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               > Wystan Curnow's Place > Castor Bay > The Snips of Castor Bay
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The Snips of Castor Bay

water laps in my ears … now and then, flops into my mouth, and … saying I hear sounds like I’m listening for something … every five seconds, so gently do they break the flotillas of bubbles left in their wake ride easily over several small waves before bursting … they ache, really ache … the water washes around the rocks at my feet, there’s a breeze, and the wet rattling noises of the water … I ease myself off—the buoy, yellow, bobs abruptly up — and swim further out … the surge, played out, hisses onto the beach … under strain, my neck muscles … you’ve got this taste in your mouth … now the sea’s calm, the smallest of waves rustle inconspicuously into shore, I see them fraying translucently as they go … holes in rock gulp water … low mudstone shelves hold off the tide, it takes time to pick up the sounds of the swash — percussive, guttural — attempted gargle, bass drum, wind chimes maybe … or equally dry analogies … I spout out the brine, the taste’s still there though … the fizz that follows swallowed by the sound of the next wave breaking … Sssshhshhshhhhh … a low wave, speeding up, just flops over with a barely audible surge and bubbles in across brown sand … silk traces of spittle float in front of me … losing its wave length … a rainbow, a green sky … it’s the shells tinkling, wetly tinkling, in the rip … I mean that close … eyes shut, lying on warm rock, sun coming out from behind a cloud … like clop, CLACK! … I hear what hits … underwater, the silent sea … clack, CLICK! sky sounds break back into view … red-billed gulls squeal overhead … I’m in deep … out over my head … many green feet below molluscs send out their siphons, find food … walking, slower now, just below the high water mark, the empty beach … sunset shells, seletellina nitida, gari lineolata, for instance … out of my element … these particulars … or date mussels, fan shells … I let my body sink upright … and soaks noiselessly into the cool grey sand … thighs get busy, feet tread water, wrists twist, or hands claw … think of sea lions, porpoises, etc … keeping me afloat, head above water … shin deep in the cold sea, facing the warm morning sun, exhilarated by the blueness, the clarity, the stillness … the great, azure interface extends … now the low-lying sun lights up Rangitoto, brings it closer, greener … for instance, stunted foliage … to the eastern horizon, hard-edged, blue, bright … bob up and down on the buoy, take a breather … Motutapu, Rakino, the Noises, Great Barrier … everywhere the sea’s surface fills with sky, lifts to wind and tide, opens yellow and green to the warm slant rays of the sun, everywhere moving … the sea’s sharp, chrome-plated edge against soft sand … so I’m leaning back, relaxed and comfortable, when it starts to swell up … swelling sunwards in front of me … heaves up … in the sky, nothing doing … quick curlicues flick, flash in the air … its green heft lilts that much closer … not inclined the reflection… the horizon lost, or let loose, rolls insecurely in my direction … is flat calm and all one colour … lift your legs and let them ride … just that it lets slip the sky and bares its green swel­ling into view opening to the sun … the smallest of waves scuttles into shore … feeling loose, they float apart, easily … there, beneath the surface … not breathing, then, senses tensed … with the eyes … some sort of infusion — suffusion, infusion — taking place … some sort of … how green … green going blue, going gold … underneath its wet transparent skin … what I take to be a kingfisher flashes past, the smell of drying seaweed survives … out of my depth … bright ghosts of beginnings and endings … beneath the sea, under the sun … could it be coils … weaves is it … dimensions down there fluctuate … patches of broken shell---oranges, yel­lows, browns — over which water pulls back, first bubbles, then in sheets, a storm, of light, reaches down into the surf … inchoate forms flicker … under my eyes … its kinetics … how where the light gets in it’s dilute, bluish … almost on top of me now … lucent microscopic algae thronged about … or through filamented shafts of sunlight … in and around water on the loose … air above all but still … it lifts me … submitting, sinu­ously, to: sunbeam, moonpull, worldspin … it’s what I let myself in for… click, clack, I’m overwhelmed …  and rolls shore ward … feet find cooler, denser water … eyes blink, slew shore ward… after it… for breath … come spluttering up … suck air … sky lies in shreds … and is lost to sight … and spit brine … over the dark water great sheets of light flash … flash fit to blind … in the unexpected silence … losing its wave length … shadows falling, the sudden recognition of what, all this time, was behind my back, some­ thing like that … water pouring down on the black land … macrocarpa, pine and roof topped … or just that, with my hearing restored … cicada’s hard pulsating twitter broadcast … slicks the dun beach … recollecting, then, these immediacies … seaweed, bits of tuatua … anyway, there’s little enough to be seen in the gloom there … astringencies stymie me … wherever it went … the noise the crest’s collapse makes magnifies, reverberates within the hollow of the wave … swash washes over me, flat on my back here on the hot sand, wet, zonked, pink and shiny … as I walk along the deserted beach this evening, slowing … and take a header into the first breaker to … water flaps at its base … from here it’s just a faint corrugated buzz … and soaks slowly into the cool grey sand … the lemon air, miocene papa aglow … in the grip of pohutukawas full of ecstatic insects the cliff just … Rahopara Pa … gets