Saturday, 17 March 2012

Where two oceans meet: Cape Reinga

The drive up to the top of NZ is like the Pennines with palms and then you turn the corner and it’s barren and dry, like a piece of Mongolia (I haven't been there by the way). It’s New Zealand of the 1970s: all sheep and salty Anchor butter.

Over coffee this morning with a local woman, she told us about a friend who caught a white pointer shark off the 3 kings islands and then dragged it along the east coast back to Aruni. They got the local wood yard’s crane to haul it up, and as they did, a 12ft baby came out! She’s looking after a friends wild pigs near Spritis Bay. She also told us about giant white pointer they see regularly off the top who they call "Brutus". He leaves giant fish heads floating in the sea.

Cape Reinga, the meeting of 2 oceans: the Tasman Sea and the Pacific, where waves go in 2 directions. The warm current comes down from Tonga in the north and the cold current comes up from Antartica in the south. There is a definite blue line where the 2 currents meet. It's this cold current that brings the nutrients for krill, crayfish etc which the marlin and massive friends feed on. DOC rangers are working in orange boiler-suits on the hillside trying to weed out non native plants,. Today, agapanthus is on their hit list. I wouldn't mind a sack of agapanthus weeds.

One of the DOC chaps I spoke to said that when he was a boy there used to be skulls lying around on Spirits Bay, as the Maoris belived if they made the journey north, they would have a shorter jouney into the afterlife. He also told us about a local boy who, when he was 18 years old, held a séance in the tomb at Spirits Bay that holds the remains of ancient Maoris and the run of bad luck this had brough on his family! Similarly we used to jump over the gate at Berry Pomeroy castle, our local haunted castle, after the pub on a Friday night.

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