Santo Domingo to St Martin

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, St Martin, Sint Maarten, 15 September 2016

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Aerial Photography, Dominican Republic, Photography, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, seascape, Sint Maarten, St Martin, Travel

Santo Domingo Port.

This is just after taking off in the plane.  The next eight images are flying along the south east coast of the Dominican Republic and the first ones are at or close to Santo Domingo.  They’re through a plane window of course so there are sometimes some reflections from inside the plane.

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Aerial Photography, Dominican Republic, Photography, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, seascape, Sint Maarten, St Martin, Travel

AES Andres electric power plane and LNG importing facility.

 

Aerial Photography, Dominican Republic, Photography, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, seascape, Sint Maarten, St Martin, Travel

Still the port, incorporates both of the previous images.

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Aerial Photography, Dominican Republic, Photography, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, seascape, Sint Maarten, St Martin, Travel

San Pedro de Macoris.

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Aerial Photography, Dominican Republic, Photography, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, seascape, Sint Maarten, St Martin, Travel

El Soco.

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Aerial Photography, Dominican Republic, Photography, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, seascape, Sint Maarten, St Martin, Travel

Isla Catalina and La Romana.

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Aerial Photography, Dominican Republic, Photography, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, seascape, Sint Maarten, St Martin, Travel

La Romana.

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Aerial Photography, Dominican Republic, Photography, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, seascape, Sint Maarten, St Martin, Travel

Boca de Yuma.

Juan Sanchez Ramirez landed at Boca de Yuma in 1808, coming from Puerto Rico, and routed the French, who at that time controlled Hispaniola, in the Battle of Palo Hincado.  He then became Governor of the Spanish Colony of Santo Domingo until he died in 1811.  He is known as “the father of the Dominican Republic”.

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Aerial Photography, Dominican Republic, Photography, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, seascape, Sint Maarten, St Martin, Travel

Juanilllo, the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic.

 

Aerial Photography, Dominican Republic, Photography, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, seascape, Sint Maarten, St Martin, Travel

Puerto Rico was probably covered in cloud (so I have no other images of the main island) but this is Ceiba Ferry Terminal, at the eastern tip of Puerto Rico.

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Vieques National Willdlife Reserve and Punta Este, Vieques Island, Puerto Rico.

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Aerial Photography, Dominican Republic, Photography, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, seascape, Sint Maarten, St Martin, Travel

Culebra, Puerto Rico.

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Aerial Photography, Dominican Republic, Photography, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, seascape, Sint Maarten, St Martin, Travel

 

St Martin/ Sint Maarten is an island divided between France and the Netherlands.  This is the western tip, Les Terres Basses, St Martin. Anguilla in the background.

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Aerial Photography, Dominican Republic, Photography, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, seascape, Sint Maarten, St Martin, Travel

Cupecoy Beach. Sint Maarten in the foreground to the right, St Martin behind. Simpson Bay Lagoon behind the Sin Maarten buildings. The little white terrace houses on the left edge of the beach are half in St Martin and half in Sin Maarten.

This image provides a good summary of the difference between St Martin and Sint Maarten at the time.  Sint Maarten was an overdeveloped cruise ship destination, with multi-storeyed hotels and casinos, and more than 50% urban.  St Martin was more just a place where people lived with some nice undeveloped locations, much more interesting to us.

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Sint Maarten, moving a little along the coastline.

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Aerial Photography, Dominican Republic, Photography, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, seascape, Sint Maarten, St Martin, Travel

A resort near the airport.

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Aerial Photography, Dominican Republic, Photography, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, seascape, Sint Maarten, St Martin, Travel

And here we are coning to land low over the beach.  I will have an image in a later post showing how this looks from the beach.

 

Aerial Photography, Dominican Republic, Photography, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, seascape, Sint Maarten, St Martin, Travel

This is a view from where we were staying at Over the Hill Guest House in Grand Case, nearing sunset.

We knew we were in the hurricane season in the Caribbean but fortunately we did not encounter one.  A year after we were there, St Martin and Sint Maarten were hammered by Hurricane Irma, which passed directly over the island.  95% of buildings in St Martin were damaged and 60% rendered uninhabitable.  Also, 70% of the buildings in Sint Maarten were damaged and a third destroyed.  Our accommodation appears to have reopened after being closed for around a year though now they probably have few guests due to COVID-19.  Most of the buildings in adjoining properties show in Google Earth as still levelled to the ground.

