In stores now!
In stores now!
In the mid 70s there was so many surfers in Dunsborough they formed a footy team called the ‘Pig Breeders’. The team comprised of approximately forty local surfers who initially only played ‘shirts and skins’ games amongst themselves. Later on, they played against Capel and other teams in the South-West.
The Pig Breeders trained irregularly at Dunsborough Primary School oval. The playing surface was more like a paddock than groomed oval back then!
Yallingup resident Steve ‘Horny’ Campbell provided these 1975 images of the Pig Breeders footy team in action on Dunsborough Primary School oval.
Photo: 1975 Pig Breeders footy team at the Dunsborough Primary School oval – Team photo by Horny Campbell.
(Rear includes). John Fox, Howard Johnson, Graham ‘Guru’ Lesley, Gary Gibbon, Trevor MacKinnon, John Simpson and Rex Biddle
(Front includes). Trevor Anderson, George Simpson, Horny Campbell, Ian ‘Prive’ Morris and Blue Nicholson.
Photo: 1975 Pig Breeders footy team ‘shirts & skins’ footy match. Horny Campbell pic.
Photo: 1975 Pig Breeders footy team ‘shirts & skins’ team huddles. Horny Campbell pic.
Photo: 1975 Pig Breeders footy team post-match warm down. Horny Campbell pic.
Includes Ron ‘Gremmo’ Ellis, John ‘Tex’ Branch, Steve ‘Blue’ Nicholson, Guru and Kirk Boonga’ Ball.
Photo: 1975 Pig Breeders footy team post-match drinks. Horny Campbell pic.
Includes Howard Johnson (sitting) and Horny Campbell (standing).
Photo: 1975 Pig Breeders footy team post-match drinks continued. Horny Campbell pic.
Includes Jim ‘Lik’ McKenzie, Tony Harbison, Trevor McKinnon, Horny Campbell, Guru, Trevor Anderson, Murph and some Dunno dogs.
In 1984/85 Yallingup surfers Drew Brent-White, Andy Jones and the Bettenay brothers (Craig & Stewart) started the Yallingup Mulies footy team, which is still going strong in Dunsborough.
Update 22 Sept. Proposed opening date changed from Frid 1 Dec to Sat 2 Dec 2017 to fit in with other Yal Mal commitments.
The name of the proposed WA Surf Museum at Aravina Estate Winery Yallingup has been changed to WA Surf Gallery. This name will better reflect the changing themes of the Gallery.
The focus of Exhibition #1 will be “Surfing in Western Australia – through the decades – 50s, 60s, 70s & 80s.”
Surfing WA have appointed Damon Hurst (the curator of the Frontier Surfing exhibition held at Fremantle Arts Centre April-May 2016) to co-ordinate the setting up of the Gallery.
Damon is now focusing on compiling a database of surf memorabilia to display in the Gallery.
An architect has drawn up a floor plan for the Gallery. The type, number and best way to display vintage surfboards has been discussed. Some vintage surf photos have been selected for framing. Surfing WA will maintain a register of ownership of articles on loan and displayed at the Gallery.
Photo: 2017 some Committee members in the gardens at Aravina. Peter Dunn pic.
L-R Mick Marlin, Jim King and Bill Gibson.
Surfing WA and Aravina will collaborate to develop a media plan closer to the opening of the gallery.
The opening is planned for Friday 1 December 2017, 6-9pm on the eve of the 2017 Yal Mal Classic.
As a child and teenager I spent a lot of time at Pt Picquet fishing with my father, especially over the winter period. Despite spending many hours looking out to sea I never saw any whales and I never met anyone who had. I now know that most species were almost totally wiped out with the numbers of survivors often down to a few hundred. Today some species such as the humpbacks have made a spectacular recovery and at the height of the whale watching season we can see over 10 pods an hour passing Pt Picquet. Officially there are 35,000 humpbacks migrating up and down the West Australian coast and the numbers are growing at 7% per annum. However this is the number that has been quoted for something like 10 years simply because there hasn’t been a more recent comprehensive survey. Other species such as the Southern Right Whales and Blue Whales are still endangered
Southern Right Whales
The Southern Right Whales (SRW) are my favourites primarily because they mostly migrate to the Great Australian Bight and as the numbers increase we see a few (probably less than 50) each year in Geographe Bay. They are critically endangered and there are believed to be less than 10,000 worldwide. They are rarely seen north of Rottnest. The mothers and calves are here to look after the calf and fatten it up for the return to Antarctic waters over summer. Left undisturbed they will remain in a bay for lengthy periods (often weeks). The males have other things on their minds, and are well equipped to carry out these activities (google Southern Right Whale penis to see what I mean!). The mothers are extremely sensitive to disturbances eg from boats, SUPs, or even paddlers. The calves are curious and will often approach boats, but the mother will usually round up the calf and then they leave the area.
