Whale Tail

Why is it that when you see a whale, splashing, slapping its tail, breaching and generally having a whale of a time, it’s when you don’t have your camera ready? And when you do have your camera and tripod all set up, the whales stay miles offshore so all you see is a plume of white water on the horizon. A mother and calf came so close to our headland a few years ago I could have reached out and touched them. Didn’t have a camera then. Anyway, I sort of got this whale tail shot the other day – even from this distance it was exciting to watch. I think it’s time to invest in decent long lens.

whale_tail

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Birds of a Feather

My first post on this blog was a photo of a kookabura in the early morning light sitting on my balcony. Seven months on I’m still going with the blog and I got another chance to snap a kookabura — on a friend’s balcony this time. A few seconds later a whole flock of them flew down from the trees. Nice of them all to pose for me!

Kookaburras on the balcony

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

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

The Early Bird

Early morning kookaburra

Early morning kookaburra

My first post is a photo I took early one morning a few years ago: A kookaburra sitting on the balcony. I love the way the bird is silhouetted in the early morning light. The sky looks a bit moody but it feels like it’s going to be a nice, sunny day. That’s a complete fluke – I wasn’t sitting there waiting for it to come along, working out the exposure. I just saw the bird and grabbed my camera. You don’t usually see kookaburras at the beach, they prefer gum trees. But maybe they like the ocean too.