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E L P M SA E L C I T AR #17

Issue #17 R.R.P $14 USD

R.R.P $20 AUD / NZD

DEUS EX MACHINA

LA JOLLA + ALEX KNOST AQUASHOT + WALES + JOHN CHERRY VINTAGE HAWAII + HEATHER BROWN + EAST COAST NEW ZEALAND


The Salvation of

Isolation Words and Photos by Cory Scott

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“The land on the Sea-Coast is high with steep cliffs, and back inland are very high mountains ... the face of the Country is of a hilly surface and appears to be cloathed with wood and Verdure.” –Captain Cook’s journal, 8th October 1769 On the 6th October 1769, from high up in the masthead of the Captain Cook led ship Endeavour, Nicholas Young sighted white cliffs glowing in the distance under the setting sun. Days earlier, the crew that had set out from England, sailing for over a year in search of the southern continent, had noticed drifting seaweed and land birds flying by. Captain James Cook promised his crew that the first to spy land would have a landmark on the newly-discovered terra firma named after him. So the headland, which sat at the southern tip of the long curving bay, was named “Young Nick’s Head,” and, more importantly, New

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Zealand had been discovered by the Western world and would become a permanent scribe on the world’s map. Two days later, the Endeavour sailed into the bay. Noticing smoke along the coast, an indication that the country was inhabited, they set anchor at the entrance of a small river, and Cook and a group of sailors headed for shore in two small boats, hoping to establish friendly relations with the natives, and to trade for food and water. Four sailors were left to guard one of the boats, but were surprised by the sudden appearance of four Māori brandishing weapons. When one Māori lifted a lance to hurl at the boat, he was shot. Cook attempted to land several more times, which was hindered by large surf and further conflict with the local natives. Cook decided to leave the area and sail further south, naming the area Poverty Bay since he was unable to take on any supplies here. Heading south, the crew sailed into another bay of similar layout, although bigger. Cook named this bay “Hawke’s Bay,” after the highly-decorated Royal Navy Admiral Edward Hawke, who fought off the French Invasion of

England. While off the coast in the southern corner of the bay, local Māori that had paddled out in a large canoe to trade fresh fish commenced without incident, until one of the crew who had gone down to accept the fish was captured and taken off in the canoe. But gunfire rang out, allowing the captive to escape. Because of this event, Cook named the area “Kidnapper’s Bay.” Centuries on, the two areas, ironically, while being the first discovered regions of New Zealand, lie rather isolated from the growth and development of the modern world. The area’s main centers, which were named Gisborne and Napier, hang almost out on a limb at the base of the East Cape. Geographically speaking, the mountainous range that sits between the two areas of the volcanic plateau’s of Taupo and the Bay of Plenty, make the journey in for travellers through the winding, rugged gorges and hills, a second choice destination to other areas that can be reached with far more ease. As the world’s wheels keep turning and the economic migration heads north and south to the bigger city centers the two regions,


>>Steve Roberts.

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>>Maz Quinn.

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>>Sam Johnson.

while not growing, are self-sustaining enough to hold their own, with key strengths in viticulture, horticulture, farming, and forestry, which keep the locals fed and employed. The wine industry is a key magnet to tourists, as many flock to sample the award-winning varietals. As the search for clean green spaces throughout the world becomes increasingly difficult to satisfy, more and more tourists are heading to Eastland’s uncrowded environment, with its magnificent array of lakes, forests, streams, and beaches. The main centers and its adjoining coastline lay home to some of the best surf breaks in the country. While the sport of surfing reaches boom proportions and surf break crowds reach boiling point, isolated waves groomed by offshores blowing from the mountainous landmass peel off unseen and unridden from the northern tip of the East Cape down to Cape Kidnapper’s in the south. Reefs, points, river bars, and beachbreaks litter the coastline, awaiting the adventurous surfer to ride their crests.

The two main city centers lay host to a steady population of surfers, yet an uncrowded wave can still be had, even at the main breaks. The northern center Gisborne is open to swells from the north through to the southwest, with offshores that complement those same directions. This provides an area that consistently offers quality, rideable surf, which transpires into a population of well-aboveaverage surfers. Gisborne, since the inception of surfing in New Zealand, has given birth to many of the country’s best surfers, some who have gone on to international acclaim. Over the years, several international surfers made the area a favorite stomping ground. Iconic Malibu surfer Mickey “Da Cat” Dora, after fleeing the States on fraud charges, made the area home for a number of years in the 1970s, and the legendary Nat Young stated that one of his favorite waves lay over a rugged hill hidden in a cove-like bay, which, when waves broke, made the ground shake. The staple diet of waves for a Gisborne surfer usually consists of a three-course meal made up of the breaks Midway Beach, Wainui and Makorori, with every so often

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>>Jay Quinn.

