Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Islands in the Bay

Dawn breaks with a whisper, as darkness scrambles to maintain its once-mighty hold. Moments ago we saw nothing, but now distant shapes begin to appear in the ethereal mist. Islands. On the beach, a ribbon of water falls from the cliff on to the deserted sand below. As the struggling sun fights to burn away the dense coastal fog, the day yawns, stretches, and starts on its way.

The sea is flat, save for the lone gull paddling its waters. Not for long. Soon kayaks, sail boats, fishing trawlers, and ferries will ply this waterway. We wait for the ancient Maori canoe to push off, its intricately carved bow ready to break the ocean swells. In the meantime, the quiet envelops all. The calm aquamarine water draws seals from shore, while brilliant blue fish school below.

Paihia town sits solemnly on shore, patiently waiting for life to start again. Humans have come to this place, but have not spoiled it. Its beauty has captivated them, and infused both Maori and European alike with a sense of respect and awe. This is the Bay of Islands.

Enjoy the Bay of Islands Photo Gallery.

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