Dorset’s Jurassic Coast is the focus of a unique new book packed with stunning photographs of the world heritage coastline. Emma Joseph sifts through its pages

The colourful photobook Dorset From The Sea has just been published and is thought to be the first book that captures our coast entirely from offshore.

Photographer Steve Belasco has spent most of his spare time over the last four years capturing images from his ‘diminutive’ motorboat Strange Weather and the results make spectacular viewing.

He said: “As a keen sailor, I spent many years cruising the beautiful Dorset coast, always amazed at the scenery.

“But it was only about four years ago that my wife Josie suggested I combine the boating with my photography and record more of this lovely environment.”

Steve, who is a volunteer ‘ambassador’ with the Jurassic Coast Trust, added: “I love our county and realise how privileged I am to be able to enjoy the view from the sea.

“It’s the best way to see the Jurassic Coast but most people never get that opportunity. Hence the book; I wanted to share those wonderful vistas with as many people as possible.”

Steve usually works alone aboard his vessel, but isn’t it a little tricky looking after a boat and taking photographs at the same time?

“There are places you don’t want to be if the engine misbehaves,” he admits. “I’ve occasionally squinted through the lens for a bit too long and found myself uncomfortably close to the rocks.

“And sometimes a sunset has captivated me longer than intended, resulting in ‘Strangey’ returning to her mooring well after dark,” he adds. “But safety always comes first and common sense prevails.”

The glossy, coffee table-style book documents a cruise from Lyme Regis in the west to Old Harry Rocks in the east and the beautiful photographs – some shot from offshore and others from extremely close in – include not just astounding views of our coastal waters, but also the locals and visitors that enjoy them and the animals and people that depend on them.

There is also a physically smaller ‘Souvenir’ edition of the book. Sailing legend Dame Ellen MacArthur has written a special foreword.

She was enthralled by the Dorset coastline on her first visit here as a teenage sailor, and Steve became friends with her after he was sent by the Echo to photograph her in Weymouth during her stay. He is donating a proportion of proceeds to Dame Ellen’s cancer trust for young people recovering from the disease.

  • Dorset From The Sea by Steve Belasco is published by Veloce Publishing and is available from bookshops and online. ISBN 9781845847623