Image #1 Southern Right Whale barnacles
This image shows the white “barnacles” that all SRW’s have. These are leathery patches of skin called callosities which is Latin for beauty spot! These callosities remain for life and are used by researchers to identify individual whales.
Over the years I have been fortunate on two occasions to photograph a rare white SRW calf in Geographe Bay. These are not albinos as they are not completely white. There are probably 3-4 born each year worldwide.
Image #2 rare white Southern Right Whale calf.
This image was taken in October 2013 at Castle Rock.
Image #3 rare white Southern Right Whale calf.
This image was taken in October 2016 at Rocky Point. The calf had been sighted several months earlier at Augusta and named “Pearl”.
As the calf grows older the creamy coloured areas will turn a dark grey.
The earliest I have seen a SRW was at the end of May at Sugarloaf Rock.
Humpbacks travel further north in their annual migration. The main calving and breeding grounds are just north of Derby. Around Cape Naturaliste we rarely see humpbacks on their northern migration as they travel out to sea, possibly to avoid the south flowing Leeuwin current. However on the return migration we see large numbers with estimates that approximately 15% of the 35,000 are travelling close enough to the coast to be trapped in Geographe Bay as they travel south. They then turn west to go around Cape Naturaliste. The majority are small groups with mothers and calves.
Humpbacks are the aerialists of the whale world. We frequently see then breaching, tail slapping, slapping their pectoral fins and putting on displays. These actions seem to be a form of communication eg to enable a calf to find its mother when they are separated. We occasionally see humpbacks wandering aimlessly for a while unsure as to which way to go. One will breach, and soon after a humpback in a nearby pod will give an answering breach, and both pods will them make their way towards Cape Naturaliste. Mothers appear to teach the calves to breach while on their southern voyage. The calves seem to have inexhaustible energy supplies and sometimes breach continuously for hours.
Image #4 Humpback whale breaching
Image #5 Humpback whale breaching.
Image #6 Humpback whale dorsal fin.
Image #7 Humpback whale tail flip.
As the numbers of humpbacks grow we see some extremes of behaviour – for example a small number females give birth south of Augusta each year – perhaps prematurely – who knows! In 2016 two such calves born early got separated from their mothers and washed ashore at Lefthanders in a huge storm. I saw these two little guys try for hours to get out through the massive surf, and they kept getting washed back to the beach. Eventually they got out when the surf quietened down, but their mothers were nowhere to be seen. In that storm all means of communication were useless.
Image #8 the seas at Lefthanders
Image #9 Baby humpback in surf at Lefthanders
The next day I saw two baby humpbacks (with no mothers anywhere around) heading north past Sugarloaf. I like to think the two had joined together and were off to find their mothers. It seemed they were heading the right way and I hope they found them.
Blue Whales are the largest things that have ever lived. We see them from late September through to early December. They often pass Pt Picquet very close in (<50m) and seeing them close up is amazing. They are believed to be migrating from breeding grounds in Indonesia to somewhere in the Bass Strait.
Image #10 Blue whale
Blue whales are very hard to photograph from the land as they do not rise very far out of the water. All you see is a blue grey cigar shape, often a long way out and moving fast. Drones are the best way to photograph them, but in October 2016 DPAW made it illegal to fly a drone near a whale. This is unfortunate as drones were providing us with the ability to not only photograph them, but also to understand their behaviour. For example this blue whale was a female with her calf swimming under her in her slipstream.
Hamelin Bay beaching.
In March 2009, 80 long finned pilot whales beached themselves at Hamelin Bay. Eventually only about 6-8 were saved. Volunteers spent time in the water pouring water over the mammals in an effort to save them, but had to leave the water as the light faded because of the danger of sharks. These mass stranding’s are still a mystery to scientists.
Image #11 the scene at Hamelin Bay with hundreds of volunteers trying to save the whales.
Image #12 Volunteers assisting a whale.
Image #13 the media reporting the event.
Although this was only 8 years ago, drones were something the US military flew. One photographer had a system which used a kite to carry a camera in the air. It seemed like a good idea at the time! Perhaps we could resurrect the idea to get around DPAW’s rules on flying drones over whales!
Image #14 Photographer using a kite to carry a camera in the air.
