April 15, 2005 GMT
Waving Goodbye

Oh shit, where did that wave come from?

Two locals had both said the tide was going out.


I was busily photographing my bike Fred with the sun setting behind him over the sea. As the sun got lower the light was bouncing through the spray off the top of the waves producing a beautiful orange mist.

The shutter clunked several times as I held down the button to take multiple exposures.

At the end of the burst I noticed my bike was surrounded by water.

‘Oh shit'.

‘Where did that come from?'

I thought that if the tide was going out the waves would be getting further and further from my bike not going past it.

With just one wave both tyres had sunk into the sand to the rims.

I felt a huge sigh of relief that I'd put a piece of wood under the sidestand rather just rely on the wide foot to support his weight. Without it, Fred would have fallen over and it would have been a it of a challenge to pick up him from the wet sand on my own.

I scuttled back and rode him further up the beach.

Two minutes later there was another big wave, even bigger than the last one. I decided it was time to get off the beach altogether.

Tourists often get their cars trapped by the very fast tide incoming tide. As the wave recedes down the slope it pulls the sand from under the wheels and it doesn't take long before it's resting on its axles. It's impossible to drive out so only rapid rescue by a tractor can save it.

Another peculiarity is the huge quantity of sand that is shifted with each tide. There are several ship wrecks, many of which are only seen intermittently depending on how the sand is being moved about.

An additional attraction is that this is the longest driveable beach in New Zealand. A local said it was just over one hundred miles long.

Only marginally longer than Brighton Beach then.

Visit www.fowb.co.uk for more details on this and previous trips.

Posted by Jeremy Bullard at 05:45 AM GMT
April 30, 2005 GMT
The South Island

The natives are friendly.


Visit www.fowb.co.uk for more details on this and previous trips.

Posted by Jeremy Bullard at 05:53 AM GMT
 


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