Point Chevalier again

The next few photos I found in the folder were taken on Friday January 24th revealing a sunny day at Point Chevalier beach. High tide was at 1.39pm, a lovely time for a swim as the incoming tide warms up the water a bit as it creeps shoreward over sun baked sand.

High tide on a sunny day at Point Chevalier beach

High tide on a sunny day at Point Chevalier beach

Heavy heart today. It is difficult to put into words without slipping into cliche, or overdoing it. But I thought of quite a good way of describing ‘the dumping‘. He took me on a long walk up a steep hill in order to share a beautiful view with me. We walked for a while and he assured me it would be worthwhile. I had doubts, but took his word for it and kept going. We arrived at the destination he had chosen. He was right. We walked to the edge of a high cliff to take in the expansive view. He was holding me as we stood there, relaxed, transfixed on the wonders of the world. Then he pushed me off the cliff. And as I don’t have a particularly strong safety net of family support, I crashed right down and smashed to bits on the rocks below.

Sand, sea and sky on a sunny day

Sand, sea and sky on a sunny day

This clifftop situation links back to when my parents did a similar thing, but without the view. They just pushed me off the cliff, so to speak, but I wasn’t even on a cliff, more like a kerb. The pushed me into the gutter, rejecting and abandoning me for the best part of a year when I was 17 years old. But, in fact, I had been abandoned emotionally many years earlier but didn’t realise it. Trying to get emotional support from parents who don’t give it really is like banging your head against a brick wall. Emotional support is more-or-less invisible, so you don’t really know when you are not getting it because you can’t understand why and don’t believe there are parents who won’t provide it. But emotional support is one of the simplest things in the world. All it involves is actually listening to someone, taking notice of them, keeping them in mind. My mother is expert at assumptions. Assumptions kill relationships, all relationships. Emotional support erases assumptions. Assumptions erase emotional support. It is that simple.

Takapuna beach

The next group of photographs in the folder were taken at Takapuna beach on Thursday January 23. Takapuna is an affluent suburb on Auckland’s north shore. High tide occurred at 1.04pm and the photo shows I was there at about that time. What a lovely sunny day. I do remember this visit, I had just met a friend for lunch at a local cafe. We walked along the beach and I took the opportunity to have a swim.

Looking across at Rangitoto Island from Takapuna beach

Looking across the Hauraki Gulf at Rangitoto Island from Takapuna beach

Takapuna beach is one of the few Auckland beaches where swimming is possible even at low tide, but high tide is much better as the water seems fresher and is less murky. Speaking of murky, it is now eight weeks since the breakup. Eight long weeks since that awful night. I remember drinking lots of wine and listening to this song really loud (through headphones) after he left in an attempt to drown it all out but of course it didn’t work.

Looking southeast along Takapuna beach

Looking southeast along Takapuna beach


Actually I listened to lots of other songs as well. This one was particularly relevant and I listened to it many times in the following days and weeks. In fact, I could give it a bash at a karaoke bar as I now know virtually all the lyrics, and what fantastic lyrics they are. Even though it is one of my very favourite albums (particularly the songs towards the end), by the time I started wallowing in this, it was about 4am and time to call it a night.


Point Chevalier beach on January 22 at 12.22pm

High tide in Auckland was 12.22pm on January 22 2014 according to a handy tide chart. And according to my collection of photographs, I visited Point Chevalier beach on this day. It looks as though I arrived just after the full tide because the high tide mark is about a metre above the water level in the pictures.

Point Chevalier beach, looking southeast

Just after high tide at the south end of Point Chevalier beach

Grey sky and white water indicate that this is another unpleasant summer day with a strong (and possibly slightly bracing) wind coming in at pace, perhaps from the north rather than the usual westerly. This is evident in the angle of the waves as they reach the shore.

Point Chevalier beach looking north

Point Chevalier beach looking north

What I do remember from these January swims at Pt Chev beach is that the wind itself isn’t particularly cold, but when combined covering of salt water on bare skin the result is somewhat chilly.

A little bit of surf is up on a windy cloudy day at Pt Chevalier beach

A little bit of surf is up on a windy day at Pt Chevalier beach

Most likely I visited the beach alone. Perhaps I was slightly hungover as my alcohol intake had recently increased due to the courtship scenario. A swim in such circumstances is a good way of clearing the head. Could do with a good ocean swim right now to clear the debris of that doomed relationship out of my system but the weather still isn’t warm enough.

Bethells beach, undercurrents, and a few thoughts on false selves

Next in the folder are photographs taken at Bethells beach on the 19th of January 2014 so I must have gone there even though I can’t remember anything about it.

Bethells beach is one of my favourites. I camped there with friends for several days when I was 14 years old, a wee while ago now. It is one of the surf beaches on Auckland’s west coast. These beaches are broad and flat with fine, black sand and are known to be wild. They have claimed many lives because people find themselves dragged out to sea in the strong currents that lurk beneath the waves.

The west coast landscape is impressive. Looks like I forgot to photograph the sea and I have no idea whether the tide was in or out, whether I went for a swim, or even who I was with. But I doubt it was with my (then) recently acquired (and now no longer) male companion as he is not fond of long walks.

Bethells beach in the afternoon

A rather grim Bethells beach looking northwest, probably late afternoon

I have been reading about the construction of a false self and how that can be toxic when people become attached to it. I can’t find an elegant way to incorporate it with this Bethells beach post so here it is, jammed in. Perhaps we find ourselves dragged beneath the waves and out to sea in the current of someone else’s false self that we unwittingly believe in.

