Mighty waves stir my soul.
Something about their deceptive, slow, ponderous majesty just moves me.
The energy in a big ocean roller is beyond my comprehension. I love the way the deep green water heaves itself up, and up, and up … and passes, leaving a long foaming slope behind it. And the noise, oh what a majestic concert it plays.
Of course this depends a bit on where it terminates. An unimpeded beach can be spectacular, but my favourite place is on rocky outcrops such as those on Wellington’s South Coast. This must be the nearest I will ever come to the old conundrum about unstoppable forces and immovable objects. The visceral thump as a rolling mountain of water meets up with rocks that have remained unmoved for millennia is just magnificent. The visual display as hundreds of tonnes of white water rocket skywards from the impact is equally enthralling.
In the pauses between successive waves, the ferry Aratere is making its way steadily across the heaving horizon towards Picton. Her bow rises and falls in ponderous adaptation to the rhythm of the sea. She appears to be travelling quite slowly, but as with the waves, her size makes her speed deceptive.
Once clear of the harbour on one side, or the sounds on the other, Aratere is capable of 19.5 knots (36km/h), and with a six voyage a day timetable, she seems to make little concession to the sea state. I feel slightly queasy just watching her rise and fall before the next big roller hides her from view again.
It’s just a week or two since my last big wave shots, only this time, the wind is from the South and the waves look and feel different. And the sun is shining, and the sky is sharp and clear. When the waves permit, the Kaikoura range is sharply visible from down on the beach.
Here in the Antipodes, a Southerly is the very cold wind, and I had come out without my heavy jacket, so my teeth were chattering as I set up the camera and tripod in the lee of some solid rocks. Not only did the rocks protect me from the waves, they also removed the worst of the wind and allowed the camera to remain steady. So here is my favourite shot from yesterday. I just love that incoming wall of water.
Oh yes, that’s our old friend, Tapuae-o-Uenuku in the background.
And that’s the first six months of this blog. I think somewhat wryly, that 182 posts with a typical 450 words a day comes to about 82,000 words … if only I had been able to write my doctoral thesis so glibly.
The next six months starts tomorrow.