One of the (many!) highlights of last weeks Tasmanian Experience photographic workshop with Michael Snedic was the Wineglass Bay Cruise. This cruise is a half day journey with Duncan, the skipper, and Rastas, the “first mate”. Rastas also carries the heavy responsibility of being the dolphin spotter and can usually be found up front scanning the ocean for our cetacean friends.
We decided to include this cruise in out itinerary for two reasons – firstly it is an enjoyable way to see one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and secondly, there are many great opportunities for unique encounters with Tasmania’s marine wildlife. Last week we were very lucky to have sighted albatross, dolphins and seals.
The cruise departs Coles Bay and immediately Duncan begins an informative commentary about the human and natural history of the Freycinet Peninsula. The area was once a whaling and sealing settlement, but now tourism reigns. Freycinet National Park, along with Mt Field National Park, was declared a National Park in 1916 and together are Tasmania’s oldest National Parks. The landscape photography subjects at Freycinet are obvious – the beautiful sandy beaches of Wineglass Bay and the Friendly Beaches, or the stunning granite mountain range known as the Hazards. But getting out onto the water to seek out dolphins and seals for half a day was a real joy and required a different approach to photography.
Longer telephoto lenses were the order of the day, and obviously tripods were not an option on the rolling boat. Therefore ISO’s were increased and apertures opened up to allow for a faster shutter speed. The dolphins in particular required quick reflexes as they would appear beside the boat and breach almost without warning.