2017 Whale Watch Update
The humpbacks have arrived 2-3 weeks earlier than 2016. In August there were approximately 400 humpbacks recorded passing Pt Picquet compared to less than 10 in 2016. Even though the humpbacks were late starting in 2016 they finished at the same time as normal, so they came through in a rush. Let’s hope 2017 is similar.
For the first time a blue whale was sighted at Pt Picquet at the end of August and another sighted from the lighthouse a little bit earlier. This is a major development – previously (only 5 years ago) they came through Geographe Bay in November-December. No one has any idea what is happening, but it is probably related to availability of food (blue whales don’t have a lot of blubber and migrate from food source to food source).
There have been approximately 12 minke whales seen from Pt Picquet so far this year. They are moving fast (no Japanese whalers chasing them!) and are difficult to spot so there may have been a lot more.
There have also been around 20 Southern Right whales seen around the coast. The Southern Rights mostly migrate to the Great Australian Bight, and are critically endangered. As the numbers build up some come around the Cape Leeuwin-Cape Naturaliste corner and attempt to find a nice quiet bay to bring up the new calves. Unfortunately they are usually harassed by boats and leave. (It is mostly the mother calf pairs that seem to be sensitive to boats). So please urge any of your boating friends to give them plenty of room.
Whale watching is good at Pt Picquet where there is usually someone to tell you where to look, and the whales sometimes come very very close. The whale lookout at Cape Naturaliste is also good, but anywhere down the west coast is good. However they will usually be 1-2km+ out.
Image #15 2017 breaching humpback.
Click on this link to view or purchase Ian’s prints Ian Wiese’s Photography blog.
Click on these links to view Ian’s previous Marine Life Images.
Coming soon South West Marine life images by Ian Wiese – Series #4 Sea Birds
This is a story about an East Coast surf traveller who met NZ surf photographer Ric Chan in Margaret River in 1977. Forty years later, he met Ric’s son Tao in Mauritius.
Ric Chan (Auckland NZ) – “Wooohooooo!! Here’s a mind blowing situation. A Chinaman from NZ takes off to OZ to shoot and surf, travelling across OZ to WA, and eventually made it to Syd Tate’s farm house at Witchcliffe in the South West.
There, in 1977 he meets an interesting dood Trevor Grant from the East Coast and takes a pic of him holding a balsa board.
Then 40 years later, 10,649 km away, my son born in Brisbane, me in NZ, Trev and Tao meet in Mauritius on the same beach at the same time…………HOWZAT!!!!!
I’ve got this grin on my face. It’s sooo damned freaky, what a GREAT story!”
Photo: 1975 Ric Chan and Syd Tate at Syd’s farm house in Witchcliffe. Ric Chan Pic.
Trevor’s message to Ric Chan
Trevor Grant (Mauritius) – “Howzit Ric, I met your son Tao in Mauritius, cool kid. Haven’t seen you since that time with the Balsa Board at Syd Tate’s farm at Witchcliffe in 1977. It was by accident that I met Tao in Tamarin Bay and the rest is history. Tao will explain to you our meeting and conversation in Tamarin Bay Mauritius”.
Photo: 1976 Syd Tate’s farmhouse at Witchcliffe. Ric Chan Pic.
Tao’s message to his dad
Tao Ah Chee (Mauritius) – “Hey dad, I just met a Trever Grant who owned a balsa board back in the 70s.
You took a photo of him and his balsa board a long time ago in Western Aust. We were just all talking and I told him “I’m Chinese from NZ” and he asked if I knew a Ric Chan.
I said “yeah he’s my dad”, and he flipped and started talking about your gold van and all the photos.
I’m sure he knows about the Surfing Down South book, because he said all the photos are from you. lol
He was nice to me, one of your old photo models. Lol”.
Photo: 2014 Ric Chan’s son Tao with his dog Fella, in their unit in NZ. Ric Chan pic.
This is Trevor Grant’s story.
Great to have your news and to connect with you after 40 years, that is amazing bro. Last time I saw you was at Syd Tate’s farmhouse at Witchcliffe in 1977 when you took that photo of me holding my Balsa Board and I was leaving for Mauritius at the same time. I also haven’t seen Syd since that time nor heard of his whereabouts. (Editor’s note: It is understood Syd Tate now resides in NZ.)
Photo: 1977 Trevor Grant with his new balsa board at Syd Tate’s farmhouse in Witchcliffe. Ric Chan pic.