>>Bobby Hansen.

>>Chris Malone.

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>>Daniel Kereopa.


the island of Tuamotu, which sits out guarding the entrance to the bay, coming through as a dessert course. While Wainui can offer up thick beachbreak barrels for the advanced surfer, just over the hill at Makorori, fun peaks can be had all along the beach with “The Point” being a favorite for the older crew and longboarders. The scene here is really a mixed bag of all ages, all abilities, and all types of craft. The carpark has become a communal meeting place, and when it’s pumping here expect a slow day in the Gisborne work force. Further north, as the coastal road winds its way up and over hills and down through the small seaside settlements of the East Cape, lies the furthest point east of mainland New Zealand and the first place in the world to see the sun on every given new day. Perfect waves await the adventurous surfer. A lonely place and a step back in time, locals ride horses down the main street to the supermarket for

supplies as they did back in the last century. Living off the land is simply a part of life in these parts, fishing, hunting, diving, and gathering along the coast are not seen as a recreational pastimes as in other areas of the country – up here, it’s a necessity. If it’s isolation and an empty lineup, you’ve come looking for this in the perfect place. The rugged mountainous bush country that extends inland right through to the Bay of Plenty on the other side offers up much more to the adventurous outdoors person. The Te Urewera National Park is a hunters’ and fishermen’s El Dorado, with abundant wild deer of trophy proportions that provide a sporting challenge and food for locals at the same time. The crystal clear rivers and streams that drain the mountains and lakes offer up some of the best brown and rainbow trout fishing on the planet. If it’s just all about taking a breath of fresh air in an unaltered, virgin

environment atop a summit overlooking a valley that stretches for miles that suits you, then there are also hiking tracks for all levels. The lush green mountains and valleys are fed regularly by rainfall, especially over the winter months of May-September. Constantlyflowing rivers that bust out into the Pacific Ocean at points along the coast push out shingle bars, that when met by the groomed swell sweeping into the coast, offer up several days of fun before closing over until the next heavy flow. Sessions at the river bars are reserved for a few in the know that a bank has formed. Secrets are kept close in the circle of friends. Many bars simply come and go and are never ridden, as the isolation means they go unchecked for long periods. The rivers of the Hawke’s Bay are salvation for Napier surfers when swells from the East coincide with bar forming rain. The headland

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>>Felix Dickson.

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>>Daniel Proctor.

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that stretches out to sea in the south, Cape Kidnapper’s, blocks any swell from the southerly direction, so surfers in this region aren’t as open to the vast swell window that Gisborne has. Show up at the right time and happen to score a Hawke’s Bay river bar on and you will be left with a taste of perfection, salivating for more samples. For local surfers with their fingers on the pulse, sessions are more regular. Farfetched swells from the east can come up, deliver an epic session, and be gone again before the word gets out around the community or onto the surf reports. Those lucky few just spent the afternoon getting barrelled off their heads and walk around town with huge grins and a skip in their step. The coastline between the two main areas lies inaccessible and relatively unexplored, aside from the area around Mahia peninsula,

which is dotted with quality breaks, many world-class on their day. Facing into the direct path of huge southern swells that spin off the coast of Antarctica and the Roaring Forties, several setups can offer up a chance to dust off the big-wave gun, serious chunks of water roll through, testing the best of surfers. The local surfers here pull no punches either and demand respect; it’s a tight-knit community and, as it should be when travelling, show respect and you will have a great time. You may even find yourself invited back for a local barbecue, sampling fresh crayfish, paua (abalone), and drinking home brew beer from unmarked, big brown bottles, while watching the sun set down across the bay. It’s a scene that could have been set in the ’60s or ’70s, nothing much changes in this part of the world. Locals going about their everyday lives, surfing when the swell comes up and working

in between. There’s no queue at the Internet cafe checking swell forecasts or Facebook updates on the waves that afternoon, just a mid carpark nod or a raise of the eyebrows in appreciation for what conditions are on offer. Life is simple and uncomplicated around here. While it may be isolated and far away from the temptations and spoils of the cities, it is this very fact that has been the salvation for the area and its people, and nothing looks like changing in too much of a hurry. The sun will rise, the birds will chirp, and some days there will be perfect surf and others not. That is life, make the most of what you have on offer.

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ISSUE 17 SAMPLE The Salvation of Isolation