Calendar pin-up boys

South West surf identities Gary Greirson and Jimy the dolphin will feature as pin-up boys in the 2018 This South West Life calendar.

Dunsborough surfer/photographer Bruce King won this years This South West Life photography competition.

Bruce’s eye catching photo of Gary and Jimy surfing at Yallingup was selected from over 900 quality photos entered in the contest to feature in the 2018 calendar.


Image #1. Prize winning image of Gary and Jimy surfing at Yallingup by Bruce King

GaryI waived my normal photo modelling photo fee and Jimy the dolphin has settled for a herring.

Image #2. Congratulations letter from South West Development Commission.

Image #3. Bruce’s photo competition prizes.

Bruce – My prizes included a new camera, Christian Fletcher photography book, DVD movie
and small bit of glory.

Image #4. Prize winning photographer Bruce King and model Gary ‘Gaz’ Greirson with framed ‘Sea of Joy’ photo at Yallingup. Jim King pic.

Images #5. Tour de car park. Jim King pics.

Top: (Left) Bruce and Gaz on retirement seat. (Right) Bruce and Gaz with framed ‘Sea of Joy’ photo.

Bottom: (Left) Gaz and Bruce in front of freshly painted Yallingup bus stop – artwork by Nathan Moody. (Right) Peter McDonald, Gaz and Bruce on tour de car park.

The calendars will be made available free in the near future by the South West Development Commission for the purpose of promoting our wonderful South West.


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South West Marine Life images by Ian Wiese – Series #4 Sea Birds

While photographing dolphins, whales, sharks and surfers I often see sea birds and photograph them. My knowledge of sea birds is fairly rudimentary, but I am slowly learning.

In order to increase the SDS web site hit rate I will start with some images which also have sharks in them! Recently I witnessed a massive migration of wedge tailed and flesh footed shearwaters past Sugarloaf Rocks with up to 1,500 shearwaters an hour passing heading south. On one day there were large schools of baitfish, and these attracted the shearwaters, together with albatrosses, gannets, crested terns, silver gulls and whaler sharks, probably bronze whalers. They were 1.5 – 2km out to sea so the quality is not great.

Image #1. Shearwaters and other sea birds feeding on bait fish.

The black birds are shearwaters (wedgetailed and fleshfooted), the white birds on the water with dark wings are a mixture of black browed and shy albatrosses or if they have a yellow head they are Australasian Gannets, while there is an Indian yellow nosed albatross and a crested tern flying in this image.

Some years ago I was passing the ibis nesting place near Port Geographe and saw this white bellied sea eagle feeding on an ibis. Watching on were some more ibises and a whistling kite. This is a massive bird nearly as large as a wedge tail eagle.

Image #2. White bellied sea eagle.

After the eagle left the kite moved in to finish the remains, but he was interrupted by an ibis. The two took to the air and an aerial dogfight ensued. The ibis was cumbersome and the kite quickly moved into position above and behind the ibis, who by this time was looking worried.

Image #3. Kite and Ibis in aerial dog fight (Sequence 1).

Ibis #4. Kite and Ibis in aerial dog fight (Sequence 2).

The ibis is about to learn a lesson (and lose some feathers).

Image #5. Osprey with fish (1).

Image #6. Osprey with fish (2).

Image #7. Osprey with fish (3).

One of the more common birds on our coast is the Australasian Gannet. These young birds are brown but the mature adults are mostly white with dark bands on the wings (twitchers will shudder at that description!). When they dive like this they can hit the water at 100km/hr.

Images #8. Australasian Gannets.

When there are strong winds albatrosses, giant petrels and shearwaters will appear riding the winds. The albatrosses and petrels in particular glide over the water never needing to flap their wings. They bank and wheel and are almost always close to the water. Usually they are a fair distance out, but occasionally one will come close to shore.

Here is a giant petrel at Pt Picquet. They are the scavengers of the ocean.

Image #9. Giant petrel.

This is an Indian yellow nosed albatross at Pt Picquet.

Image # 10. Indian yellow nosed albatross.

This is an artic skua at Pt Picquet (dark bird). They chase and harass other birds (such as the crested tern in this photo) and get them to drop their catch.

Image # 11. Artic skua.

Nankeen Kestrels are often seen along the coast. They are a resident species. This one was at Kilcarnup.

Image # 12. Nankeen Kestrel.

Finally there are the moths. This one is a Tiger Moth

Image # 13. Vintage Tiger Moth.

