August 2016 signifies ten years since I last went Heli-Boarding.
Join me in the back seat for a behind the scenes look, with the experts at Methven Heli-Ski operations, as we head west following the Rakaia River to Heli-base farm and take off from there…
Click into photos to enlarge…
Within an hour the beautiful scenic drive lands you at the Heli-base for a welcome cuppa, safety briefs and to start ‘gearing-up’.
Groups are organised to place snow riders with similar abilities together and make sure everyone is set to hit the terrain they are most comfortable with.
While waiting for my groups departure I took the opportunity to ‘shoot a few of the birds’ as groups were shuttled up the mountain range.
Finally my turn arrived and the adventure begins!!!
After a run you can look back down on your tracks and the temporary signature you carved onto the mountain.
There is the stop for lunch with one of the best views any restaurant in the world could offer…
A few more runs later, as you are about to ride ‘the bird’ back to base, you have that one last look back over your tracks.
Its back to the farm base for a wind down cuppa, then later back to your accommodation. And finally, sadly, sooner or later back home. But your soaring soul still taking quite a few weeks to arrive back down to earth!
Here is a nice slice from ‘hanging out’ on The Stairway to Heaven on the a weekend 14 – 15th May. The weather is as good as it gets. Cool nights with perfect warm sunny blue sky days equalled with water temps in the mid 20’s degree C. Topped with excellent water clarity of magnificent colour, light off-shore winds and some nice little waves.
10 April marks ten years since I captured these images of Tow-In Surfers taking on !HUGE SURF! rolling into the Lennox Head region.
To get some perspective of just how big it was look at the above photo (Boulders to Flatrock) and zoom into the foreground headland and compare the size of the people spectating on the headland. Also, if you are familiar with this surf break, zoom into the peg and you will know what I am talking about.
In the same picture, in the very distance background, waves can be seen breaking across Flatrock. The feature being the centerpiece of the picture with waves breaking from Sharps through Skinners Head to Boulders Beach.
Over the entire day only a handful of souls managed to paddle into a couple of waves at Lennox Point.
Many HUGE very good ride-able waves were breaking way out from usual locations and 4 Jet Ski assist tow-in riders led by Lennox legend Billy Hession tracked an area at The Cove at the southern end of Lennox Headland.
The 21st March signified ten years since the Ben King Memorial Paddle Out. Here are three of the most iconic shots I captured on the day: The Gathering (on the beach), The Paddle Out and The Circle formation in the water.
This was a pretty difficult assignment to shoot back in the days before ‘Drones’ and I must praise motorised glider pilot Dieter Hostmann from Tyagarah Airfield for his flying skills and manoeuvring to get help me in best position to get the shots. It was a pretty tight fit in the cockpit as I sat by his side and only had a porthole opening on the right side window about the size of a CD case to point the camera out of and which was located at about my chest height.
Also thanks to Paul Full of Ace Photo Shop in Ballina for tidying up the shots with his digital imaging expertise.
In respect of Jen King (Ben’s widow) wishes these images are not for sale and are for display purposes only.
Where else did you think they have been hanging out all this time !?! Well Byron Bay of course…
Click image to enlarge
As an X Files fan back in the day, I painted this tile around 1994. My motivation was that Mulder and Scully were never seen anywhere near such a clean, bright, colourful, environment.
In fact every time they entered some dark dingy place I would be on the edge of my seat begging (usually Mulder) to retreat “NO…don’t go down there, NO don’t go down there… NO!!!” of course further and deeper into the darkness they would go…
So all these years later, just like everyone else who doesn’t want to leave Byron after their X-tended vacation, its time to put down the sunscreen and head back to work.