20130827-20080120-Untitled-46I originally shot this on Jan 20th,08. I love to go here when a good storm is raging! I never know if the “Blow Hole” is going off? It’s always a bit of a guessing game? All the parameters must line up or it doesn’t do it’s thing!
I have seen explosions over 100 feet high! When they happen it’s actually a bit scary! Two people have died here & I once was hit! It’s probably the most dangerous place I go to take shots!


20130225-IMG_5984Surge channels are basically a eroded fault.
All rocks have cracks or faults in them. Expose them to pounding water & the fault will begin to erode like a cavity! After a few thousand years this cavity will get bigger to produce a surge channel.
I have seen a aerial shot of this spot & can physically see the fault running right across the point! This channel will eventually cut right through making the rock on the left a island.
I know of at least two people who have fallen into this surge channel & died! It’s a very dangerous place! I am always careful when walking above!


20130225-IMG_599220130225-IMG_599320130225-IMG_599420130225-IMG_599520130225-IMG_599520130225-IMG_5997Even before I arrived I knew the Blow Hole wasn’t going off very large! While I’m hiking in,If I can hear the “booms”,I know it’s going! I didn’t hear anything & already knew before I arrived that it was small at best! I think the tide was too high plus the swell/wave size was too small as well.
Trying to nail this monster down is a science!


20130225-IMG_6084This may look normal but is far from it! There is a large sandy beach like area behind the Blow Hole, 30 feet above the ocean! When was the last time you found a beach 30 feet above the water line?
Sand is always found on a gentle slop at waters edge,but the erosion of the crashing waves has created this unique formation far above the waters surface!

Blow Hole

I took acouple friends out to the Blow Hole today. I was hoping that it would be going off,but I figured it probably wouldn’t be…….and I was right unfortunately!
The ocean dies down very fast after a wind storm!
Both my friends had not been to the Blow Hole before and they loved the trip anyways!
The wave angle was too far south and the waves were missing or just glancing the edge of the Blow Hole! We needed a more westerly angle for the waves to get shot into the pocket!
I got a few of my friends with a few waves going off in the background. Had to save the days shoot, couldn’t get skunked!!

Blow Hole

Went to the Blow Hole today with some friends. I thought it might be going off,but I was wrong. This monster is very hard to nail down.
The waves were not as big as I had hoped. When the storm force stops,the ocean surface quietens down very quickly! What you want is for the wind to continue,but the clouds to go away! that way you can have good light and maybe a sunset with gold light. I have never seen that,but I know it must happen and next time it does,I’m going to be there even if I have to camp overnight!
This shot shows it going off a bit. I’ve seen it going off much larger.

Blow Hole

This shows a strong westerly coming in . It was perfect weather,tide,wind,type of light etc! All these ducks need to line up,or you have nothing!
I’ve gone here more than hundred times and less than a thousand! It has become a passion with me.
There is nothing I can think of photographically that captivates me more than this monster! It’s a very exciting time had by all when I take my friends down here.
I remember my first time back in 91. I had never heard of this spot and was hiking around. I remember constantly hearing a loud thunder while I was hiking, to the west of me.There was no thunder clouds,so I was curious.
I worked my way over to where I was hearing this loud strange noise.
I than heard and saw an explosion go up on the other side of a headland and couldn’t believe what I had just seen.
I went over the headland and was introduced to the Blow Hole !
I remember after being there for 20 minutes that my legs were shaking. I thought it might have been all the hiking that I had done that day,but probably was a combination of fear and tiredness!
There is a beach at the foot of the Blow Hole. This beach is not right by the water like Long Beach,but 40 feet above the ocean! I always equate each grain of sand as being from one explosion!
Mother nature has been eroding this spot for thousands of years and will continue to long after we are all gone.
You can see a surge channel in the foreground. These surge channels generally follow a crack(fault) in the headland and will continue to pick away at it.
I have a aerial shot of this headland and it clearly shows a large fault running SW-NE. As a matter of fact,the sandy area covers the middle of this fault. One day this surge channel will work it’s way across the entire Headland and join up with it’s counterpart on the other side. This will put the Blow Hole basically on a small island.
The west coast’s headlands are in a constant state of being sliced and diced by Mother Nature all the time.

