the swell
 before the storm

when Mike and I were on the hunt for our new HQ I was very keen to find a spot with sea views...


We found a small (actually tiny) somewhat neglected (read needs a tonne of work!) house in NZ's beautiful Coromandel peninsula. Despite the building needing a lot of TLC (and a few extra SQM) to become a functioning, warm and dry home/studio the location (and proximity to the coast) won my heart.

The first night we camped out in our new home I was thrilled I could hear the ocean as I lay in bed. Each morning walking the dogs on the beach was a delight, and each evening watching the sun disappear west behind Auckland's Hanua Ranges was a privilege. I am so thrilled to be this close to the water.

On Tuesday we started to get weather warnings about an impending storm which promised to whip up the coast. Hard and fast the pressure system promised to deliver a punch and coincide with King tide. Sure enough at 1pm thursday the rain set in and the blustery wind followed.

Last night was wild, I lay in bed and enjoyed hearing the crash of the waves on the shore. This morning, Mike set off to work as usual then Bee and I meandered along the beach looking for quartz among the debris washed along the high tide line... I thought we had done very well in the aftermath of this ferocious storm.

It wasn't until 7am (when the photo above was taken) I started to see our predicament, although the 'weather' had passed, with 3.5 hours still to go until high tide the seas were big and almost at the road.

I should have been working, but with the ocean roaring outside I became transfixed with watching the sets of waves crash into the sea wall, and then the road, and then our property!

Thankfully we are elevated, but the powerful waves were rolling up our driveway before high tide hit... Street signs, trees and garage doors started to float by, the ashpalt rippled, buckled and bent. Concrete bocks from our retaining wall were washed out to sea... I grabbed my gumboots and chased our letterbox down the road in knee deep water before dragging it to higher ground.

As the tide receded the ocean left debris and carnage in her wake. Now not only am I feeling privileged to live so close to the ocean I am also feeling grateful she spared us!


Bee and I are stuck isolated on the coast while repair works to the road are carried out, (we hope the road is reopened soon so mike can come home from work!)... but despite being cut off - this is a lovely landscape to be marooned in, and our neighbours have popped over to invite us for dinner so we are feeling super welcome in the community too. What a wild and gnarley start to our new 'slower' life!

Read more about how the sea swallowed our road here


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