JUNE 5, 2018

Surfer - - Contents -

You won’t find much in­for­ma­tion on the In­ter­net re­gard­ing Poole’s is­land other than the fact that it’s “rat-free” and home to many species of birds. All we need to know, how­ever, is that it sits right in the swell path.

A half-hour boat ride through ocean in­lets and past small is­lands and we see our des­ti­na­tion in the dis­tance. We ar­rive in the dim evening light and are wel­comed by sheep skulls lin­ing the shore. Poole’s four sheep dogs grab a jaw­bone each and chase each other in a frenzy around Poole’s 19th cen­tury farm­house. In the dusk, it all be­gins to feel like a deleted scene from “The Texas Chain­saw Mas­sacre”.

“All I see are shot­gun shells, shit and bones,” Cof­fin chuck­les as he sur­veys the land­scape.

In­side the farm­house, smoke rises from the freshly-lit wood fur­nace. Poole is in his mid 30s with long, dark hair and a lit cig­a­rette dan­gling from his lips. As we un­load our gear, Wei­land sees Poole’s fa­ther open­ing the sheep sheer­ing shed and asks his name. “Steve,” the se­nior Poole says through his three teeth. “But some peo­ple call me c--t.”

The fa­ther-son duo bought the is­land 6 years ago—14,000 acres for the equiv­a­lent of about $265,000. They don’t live here full time, but rather visit through­out the year, mak­ing sure the “sheep are mov­ing.” Around Novem­ber, the Pooles start rid­ing around on their ATVS, round­ing up the sheep to sheer for wool, which they then sell. Who knows how many per­fect days of surf the Poole’s have rid­den past while round­ing up sheep, un­con­cerned with the bounty of waves their beaches hold.

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