Photographer Peter Rees captured the power of last weekend’s storm which saw ferry sailings cancelled.

Winds gusting up to 100 kilometres per hour provided weekend exhilaration for surfers but left dozens of people stranded overnight at both the Matiatia and downtown Auckland ferry terminals.
Duncan Quinn, caretaker at the Red Cross building in Oneroa, was dropping off to sleep just after midnight on Saturday when aroused by a knock at the door.
“A big, burly policeman was standing there and I thought: ‘what have I done?’”
It turns out the police wanted to raid the Red Cross’s supply of blankets to assist people trapped at Matiatia ferry terminal, where the power was out.
Fuller’s was forced to cancel its last two sailings from and to Auckland as waves whipped up by the fierce winds made the journey unsafe. Earlier, the 10.15pm departure from Auckland had to turn back with 60 people on board.
Finding accommodation for passengers trapped at both ends proved a logistical challenge.
Hitting the phones, Matiatia terminal manager Shelly Wood and local police joined forces to find beds for about 40 people, though many motels on the island were booked-out.
About 30 more people faced a miserable night in the terminal until the Red Cross blankets arrived.
“Some of them had come from wedding parties and they weren’t dressed to spend a night in a cold terminal,” Duncan says.
“We gave out about 80 to 100 blankets. The police took one load down to the terminal and then a bus driver warned them he was bringing another couple of dozen people down so they came and grabbed some more.
“It’s one of the reasons we keep them. We’ve got tarpaulins, blankets, portable water bottles and a generator for emergencies so it’s good to know they are useful when needed.”
Fullers CEO Douglas Hudson said it was just the second time in two years that the weather had forced the company to leave people stranded.
“The police and our staff at both ends did an amazing job organising taxis and arranging for people to stay with friends, relatives or in hotels.”
Earlier in the day, some sailings were diverted south of Motuihe because of conditions in the channel and berthing at Matiatia proved difficult.
Elsewhere on the island, the storm briefly disrupted power and set off alarms while the fire brigade responded to a fallen tree on Donald Bruce Rd.
But the big waves brought surfers out in force on Sunday off northern beaches including Onetangi and Palm Beach. • Geoff Cumming

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