Thursday, March 5, 2009

Another Person's Point of View

It's always nice to see things from another person's point of view. While my intention has always been to post writing and pictures of my own, I too like looking through a different set of eyes, or a different lens in this case. Last weekend, the sun was out, the swell was small but clean, and I had a day off. I walked across the street with my flatmates and found some fun surf with only two or three surfers in the lineup. After grabbing our boards and walking back across the street, we ran into Rogan, a local surf photographer and friend of Mark. We chatted with him briefly about the surf, then headed out. A week later, he turned up at the house with a few pictures.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Stopping to Surf

Vintage typically means long hours for winery workers. Making sure I get out to surf is one of my ways of staying sane during ten or eleven hour days, seven days a week. Luckily, I've been getting out at least four or five days a week despite the winery receiving four or hundred tonnes of grapes per day. Since Midway Beach is just a couple blocks from the winery, the surf can be checked from the top of the winery's tallest tanks. During morning breaks, Brent or I will run up to the top to see how it looks. When there's some swell in the water, we can usually sneak out for an hour or so during lunch. Midway, also known as the Pipeline and shown below, lies just West of the harbour and faces almost directly South. It's the best of a handful of beach breaks close to the winery and the center of town. The waves at Midway are typically a bit smaller than the breaks along Wainui, mainly because it has a smaller swell window. Kaiti Hill, seen in the picture's background, is the site of Captain Cook's New Zealand landing in 1769. Of course, this shot was on one of the flatter days of my stay thus far. Gisborne Island is considered by many locals as the best surf in town. The Island is located just a few hundred meters off of Sponge Bay, which lies between Wainui area and the town. Sponge Bay itself has several breaks that pick up larger South swells, while the Island works best on a large Southeast swell and features a reef break with several different peaks. I have only made it out a couple times to check the Island, and it hasn't been breaking well. Wainui beach features a range of quality beach breaks that faces East, picking up most swells that travel along New Zealand's East coast. Spanning almost 4 kilometers, Wainui is typically the best bet for finding sparsely populated lineups and lots of waves. Swell from the deep water off the coast hit the shallower sandbars relatively close to shore, forming draining, hollow waves. The main breaks are Stock Route, Schools, Pines, and Whales. Below are a few shots from Pines, the spot across the street from my house, that I took over the past couple of weeks. video