Hippolite Point. Croiseilles Harbour. This was painted earlier this year, 2022, when I was cruising near the entrance to Croiseilles. It is a formidable rock guarding Whangarae Bay. I remember the first time I saw it close up.
I was crewing on a 37’ keeler returning to Nelson. It was late evening, early winter, and there was a growing sou’wester gale. The skipper decided to wait it out in Croiseilles Harbour rather than press on into a head sea. By the time we were past Cape Soucis at the entrance it was full dark, a growing sea, with a big wind behind us. In the gloom ahead phosphorescent spray showed where the waves were breaking on the shore.
The skipper had ducked below to check the chart plotter. He put his head out the hatch and yelled,”Hippolite Point should be ahead of us.” Just then we saw the rock huge, loom against the sky. Fortunately to starboard. It is the sort of thing you never forget. Even in daylight it has an awesome brooding majesty.