JUNE 5, 2018
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.