Thursday, 29 August 2013

A Notorious Few Days in Newcastle

Gidday everyone.  It's been a couple of weeks since I blogged. I have been busy doing those little odd jobs around the home, you know; the ones from the never ending list!  I did get out and about last Friday though.  I heard on the grapevine about a small ship that was visiting Newcastle.

Not just any small ship. This is a replica of a Portuguese 'Caravel' an ocean going sailing ship from the 1500s.  In this type of ship, the Portuguese and the Spanish sailed the world in what is now termed the 'age of discovery'.  Many famous explorers sailed out to places unknown in these ships e.g. Vasco de Gama.  Of the three ships led by Christopher Columbus, the Nina and the Pinta were apparently Caravels also.

I arrived early on the Friday morning to capture some Sunrise photos with the Notorious being the main subject.  I had to wait until 10am for the ship to open for inspection.  My son Lachlan came with me for the photo safari so, whilst we waited, we walked into the Newcastle Mall for a spot of breakfast and the best coffee in town at a small cafe called One Penny Black.  I grabbed a few photos whilst there and, after dropping Lachlan back to his unit, went back to the ship.  

This particular replica the 'Notorious' took 10 years to build using 300 tons of reclaimed timber. It is beautifully made and is a real treat to walk her decks and go below to see the sparse living quarters. It is not actually a tourist attraction as such; the builder and his wife actually live on board; it is their home.  They sail around the coast of Australia dropping into ports along the way, where they open the ship up for inspection to the public at a very minimal cost and, it is totally worth paying a few dollars to have a look around.

After leaving the ship, I had to drop the car in for a tyre rotation. Whilst it was in the workshop, I went for a wander up Hunter Street to look for a high vantage point from where I could shoot a panorama of Newcastle.  I walked into the Pinnacle Apartments and talked my way into being taken to the top floor of that building.  The building manager (whose name I cannot remember now - apologies!) was very kind to take some time out for me to get the photos.

The Notorious left Newcastle yesterday at about midday.  I waited on the Stockton Breakwall to get some photos of her sailing through the heads.  I have added those here as well.

There are many photos of the Notorious added to her Facebook page and you can follow her around the coastline of Australia.

I hope you have all been well as I have.  I am on the final leg of 4 weeks leave and back to work on Sunday (Fathers' Day) of all days; not really looking forward to it.....sigh......

As Always


Sunrise on Furled Sail, Newcastle, Australia

Arrr, Notorious Cap'n, Newcastle, Australia

Just check out the craftmanship that has gone into building such a ship! Notorious at Newcastle, Australia

Notorious berthed at Queens Wharf, Newcastle, Australia

Sunrise over Port Hunter, Newcastle, Australia

Leaving Newcastle, Australia

Ships Bell - Notorious, Newcastle, Australia

Notorious sails out through the heads past Nobbys Point, Newcastle, Australia

Just couldn't resist this one in Black & White.  Hunter Street, Newcastle, Australia

Daffodil Day from One Penny Black Espresso Bar, Newcastle, Australia

The Tugboats are kept very busy on the Port, Newcastle, Australia

Panorama of 3 photos stitched together. Newcastle, Australia.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The Getaway........

I have some time off work, and last week Kim & I decided to head north with Barney for some well earned R&R.  We had found dog friendly accommodation in Port Macquarie and decided that it was the ideal place to spend a few days having a look around.  We had been to Port Macquarie a number of times before but it was always for an overnight stop or simply passing through on one of our journeys.

There is so much to do and see in that neck of the woods!  Some beautiful beaches (and many of them dog friendly off leash areas which made Barney very happy!), a very picturesque hinterland, with lots of places to visit and things to see.

We went for a few short road day trips to check out the lay of the land and see what the area had to offer. Some of the greenest fields I have ever seen are on the Lorne Road and over to Comboyne.  Part of that road is not sealed although our front wheel drive Nissan SUV handled it very well.  I believe that this stretch of the coast and hinterland has more National Parks than anywhere I have ever visited!  Unfortunately, because we had Barney with us for our trips, we could not get out and take advantage of some of the short walks through rainforest to various waterfalls and lookouts that were off the beaten track.  

One of our trips took us south to Lake Cathie, and down to Laurieton.  Whilst at Lake Cathie we were chatting to a local who pointed us in the direction of the Dooragan National Park.  We went down for a look and found a wonderful lookout that took in the small town of Laurieton, Queens Lake and the Camden Haven Inlet that feeds a few of the lakes in the area.  

