Ben on the ocean:
Our established pattern is to set out on the sea shortly after sunrise and this morning was no different. The weather was overcast today and we could see rain in some areas, but the beautiful sun rays shining through small gaps in the blackened clouds and creating lovely iridescent patterns on the ocean contrasting with the dark clouds and the gloomy expanse of the ocean meant that we captured some fabulous early seascapes.
We were still photographing the beautiful scenery when we spotted a Humpback Whale breaching time and again not too far from us. Although we kept a respectful distance from the whale, it moved closer and closer to us and finally popped up to breach only about 10 meters from our boat. We managed to get excellent photographs as he repeatedly lifted his entire body out of the water, and then crashed/splashed down, sending spray in all directions, including over us! Once again we made full use of the dramatic backdrop of the lowering sky, dark clouds and sun rays with the obliging whale who breached at least 20 times for us!
It was only about thirty minutes later that we encountered the superpod of Common Dolphins that we saw yesterday. We followed them again, and found them in a feeding frenzy. Once again, dolphins were visible for hundreds of metres in all directions. This time we were able to dive and captured some underwater shots. Once underwater we could also see that the rough seas had caused the dolphins to be quite scattered, with some swimming really closets us and others further away.
When we moved on we came across an Indian Yellow- nosed Albatross - although I think he came across us as he clearly wanted some handouts, probably believing ours to be a fishing vessel. He paddled right up to the boat and gave us some unique photographic opportunities - again with that stormy, angry looking sky as a backdrop. He hung around for ages as we snapped away, using different interesting approaches as he ate, flapped and paddled around.
No sooner had he left, having had enough to eat, when a White-chinned Petrel and then a Broad-billed Prion were followed by a Shearwater. We were able to use different lenses and techniques to get the best possible shots of all these sea birds ... all with the lovely stormy background.
As the afternoon was progressing and the sea conditions and visibility were deteriorating, we returned to land, where we proceeded up to a high spot overlooking the river mouth. From there we were able to get more images of the storm, with the evening light and the river mouth in the foreground. What a beautiful area this is!
Tomorrow we plan to leave early again ...