to be a tall order for the setting sun … figuring my littoral circumstances … houses and trees fall flat in the black … at sea level … and floats in golden slivers on the surface … it’s a light wind off-shore, deckling the swell’s long edge, I pick up a large pipi, flick it skywards and it catches the breeze, rises … because the sun’s flash blacks out sea-green … sky’s clear … feet get wet and the interstice … with a gulp, head down, tail up, heels over and head out to sea again, man … underwater … up above a morning haze — hot and pearly — and the sea a milky green catches light from where it’s hard to tell … dive down… head first for cooler, darker water … arms eerie and pull, reach again and … grace, at any rate in what feels like it … great day for a dip … turquoise through sapphire, emerald azure, olive peacock … it being good to get the body this busy again … sea lions, porpoises, etc., had their reasons … sea’s warm still … a wind which cools the skin, blows the sky chalk blue — clouds are building up on the horizon and behind Rangitoto — crinkles the sea greens and silvers … grey sand cool underfoot … taking these green hints: uterine, Mesozoic … fleshly caresses hold my breath … for recollection … and then for the Gulf … the sun sets, leaving the clear sky flush with it … into deeper, darker water … the cumulus brighten the bay … that’d be it, there under the poplars, with the watermelon-red roof … lungs getting away with it … wet rocks, white froth … being air tight’s something … where the light gets in … well, how about this here: some­rsaulting out on the tide, serendipity-do-dah! … in whale space … ravel these ambiences … beyond the shelf: trenches, troughs, great basins and plateaux … bits of giggles bubble up … tore down the beach and throw myself bodily into the first wave that … ridges, troughs, slopes and plateaux and so on — biggest landscape in the whole world! … when, in the belly frenzy finds wings and … for the time being … cloud that banks up torpidly over the duck-egg air has the sea running to dull greens, plum purples, its leaden grey … the crushing tightening in the chest … great thud, crescendos up the cliff; the cold spray flies, prickles … my head’s fit to bust, and I kick, thrust up, break the water’s … gasp … slamming into the groyne … forms flicker, estimates vary … just flotsam and jetsam again … among distinct superficialities … surface’s slap and tickle … but that’s O.K … .where was I? … from Tiri Tiri to Tukiata’s Rock … got a grip on the hard grit and just grabbed an old pohutukawa root … sharp salt sea smell … gannets plummet … put to sea, making for the Gulf … a tui hawks, utters its one lucid, lyric note, rattles, coughs again … which bells into the still morning … for breath … below the re­sonant air, there’s a reflective sea … click, clack … hoisting the body up then, off the buoy, and … it’s got of shrugging its wings back into place … breathe in and strike out, strongly … come spluttering up … dance in it, guffawing … swimming in the Gulf — for the pur­pose of recreation … North Island, Great Barrier, Rangitoto, Rakino, the Noises … up out of it, bedraggled in seaweed … leap in it, and shout … foam lies all around, bright white … Eeeeoyahhhh! … plink — in a pool, and waltzes down right into a fat polyp’s mouth … on this endless interface of sea and sky … islands and me and sea and sky — all there is to it … I can scramble up it collapses on my head in a heap of … turbid brown water fizzes up among frothy jags … between birds and fishes … the length of my legs, and of my arms, as a discovery … their strength … overarm; out to sea, anyplace… from its cone down Rangitoto’s turning a dark turquoise … as I watch the swash withdraws, rip­ples off the rock in snakeskin … whole lungfulls sucked in off the surface … sparrows being blown off-course, the big, black-backed gull struggles, gets the hang of it, and … a rainbow, a green sky … blown out, clattering to the surface again … pulses faintly into view and out of it … this hard at it, your senses — all they pick up are muscles, ligaments, etc. ,… alternate with … now and then glimpses of a running sea — flakes of gold light on it … of keeping the legs up, head down, arms out and pulling … then these: slipper shells, golden oysters, blue mussels — bones, mollusc bones, on the verge … you see this great body of opaque water … grey-green waves roll heavily in … spurts livid surf up the beach … indigo sky … I notice now the sun’s slant has lit up the cliffs around Motutapu … swung up in the swell, schools of tiny iridescent fish … scribble of eyelashes … spread-eagled, my legs hanging loose at the knees, slight move­ments of my hands keep me afloat, I breathe in slowly … a jade wave breaks, and seethes cold and bright through my thighs … slips back over the wet sand … and out … clouds in it, and the bubbles purfling its dark edge … buoys the body up … and in again … water laps in my ears … I feel like lying down on the hot sand, nestling my head in my arms, closing my eyes and … a foot floats, off my leg and into the light … to face with my shadow, strange pea-green hips and thighs … sea’s a deep cerulean, the sliver’s indi­cate waves, dark green, but closer in become limpid — prisms picturing the sea floor … a pair of lungs in the blue air … quiet out here … pink things drawing in blue air, inflating … projects onto my submerged limbs, every intricate surface move­ment drawn in golden lines … and out again … tide on the turn … resting my head … squat on the rocks, thoughts drift … I see my feet there — out of the water, toes spread, the wet knuckles caught in the light of the sinking sun, glisten … suddenly the fish flit sea ward … brings them closer, whiter … two tall feet, and between them Rangitoto’s long bush slopes sweep up to its green peak/pinnacle




