It’s like I live here….

A very typical South Island Beach. Miles of sand. Not a soul in sight.

Last week, as I drove along the Southern Coastal Highway (a two lane road) towards a favorite local fishing spot, I began to feel…well….comfortable. I noticed I’m no longer freaked out by seeing the steering wheel on right hand side of the car. I rarely have to remind myself to stay on the left hand side of the road (rarely…but not never). And, as I drove along this beautiful stretch of road, with the deep blue Pacific Ocean on my left and the rolling verdant hills dotted with sheep on my right I thought to myself…yep…I live here. I see this stunning beauty almost every day.

My dinnertime companion, a different panorama every night.

Almost every morning the sunrise is spectacular, and almost every evening there is a breathtaking sunset right outside my window. By now, you will recognize the view from my deck (above)…truly this is what I see as I eat dinner each night. I’ve now been here over 2 months…enough time to not be overwhelmed by these amazing spectacles of light almost every morning and evening, and despite their frequency, I remain truly awed when they are there. I hope the awe never ceases.

Not for vegans.

This last weekend I drove North to Moeraki Village.. a quaint little fishing town, and home to the world famous Moraki Boulders (more below). In New Zealand, lobster are called crayfish. I happened upon a local open air eatery called ‘The Fishwife’, and found myself faced with a paua/crayfish dilemma. Paua is the local word for abalone. I opted for a lunch of paua (fritters) and chips (French Fries). I believe I’ve already gone over the coffee menu..but as refresher…a long black is a regular cup of coffee..a flat white is coffee and warmed milk…and just last week I learned what a piccolo was…espresso and a very small amount of milk, served in a very small cup.

Paua and Chips (and a long black)
The Fishwife…a local open air eatery serving amazing seafood.
The local weaponry

As I was finishing my lunch, the one of the cooks at the Fishwife began passing out very sturdy squirt guns. One to a table. ‘This will get interesting’, I thought to myself…sizing up the other patrons of the restaurant. I spied several little kids I thought I could easily take down. The cook, noticing my zeal and the tight grip around the barrel of the gun, said, “They are for the seagulls.” “Oh, I know.” I lied.

I realize I have not posted for the blog in over 3 weeks…which feels somewhat humiliating and I am embarrassed at the length of the lapse. In my defense, I have been working a lot, which is the double edged sword of lots of time spent at the hospital and not a computer producing a piece for the blog, and also more time at the hospital means less time exploring. So, with that Mia Culpa out of the way…onward to more exploring.

The beach at which the Moeraki Boulders rest in the sand. I Couldn’t resist a photo of this beautiful shell.
One of the Moeraki Boulders…
And, many of the Moerkai Boulders..

As you might imagine..there are two stories of these magnificent geological story from the indigenous Maori, and a slightly less colorful one with longer and more difficult to pronounce words… from a geologist. Regardless, there are few sights like this in the world…and less than an hour from my house I can walk on this beach and hop onto these ancient stones and watch the waves swirl around me. It’s like I live here.

Random is sometimes good, so here is some random wall art, which is common in Dunedin (the art, not the randomness)
I had a whale of a weekend.

This is, after all, an island country. We are surrounded by water, and it’s no surprise that so much of the history, culture, and art of New Zealand incorporates the theme of of the ocean. In the news this week, it was a highlight when a large number of humpback whales were spotted off the coast of Kaikoura ( a town just North of Christchurch..usually known for its large population of sperm whales, but humpback whales, like the one above, are much less common). There is something magical about the ocean…and despite the fact I see the ocean every single day, it never fails to capture my imagination. Even now…late at night (I’m on call…from home, thankfully)…I gaze out at the reflection of the city lights shimmering in the harbor waters..and I think to myself…I live here. I am so lucky.

Until next time,

Kia Ora,


Published by dave clarke

I am different things to different people. Husband, father, doctor, teacher, friend, or if you're a fish, a fly fisherman. But really, I'm just a guy trying to learn about life, and if I'm lucky, maybe teach a little bit along the way. If I were a golfer (I'm not) I would be on the back nine of my life, or if I were a book, there would be more pages turned than not. Any yet, I'm far from finished creating chapters of my life. The goal of Next Chapters is inspiration, and I'm hopeful the traffic goes in both directions.

One thought on “It’s like I live here….

  1. Hey Dave! Just now saw this! Great to see you back on the Island and see your adventures! Keep them coming!
    Randy Clayton

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: