Photo Friday: Where two seas collide (New Zealand)
The meeting of two oceans has intrigued me for many years. Nearly two decades ago, while on a business trip to Cape Town, South Africa, some local colleagues suggested we drive down to see where the Atlantic met the Indian Ocean. They described it as a unique and stunning view of two seas colliding. Much to my disappointment, my boss opted to return to the office instead.
Years later, in Australia, Erik and I drove to the Leeuwin Lighthouse on the most extreme southwest corner of Australia to see where the Southern and Indian Oceans meet. It was not as dramatic as I had imagined. In fact, though we gazed out at the rough blue seas – searching for some distinguishing attribute of one versus the other – we could not discern any collision.
This might have discouraged us from driving six hours in one day to view Cape Reinga, the northern most tip of New Zealand, where we were promised a view of the Tasman Sea meeting the Pacific Ocean, but alas it did not. The drive was long with many twists and turns (though very pretty) but the reward was sweet. This time, we were treated to a stormy meeting of two seas, which clashed in an eternal battle.
Dutch sailor Abel Tasman was first to sail past this northern most tip in 1643. He named the the nearby western most Cape after the governor’s wife in the East Indies (Maria van Diemen), where his voyage began. The first lighthouse was installed in 1878. Tasman was followed by Britain’s Captain Cook and Frances’s Captain de Surville in 1769. Both led expeditions to meet with the local people. Interestingly, though their timeframes were similar their paths never crossed.
According to a plaque at Cape Reinga, the indigenous people of New Zealand, known as the Maori, believe this to be the place where the male sea, Te Moana Tapokopoko a Tawhaki meets the female sea Te Tai O Whitireia. They consider the whirlpools formed by the meeting of the seas to be the coming together of male and female and the creation of life.
The lighthouse that marks this dramatic spot is the last attended lighthouse built in New Zealand. It has provided its guiding beam of light to passing ships since 1941. In 1987, it was automated and the lighthouse keeper was withdrawn.
See other travel photos at Delicious Baby.
Related post: Where Oceans Meet (Australia)3 comments