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Houses on a nearby hill.

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Aerial Photography, Dominican Republic, Photography, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, seascape, Sint Maarten, St Martin, Travel

Night-time view in the same direction.

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Catedral Primada de America

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 13 September 2016

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

We stayed briefly in the zona coloniale, the old quarter of Santo Domingo, which is the oldest continuously occupied city in the Americas.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

The central area is quite safe, with a heavy police presence but especially coming from Cuba,  it didn’t always feel as safe outside that.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

We went to visit the Cathedral, but what we thought was the entrance was not actually the way to get in.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

So we had to walk around the block to get to the other side of the building.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

This looks like a forgotten side entrance but is actually the way in.  The statue by the door is of Archbishop Merino, 1833-1906.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

The cathedral is known by locals as Catedral Primada de America, though its proper name is Basilica Catedral Santa Maria de la Encarnacion.  It is the oldest cathedral in the Americas, begun in 1514 and completed in the 1540s.

 

Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Evidently the grave of an archbishop, dated 1569.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Santo Domingo is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the Americas.  It was founded by Bartholomew Columbus, brother of Christopher Columbus, in 1498.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Looking up at the ceiling.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

This is an altar at one end of the cathedral.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

And here it is at the top of this image, with the other end of the cathedral at the bottom..

It takes a lot of heavy machinery operating outside the cathedral to compress it in this way, and you have to hope the stonework does not fall down on you.

A safer and less expensive approach, which is less likely to incur the ire of the authorities, is to stitch together multiple images, six images taken with a fisheye lens for example.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

And this is the far end.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

At the far end, looking up.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

The inscription on the left says something about returning the picture of the Blessed Virgin of La Antigua to the Dominicans and is dated 1862, so it probably refers to the painting on the right.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

This somehow looks almost modernist in an El Greco sense.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

This is below the archbishop’s grave we saw earlier.  It’s a bit hard to translate the Latin because the words run together but I suspect it marks the graves of Don Rodrigo and perhaps his wife Senora Rodriguez, and is dated 1553.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

No idea what this says.  there doesn’t appear to be a date.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Outside of the cathedral.  I think this is the way out.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Out in the streets again, and we’re heading to Fortaleza Ozama (next post).

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

I’m pretty sure this and the next two images are from the Museo Casa de Tostado.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

This is the house of Francisco de Tostado who came to the island with Governor Nicolas de Ovando in 1502, and it was built in the early sixteenth century.  His son Francisco de Tostado de la Pena, who also lived here, became a university professor and was killed by the cannon fire of Francis Drake in 1586.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Old doors on the street.

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Architecture, Cathedral, Dominican Republic, History, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Santo Domingo, Street photography, Travel

Woman feeding pigeons, I think near the cathedral.

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From Havana to Santo Domingo

Havana, Cuba to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 12 September 2016

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I’ve just come back from a weekend covering the Thredbo Blues Festival and now have 3,000 images to process, so these posts may slow down a bit for a while.

On Monday around 12:30pm we were driving back from Thredbo. Normally I would have been playing table tennis and have had my car parked outside the centre. Had that been the case, the car would have been pulverised by hail, golf-ball sized or even larger. The windows would have been broken, all the panels dented and the car may have been written off.

Such are the incidents of the unfolding Climate Crisis. Especially with the current political corruption and paralysis, particularly in the US and Australia, it is merely a foretaste of what is to come, and not just in Australia.

Today there was also a fire burning on the edge of Canberra, just a few kilometres from where I live (though blowing in the opposite direction). Homes and an industrial area were threatened. A recycling centre is burning, creating hazardous smoke and Canberra Airport was closed for much of the day. Today was a high wind day. That fire is relatively under control but further high winds are forecast, including for a large area of south eastern New South Wales where there are several large fires burning out of control. Conversely, conditions may also be easing from tomorrow and the Indian Ocean Dipole (a major trigger) has now moved to neutral.

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OK, back to the Cuba/ Caribbean trip. This post shows images taken from the plane between Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel

We have taken off from Havana and are now flying east over Cuba.

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel

The farm land looks productive.