I did a lot of surf travelling during the 70’s mostly Mauritius, Reunion Island, South Africa, and East Africa. In the early 80’s I started working on the Docks in Sydney where I worked for almost 33 years until last year when I retired from my job. During my working years I could manage to get away each year for 6 weeks going to Samoa on many occasions Fiji and Tonga and Mauritius and Reunion Island. I bought some Land on the South Coast of NSW just south of Ulladulla near Bawley Point at Merry Beach where I have now retired to. I have been married twice both to Mauritian ladies and divorced to both of them with no children involved, I don’t have kids. So now being retired, I decided why spend winter on the south coast so I bailed out early June and headed back to Mauritius. While here I decided to take a look at Madagascar where I spent 2 months on the south west coast of Mada, what an unreal amazing place. After Mada I returned back to Mauritius where I’m currently staying till the end of October then returning back to Oz for Summer and Xmas at my south coast home.
How I met your youngest son Tao in Mauritius, I couldn’t believe it blew me away!
Each afternoon as a ritual I take a couple of beers and sit on the beach at Tamarin Bay to catch up with local creole friends and watch the Sunset each day. Tao was there this particular afternoon and I heard him talking to people I know. I picked up on his accent and asked if he was from Oz. He said “No I’m from NZ”. I then said are your parents Maoris? Tao said “No, I’m Chinese Kiwi” in saying that the penny dropped and I could see a resemblance of a face that had crossed my path in my early surfing days, there was just something with his eyes and facial features of a person I met years ago. So my next question to Tao was would you know an older Surf Photographer by the name of Ric Chan. Well Tao looked at me in amazement and nearly choked and said “That’s my Dad”. I said you’re kidding me, Tao said “Yes, that’s my Father”. I went Far Out you’re kidding me, Tao said “No that’s my Dad”. Then I went on to tell Tao that I met you in ‘77 down south at Margaret River. I even told him about your gold Kombi wagon. Tao was blown away, I was blown away and the rest is History. What a small world we share!
Photos: 2017 Trevor meeting Tao in Mauritius. Trevor Grant pics.
So just the other day, I saw Tao on the beach at sunset and asked him to give me your Email address, so now here we are talking to each other after 40 years of lost contact, Fucking Amazing hey! As for Tao I haven’t seen him surf or we haven’t been in the water together here. He did tell me that he has only been surfing for a few years and still learning his way on the ocean. But there is one thing Tao has impressed me as a person, he has a good mellow nature, shows great respect to others and older people like me. You should be very proud to have a son of his nature and style. I’m not saying he is a total angel, as we were all crazy larrikins in our early days and done some wild radical things, as you can recall the crazy 60’s early 70’s we were all very out there in many ways.
Tao told me he is leaving Mauritius next week heading for the Seychelles and then onto Sri Lanka. I said I will catch up with him at sunset before he bails out. So there you go Ric, amazing story how I met your son Tao in Mauritius and how I have been able to connect with you here. Lots of waves and stories have passed since I last saw you 40 years ago in ‘77 at Syd Tate’s Farmhouse at Witchcliffe holding that Balsa Board.
Trevor Grant. 🏄🌴🌺💃😆
Trevor Grant – “What a small World we share sounds a part of your history of surfing in South West Oz and a little bit of history I’ve thrown your way. Its one true story how I met Ric Chan’s son Tao in Mauritius and what unfolded in that conversation with Tao. Then to connect with Ric after 40 years is absolutely amazing. As I said to Ric, lots of waves and stories have gone down over those 40 years on both sides.
Keep up the good work on the history of surfing in South West Oz. I enjoy reading all those SDS blogs. Only by chance an old West Oz connection I met in Mauritius in the early 70’s, started forwarding me those blogs on the surfing history in South West Oz, I think about 12 months ago. I enjoy reading them and many names and characters give me great flash backs on part of that era and time I spent down south. Good stuff, keep it going”.
Greg Woodward was a WA surf photographer and writer from 1966 to 1974.
He photographed in Perth, Mandurah and Cape Naturaliste and contributed photos and articles to the then brand new OZ surf magazine called ‘Surf International’.
In May this year, Greg held an exhibition of his beach life photos. The exhibition titled ‘The Dazzling Young Riders’ was held at Nyisztor Studios, 391 Canning Highway Melville/Palmyra from 6-21 May 2017.
There were approximately 80 images in the exhibition, about a third of which were guys surfing. The rest were beaches, waves, bikinis, sunbathers and a few portraits.
Greg has kindly allowed Surfing Down South to display some of his 60-70s photos.
This is the first instalment of images from Greg’s exhibition.