Blow Hole

This shot does not show a really big explosion and is not even well lite. However,the cloud structure is fantastic!
There was a storm happening to the north and a big enough hole on the western horizon to allow some light through for the clouds to lite up.
I wished that those clouds had not been on the horizon. The Blow Hole would of lite up. This as close to a sunset shot as I’ve gotten. Very tricky.

Blow Hole

I’ll always remember this moment!
There are some moments that because of the very nature of it, impact us in a very personal way. This is one for myself.
I shot this back in 97. I was using film at the time and had been shooting all day.
That distinctive dark cloud at the top of the shot was a mystery and a pain! The best way I could describe it, would be to say that it looked like a plume from a Volcano! It would be as if that Volcano was out in the ocean to the West of me and this plume was drifting to the east and snuffing the light for me! I needed that light!!
Because I had been shooting all afternoon,I realized after checking my film stock, that I didn’t have anymore rolls of film left and as a matter of fact, I only had 3 shots left on my roll in my camera !
This plume was constantly heading right towards me and was blocking the sun. I decided to take a break and because it was very windy,I pulled my hood up and went into the forest to stay warm. I just wanted to get out of that heat stealing wind and wait for that dam cloud to move!
It took almost a hour,but it shifted to the north enough to allow the light to begin to stream in !
I walked out onto the plateau (which is about 50 feet above the ocean) and saw a new set coming in.
The first wave in a set has more resistance against it and will because of this, tend to slow down because of that resistance and the second wave catches up to it and the two merge. This makes the wave much larger than it would normally be!
This is what happened here.
I realized that the wave was going to be a really large one and got ready. I pre-focused/exposed and waited.
When this monster goes off,you can literally see,hear and feel the concussion! I was still about 300 feet away from it! The concussion moves through the rock and the air. You can feel it under your feet through the rock your standing on! The air carry’s the concussion as well and I describe it constantly to people as if you were at a Military cannon demonstration. The sound and concussion hits your entire body! It most certainly got my attention and scared me when I first came across this beast in 91!
It’s a very scary thing to experience the first time! Two people have died here and I got hit once myself. No injury’s ,but I did lose my hat!
At any rate,the wave hit and I got the shot!
I not only got the shot and but still had film to spare!
I’ve been studying this location for almost 20 years and it is constantly surprising me! The best time to go is at LOW tide with a strong westerly after two days of a big wind storm!
A SW or SE wind can be big as well,but the westerly wind blows the clouds away and you get much better light!
It hasn’t gone off really big for several years now! Keeping in mind that I’m talking about photographically !No clouds. I’m sure during a huge storm that it would be going off…………….but how are you going to shoot it,or more importantly ,Why? Poor light ,is poor light and does not a good picture make.
It’s the cross light that produces the texture inside the explosion that sets this shot off. You know instantly that this is huge!
I estimate this wave explosion to be about 25-30 meters. I have seen bigger,but not in excellent light. I will get another,that will be better. I want one bathed in pink light right at sunset!
Right about now,your waiting for me to tell you where the hell this location is? Because people have died here and knowing how dangerous it can be,I’m sorry, but I do not feel it would be a good idea to give the location away. Not all locals even know about it.
There is something else for you to consider. Remember that at high tide with a storm surge ,the beaches are wiped clean of all those logs and are all floating out there! I have seen logs being shot out of here that would snap a man in half if they were hit! I know where some tree limbs have been snapped off,and the forests edge is several hundred feet away! It must of been debris from the Blow Hole!
There are several Blow Holes along the coast………..but none of them can compare with this monster.
Stay tuned…..