Golden Lugger (1X3C9497)


Pearl lugger sails past a golden sunset over Cable Beach, Broome, Kimberley, North West, Western Australia.

This image captures a golden sunset on Cable beach as an old Pearling Lugger sails by, silhouetted by the setting sun, still relatively high in the sky. Normally I wouldn’t shoot this early in the afternoon as the colours haven’t yet matured into vibrant colours. However on this occasion a restored pearling lugger was sailing by as I was setting up, so I quickly fired of a couple of shots, hoping to silhouette it against the sun.

The pearling industry is one of the main reasons Broome existed, and when operations were at their peak early last century, dozens of sail powered pearling luggers would travel up and down the coast to their favourite pearl shell grounds where their hard hatted divers would walk along the ocean floor harvesting the valuable shells.

Replaced by modern pearl farming methods, most of the beautiful old luggers have now gone. However luckily a few were restored and offer charter cruises for tourists wishing to see the iconic Broome coastline from a different perspective.

Titled “Golden Lugger” to reflect the golden coloured sunset behind the Pearl Lugger.

Cable Beach is a 22 km stretch of pristine white sand beach, washed by the stunning turquoise water of the Indian Ocean near Broome in the Kimberly region within the far north west of Western Australia. Named after the telegraph cable laid between Broome and Java in 1889, its natural beauty attracts visitors from around Australia and the world.

The western facing beach experiences large tidal movements on a daily basis, peaking on the spring tides, where the tide can recede several hundred meters from the high tide mark, leaving interesting ripples in the sand. There are several sections where the low flat reef just offshore is exposed on low tide, making for excellent photographic opportunities with some foreground interest. Combined with the stunning sunsets typical of the northern Australian skies, it is heavily photographed as a result.

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