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel

Perhaps you have read of the insect apocalypse.  80% decline in insect numbers over the last forty years, perhaps worldwide, at least Europe and the US.  Global warming is a factor but probably a greater cause is use of insecticides and other agricultural poisons.  Perhaps Cuba is fortunate here, because US sanctions may mean they have no access to modern toxic chemicals from companies such as Monsanto.

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel

We’re still over Cuba, but now the coast and islands at the eastern end.

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel

I’m pretty sure this is the western tip of Haiti.

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel

For those with limited knowledge of geography, the island to the east of Cuba is Hispaniola, which is divided into Haiti to the west and the Dominican Republic to the east.

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel

I have read that you can see the boundary between Haiti and the Dominican Republic from space.  Haiti is quite deforested and the Dominican Republic not at all.

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel

This goes back to the days of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic (1930-1961).  Dictators are usually bad news but he preserved the forests and sent the army in to ruthlessly suppress illegal logging.  Haiti on the other hand is one of the poorest countries in the world with little effective government and the whole countryside was stripped bare.

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel

It was too cloudy for me to see the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  We are by now over the Dominican Republic (and probably for one or two of the previous images).

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel

A large dam with a city near by.

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel

Agricultural land

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel .

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Aerial Photography, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel

Probably the coast near Santo Domingo.

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Montague Island Monochromes

Montague Island, New South Wales, Australia, 8 to 11 November 2019

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Links go to posts with the colour versions of the images (where there may also be more information and context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies. (Click on any image to see it larger).

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Pelican in Narooma Harbour.

Montague Island Day One..

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Humpback whale disappearing.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Humpback whales, mother and calf.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Seals off a headland.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

A seal launching into the sea.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

At the lighthouse cottages when the storm hits.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Crested terns courting.

Montague Island Day Two.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Silver gull.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Silver gull chicks.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

View from the lighthouse looking south, showing the stones sacred to the Aborigines (the whale, the shark and the tortoise) and also the small lighthouse cemetery.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

View of lighthouse cottages from the lighthouse.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

The old wharf.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Sea eagle.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Tiny ground flowers.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Old banksia setrrata cone.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Little penguins coming ashore.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Great cormorants on rock.

Montague Island Day Three (Morning).

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Seal interactions.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Shell on rock.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Sooty oystercatchers.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Created tern coming in to land.

Montague Island Day Three (Afternoon).

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Silver gull and nesting material.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Crested tern with fish.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Silver gull coming in to land.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Crested tern and chick.

Montague Island Day Four.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Contention.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Competing for space.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Welcome swallows.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

The lighthouse receding.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Pelican confused by sign.

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I’m due to go down to Thredbo for the Thredbo Blues Festival next weekend but because of bushfires in the area I won’t know whether the festival is on until later today or tomorrow.  There may or may not be a post on that in a few weeks.  Next week though, I expect to resume the account of my travels to Cuba and the Caribbean at Santo Domingo in the Dominican republic.

Montague Island Day Four

Montague Island, New South Wales, Australia, 8 to 11 November 2019

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This was the last morning and the boat was due to leave around midday.  The previous afternoon I had photographed crested terns flying in to the colony.  I decided to spend some of my remaining time photographing their interactions on the ground.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

There were many eggs but only a few hatched chicks.  Parents kept them close to protect them not merely from silver gulls but also from other terns.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

 

On the edge of the colony there is danger from silver terns so this mother tried to move with her chick into the colony.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

The terns pack in much closer than silver gulls but they still defend territory so contention arises.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Making a point…

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

This is where she wants to be but there is a certain amount of opposition.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

… including some pinching of the tail….

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

At least the chick is not being attacked which can happen.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

And the mother, though under siege, does her best to protect the chick.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Nearby there was a silver gull hidden under a bush on an egg in the middle of the tern colony.  It must have been there before the terns arrived.  I didn’t photograph it because the shadow was too deep to show it in context.  What was going to happen when it tried to leave was an interesting question.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

After a while, she pulled out of the area of contention back more to the edge of the colony.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Her mate is with her here.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

She is now protecting the chick from silver gulls as well as other terns.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Nearby, a pair of welcome swallows had made their nest in walls of one of the cottage’s toilets, entering the wall through the ventilation holes.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Just outside the colony, a bit of mating display was going on.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Two’s company….

