This part of the Eastern Cape coast is famous for its surf, and Jeffreys Bay is the most famous (or infamous perhaps) of the lot.
The surf at Supertubes in winter is so fantastic that they host a round of the world surfing championships here. Yes, this was where Mick Fanning got attacked by a shark! It’s all about the swell and the wind direction, the locals say. We came in Spring and the wind was coming from the wrong direction, so the surf didn’t look too fantastic.
As for sharks, the locals say that shark attacks are rare along this stretch of coast, so Mick Fanning was a bit unlucky. It was good to hear that he returned to Jeffreys Bay a year after the shark attack and won the surfing tournament (without incident).
It’s amazing that even after living in Sydney for much of my life, I can still find plenty of places that I have never visited. Maroubra Beach is one of them. I must say that I like it a lot.
It’s a longer beach than either Coogee or Bondi, and far less developed. Not a large-scale developments on the beach front in sight, which is a relief.
On a weekday, it’s only me, a few swimmers, and the surfers, who were busy tackling the big swell.
In fact, the waves were so good that the surfers bear couldn’t take their eye off the action.
It was early spring, and M had a few days holiday. Why not do a walk mid-week along the coast? We decided to start our walk at Coogee. It wasn’t a particularly warm morning, but there was only a smattering of people on the sand.
The path itself though was quite busy with walkers and joggers. We made our way over the headland, and then down into Gordons Bay. It hasn’t changed much since my last visit 5 or so years.
Gordons Bay is a favourite spot for divers and snorklers. But the swell was up, so no go there that day.
The only people having fun on the water were the surfers. We saw a few at Bronte attempting to catch a wave or two. We left them to it as it was our lunch stop and turning back point.
I hope you’re not sick of these beach photos yet as I have a few more coming.
There’s not quite enough female surfers around, so here’s one for you.
Actually, the rolling waves by themselves makes for a compelling scene.
Bridie certainly had her fill of beachcombing that afternoon.
And so did we. It made all the other hassles of Byron worth it.
As someone who likes to photograph the outdoors, I often have to make the best of what’s on offer. Much of the time it’s not ideal, whether due to time of day/light conditions/weather/wrong position/difficult subject matter. That’s why I get really excited when everything aligns, like it did that afternoon on Belongil Beach. The light was absolutely perfect for photography, whether it be photographing a surfer and the waves.
Or a fisherman casting a line into the misty surf.
Just when you think it doesn’t get any better, the light changes, and the same view becomes even more beautiful.
Sometimes I wish that moments like this would have more often, but then you wouldn’t quite appreciate it in the same way, would you?
Looking southward, Werri Beach stretched down toward the town of Gerringong.
The surf here was roaring.
So it wasn’t unusual to see a surfer scouting out the best breaks. If I could surf I’d be out there too.
The rain eventually cleared, and the temperature warmed up once again. When we went down to the beach, we weren’t too surprised to find it a bit busier than usual, although I suppose it was nothing compared to somewhere more touristy, like Terrigal. I loaded up old OM-2 film camera to capture the scenes.
The swell was up due to the storms, so there were lots of eager surfers heading to the water.
Surfers of all ages and genders, I was glad to see.
A lone surfer ploughs through the waves. They weren’t big that evening, but I’m sure he enjoyed himself anyway.
Above the surf beach is a special bench.
We leave Prevelly, but have one more place to visit in the Margaret River region.
Soon the wind was up and the waves pounding the shore.
This is the stretch up beach the hold the surfing competitions on. It is usually held in autumn when the swells are over 3 metres high. It looked pretty grim when we were there already.