Australian Boat Ramps, part one. The 3 F’s, New South Wales, Queensland, Australia

Pelican Cowboy @ Pelican Waters, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, South-East Queensland, Australia

A circus of entertainment commences around boat ramps on most days.

Setting sail @ Pelican Waters, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, South-East Queensland, Australia

Calm and sunny days. Perfect conditions to spend time on the waters with rod and reel.

In and out of Kayak @ Pelican Waters, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, South-East Queensland, Australia

But those sunny days often keep me out of my kayak and on dry land with camera in hand.

Aerial opportunity @ Pelican Waters, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, South-East Queensland, Australia

It’s usually a spontaneous decision, the odds are fifty-fifty. I happily admit it, I’ve become a photo freak. Loving it.

Perfect reflections @ Evans Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Just as much as going through my photo collection after dinner. Selecting photos for a post is so difficult.

Boat ramp @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Boat ramps play a vital role in the Australian fishing society. Australians just love to fish.

Sunset fishing @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

From the boat ramp.

Feathered @ Evans Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Or out on the water. Off all sizes and shapes.

Sticky Beak @ Nambucca, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Frequently unsuccessful.

Boat ramp and jetty @ Wellington Point, Redland Bay, Brisbane, Queensland

Therefore, boat ramps are vastly scattered around this oversized island.

Tinny launch @Cape Hillsborough, Tropical Queensland, Australia

Every keen fisherman owns an Aus-trailer saddled with a ’tinny’.

Tinnie cut in half @ Pelican Waters, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, South-East Queensland, Australia

The way I look at tinnies is, that they are an oversized aluminium walnut shell, cut in half.

Pelican power @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

A 5 horsepower engine pushes this nutshell towards the secret fishing spot.

Converted @ Crowdy Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Alright. Many fishermen converted to a flash convertible vessel, but the ’tinny’ is still a true Australian Icon.

Visual illusion @ Pelican Waters, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, South-East Queensland, Australia

Boat ramps are extremely popular with fishmongers of all sizes.

Mixed up @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

A mixed bag of intruders lurks around tinny owners.

Three Stooges @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

A snack may be on the cards at any time.

Fishy @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Pelicans enjoy fish-fingers.

Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Seagull frenzy @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Whilst seagulls relish chips to complement a hearty breakfast.

Take my bread away @ Pelican Waters, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, South-East Queensland, Australia

And herons are not overly keen on bread.

What’s that? @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

There is an opportunistic dynamic within these fishos, circumstantial as it may be.

Strategist @ Pelican Waters, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, South-East Queensland, Australia

Everyone has the same objective but uses a different strategy.

Wildly confusing @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

This theatrical event may confuse the naked eye. But not my camera.

Drama Queen @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

There is no shortage of drama to be captured within this featheration.

Steak? @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

The stakes are high.

Ouch! @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

The blows are low when least expected.

What’s your’s is mine @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

It’s every pelican for themselves, an aggressive strategy.

Zebra stripes @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Battle-scars are visible and painful reminders.

Pelican Voodoo @ Pelican Waters, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, South-East Queensland, Australia

This extravaganza reflects even more spectacular in delightful photographic conditions. Calm sunny days on mirror-like waters. Bring it on.

Patrolling @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

The fishing world is particularly active on those instants as well. Bright sunlight beams straight onto the target and prey movements are easier distinguished.

Feeding Frenzy @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

And where one is feeding, others soon follow. A win, win situation for me and my camera.

Thumbs up @ Pelican Waters, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, South-East Queensland, Australia

I find pelicans in particular extremely photogenic.

Black and white @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

It’s not all black and within pelican society. They have a colourful appearance.

Orange glow @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Beaks and sacks shimmer wildly.

Watchful eye @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Curious black and yellow eyes always scan for opportunities.

Grumpy old pelican @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Just as colourful are their facial expressions.

Hungry! @ Evans Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Almost human-like.

Cleaning in sepia @ Evans Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia

A pelican’s cleaning procedure is lengthy and thorough.

Beauty Salon @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

The local beauty salon re-opened shortly after breakfast.

Fluffy @ Pelican Waters, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, South-East Queensland, Australia

Parasites are scratched out of the doona.

Yulp @ Pelican Waters, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, South-East Queensland, Australia

And the plumage needs to get waterproofed again.

Double wings @ Pelican Waters, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, South-East Queensland, Australia

A wing-stretch re-aligns their feathers.

Cleaning station @ Pelican Waters, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, South-East Queensland, Australia

I find this is mesmerising as well as astonishing.

Almost @ Pelican Waters, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, South-East Queensland, Australia

Balancing on one foot is hard enough at any given time.

Trapezed @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

It becomes a trapeze act high above.

Scratch-Up @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

But that’s the only part of the body the pelican’s long beak can’t reach.

Fly-Bye @ Pelican Waters, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, South-East Queensland, Australia

Pelicans are some of the largest flying birds on earth.

Incoming @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

B’52’s in the sky up high.

Wingspan reflections @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Their wingspan glides in thermal upwind flawlessly.

Long duration @ Pelican Waters, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, South-East Queensland, Australia

Pelicans travel vast distances to reach breeding grounds inland.

Sliding in @ Evans Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Landing on water is elegantly graceful.

Elegant @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Waterski par excellence.

Aiming skills @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

An acrobatic skill-set is needed whilst landing on a pole.

Just! @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Just made it.

Jump around @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Taking to the air from up here simulates a leap of faith.

Gulp! @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

I wonder why pelicans never appeared in the ‘Muppet Show’.

Food! @ Evans Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Getting airborne from water is a different scenario altogether.

Mass Take-Off @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

It is a huge effort to jump over the water runway.

Flying off into the sunset @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Wind speed and direction determine the duration.

No urgency @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

If they don’t need to fly, pelicans rather paddle to their destination. Sea urgency.

Watch your back @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Despite their tempered table manners, pelicans are highly sociable.

Sand banking @ Evans Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Sandbars are a favourable locations to gather and re-group.

In communicado @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Apart from snapping at each other at dinner time, pelicans communicate with a low-frequency grunt.

No hippo @ Evans Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Not very often, but when they do, it sounds like a pod of hippos in African waters.

Sunset seagull @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Where there’s fish and chips on the menu, seagulls are never far.

Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Photo-bombing @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

They are the true masters of photobombing.

Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Off we go again @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Speed and agility are vital to beat any feathered opposition. Quite comical.

Mixing in @ Evans Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia

The underwater assault gets interesting if a cormorant obliged to mix and match.

Breakfast upriver @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

They usually roost together with their feathered counterparts overnight, but swarm upriver to chase schools of baitfish.

Black fishos matter @ Evans Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia

One was left behind and he knows what he wants. Thank you very much.

Lone stalkers @ Pelican Waters, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, South-East Queensland, Australia

Herons and egrets are always lone stalkers.

White Heron @ Nambucca, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Ghostly in appearance, they sneak up from behind, sure-footed and almost undetected.

Masters @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

They are the true master desperados on the filleting table.

Frazzled @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

Leaving everyone frazzled.

Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia
Amusing competitors @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

I can constantly find something to amuse myself down by the boat ramp, there is always something going on.

Fly by @ Pelican Waters, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, South-East Queensland, Australia

Even swans fly by.

Yellow Speck within mangroves @ Pelican Waters, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, South-East Queensland, Australia

Therefore, I find camping at boat ramps extremely appealing for the three F’s!

  1. Fishing to launch my kayak. Currents, wind and swell are easier to deal with.
Colourful @ Crowdy Head, Northern New South Wales, Australia

2) Freaky Photography. Sunrises and sunsets are frequently breathtaking. Often on that very same day.

BBQ and toilets @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

3) And free camping. Many boat ramps have flowing water and flushing toilets.

Free Camp @ Iluka, Northern New South Wales, Australia

I gotta be happy with that. Locals often give me a freckled look at first, but may just be envious of my setup. But most smiled and stopped for a wee chat. Local advice is ever so helpful and it shows them, that I am not so weird. That’s my theory.

This theory has recently been faulted. The police knocked on troopy late one night and woke me up. A group of teenage scouts had accused me of child misconduct, whilst they were running laps around the trailer park and therefore passed my camp as well. I was just staying out of the chilling winds with a cuppa tea. The police officers were intrigued by my side of the story and left me be after my details were checked within the matrix. It took me a while to fall asleep again after these serious allegations.

Blue sunny skies enticed me for yet another photo session the next morning. Whilst packing up camp, a white ute cut off my reverse exit point. Not thinking about anything too much, a chubby middle-aged man jumped out of his car and began yelling ‘f’ and ‘c’ words towards me. I kid you not. Surely someone had a hidden camera somewhere. What’s up with this crazy folk? Paranoia will destroy ya.

I guess it shows that my theory doesn’t always work. But in all my previous years of travelling, this strategy has worked extremely well.

Kiss my butt @ Pelican Waters, Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, South-East Queensland, Australia

Maybe I should stick with the pelicans!

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