Dunedin is special for two reasons: it is consistently battered by great southern ocean swells and it’s colder than the hair on a polar bear’s arse. So when we wake to a cranking northerly swell and a warm sunny day we’re left blinking in bewilderment.
“It’s on,” I’m told, but where? The swell direction is perfect for A but it might not handle the size so perhaps B is a better option though it’ll be cross shore and old mate in the back dislikes the crowds it attracts so C is thrown in the mix despite the chance that the swell mightn’t wrap around the point and now the wind is really picking up so what about checking the other side… Welcome to the Otago peninsula of opportunity, the land of choice and indecision.
In the end it’s mother nature who deals the cards as 130-kilometre-per-hour nor west gales have blown power lines and trees down over the only road out of dogde – we’re not going anywhere and no one else is getting in. After getting up at 5.30am we’re in the 10.9°C water just shy of lunch.
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end,” said the American novelist, Ursula LeGuin, and it’s something to bear in mind as the week of surf continues. Two swells, time off work, excellent company, a massive campervan, beer and lamb chops conspire for the classic NZ road trip. Half the time and half the fun is spent deliberating where to go, tiki touring around, admiring the scenery the other half is in the drink…