Click on this link to view Greg Woodward surf photographer published 26 April 2017.
Part 1. 2017 ‘The Dazzling Young Riders’ Exhibition images. Images courtesy of Greg Woodward.
Image #1 Invite to ‘The Dazzling Young Riders’ Exhibition.
Image #2 Greg’s Exhibition installation at Nyisztor Studios Melville.
Image #3 Greg’s Exhibition installation at Nyisztor Studios Melville.
Image #4 Greg’s Exhibition installation at Nyisztor Studios Melville.
Image #5 Photographer Greg Woodward studying the Exhibition catalogue in front of a close-up Greg Laurenson photo.
Part 2. 1966-74 Scarborough Beach images by Greg Woodward.
Greg “Igor” Woody’s comments on Scarborough Beach over the years – “Scarborough Beach (SB) has always been a magical place for Perth beach people. It’s a good spot for the wishing well that used to grace the Promenade. When you got there things could happen differently and better than they did in the burbs.
SB wasn’t always as accessible as it is now, I remember my Grandma telling me how the track in used to be covered by wooden railway sleepers to stop punters getting bogged.
In the 1940s, Mum, bless her, and her two sisters Nita and Joy and boyfriends were regular sunbathers at SB in their new beach outfits fresh from the Women’s Weekly magazine. No not the guys!
Then in the 1950s it was the infamous “Snake Pit” where the Bodgies and Widgies practised the then revolutionary JIVE dance to the sounds of Bill Hayley and the Comets. Shock, horror – Libido of the people let loose!!
What next – well then pan across to the Scarborough pub and many happy hours sinking the odd Swan lager by many SB locals, both Surfer and Surf Lifesaver and then a short stroll across the car park to the Scarborough Surf Life Saving Club to varnish a boat or two for the next big swell and inevitable rescue of the innocents.
Then in the sixties when I discovered SB, there was still a great wave because of the sandbars. The wave broke and peeled and then re-formed into a second wave that was great for the learners. With a light offshore easterly it was just heaven. Sparkling, hollowly rolling and transparently green.
Then after hours in the briny, back to the Promenade for a fabulous burger made by Tony and featuring a serious meat pattie with crunchy Polish pickles–held together by 2 slices of three quarter inch thick toasted white bread and wrapped hastily in some sort of translucent paper that only burger makers know about and can wrap.
Before Dad [Bob] gave me the Austin A-40, I used to catch 2 x buses to get to SB and pick up my 10 foot 2 inch Len Dibben space ship from under the house of a friendly local friend of grandma’s.
It was a magical thing – coming over the hill, board under arm to a sparkling new world or a bummer sea breeze ocean. From the top car park you could see all the way down to Trigg Point. Miles of white sand beach and sea mist with the Ocean God swirling into the white clouds high above the horizon.
Won’t dwell too much on the Servo World that’s sprung up along the beach like mushrooms.
Gone is the beautiful surf
Gone is the wishing well
Gone is the Beach
Gone the pub
Gone the burgers – along with my youth. Say La Vee”.
Photo #1.1966 Greg’s Austin A40 sedan and Malibu surfboard in the car park at Scarborough Beach.
Photo #2. 1966 Martin Taylor (Kon-Tiki Board Club) surfing Scarborough Beach.
Photo #3.1966 wishing well at Scarborough Beach.
Photo #4 circa 1966 wave line-up and SLSC tower at Scarborough Beach.
Photo #5. 1967 Brian Hood (North Coast Board Club) surfing Scarborough.
Photo #6. 1968 Brian Hood surfing Scarborough.
Photo #7. 1968 Jim King (City Beach Board Club) surfing Contacio surf break at Scarborough.
Photo #8. 1968 Steve Cockburn (Sand-n-Sea Board Club) surfing Contacio surf break at Scarborough.
Photo #9. 1968 Steve Cockburn surfing Contacio surf break at Scarborough.
Photo #10. 1968 unidentified surfer Contacio surf break at Scarborough.
Photo #11. 1974 Swimmers at Scarborough Beach.
Photo #12. 1974 Young foamie surfer at Scarborough Beach.
Photo #13. Circa 1974 Fun in the Sun at Scarborough Beach.
Photo #14. 1970 Beach front scene at Scarborough.
Photo #15. Circa 1974 Gone are the Burgers at Scarborough.
Greg is now retired and lives with his wife Anne in Perth.
Coming soon ‘The Dazzling Young Riders’ Photo Exhibition – Greg Woodward images #2 Cottesloe.