This curiosity about ‘false selves’ has come about in relation to my recent break-up. Perhaps he had constructed a false self that I attached to and then when his true self emerged – on that fateful last night – it came as quite a shock. He went from being (the usual) Mr Nice-guy to (a foreign) Mr I-don’t-give-a-shit in a matter of minutes. Then he just walked out. And I haven’t heard from him since.

Anyway, which of his selves was false? Mr Charming or Mr I-don’t-care-a-single-bit? Both? And, how was I tricked for such a long time? The construction of a false persona is a HUGE topic. It has links to childhood trauma, narcissism, ego, borderline personality disorder… things I am now finding out about in relation to my parents.

Bethells beach looking towards the southwest

Bethells beach looking southwest

We didn’t have an argument, or anything like that, on the last night. But, now, thinking back, I realise he was planning ‘the dumping’ for at least a few days, possibly even weeks. If he was having difficulties in the relationship why didn’t he just talk to me about it? There was absolutely no attempt to do so. None. He let me think that he actually cared about me. Lots. But you don’t do what he did to someone you care about. You just don’t. That doesn’t mean that you can’t break up, but there are ways of breaking up. His way was awful.

He had purchased the wine and the meal he brought along to my house on that last night while all the time he was planning to break up. It was premeditated. A murder. Just a couple of days beforehand he had even suggested a future holiday. And he made a point of kissing me when he arrived. WTF?

Although taken months earlier, the bleak darkness of these beach photographs hints at how I felt after he left, despite my slightly desperate attempt to increase their brightness and colour saturation.


Point Chevalier beach twice in a row, apparently

The photos in my beach visits collection indicate that on Sunday January 12th and Monday January 13th I attended Point Chevalier beach in the early afternoon. I can’t remember this at all. If it wasn’t for the photos I wouldn’t be giving those swims – or those days – a second thought.

It appears that the weather was unsettled on both days, but that the second day was sunnier.

It appears that I managed to get to the beach in time for High Tide on the 12th, but didn’t quite make it until just after high tide on the 13th.

I would have been by myself on both of those days because my (then) recently acquired love interest and beach companion did not ever attend Point Chevalier beach with me even though it was nearby, and one of the better beaches in central Auckland.


A grey and possibly slightly windy day at Point Chevalier beach on Sunday 12th January. Early afternoon. Full tide.

A sunny but probably windy day at Point Chevalier beach on Tuesday, ‎14 ‎January ‎2014, ‏‎3:28pm

A sunny but probably windy day at Point Chevalier beach on Monday 13th ‎January ‎2014. The strip of smooth sand indicates that the tide is on its way out.

Evidence of a windy day in the unsettled water surface and white capped waves

Evidence of a windy day in the unsettled water surface and white capped waves on Monday 13th January

A few more beaches, a few more days

Many beaches, many photos, many days but hardly any writing. I still haven’t resolved the problem of what to do with all the photos. They were going to accompany blogs, and be arranged chronologically. Perhaps I can still do that, in several multiple blogs, until things are completely up-to-date, for all you readers out there. Lol. That would mean organising the photos. And remembering when these things happened. And what time the tide is high each day. Luckily there are such things as tide tables.

But of course, our memories aren’t necessarily chronological, they slip and slide all over the place. Particularly when the memories are traumatic, these can take on a life of their own, warping, twisting and amplifying.

But here we’re all about swimming. Chronological swimming and high tides. A beach a day.

My first swim of the season was early evening on Saturday 14th December at Pt Chevalier beach. High tide was 6.08pm. Pt Chevalier is a gentle and very popular beach in the upper reaches of the Waitemata Harbour. It was sunny and the beach was crowded. I didn’t take any photos because this blog had not been thought of, let alone constructed. As Laurie Anderson once said, it wasn’t even a Hershey bar, in my father’s back pocket.

The second swim was a very refreshing Sunday evening experience at about 8pm with a group of friends at Piha. South Piha to be precise. Piha is surf beach on the west coast, with big waves and distinctive black sand. Once again I didn’t take any photos, but plenty of other people have.

We are lucky in Auckland as there are two tidal cycles (one on the east coast and one on the west) and each tidal cycle is diurnal, so has two high tides a day, meaning that there are usually four high tides each day around Auckland. So, on Monday I really had two swims, one in each harbour. The first one was during high tide (10.51am) at French Bay, a small beach on the Titirangi edge of the Manukau Harbour. And the second one was in the evening at Pt Chevalier beach on the Waitemata. High tide there was at 7.48pm.

Monday was the day I decided to create a blog, so, here are a couple of photos from the second swim! And by the way, my camera is not that flash.


Evening at Pt Chev beach looking north


Evening at Pt Chev beach looking west

More than one week of swimming has already gone by

There are many beaches in Auckland, where I live. It is nine days since I had my first swim of the summer, at Pt Chevalier beach 6pm on Saturday December 14. I’m obsessed with high tide. It is a deadline I can meet. But, in practical terms, high tide is important in Auckland as many of the beaches here are unswimmable at low tide.

Last Monday I decided to start up a blog. A beach a day. After that decision I took photos of each beach each day. But it took until today to get the blog up and running. So, I now have a week of unused beach photos.

I’m unsure whether to pretend that it is a week ago now, and go back, and enter an entry every day, backdating each post, in a manner resembling time travel.

This blog is a record of travel without travel. The colour palette reflected in the photos will not vary a great deal. It is a record of my stay in a place called Stasis. It is our Christmas break here in New Zealand and I’m not going anywhere. Most of the nation goes to the beach at this time – to other beaches – exotic beaches.

But I’m staying here, planning to go to a beach a day.