A couple of folks asked where was the setting that I’d photographed my dad in, in my previous blog entry. Matt’s Creek, on Great Mercury Island, off the Coromandel Peninsula of the North Island, NZ.
But it’s no mere island. Mercury holds an almost mystical awe for our family. It’s where our parents first met, in Mercury Cove, the island’s main but small harbour. It’s where our parents got engaged. It’s where we spent five to six weeks every year over the Chistmas (summer) holidays sailing, swimming, diving, rambling, and basically having the best time a kid could imagine. The island has sandy southern beaches with clear crystal water, towering white cliffs, hidden wee coves where you know there’s a hidden cray or paua, rocky beaches perfect for fossicking, clear water streams, and the fishing used to be entirely dependable.
I still can’t believe my luck that every now and then over the last few years, I’ve been able to take my partner there, out with dad, on his yacht. And five years ago, it’s where dad and I spread mum’s ashes.
It used to be a bit of a slog up the east coast to get to Mercury when we lived in Tauranga. But our parents decided to make the Coromandel, and Mercury, their cruising grounds when they retired to Whitianga in the mid-eighties. For 15 years they sailed a 45-foot Woolacott around the Mercs.
It’s not often that lives revolve around one place, or connect around just one place. But Mercury seems to be that place. My brother sometimes takes his wife and two children out there, borrowing dad’s yacht for a week or two. And we wonder if his children will develop such a connection.
Chart sourced from Land Information New Zealand data. Crown Copyright Reserved. NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION