Dawn at the Rip

January 21, 2013

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Photographer: Phil Thomson; Phil's Web site
Summary Authors: Phil Thomson; Stu Witmer

Seen above, the setting gibbous Moon creates a short glitter path at Point Lonsdale on the Bellarine Peninsula of Victoria, Australia, while the Sun rises on the opposite side of the sky and reflects off the rocks and sand dunes. It’s low tide and the camera looks southwest toward Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads. This spot is called "The Rip". It's one of the most treacherous passages of water in all of Australia and perhaps the world. The tidal flow is terrific here where the water of comparatively tranquil Port Phillip Bay must pass through a narrow channel with a high rocky seabed to join the rougher water of Bass Strait. The Rip is the sole passage for ships into Port Phillip and Melbourne. The passage is so dangerous that ships take on local pilots who are expert at navigating these extreme conditions. Note the corona around the Moon. Photo taken on November 12, 2011.