After my north trip, I headed back to Auckland. I was invited to stay at a few of the kids flat that I went to the Great Barrier Island with, and I took them up on there offer. After a few days of hanging out and going to a massive music festival, the surf report finally indicated some significant east swell was headed for the island. Two of the guys from the flat where headed north, about two and a half hours to Ocean Beach near Whangarei. They told me that this spot was a good swell magnet and would pick up the due east swell very well. They where headed up with another friend that had a little wave jumper pontoon boat, and had room for one more. So at 5 a.m. I followed the truck and boat up to Oceans and hallelujah, there were waves!
After a mediocre morning surf because of the tide and wind, the boys decided to do a little exploring. We drove up the coast and launched the boat in an estuary. We strapped the boards to the front of the 12 foot speed dingy called a thundercat and headed for the ocean. To get out past the surf, we road the estuary current, past a bar break. We had to dodge surfers, rocks and sandbanks, then time the throttle to punch out between sets. I tell you the Kiwi’s are fearless. I am still trying to figure out if they are reckless, or just very knowledgeable. We made it out fine, and where skipping across the water, with 5 of us crammed into the boat with legs basically locked and no room on the deck. Two of us held the boards in place as we pitched over 5 foot sea swell rolling into the shore about 1000 meters to our left. I wanted to take my camera out in the water housing, but I had no way to protect it on the bumpy boat ride, so it stayed behind. I wish I had pictures.
We pulled up next to a point / bar break that was reeling left. We beached the boat, hopped the current out and got sucked to the break. By the end of the session I couldn’t lift myself. The boat ride back was bumpy, and with noodle arms I had a hard time controlling my body as the boat pitched and rolled through the sea.
Once we had the thundercat out of the water, the other guys headed home. I decided to drive back to Ocean Beach to camp for the night to get a dawn surf as the swell was peaking overnight. Once back at Oceans I made dinner at the van, and ran out for a sunset shoot.
The Next morning I awoke in no particular hurry and got suited up to have a surf, as I approached the beach I saw a large event tent and realized that there was a damn surf contest on. I was pissed! I had to head way north up the beach, and paddled out at the spot we surfed the morning before. It worked out, I was alone and dropped in on some of the biggest peaks I have ever attempted before. It was a great session!
After the surf, my arms where shot, and I drove back to Auckland, exhausted and smiling.