Images of a Big Island

Posts tagged “tourism

Kimbeley Storm

The Kimberley, an ancient, timeless land where man’s influence is so far, fairly minimal. That could change in the future if the gas,mining companies and government have their way! Like the Tasmanian SW this is an area that should be left as a wilderness, free of ugly gas plants, disfiguring mining operations and the like.
Traveling through the Kimberley by sea you get a good sense of how insignificant you really are and you get a feeling that the land is watching you,impassively,waiting for you to make a mistake.
On most days during the dry the landscape is a magnificent palette of colour, dominated by the ochre colours of the sandstone of which the area is comprised. Contrasting with the blues of the sea and endless sky as well as the greens of the post-wet season greenery it’s easy to fill a memory card pretty quickly.
But on the rare occasion when a thunderstorm rolls across the landscape, it seems to take on a more primitive & malevolent feeling. You almost expect a dinosaur to make an appearance somewhere and indeed there are dinosaurs around in the form of crocodiles.
This is my attempt to communicate that feeling you get.


Whitsunday Gold.

You know how it is, rummaging through your files, seeing if there are any little gems that you had forgotten about.
After processing a couple of new images tonight, I was just going over this particular folder when I came across this image of a sunrise at Shute Hbr. I had shot this about a year ago and like a lot of my images, I sat on it for a while.
I have to say that I quite like it because I am a sucker for crepuscular sunlight at the best of times and this a pretty good example!

I also like it for it’s simplicity, It could be composed a little better but the brick shed I was standing next to limited my options on that score. Probably look good as a monochrome which I will do another day, I’m off to bed!


Storm Warning

Well, it looks like I may have spoken a bit prematurely in my last post! As I type this, TC Anthony is making a beeline towards the Nth Queensland Coast and is forecast to cross the coast somewhere north of Bowen as a Cat 2 system, sometime early tomorrow morning.
Airlie Beach, being on the southern side of the cyclone will cop some wild weather tonight and we are expecting some heavy rain over the next few days!
Of more concern is another system forming near Vanuatu which is expected to move west and impact the Queensland Coast as a Cat 4 or 5 system later in the week.
After Cyclone Ului last year people are a little more switched on and have been stocking up with supplies and fuel. Not sure what use a car load of fuel will be when the roads are likely to be impassable?
Also, the SW of West Australia is still under threat from TC Bianca which thankfully seems to be weakening. That is one out of the box as it is extremely rare for a cyclone to be that far south! Anyway, hope you guys over there don’t cop it too badly.

Here we go again!


As Good as it Gets!

After all the monsoon weather we have had here in the Whitsundays over the last few months, Huey has made up for it with some magnificent weather over the last week!
This is the view from Airlie Beach and today it was nearly perfect conditions to capture it. The noticeable absence in this scene is people! Normally this beach would have many more people on a day like this but the tourism industry which is the town’s major industry is doing it tough at the moment. Never seen the place so quiet!
GFC, high exchange rates, flooding etc have combined to hit the area for a six. But the good news is that we are well and truly open for business!

In the immortal words of Lara Bingle “So, where the bloody hell are you?”


Leave the Kimberley Alone!

Hi All,
Haven’t posted for a while as I am recovering from a hip operation that has made it painful to sit at a computer for too long! Good news is that I appear to be mending quickly,thank God!
I was reading a post by Christian Fletcher about the proposed Gas Plant at James Price Point near Broome and in the comments section I came across a scary piece of information found by David Bettini about a proposed copper mine near the Horizontal Falls!

I have spent quite a bit of time at the Horizontal Falls in my day job as a charter vessel skipper, and have driven tourists through the falls many times in all conditions. This image does not show the Falls in full flight as they are very dependant on the range and state of the tide. At maximum flow on the biggest tides of the year (11.5m range) they are an awesome sight with a 3m difference in level in the outer gap and a 5m wall of water in the inner gap. Water speeds reach up to 20 knots with huge whirlpools and turbulence, driving a powerboat through these is to be on the edge of control and very much an adrenalin surge to put it mildly!
The surrounding area in Talbot Bay is an ancient,rugged and unforgiving landscape that will punish any lapse in concentration on land or sea. Huge tides, crocodiles, sharks and a rugged rocky landscape with little fresh water makes it a place to keep your wits about you!

It also has a beauty and grandeur about it that is awe inspiring at times,especially when you look at how the sandstone strata has been pushed, pulled and twisted by unimaginable forces over millions of years.


To really get the best perspective of these forces and how this landscape has been formed flying over it is the best way, a truly unique experience!
The ancient rythms of life hold sway out here and make it a very unique area but unfortunately a mining company can’t see them. What they see is potential profit by changing and perhaps ruining an ancient landscape forever! And the politicians will be all for it if it looks viable.
I seriously hope people fight this and the Gas Plant near Broome tooth and nail and tell those in power that there are some places that are out of bounds!


If you want to see some more of what there is to lose, check out this brilliant video by Michael Fletcher!


Clouds of Sail

I have previously posted about “Solway Lass” last year but have never been aboard while she is under sail. Yesterday I went out on her for a fundraising daysail which was a great day with great people,live music and good weather.
Having been skipper of ex Racing Maxi-yachts for many years I was interested to see what a Square- rigged sailing vessel was like to be aboard under sail.
Looking around the boat, there are a myriad of lines for sail control and it looked very complicated. In the old days of the clipper ships sailors needed to know where each particular line was and be able to find them in the worst weather and darkest nights. No easy feat!
The biggest difference I found between the modern racing yacht and a traditionally rigged vessel was how quiet and calm the older heavier vessls were. Very peaceful!
This is one of the images I took to try and capture some of the romance of that bygone era.


Stranded

I went back down to Shute Hbr today to try and get some images that give an idea of the desolate look of vessel that has found itself on the beach due to forces that are sometimes far greater than the seamen who spend a lot of their time doing everything in their power to keep their boats afloat!

Luckily these vessels have suffered little real damage compared to many others and hopefully will be afloat again, albeit with some ingenuity,brute force and funds.
“We don’t have a problem, it’s just an unresolved situation we haven’t thrown enough time and money at yet!”.

The biggest cost will be the loss of earnings for the various commercial vessls that have found themselves in this predicament.