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

A last view of the terns.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Now we’re on the boat and the lighthouse and cottages are receding away.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

The wharf is down below the lighthouse.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Welcome swallow, Wilderness, Wildlife

Back in Narooma harbour, this pelican seemed confused by the direction instructions of the sign.

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Montague Island Day Three (Afternoon)

Montague Island, New South Wales, Australia, 8 to 11 November 2019

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Having returned and after lunch, I settled down at a tern colony near the lighthouse to photograph them in flight.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

I was mounting my long lens on a gimbal (the mechanical type, not the electronic variety for video) which attaches to your tripod and allows your lens to sit at a point of balance, for easier and quicker responses.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

This is the wing of a silver gull.  This shot wasn’t intended and it isn’t entirely in focus but I still like it.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A tern coming in to land.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Some distance away, over the sea.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

They are small and fast5, making it a challenging exercise.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Head on.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Silver gull with nesting material.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Silver gull coming in to land at a silver gull colony.

 

Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Silver gulls were patrolling around the edge of the tern colony.  Just below me, a mother tern stood up and left her egg exposed.  A silver gull hopped in and took the egg.  The mother is protesting and the egg is in the middle here but you may have to click on the image to make it larger to see the egg.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Chicks can also be in danger, so here parents are protecting a chick.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Silver gull, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Back to the terns coming in to the colony.

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This was the most successful flying tern image.  Coming in with fish and completely sharp.  Well exposed to retain detail in the black head and eyes white while not losing detail in essential white areas caught by the sun.  There is an element of luck in this as there is no room for error and the image on the histogram on the back of the camera shows less than the RAW file captures.

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Montague Island Day Three (Morning)

Montague Island, New South Wales, Australia, 8 to 11 November 2019

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In the morning I went down to the south end of the island again.  In the last post, the time exposure of the old jetty included a white rock in the distance with great cormorants sitting on it.  This is that rock, through a long telephoto.

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They are all facing in the same direction, probably scanning for signs of fish.

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I was at the old jetty and this is maybe a post they tied up to.

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A bit further south, a fur seal climbs up out of the water.

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He is eyeing a place by one of the females but the master of the harem notices him.

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… So he backs out and soon slips away into the sea, discretion being the better part of valour.

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There is a silver gull on the rocks.

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Also a pair of sooty oystercatchers.

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I had mainly come to this end of the island to make some more focus bracketing studies.  This involves taking many exposures at different points of focus and combining them later to get a greater depth of focus that would be possible in a single exposure.  First a landscape exposure from macro to infinity.  You may prefer to click on some of these to see the greater detail of a larger version.

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Now a few macro images at the same location.

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This image is macro in the foreground and the background is the cliffs at the other side of the small bay.

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Montague Island Day Two

Montague Island, New South Wales, Australia, 8 to 11 November 2019

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The lighthouse in the early morning with the sun behind it.

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Crested terns.

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Crested terns courting.

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Silver gull.

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Silver gull chicks.

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View from the lighthouse, looking over the cottages (where we stayed).

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View from the lighthouse looking south, showing the stones sacred to the Aborigines and also the small lighthouse cemetery.

There are two children and a keeper buried there.  The children got sick but there was no access to the lighthouse, apart from trying to hail a passing ship.  The children died before medical assistance could be occurred.  More on the keeper later.

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Looking west to an islet of great cormorants.

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Looking north.  There are two parts to the island, joined by a narrow neck.  The northern part is out of bounds due to breeding birds.  An artist from our group is sitting at a table at the bottom and there is a colony of terns to his left.

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Looking down more closely on the colony of terns.

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A view of the lighthouse from the back gate of the cottage we stayed in.

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The same tree from the stormy images of the previous post, this time n the calm of daylight.

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The cottage we stayed in, behind the tree.

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The old wharf, a long exposure of 15 seconds.

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Tiny flowers on the ground near the south end of the island.

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Banksia cone, banksia serrata or old man banksia.

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Banksia serrata cone.

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Sea eagle.  I only had my macro lens with me; I could have got closer wit my long telephoto.

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View of  lighthouse and cottages from the south.

There was a time when supplies were unloaded at the old wharf and taken up to the lighthouse using a horse and cart.  Part of the route was up the rock below the cottages.  The horse didn’t like this and used to run away and hide when the time came.

