Alaia Surfing

 

 

I caught this bloke surfing an Alaia the other day. The short Alaia like this one were originally used lying down I believe and are very hard to ride standing. Alaia are the original Hawaiian surf board. Basically they are a (beautifully) shaped wooden plank without the fins used on modern surf boards for directional stability and maneuvering.

This bloke was really traveling fast and handling the white water relatively easily of an approximate 6 foot wave. The wave looks a bit smaller here but was photographed from a relatively higher position diminishing the apparent size a bit. I had just been in the surf myself though and it was all of that size most of the time.

 

This was a pleasure to watch.



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Saibai Island Patterns

Saibai Island patterns. Only a few kilometres off the Papua New Guinea coast, almost swimming distance if the crocs don’t get you, Saibai has a beautiful interior of open floodplain, grasses and mangrove forests. It is full of bird and other life. Mud crabs the size of garbage tin lids. It is very often rainy up around Saibai. When it opens up though, which it has done for me on occasion when flying over or near when on the way up to Daru in PNG, it is an artist or photographers heaven. I could spend days there getting this stuff. Unfortunately I usually only get minutes.

I’ve been upgrading and renewing my web site at http://www.kim-wirth.com.au, it has quite a bit to do yet. In the process these came up. I think I may print a series of them.

 

Lake Eyre shot again -uncropped

The middle shot of Lake Eyre (Kati Thanda) in Australia above is the un-cropped version of the image in my previous post that has been used as a cover shot on the journal “Geophysical Research Letters” . A scientific article by John Fasullo in the journal refers to water storage in the middle of Australia after unseasonally high rainfall for an extended period and how it effected world sea level rise. But only for a couple of seasons during 2010-11!! The shot only shows some of the inflow to Lake Eyre, indigenous name “Kati Thanda” not the lake itself. The brown bits that look smooth and a bit like puddles are in fact large inflows of water toward Lake Eyre. The shot was taken from about 15-18,000 feet in altitude.

The shots either side of it are:  on the left, water flowing between desert sand dunes in the Simpson Desert and on the right, the vast expanse of Lake Eyre as first seen after descending through high based cloud on one particular flight. The dappled appearance of the surface and the colours are from the high salt and mineral content of the water and the reflections of the high cloud base of Alto-Cumulus cloud on the (mostly) water surface. The shot was taken from about 15,000 feet. The channel or “smear” through the centre of the scene is what is known as the”Warburton Groove” , a visible sign of the inflow from Warburton Creek, one of the inflows from the desert and one that runs almost the full longitudinal length of the lake after entering it. ie over 100 kilometres. It is also visible as a different coloured surface to the  surrounding ground when the lake is quite dry.  The “lake” of course is most years nothing more than a dry salt lake that has a surface around 50 feet below normal average sea level. To give an idea of scale, the shot on the left of water in the dunes was taken from much lower than the others at about 9,000 feet. The spots on the image or on the dunes are trees. Typical fairly small to medium sized desert trees such as desert oak but never the less.. trees.

As well as the scientific interest it is really quite awe inspiring just to look at at from up high. Kati Thanda shows many moods with a great varieties of colours and patterns depending on the water level or lack there of, the time of day and the weather. Although not the only ephemeral salt lake in Australia it is by far the biggest and very near right in the middle of this large dry but fragile continent.

Lake Eyre…and a cover shot for a picture of mine!

GRL_v40n16_cover_long.indd

 

I had a request for the use of one of my Lake Eyre images for the cover of the latest edition of “Geophysical Research Letters”, a prestigious american scientific journal. The article it represents by climate scientist John Fasullo is really informative/good and has to do with the slight hesitation in global sea level rise a couple of years ago, most likely caused by the record rainfall in Australia with the resultant storage, albeit not long lasting, of water in inland Australia.
The article is quite technically worded but never the less understandable and incredibly informative as to the close balance/link of all things that happen on our tiny planet, spaceship Earth. Here is one link to a report on the article. https://www2.ucar.edu/atmosnews/news/10090/global-sea-level-rise-dampened-australia-floods
A google search for “Fasullo sea level” will find more and give an understanding/meaning to the research. Really brilliant stuff.

Kati Thanda (Lake Eyre, Australia)

I took these a while ago over Lake Eyre in Central Australia. In fact they were taken over a couple of years while the normally huge dry lake had water in it. A once a decade event. It is quite spectacular. Earlier this year I had a double external hard drive failure. The back up of the back up…and the back up both failed within a week of each other, both name brand drives and not very old. An expensive recovery retrieved a whole lot of jumbled up information, “no name” files and many corrupted files off one drive. It’s taken a while to sort out what I’ve lost and what is OK. Today I found I still had these “pastel” coloured shots. It was a nice find. It also bought back nice memories of some pleasant times spent over this unique place in the middle of Australia.

The Bushranger Cave

I went for a bit of a walk yesterday, not all that far from the Gold Coast (Australia) and all its “humbug”. The place I walked to is sometimes known as “The Bushrangers Cave” or by some locals as “The Dingo Cave”. It isn’t on the network of known walking tracks around the area but nevertheless gets a fair bit of foot traffic by the look of it. It is therefore a little bit dusty and worn looking in the lower bits.
It was, however, an aboriginal place and has been dated to at least 6000 years ago as occupied. I tried to photograph it excluding as much as possible the signs of modern foot traffic/useage. As it may have looked in the past of the Australian Aboriginal occupancy.
It has a seepage spring in it (water supply) and sits high above the surrounding valley below the ramparts of the cliffs and ranges behind. I did a self portrait in the cave/overhang to give a perspective of size.
Those fellas back then had the best penthouse in the Gold Coast Hinterland.

Misty Rainforest Waterfalls

Misty Rainforest Waterfalls. I got soaked. It was worth it though, very refreshing!!