Keen SW surfer Steve Millington runs Tiger Moth adventure flights from Busselton Airfield.

Click on this link to view or purchase Ian’s prints Ian Wiese’s Photography blog.

Click on these links to view Ian’s South West Marine Life images:-

South West Marine life images by Ian Wiese – Series #1 Dolphins

South West Marine life images by Ian Wiese – Series #2 Sharks and other predators

South West Marine life images by Ian Wiese – Series #3 Whales



2017 YBR Single Fin Theory contest images by Loz Smith

Yallingup Boardriders (YBR) 18th Single Fin Theory event was held Saturday 7 Oct 2017 in blustery conditions at Injidup car park.

Competitors rode their own pre 80s original single fin surfboards or chose from a quiver of retro single fin surfboards made available for the event by Margaret River’s Bill Gibson.

The standard of surfing was high and the boys were competitive.

Congratulations to Chris ‘Chapstar’ Chapman, Aaron ‘Tony’ Carr and Paul ‘Antman’ Paterson for running the successful community based event.

Retired Pro surfer Taj Burrow won the event from Marty Chandler, Tim Hawken and Antman.

Click on this link to view Viv Davidson’s article Taj trims to victory in single fin in the Busselton-Dunsborough Mail Oct 11.

Many thanks to SW surfer/photographer Laurie ‘Loz’ Smith for sharing his photos of the 2017 event.

1. Surf Contest Injidup Car Park

Photos #1: Contest officials and spectators.

Top: (Left) Rainbow over Injidup bay. (Right) spectators on the viewing deck

Bottom: (Left) contest officials in tent. (Right) Judges view of surf line-up.

Photos: #2 Antman ripping in all weather conditions

Photos #3:  Contest winner Taj Burrow.

Top: (Left) Taj selecting a Sunrise Surfboard by Dappa from Bill Gibson’s vintage surfboard collection. (Right) Taj with Dappa board on the steps at Inji.

Bottom: (Left) Taj floater (Right) Taj snap.

Photo #4:  Kyle Edwards air drop.

Photo# 5 Danny ‘Dog’ Paterson executing a difficult headstand manoeuvre.

Photo #6 Annual group photo – Inji car park.

Photos #7 Inji car park capers.

Top: (Left) Adz and Todd (Right) Antman, Alfie, Dave, Isaac unidentified x 2

Bottom: (Left) Aaron, Ding, Marty, unidentified. (Right) Bill Gibson and unidentified bloke who doesn’t feel the cold.

Photos# 8 Inji car park capers contd.

Top: Garth Mullumby, Toby (from Burleigh Heads) and Micko.

Bottom: (Left) Tim Hawken’s son with Damon Eastaugh. (Right) Tim Hawken with his son.

Photo #9 Finalists photo shoot pre final.

L-R Marty, Antman, Taj and Tim

Photos #10 Finalists leaving the water after the final.

Top: Marty and Antman

Bottom:  Taj and Tim.

2. Presentations Caves House Yallingup

Prize presentations were held at Caves House Yallingup.

The 40 contestants won sponsors prizes worth more than the entry fee. Even if they lost in the 1st heat, they still won a prize. The most unique part is that the winner doesn’t necessarily win the top prize, as all competitors go into a Lotto style draw to collect their prize. Finalists won addition prizes. Chapstar’s custom made single fin was the most sort after prize.

Photo # 11 Chappy finishing the prize Chapstar single fin surfboard.

Photos #12: Contest prizes and winners

Top: (Left) Contest prizes (Right) custom trophies made by Luke ‘Skully’ Sutherland

Bottom: (Left) Bill Gibson won a bike. (Right) Alfie Carter won the Chapstar surfboard.

Photos #13: Winner and grinners

Left: winner Taj with trophy

Right: grinners Mark McKinnon, Jason Simpson and Danny ‘Dog’ Paterson.

Yallingup Boardriders thanked the local Surf Industry and community for supporting the SFT event.

Click on these links to view more YBR Single Fin Theory material.

2015 YBR Single Fin Theory contest published 1 Nov 2015

Yallingup Boardriders Club Facebook page



WA Surf Gallery – Update ** updated 22 Sept 2017 **

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.




South West Marine life images by Ian Wiese – Series #3 Whales

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.

Humpback Whales

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.

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.

South West Marine life images by Ian Wiese – Series #1 Dolphins

 South West Marine life images by Ian Wiese – Series #2 Sharks and other predators

Coming soon South West Marine life images by Ian Wiese – Series #4 Sea Birds