Today was spent exploring the island with Matai. We travelled all over the beautiful island by car and even visited my old house on wattle rd where I lived between the ages of 3-6-ish (can’t really remember that part). Waiheke for me is a place of found, not so found, vivid and vague memories.
Living in a small house with an outside drop toilet as kid was very memorable, and running around in the forest with the chickens and catching lizards and crickets with my Labrador was also. Waiheke set in stone in my brain a love for simple, beautiful, natural things and the ocean, a lot of time was spent, snorkeling, fishing and sailing all over the bays. I do fondly remember and love this place.
We also visited the now closed down restaurant my mum helped start ( the first on waiheke island) the fig tree café. Now a cool holiday home. Lots has changed on the island since I lived here though it is still great. A storm brewed up that afternoon so we stayed put at Matai’s place for another night, though moved the boats to Sharee’s parents place on the water not far from where we landed so we could launch early in the morning.
The night was a movie night for Dave (Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downy Jr.), while I went and body surfed in the storm swell as the rain poured down from pitch black clouds, and I reflected on the large prices I have paid in my life to be doing this trip and hoped it will be worth it all. The ocean is a place of great healing for me; she embraces my soul and fills me with energy.
Waiheke Island…… after touring around this beautiful island of undulating hills and secluded bays I thought the meaning of Waiheke would be equally beautiful or perhaps profound. However after an informative check on good ‘ol Wikipedia (http://waihekepedia.org/Waiheke_Island) I was disappointed to discover there is no clear evidence of its meaning. That was my only disappointment. We were hosted on this island paradise by Matai and Sharee…… such genuine and incredibly generous people. They provided us with tasty food, shelter and an awesome tour around the island….. not to mention beer and a hot shower!
I instantly fell in love with Waiheke. I’m not exactly sure what is was….. the incredible scenery, the friendly people, the wonderful vibe….. it all just resonated with me. So when Matai offered to give us an island tour it was very hard to resist. We are behind schedule on our attempt to paddle the length of NZ so could we afford this distraction? Jaime and I often struggle with these choices….. is it the destination or the journey that is most important? Of course the answer is not black and white because this expedition….. and the resulting storyline requires balance. Just how much we choose to bend in either direction to ensure we are true to our project, our sponsors and ourselves will sometimes be difficult. In this case the weather turned nasty and the guilt of imbibing ourselves in an island tour waned and we thoroughly enjoyed this unexpected treat.