AT CASTOR BAY. Opportunity. $26,500. It may well be your last chance to purchase this well kept cottage, plus an income, on a 50p. section. Situated in a lovely bush dell close to all amenities. Ph.Kevin Doyle. 24/88-149, after hrs. 24/83-064, Charles Wood Ltd., Browns Bay MREINZ.

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY AT CASTOR BAY. This 2 brm. home and bach is situated on a large 50.3 perch section. Buy this property as a letting proposition or clear the section and build three townhouses. Realistically priced to sell at $26,500. To view, contact Selwyn Spicer at 491-099 or after hours 468-683.

$26,500 CASTOR BAY. Section Braemar Road, with small house. 51.3 perches. Only minutes walk from the beach. Ph. Paul Shalland 485-071.

$26,500 CASTOR BAY. Suitable for three townhouses. No sea views but short walk to the beach. Contact Denis Murray, 24/87-394.



CASTOR BAY 9-YEAR OLD SPLIT LEVEL BOOMERANG, 4 brms. $33,750. A terrific family home. 2000 sq.ft. up plus 1400 sq.ft. basement. Large lounge with dining area, plus an adjoining family room or second lounge opening to full-length sun deck. Landscape and Gulf views. Roomy kitchen with plenty of cupboards. Bathroom, separate shower box, sep. toilet, 3brms. Basement area with garaging for 2 cars and boat. Large 4th brm and 2. toilets. Concrete drive — landscaped section and for the children only a ten minute walk to primary school. Further details and appointment to view, phone Arthur Jenkins 452-010; after hours 451-237.

CASTORBAY HUGE ONLY $33,750. Faire & Brown. Milford. Ph. 494-079. Over 2000 ft. up and 1000 ft. down. Glorious outlook. 2 lounges. Wonderful family home well worth inspection today. Ph. R.H.Glading, 494-079; or after hours 464-632. 

CASTOR BAY $33,750. Extra large home in premier position. Four large bedrooms and huge entertaining lounge with sea views. Fabulous basement area. Phone Layne Dyer 488-119; res. 492-319.

ADORABLE SPLIT-LEVEL CASTOR BAY MONTE CARLO VIEWS $33,750. Charming roomy split-level 3 or 4 brm home over-looking the ocean shipping and twinkling lights at night in high potential sought after area with two-road frontages, both with concrete drives making an ideal proposition for a caravan or boating family. Lge. sundeck leads off lounge to enhance the view. Roomy kitchen and lounge, sep. dining and Ige. double garage. This is the best value I’ve seen in this area and will sell quickly. Ph. Doug Pothan, 24/86-049, res. 496-359. Belton’s Real Estate, Mairangi Bay MREINZ.



CASTOR BAY: Dress circle position, wide views of water and city. Neat private bush-clad section, semi-contemporary home with lots of charm and character. 3 brms and games room. Spacious lounge opening on to full-length sun-deck. Quality carpets etc. $43,000. To view phone Mrs Thomson, 496-372; after hours 468-127.

CASTOR BAY TOWN HOUSE. 1700 sqft. PANORAMIC VIEWS — $42,000. This is the best value property we have had for months. It includes a construction of permanent materials, three car garaging, large lounge with sep. dining with ranchsliders opening to sunny balcony, modern sunny kitchen with extras such as Dis-hmaster, Wastemaster, Xpelair, etc. All these rooms have panoramic sea views. 3 double bed­rooms highlight the living area. Every upstairs room is fully carpeted. Internal stairway leads to huge rumpus and workshop plus darkroom. Also included downstairs is a 2nd shower and toilet. What do you think at this price? To view phone S. Vernon 491-029, after hours 458-131.

CASTOR BAY YARDS FROM BEACH $42,000. Lovely spacious home on beautiful sec­tion in sought after position. Very large lounge with feature wall. 3 or 4 brms. Internal stairs from garage. Ideal home for growing family. Phone, sole agents, Bill Wheatley 494-079 or after hours 655-449.