My fav place was Tacking Point Lighthouse.  Just a small automated lighthouse now, it was built in 1879 after at least 20 ships were wrecked on the rocky coastline in this area.  From the lighthouse, there is a boardwalk down to a viewing platform that looks north up to the lighthouse and south over Lighthouse Beach all the way down to Lake Cathie and Bonny Hills.  We originally went to the lighthouse one afternoon but a weather change hit whilst we were there and so we abandoned our sightseeing. Happy to say that the weather cleared up overnight and we revisited 2 days later and the sunset provided some brilliant light for a photo safari.

On our return trip we decided to ditch the highway and head home via the Oxley Highway and Thunderbolts Way.  A bit of a circuitous route, it was well worth the couple of extra hours travel just to see the sights.  Thunderbolts Way is a very up and down road, winding through the hills of the Hunter Valley from Walcha down to Gloucester, through Stroud and back onto the Pacific Highway.  In parts the country is typically dry but it does green up as you climb up to the mountain pass and down into the Hunter Valley. Well worth travelling this route over a few days, especially in the Gloucester region because there is so much to see and do.

Anyway, we arrived home safely to reality after our time away and, to a list of things for me to do around the house; always something needs doing!

Be happy people!


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These photos and all photos on this blog are Copyright  © Life with Jordy Photography. 

Monday, 5 August 2013

Sunday Afternoon....

I was at a bit of a loose end on Sunday. 

Ever had one of those days when you're guilt ridden because you feel that you should be more productive and active but really, all you want to do is veg out?  I was quite content to sit with a good book and play some Jackson Browne quietly in the background whilst my girls were out shopping. 

The Sun was streaming through the lounge room windows and I was getting comfortable.  I had gone out earlier in the morning over to New Lambton to check out a couple of Pentax lenses that were being sold privately. I was hoping that they would be in good condition because they would've suited my Pentax 35mm SLR very well.  Alas!, they were pretty dirty and scratched and when I looked inside they were very mouldy.  I was a little disappointed so, I had sort to assuage my disappointment by getting my head into a book. 

It was then I had a light bulb moment!

We had taken the dogs for a run down to Caves Beach the day before.  The waves then had been fairly high and pounding the rocks. The westerly wind had been ripping the top off the waves as they curled into the shore, sending the water backwards in a fine mist. I had lamented that I hadn't had my camera with me......Why not go there now?  

I checked my kit. Charged battery (I always have one spare charged up and ready!) ...check.  Memory Card...check.  And, how exciting, ...... my new set of Cokin ND Grad filters..... check!  I also threw in my Pentax 35mm SLR with Sigma 18-55 zoom onboard.  It has recently been loaded with a Fujicolor C200 and I thought I would capture some in film also.  Threw it into the back of the car (actually..... lovingly placed it in a safe spot where it wouldn't move or fall off the seat!  haha) and I was off!

As I was heading south on the Pacific Highway, just past Belmont, I noted the amazing number of sails that were floating in the air on the stiff breeze. These weren't softly flying like some kite on a gentle breeze; these were racing around in endless arcs and up and down. Windsurfers!

I must have counted at least 20 sails as I pulled into the car park on the foreshore.  I managed to find a good spot and started shooting.  I have a Canon 600D and I love the Continuous Shoot mode; the auto focus is quick and I can follow the subject and snap off a few at a time.  I used f4 aperture because I did not want the windsurfers to be lost amongst the houses and hills in the distance. You can see the results below! I could have stayed there all afternoon; just watching these people was inspiring. I am amazed that for all the windsurfers on that part of the lake, there were no entanglements!

Anyway, I packed up and continued south on the Pacific Highway until I reached Swansea and turned off down toward Caves Beach.  

The wild surf that we had seen the day before was not repeated, and the stiff breeze over the lake that the windsurfers were taking advantage of was just a gentle zephyr over the beach. A little disappointed but, determined to make the most of the journey I decided upon a little spelunking. 

Caves Beach is well known for..... caves!  There are a number of them along the shoreline; large ones that could hold a wedding party and small ones for little children to play in and out of.  It was quite the popular destination for a Sunday afternoon and I want to return during the week when maybe there is not quite so many people around but, I did manage to get some good shots from inside a couple of caves.

I also went onto the beach proper to get some shots with my new Cokin filters which worked a treat!  A little fiddly at first but once the adaptor and the frame is on, it is much easier sliding filters in and out as opposed to screwing filters on and off for each change.

I fully intend to return to Caves Beach for a sunrise and a little more exploring when the tide is not rolling in. I cold have gone rock hopping to get further south and to more caves but I was a little wary on the rocks with my kit slung over my shoulder. That will be another safari to be added to my list!

Regards to all


These photos are for sale. Contact me if you are interested!

These photos and all photos on this blog are © Copyright Life with Jordy Photography 2013