Major surf company outlets in shopping precincts should reflect their customer base. A place to step out of the city while in the city. This was from a store in Manly that had good feel to it. The difference between store layout was evident as we wandered between the 5 or more outlets. We were trying to score free surf stickers to cover the warning labels on my tobacco pouch.
Putting work in to see the most. Experience trumps imagination I think. I’m having trouble creating a novel idea, a story out of nothing doesn’t play with me. I want to experience the most and create a story from that. It could be piecing all adventures into a single short story. It could be making just one trip where the turning point defines the character. I have to get there before I can look back and say that the moment experienced was exceptional. I know it when it happens, but I look at every moment as a small piece of magic. Either way I feel the urge to be out and about. Even when I’m saving for the next piece of travel revelry it’s not enough to live in tomorrow’s dream. I want to be walking the path while on the way to the path that leads to the final destination. There is no time to be sitting still and waiting. So I get out and do.
When I was young I was told of the glass house mountains. I had an image in my head that hasn’t left. A pristine house high on the mountain. Glass walls. Glass ceiling. A view in every direction. I was wrong but not that far off when sitting on top of my world taking in the view.
North Piha Beach
First glimpse over the dunes saw this barrelling perfect lefts. One after another they came in, hit the sand and jumped up. 150 metres further up the beach and there was a right doing the same trick.
I got to my feet and sat in the critical part of the wave. I didn’t need any speed, I just assumed the position. The wave folded over me. The view was clear - a tilted oval, a grey sky, Lion Rock in the distance. Encased in a water womb I held my line and travelled along. I only got a couple as clear as this one wave but the image has stayed with me. When I think of New Zealand I see a water on top, water below and the wilderness through a small window.
My parents have known this group for over 24 years. That’s older than me. They met in Papua New Guinea while working there before I popped up. It had been 5 years between drinks and they decided to catch up with a weekend on an island. The sail over was filled with common banter. I learnt a little more about my father. The type of information that is only dropped when the young spirit is awakened with a salt breeze.
I didn’t say much I just listened.
Waiheke Island offshore Auckland
Wandering around a vineyard half cut and I can see through a house. There is a wedding party enjoying the first meal as husband and wife. There is glory between these walls and all around them. Boutique vineyards like this one are focussed on the location of their grapes not on the quality of the wine they produce and yet they charge upwards of $800 for some of their product. We pay to drink in the view not the wine.
The place we stayed was luxury. The booking was made for a modest residence and as luck happens that place was double booked and we were upgraded. These things happen and they are embraced.
My last day in New Zealand
Piha is an hour south of the Family homestead ‘Crackatinny Ranch’. The drive is a wind through mountain rainforest. This day the surf was up but it was sketchy. There was whitewater everywhere with large waves closing out the south end of Piha. A few surfers dotted the water so I paddled out. A little battle with the sweep and finally out past the breakers. I sit on my board and look around. All the other surfers have gone in. I am the only one out the back. Waves came through looking messy and unsurfable. I sat there for 5 minutes in the cold water watching the ocean bubble and bulge around me. A right arrived. I caught it and surfed modestly through to the shore break. I didn’t want to come unstuck and end up paddling through the washing machine. The shore was closing than out the back so I went in. I got freaked by the ocean.
I spent a while standing on the beach staring out at the waves that kept closing out. I imagined myself on the surf trip through South America I have planned for next year. I would need a surfing companion if I want to be able to comfortably surf every good wave I find. Surfing solo in strange new waters is a bit too daunting to have to face every time I find an isolated wave.