Sometimes grey, sometimes turquoise, sometimes powder blue, the waters of Hauriki Gulf are ever changing.
As the days progressed, I became more and more entranced by the view from our Howick apartment. The waters of the bay kept changing colour! How is that possible?
After hours of empirical measurement, clinical observation and furious brow wrinkling, I have come to this conclusion: I really don’t know.
However, the colour seems to depend on many factors: wind, angle of the sun, cloud cover, and most importantly, tides. All of this hinges on the ever-present extraordinary powder blue/green colour of the sea water itself.
The first clue came in during our first visit when we first noticed a startling phenomenon. People were walking out to Motukaraka Island! This pretty little island in the middle of the bay was actually accessible during low tide. At high tide it appeared to be an impenetrable reserve with its tall cliffs surrounding the entire island and the flights of small ocean vessels that ply the sea between it and the mainland. However, as the lowest low tides reveal, the bay is extremely shallow.
Thus, as the depth of the bay changes with the tide, more or less of the mottled sea floor is revealed. Add to this the wind breaking the reflective angles of the water, the sun bouncing or being absorbed by the surface, and the constant interplay of clouds darkening the waters and you have an opalescent, kaleidoscopic view.