common in the warmer months. These little blow-ins come in with onshore winds and are the scourge of swimmers. The long tail is the nasty end and they can be several feet long — perfect for getting wrapped about your arms or legs. The sting burns at first, but the pain usually only lasts about an hour. An occupation hazard if you want to enjoy the water all year round.

Blue bottles, or stingers, get blown in by the wind

Blue bottles, or stingers, get blown in by the wind

Playtime

It’s spring and time to play! This will be the summer that I’m going to learn to surf — properly. I had lessons last summer, so I’ve got the basics and I can get to my feet. I just need practice and lots of it! My aspirations are modest: I’d like to be able to surf a gentle unbroken wave on a long-board with a fraction of an ounce of style. That’s all I ask of myself! I don’t think I’ll be sharing a wave with this lot just yet. But I love how everyone — surfers, surf-skiers, body-surfers — all share the waves….

…while the stand-up paddle boarders just get away from it all.

Hello World!

This is my first ever blog… so let’s just see how it goes. I live very close to the ocean on a headland in Sydney, Australia. I’m inspired by what I see from here — the rolling ocean for as far as the eye can see, gorgeous sunrises, sometimes big swells rolling in, occasional storms and dramatic cloud formations, pods of dolphins, migrating whales. It’s a very special place and I consider myself lucky to be able to see, smell, hear and feel the ocean every day. I’m not a ‘serious photographer’ but there’s plenty of great subject matter around me so hopefully I can capture some of it. So, this is a photo blog inspired by the ocean, in other words: stuff I see without walking too far from home. All the photos and video are taken by me — the aim is to get better at photography. Any tips are most welcome! This blog is also an exercise in commitment. Do I have it in me to find the time and inspiration to post regularly?