The Sound of the Sea

Cook Strait can change in moments. “You have to respect it,” Joe says. But some don’t, and being at the edge of the strait means the Heberleys are often called in for rescues. Most vivid in Joe’s memory is the night the Soviet cruise ship the Mikhail Lermontov sank in February 1986.

He points out Port Gore from the top of the farm. It was a foul night with a raging offshore wind and they were the first boat to arrive, to a chaotic scene, water thick with oil and heaving with suitcases.