AMB022 BEACHES THREE

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HISSandaROAR AMB022 BEACHES THREE

I started recording this library 16th September 2019, while on a working holiday in Takaka, a favourite remote part of Aotearoa NZ. On a Monday morning after I’d checked out of my Air BnB cottage & before leaving the area, I felt compelled to visit one of my favourite beaches with golden sand, Totaranui Beach. I recorded it because I was there, but also to share a photo of being in my happy place at 11am on a Monday morning!

Ever since, whenever I was on a road trip if there was a beach I had not recorded, or in some cases ever visited, then I’d make a point of little side trips. This library represents five years of collecting, with a recent push to capture some local beaches on some of these rare still Wellington Autumn days.

Below you can also read of how I got my 4WD completely stuck (FCKIT!?!) accessing one of the beaches, Wharenui. I knew I was in trouble but before I tried to exit I recorded the beach first, since that was why I was there. But that was an uneasy recording, as I had a sense of dread the whole time at not being able to escape the beach. Thank Jah for the kindness of rural strangers!

With this collection I have aimed to capture a range of beach types, to expand the range from my previous Beach libraries, but also to provide a range within this library if this is your first HISSandaROAR Beach library. New Zealand is an island nation, with a huge range of coastal variety..

Sandy Beaches:
Totoranui
Clifford Bay
Pukerua Bay
Tirau Bay

Wide perspective:
Tirau Bay wide from 100m
Tirau Bay from Hilltop Komanga Point
Komanga Point Hilltop looking South

Big surf roar:
Wainuiomata South Coast
Paekakariki Coastal SeaWall

Small gentle waves:
Plimmerton Boat Club
Anakiwa

Rocky:
Tirau Bay rocky
Ward Beach
Karehana Bay rocky
Wharenui Beach
Rocky Bay Whitireia

Recorded 32bit 192kHz multitrack using Sennheiser MKH8040 LR, Sennheiser MKH8020 LR and Sennheiser MKH70 LR, this new ambience library is released 24bit 96kHz with full UCS metadata and photos.

Preview = approx 10 seconds of each location

The art of getting stuck!
On a recent trip down South, one of the beaches I explored for the first time was Wharenui Beach, North Kaikoura. As I drove down a gravel access road there was a sign saying its ok to drive on the sand dunes, so I started down a 4WD track to the beach, and as I proceeded, the track got softer & softer and I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. The sides of the track looked even worse so I knew if I stopped & tried to turn around I was in trouble. So I floored it & kept going, making it down to the beach, where the track was solid again. Phew! Putting the return trip out of mind for now, I parked & set up to record.

Half an hour later it was time to face the challenge. First I tried two other routes to escape but in both cases I bogged down into soft gravel as I climbed up the track, but thankfully I managed to throw my 4WD into reverse & got back down to solid ground each time, cursing as I went. OK, time to try the original track in. I built up as much momentum as I could and made it three quarters of the way up the track before I completely bogged down. This time I was stuck! I tried digging out in front of the tyres, but the gravel was so soft the body of my 4WD had dug into the gravel. I was not going anywhere…

Thankfully it was early afternoon, so I walked back to the small cluster of houses only to find no one there except an elderly lady who couldn’t help. She suggested I walk up to a nearby farm as they would have a tractor. Off I went, a few kilometres up the main road, only to find no one at home at the farm. Next I got on the phone & called a tow truck company in Kaikoura. He laughed & said I was not the first to get stuck there, and wouldn’t be the last… but last time it cost $600 due to travel time & needing to use long cables to avoid getting the tow truck stuck. Hmmmm..

But in a pragmatic example of kiwi generosity, he mentioned his nephew worked on a farm about ten minutes from me & he might be able to help. He gave me his number, I called him & twenty minutes later, he turned up in a big grunty 4WD and we went back to the scene. He joined up four long strops/tie downs & with some concerted effort towed me to solid ground. Overjoyed, I reimbursed him with cash (this is why you should ALWAYS have cash on you when travelling!) and I headed off South, feeling sheepish but glad to be alive!

I was well aware my little Suzuki 4WD does not have much ground clearance. If you check the video of the first Beaches library, you’ll see a shot of my first 4WD, an Isuzu BigHorn, which was a much larger vehicle with a V6 engine & way more ground clearance, such that in the video I drive over a well known local 4WD route called Devils Gate. In my little Suzuki 4WD I can drive around to Devils Gate ok, but there is no way in hell I would even attempt to drive over it, due to that lack of clearance. The fact my Suzuki is so much closer to the ground is what makes it a more comfortable vehicle to drive on the road, but off road it has its limitations which Wharenui Beach did a good job of reminding me of. Lesson relearned!

 

“My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.”
Aldous Huxley


“I consider a walk on a beach as the equivalent of churchgoing.”
Tim Prebble

AMB022 BEACHES THREE