An Early morning Paddle

2 Sunrise

The sun rises over the Pacific Ocean.

A red sun peeps over the horizon as I grab a hasty breakfast before wheeling my plywood paddle board down to the sea. I am not a natural early riser but it is worth it today as the open Pacific ocean is still and windless. I head out towards the sun, then turn and paddle north about 3kms up the coast in the perfect conditions. I am pushing into a remnant wave and my sharp bow lifts over and dips into the water, a neat ripple arrowing out on each side. Slight shifts of air occasionally drift down from the land, carrying a lingering memory of cooler nighttime dew.

The sea separates the colours of the dawn sky and scatters them over the water like the daubs of an Impressionist painting: dark grey blue from above, a silver/yellow and a burnt orange, all jostling, moving, swapping places faster than I can follow. On my left the land glows warm as it greets the morning sun, and its gold and forest green colours darken the sea. Above, the gleaming silver disc of an almost full moon shines back down at the nascent sun.

There is no hurry. I don’t need to get anywhere, just be here in this magic moment. I stroke slowly and easily and time slips by unnoticed. At Malcolm’s rock I turn into the cave. Normally I am here in the afternoon and the sun is behind the cliffs leaving the cave dark. But today the low morning sun beams in and fills the chamber with glittering reflections. Water seeps down the overhanging rock in a patchwork of vibrant, sunlit greens and yellows, then falls in a curtain of drops over the entrance. I pass through and linger inside, listening to the boom of swell from the very back and the slop of the waves on the side. Then I grab a rock overhead and spin the board back out.

Around the corner is where the gulls gather, mostly Karoro or Dominican/black backed gull. Their loud cries fill the air under the cliffs. I drop down to sit on the board and rest, just drifting between the rocks. Normally it is not calm enough to do this. There is a lone, all-black great cormorant on a rock — I am more used to seeing the white chested pied cormorant standing on the boulders with an aloof raised beak, indifferent to my passing. On my way back I pass a little penguin bobbing in the sea and overhead the occasional gannet drifts by, alert for shoals of fish.

Now the wavelets are behind me and I drift effortlessly homeward. The sun is higher in the sky and warms me up. Nearing the beach I linger, reluctant to break the spell, before running onto the sand. Back home, coffee beckons.

Psst, want exclusive updates about our studio?

David trubridge newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter to receive occasional updates and promotions from us.

Oops, you're on the wrong store

Sorry, we don't ship to your country from this David Trubridge store. Please choose an option below.