The prospect of the open road, fresh salty sea air and the promise of unforgettable scenery, are one of the few things that I’m happy (albeit somewhat reluctantly) to get out of bed at 6am on a Sunday morning in 4OCelcius weather in the dead of winter for. This morning is one of those days – destination ‘Bombo’ in the Illawara Region of NSW. 102km’s from Sutherland, approximately 1.30 hrs drive south. And the chance to spend some time with my favourites friends. Here Keiko and I stand with the gorgeous ‘dog friendly’ Bombo beach in the background.
Bombo, derived from “Thumbon”, is the name of a renowned headman and warrior born in this district. Aptly named for this location. To get to the Headlands, you’ll need to park your car in the Bombo Beach parking lot.
The drive from Sutherland heading south on the Princess Highway for majority of the route, take the Riverside Drive turnoff and follow the signs to Bombo Beach, you’ll eventually pass under the railway line, which becomes Panama Road and takes you straight to the parking lot with beautiful views of a gorgeous vast expanse that is Bombo Beach.
From here, your journey starts on foot and is about a 15 minute walk into the Headlands to gaze at unusual colums of basalt, a legacy of blue metal quarrying in the 1880s and 1900s. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes that can absolutely grip on wet rocks and that you’re able to do some mild rock climbing. The rocks are exceptionally uneven, sharp in places and loose in others – a mixture of pebbles, rocks and boulders. Be mindful of this as you’re navigating your way safely without twisting an ankle, tripping or taking a dive, nose first whilst trying to balance your tripod and camera mount and/or backpack etc.
Bombo is a magical location. Essentially nestled between Kiama and the northern suburbs, Kiama Downs and Minnamurra. When you’re standing at Bombo, you have 180 views of mother nature at her best. To the North you’ll see Cathedral Rocks, Minnamurra Headland and Jones’ Beach. To the south, you see the beautiful Kiama and Bombo Headlands
If you’re able to be there around high tide, this is ideal as you witness some beautiful wave action crashing against the cliff face. Sadly today, whilst we left Sutherland in 4O C weather, upon arrival the temperature has risen to 7, then to 16 degrees around 10am. And it turned into a perfectly beautiful day, not a whisper of a breeze, not a cloud in the sky and a perfectly smooth solid wash of cerulean blue overhead and perfect rays of sun. yes, perfect weather for all other activities, besides photography.
Sadly this lack of imperfection in the sky, does tend to leave a photo somewhat mediocre to look at. Personally, I would have preferred some angry or wispy clouds, a bit of overcast atmosphere casting intense moodiness in the air and angry waves. But alas, today was not that day. And it seems not a good day for photo taking in general for me. Murphy’s law definitely not my friend today.
Whilst no angry clouds and angry waves to photograph, I was still somewhat mesmerized by the smell of the salty air, the gentle waves creeping up the side of the cliff followed by a hasty retreat back out to sea. Mother nature is always a treat to marvel at.
For 40 minutes I sat peacefully watching the scene before me, waves crashing up against the front of the cliffface. sea salt spray rise into the air and dissipate. And for those 40 minutes, on my right hand side on the side of the cliff, not once did any wave crash any higher than my body. which I was purposely monitoring for a while. As my intention was to move forward, closer to the cliff in front of me, having a wide angle, my zoom was limited and I wanted closer to the action, as you do.
And so deemed it okay to make my way forward to get a better capture of the scene in front of me. And there I was, happily snapping away (granted I only got in about 6 shots on long exposure) and low and behold, in a split 2 second shock, a rogue wave decided to change course and literally crash a meter over my head. Yes, me and my camera took a great plunge. Thankfully I did not go over the side of the cliff as I was reminded. I guess that is one positive. I can handle being drenched in salt water, my Canon baby, not so much.
And 40 minutes of drying out in the sun, proved absolutely fruitless, as she just won’t work. Attempting to adjust Manual Settings and she decides to jump to the timer menu. I try to bring up the menu settings on the LCD and she jumps to showing me the last photo, not what I was asking for dear Canon? I want to adjust Aperture and she brings up the AWB. What The Bugger !!!!!
I’m laughing softly at the ridiculousness of my luck recently with photo shoots, but silently I’m cursing this bad luck. Doesn’t this comes in 3’s. And so I’m wondering what’s in store for No 3. Next photo shoot planned is a Studio Shoot at SunStudios. Watch this space.
Sadly that was our day cut short. No back up wide angle lens. Clothes still drenched, feeling somewhat like a drowned rat and not happy with the state of my camera and mentally thinking about the dollars to repair/replace and what my back up plan will be for the photo shoot planned for next weekend with one camera down. Oh the self imposed webs we weave for our passions …