Scuttlefish writer Owen James Burke is currently rambling around New Zealand, living in a house truck with a camera, surfboard and speargun in search of stories, waves and fish. We’re putting together a waterperson’s guide to the island nation, but meanwhile, we’ll be publishing stories and photographs, short updates along the way from the Yankee in Kiwiland. -CD
Above: Raw Paua, cooked. Queen Charlotte Drive shows no mercy on a tired old truck and a boatful of holes.
Raw Paua and I took a tour down the east coast of the south island last week, and it began swimmingly. She steamed over two mountain passes and hugged the cliffs nicely along mile after mile of winding coast.
We made camp, and although it was nearly freezing, turning on the broiler to heat a lamb roast (as one does in the land of sheep) warmed me up enough to patter away at the keyboard until the wee hours and comfortably turn in.
The next day, we ventured back up the coast, where we surfed, made fires, and met a crazy Valencian who’s in the process cycling around the perimeter of the island nation.
A couple of days of foul weather and Raw Paua and I decided to make for home base back at the top of the South Island. That was when the smoke started.
I pulled over to the side of the road where a splendid, unridden right-hander was reeling along the beach under a soft pastel sky with nary a surfer in sight. The wave looked enticing, but this wasn’t the time. I had a crisis on my hands.
Then again, in retrospect . . . Photo: Owen James Burke.
Lifting the hood, I was met with a face full of smoke and the alarming, nauseating, intoxicating stench of boiling radiator coolant; it wasn’t exactly the afternoon buzz I was hoping to catch.
Photo: Owen James Burke.