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One day it all went wrong.  The horse slipped on the rock incline and the cart came careering down the slope on top of the keeper.  His spleen was ruptured and he died some days later, ending up in the lighthouse cemetery..

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The path back went through a silver gull rookery.  This is at the edge of it.

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A silver gull incubating an egg on a rudimentary nest on the ground.

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Later, we went down to the new wharf to see the little penguins coming in at night.  These are silver gull chicks in the fading light.

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Terns against the sunset.

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The little penguins are coming ashore.

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They climb up surprisingly high to nest.

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Then red lights were turned on around the platform where we were standing, to provide light without disturbing the penguins.

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There was a stiff wind above us and silver gulls were hanging motionless in the air.

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Montague Island Day One

Montague Island, New South Wales, Australia, 8 to 11 November 2019

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We spent a weekend at Montague Island, off the coast of New South Wales near Narooma, organised by NatureArt Lab, based in Canberra.  We also went with them to Sabah and this time it was mainly with artists rather than photographers.  I also went there in 1987 when I toured around Australia taking photographs of lighthouses for the book From Dusk Till Dawn.

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We needed to drive down from Canberra and be at the wharf for the boat at 11:15 am, so to eliminate the risk of misadventures we drove down from Canberra the night before.  Late in the afternoon we discovered Handkerchief Beach, south of Narooma.  This is a picture of Montague Island from there (actually properly spelt Montagu but that is a losing battle).  We would be staying near the lighthouse in the lighthouse cottages.

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The lagoon at Handkerchief Beach.

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It appears it gets windy at times.

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A nearby pelican next morning as we are waiting to embark.

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From the boat, underway but still inside Narooma’s Bar, a cormorant is drying its wings.

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Humpback whale going down.

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We were lucky to be escorted by a mother and her calf for most of the journey to Montague.

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There are many seals on the rocks by the sea.

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And we encountered quite a few lounging around in the water.

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At some distance, sitting on his favourite rock, is this white-bellied sea eagle, in this case with a full crop.  He does not live on the island but flies out every day from the mainland.

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The seals are either Australian or New Zealand Fur Seals.  The New Zealand Fur Seals are smaller and darker and climb further up on the rocks but they are very similar and I’m not going to try to tell them apart.

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Launching into the sea.

The New Zealand Fur Seals have been recently renamed Long-Nosed Fur Seals (in Australia) because people may have thought they were not native to Australia though they live in both places.  They were called New Zealand Fur Seals because they were first described in New Zealand and are still called New Zealand Fur Seals in New Zealand.  This renaming seems to me like pointlessly kowtowing to ignorance so I will continue to refer to them as New Zealand Fur Seals.

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Great Cormorant and Crested Terns, still from the boat.

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A colony of Crested Terns, from the road to the Lighthouse.

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In the late afternoon, we were hit by a huge storm with high winds.

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A little later, walking back from Cottage 1 to Cottage 2 at the back of the cottages, I was blown along by a wind so strong that it was pointless to try to walk against it.

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Some of the terns relocated from the more exposed side of the island to the relative calm in the lee of the cottages and the island.

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Then an hour and a half later, it was clear and calm.  This is a sacred aboriginal initiation site at the end of the island, not accessible to the public.  The rocks represent the whale, the shark and the tortoise.

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(Trivia note:  There are now more than 15,000 images in this blog, not counting the links to nearly 11,000 live music images, and also more than 350,000 words, equivalent to several books).

KK Fishing Boats (Kota Kinabalu)

Kota Kinabalu, South China Sea, 2 May 2019.

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After the markets we had some free time and many of the others may have wandered back to the hotel but I wanted to wander along the wharves to check out the fishing boats. I had seen some great looking fishing boats coming and going from the port the previous evening and the light was great then, but I only had my Fuji X100s, which has a wide angle lens, and I needed a telephoto. So I thought I would see what I would find on this day.

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There were quite a few fishing boats lined up at the docks.

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This is the rear of one at the front, with nets rolled up on spools for deployment and retrieval.

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One is arriving at the dock.

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Another is preparing to leave.

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Suddenly the light changed – or maybe that’s just the infrared sensor.

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First wildlife sighting, of an egret on the prow of a boat.

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Another one returning …..

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