$49,000 A CASTOR BAY BEAUTY - TOWN HOUSE - EXCELLENT VIEWS - PREMIER POSITION. Most attractive, well-planned and brand-new, completely carpeted and fitted with lovely light fixtures, quality linos and drapes all included in the price. Features include fully automated kitchen with pantry, lounge/dining combination, with r/s to terrace, master brm with own day bed or dressing room off. Bathroom with sep. shower box and vanity. Laundry chute to downstairs laundry. Downstairs you have 2nd brm with Ranch sliders and vanity unit, 2nd toilet and shower. Double garaging plus tons of storage space. Land area is smallish but would be ideally suited for swimming pool development. Like to know more? Don’t hesitate, phone owner’s agent 495-049, Bob Saunders; res. 469-337.



A CASTOR BAY MINI MANSION TOWNHOUSE. $55,000. Magnificent tree and sea views, 2400 ft of tasteful luxury with a high de­gree of privacy. Billiard room, 3brms, and study, huge lounge, sep. dining, 1 car plus boat garaging. Shag-pile carpeting throughout, extensive wrought iron light fittings in every room. Not only outstanding value but a vendor who will negotiate still further. Phone Peter Smith res. BSY 85-439 or bus. 494-079. Faire & Brown, Milford.

OPEN HOUSE THIS WEEK 5 MARAMA TERRACE CASTOR BAY LUXURY town house with the most fantastic channel, Ran-gitoto, Lake & city views on the Shore. Approx. 3000 sq.ft. on 2 floors. 4 bedrooms. Spacious games lounge down. 2 bathrooms. 3-car garaging. Ultra-modern Formica kitchen with eye-level oven. Shag-pile carpet and drapes. Grass wallpapers. Wrap around sun-deck. Private sun-trap courtyard. Price: $54,950. For immediate inspection anytime phone for North Shore Specialists sole agents. Bartletts real estate li­mited MREINZ Takapuna. Phone business 491-039, 4 lines. Residence: Jill Greenwood, 496-652.

AT CASTOR BAY — BUSH SETTING PRIVACY—$51,500. Just listed this modern open style family home has a most picturesque setting right in native bush. Comprising 4 brms, lge lounge with sun-deck off, dining, Ige very workable kitchen, 2 toilets, 2 showers, plenty of storage. A charming bush walk on your own property with a bubbling stream and little wooden bridge. A clearing at the bottom of the garden set in native bush offers the most perfect barbecue area. Phone Wayne Parsons bus. 499-061; or res. 456-445. Beltons Real Estate Ltd. MREINZ.

THE HOUSE WITH EVERYTHING CASTOR BAY $57,000. The quiet residential neighbourhood offers exclusive family living. This lovely 2yr-old home built of brick with a Longrun roof has 3 dble and 1 sgle brm, lovely kitchen with sep. bathroom/shower/toilet and laundry. Large lounge, plus day room, Batts in the ceiling plus electric storage heating. Dble basement garaging — unobstructed sea views of the Gulf. For appointment to view Ph. Grahame Hodren at 491-099 or after hrs 486-393.



CASTOR BAY BEACH, in the Esplanade, 3 back from beach. Contemporary. 5 brms, rum­pus. Large lounge, 2 bathrooms. A lovely home, $66,500. Phone Paul Stewart, 493-192; after hours 498-661.

CASTOR BAY MAGNIFICENT BRAND NEW EXECUTIVE HOME COLOSSAL VIEWS. Faire & Brown, Milford. Ph. 494-079. Under construction on a private r.o.w. section a luxury home with everything one would expect for $65,000-$70,000 price tag. Magnificent 180 panoramic view. Further details from Peggy Lovelock 494-079 after hours 497-549.

CASTOR BAY $70,000 TREE-CLAD ACRE. On a well tended landscaped garden, with a happy blend of native and exotic trees and ferns, this architect-planned home has the master brm and its own bathroom at the end, 2 lounges, dining room and kitchen at the other end. Downstairs is an artists’s studio and plenty of storage space. Discuss the subdivisional possibilities also with Rob Cummings, ph. 483-678, res. 463-022.

CASTOR BAY — THE GULF AT YOUR FEET—SOLE AGENTS—$95,000. We are-proud to offer to genuine buyers for the first time this architecturally designed home. Without waxing too eloquent it is a home much admired in the past for its exterior design. Built in a contempor­ary fashion but with the family in mind it also boasts an enclosed private and sunny section ideal for fun and entertainment, with a large pool to cool off. To cap it all off the northerly aspect and total Gulf views from the living area will draw your gaze no matter what the weather. To view contact Doug Knight 468-754 res.; Barry Robb 436-434 res. Golden Coast Real Estate Ltd. MREINZ.