Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

June 20, 2017

Indian Surfing with birds

Filed under: Birds,Surfing — Tags: , — admin @ 8:55 am

Kovalam – Tamil Nadu.

From Pondicherry I got to Kovalam somehow and ended up in this sleazy dive. An expensive sleazy dive. I went down the beach in the afternoon and there were huge amounts of Indian tourists playing on the beach.

fishing boats
Fishermen down the beach.

These guys came in straight through the surf. It reminded me of a surf boat race. Very spectacular.

indian surf boat
Surf boat.

Some bee-eaters were peeking their heads over this wall, so I went and found them.

Blue-tailed Bee-eater
Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus)

I thought these were Green Bee-eaters at first until I had a good look at them. doh!

Purple-rumped Sunbird
Purple-rumped Sunbird (Nectarinia zeylonica)

I found an abandoned housing estate and there were a few birds on it so I ignored the No Trespassing sign and went right in.

Indian Roller
Indian Roller (Coracius benghalensis)

I have been wanting a decent photo of an Indian Roller actually in India. Here is a good one.

taking off
Taking off

The kids were having a great time catching waves. They were even getting in the barrel. The rip was a bit horrendous, dragging them down the beach every wave they caught.

in the barrel
In the barrel.

Big Re-entry

in the tube
In the tube.


Kovalam bird list

Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus)
Purple-rumped Sunbird (Nectarinia zeylonica)
Indian Roller (Coracius benghalensis)
Common Myna
Red-wattled Lapwing
House Crow
Large-billed Crow
Oriental Magpie-robin
Red-vented Bulbul
Rose-ringed Parakeet
White-throated Kingfisher

May 6, 2017

Nothing Happening Here

Filed under: Surfing — Tags: — admin @ 5:38 am

It is a nothing day.

No surf, nothing exciting going on. Just a couple of photos of dudes, body boarders, crabs and trawlers.

body boarder
Body Boarder

I got all early to go to the beach this morning, hoping for some good photos of the surfing. When I got there, there were a couple of dudes out. But nothing exciting. No ripping going one. And then everyone came in.

After-surf chat
Finished a surf.

A young Sri Lankan surfer went out just in front but did not catch any decent waves. So no photos of that. Another dud. So I packed up my camera and went to the other side of the harbour for a look-see.

rock crab
Crab on the rocks

Nothing except a few crabs and some fishermen out in the harbour, trying to catch some little fish with cane rods and fixed fishing line – no reels.

Trawlers in the harbour

The trawlers are still in the harbour. I have not seen many of them going out to sea lately. Nothing happening.

May 5, 2017

Surfing Hikkaduwa Again

Filed under: Surfing — Tags: — admin @ 5:04 am

Hikkaduwa Surfing Redux.

Well, here I am back in Hikkaduwa. The problem is, it is the end of the season here. The swell yesterday was too big and it was closing out. Today was a bit smaller and there were a few guys out. They did not stay out long. I do not know why. The right-handers were pretty good.

surfing 1
Surfing 1

I was hanging out with the Sri Lankan guys who were renting out surfboards. They were also surf instructors and gave lessons to beginners. They told me that the surfboards they hire came from Thailand – some pop-out factory. This guy is lining up the tube.

surfin 2
Surfing 2

And here he is into it.

surfin 3
Surfing 3

About five minutes after this, they all left the water. Lame. They were only out for half an hour. doh!

Surfing 4

April 16, 2017

Arugam Bay

Filed under: Surfing — Tags: — admin @ 7:04 am


This morning I slept in a bit. But eventually I made it to the restaurant before 8am and had a coffee and cheses and egg roti for breakfast. Then I set out to find my way to the main point at Arugam. Which was a bit harder than I expected.

Main Point
The main point

I got a tuk-tuk and he took me miles away to the back beach and I had to trudge through the sund dunes to get there. The trick is, there is not road out to the point. You have to walk along the tourist beach to get there.

An early surf
An early surf

I finally made it to the main break and took a few photos. The waves were pretty small and there were no decent surfers out there shredding.

Watch out for the boat.
Watch out for the boat.

Hopefully, the swell will get bigger tomorrow so that I may even go for a surf myself. But I am going to go early about 6am because I will fry if I go later. It is so hot here. I already had my brains fried surfing at noon in northern Peru.

the croucher
the croucher

March 22, 2017

Hikkaduwa Surfing

Filed under: Surfing — Tags: — admin @ 7:29 am

Sri Lankan Endless Summer.

This morning I set off determined to take some surfing photos in Sri Lanka. First off I went to the Fishing Harbour, hoping to get some shots of the left-hander near my hotel. But it was flat, so I took a walk around the harbour.

