"I wanna hang a map of the world at my house. Then I wanna stick pins in the locations that I`ve traveled to.
...But first I have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won`t fall down."
-Mitch Hedberg

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bayly's Beach - New Zealand's Longest Beach

Flash has tiny tires - seriously itty bitty - so we’ve done our best to keep him off gravel roads and sandy beaches. However, the densely packed sand at Bayly’s Beach let us take Flash on his first beach sleepover. He was pretty stoked about it.

The first thing that attracted me to Bayly’s was the monstrous surf. The beach is a bit out of the way for most travelers headed up to Cape Reinga, but after my session at Ahipara I was craving some good waves with size on ‘em. Bayly’s delivered.

I’ve never paddled that hard. Ever. Set after set rolled in during the evening session, and just when I thought I’d made it to the line up, the break zone receded as outside sets kept pounding those of us foolish enough to paddle out in the large swell.

The worst part was that the current pushed north so quickly that when my exhausted arms and shoulders finally pulled me past the breakers, I was a few hundred yards up the beach.
Poor Carolyn with her camera was a little dot in the distance vainly trying to pick me out of a wetsuit clad line-up with the setting sun in her eyes. It was cute watching her try.

I caught a handful of waves, but they kept re-forming off a hidden sandbar. It was impossible to get a good ride, so after an hour of flailing I paddled in, thoroughly humbled. The sunset was nice, though.

That night Flash’s solar powered twinkle lights battled thousands of stars as the sound of waves lulled him to sleep. I'm sure he dreamt of flying down the flat packed sands of New Zealand's longest beach at breakneck speeds.

In the morning I paddled out for another surf to slightly better results. I've always heard that even your worst surf session can leave a fond memory behind. If that's true than I will forever remember Bayly's Beach.
by Shawn Forno
Many people mistake Ninety-Mile Beach at the tip of Northland in the North Island for New Zealand’s longest beach. However, that particular honor belongs to the sprawling coastal cliffs of Bayley’s Beach on the southwestern coast. Sandy beaches stretch as far...read more

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