Ocean

surf at Dun Aengus

The sea measures time by its motion. Not the ticking of a clock, but the surge and withdrawal of the surf, in a vast and ceaseless rhythm.

surf at Dun Aengus

This is the sea beneath the ancient fort of Dun Aengus on the Aran Island of Inishmore. We lay on our bellies and looked down, mesmerized.

surf at Dun Aengus

My mother’s watch, that I’d had with me since she died, chose this moment to slip from my pocket and disappear.

Hokianga, North Island, New Zealand

Hurricanes are called cyclones in the southern hemisphere. This is Hokianga, on New Zealand’s North Island, as Cyclone Lucy was coming in.

Hokianga, North Island, New Zealand

The differences between one moment and the next can be subtle and easy to miss.

Hokianga, Te Ika-a-Maui, Aotearoa

The wind swirled sand in waves along the beach.

Kapiti Coast

This is the Tasman sea, along the Kapiti Coast of New Zealand. Kapiti Island, about three miles off shore, is now a bird sanctuary. When the seas are rough, as they often are, the island is unapproachable.

Kapiti Coast

Kapiti Island was once base of operations for renowned Maori chief and war leader Te Rauparaha. He staged war parties from there, and celebrated victories there afterwards, feasting on, among other things, the vanquished.

Kapiti Coast

Farther up the coast is a town called Paraparaumu, which loosely translated means “Place where many people were killed and eaten.”

Paekakariki, Kapiti Coast

Kapiti Island, looming behind the rows of breakers coming in to the beach at Paekakariki.