Hikkaduwa rooftops
Hikkaduwa town

There are lots of trawlers and other smaller fishing vessels in the harbour.

hikkaduwa harbour
Hikkaduwa harbour

There were lots of fish for sale, mainly bonito, tuna and some very nice squid for only 400 rupees a kilo.

fish for sale
fish for sale

Heading down the beach I spied some tourists gawking at something in the water, so I went down and had a look. There were turtles. So I rushed into the water, shoved all the goobers out of the way and took some photos of the turtles. I did not pat them, because that is so tacky. 😉


Moving along the beach, I spotted where the real surfer were – at a break down the beach. doh! It was really hard getting on to the beach because everybody has built crap right on the shore and there is no access to the beach unless you go through some restaurant or hotel.

Indian Beach Heron
Indian Pond Heron on the beach

I do not know what this Indian Pond Heron was doing on the beach. He should be on the pond.

local ripping
Local ripping it up

There were lots of locals surfing really well.

smashing it
smashing it!

Probably an aussie

The surf was a fair size, I reckon about three to four foot.

going right
Another local going right

local in the tube
Grommet getting in the tube

So that is it. I got some surfing photos, saw an Indian Pond Heron on the beach and photographed a turtle. Quite a productive morning I reckon. Now for my afternoon nana-nap. zzzzzzzz

December 1, 2016

Surf City Eastern Samar

Filed under: Surfing — Tags: , — admin @ 1:04 pm

Borongan. The Philippines.

I have been looking forward to seeing some surf in the Philippines, but when I got here it was onshore and very sloppy. But at least there was something. Yesterday late afternoon, I went for a walk to see if anyone would be going surfing.

Bay Bay Beach
Surfing at Bay Bay Beach

It was raining and horrible but a couple of guys went out and had a go. They were keen as mustard.

Surfing Bay Bay Beach
Sharing the wave.

The next afternoon I went for another walk down the beach. At least the sun was out and the wind had died down a fair bit. There were some kids riding the waves on some home-made boogie boards made out of koolite and wood. This kid even had a fin on it.

Home-made sufing gear
Home-made surfing utensil

The fishermen were coming in on their bancas through the reef.

Bringing the catch home.
Coming home with the catch

It took a few men to carry the boats up onto the beach.

Carrying the boat in
Boat Hauling

These guys were loading into the fish boxes a hundred kilo tuna. It was massive.

100 Kilo Yellowfin Tuna
Hundred Kilogram Yellowfin Tuna

The fishing harbour was inside the rivermouth. It looked like an excellent anchorage.

Fishing harbour
Fishing Harbour.

July 18, 2016

Air Time

Filed under: Surfing — Tags: , — admin @ 12:05 am

Bonnie Hills.

I just happened upon the Junior State Surfing Titles at Bonnie Hills on Sunday. The surf at the contest site was really crappy, but down the beach a few grommets were catching some better waves.

air time
Air Time

off the lip
Off the lip.

Cut back.

June 27, 2016

arrawarra and angourie

Filed under: Surfing — Tags: — admin @ 12:31 am

Northern Rivers.

The swell had dropped at Arawarah just north of Coffs Harbour. It needs a lot of swell for it to break here. And it is not the hollow.

Arrawarah Headland
Arawarrah Headland

Sooty Oystercatcher
Sooty Oystercatcher

The swell had picked and the wind had changed to the South-west by the time I got to Yamba. The point is a classic set-up at Angourie. It has not changed in fifty years.

Angourie Headland

The surf was about three or four foot and the bigger ones were going a bit wide.

Angourie surf
Off the top

Angourie surfing
In the barrel

August 10, 2015

Saltwater Surfing

Filed under: Surfing — Tags: , — admin @ 12:14 am

Mid-north Coast, New South Wales.

Green Knob is just on the coast from Taree on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. It is not a hollow wave but is good for long boards and just having fun. The sun was out and the tide was a bit low for my liking so I took some photos of a guy I met from Caloundra in Queensland.


It was early in the morning so the photos were a bit backlit. It is best with the sun in the west a lot more I reckon.

green knob surf
Turning into the bowl.

cutback Green Knob

Green Knob barrel
Getting inside a little barrel.

July 14, 2015

Increasing Swell

Filed under: Surfing — admin @ 4:32 am

Mid-north Coast Surfing.

A beach south of Forster on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. Yesterday it was flat and the wind has been howling for days. The coldest snap in years. There is snow on the Great Dividing Range, roads are cut off in the mountains and snow is dumping on the resorts.

7 mile photo B7D-4303_zpsofew7ysi.jpg

Today the ground swell is starting to kick in. It usually does this after a prolonged period of strong westerly winds. Or it is the swell from the massive lows coming from the Southern Ocean and Antarctica.

7 mile photo B7D-4322_zpsmhdo4yn6.jpg

7 mile photo B7D-4329_zpsvzhgqkai.jpg

7 mile photo B7D-4342_zps5lcnajfs.jpg

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