Waikanae Beach resident and shopkeeper Sue Wilkie discovered a large, white, barnacle-covered object at the water’s edge while walking her dog yesterday morning.
“It really stood out. At first I thought it was an old float covered in barnacles.
“When I got up to it I thought it was concrete, but when I looked around the other side it was greasy and crumbly, just like the lump found at Breaker Bay.
“My German shepherd Bella was attracted to it, gave it a good sniff but backed off fast.”
Mrs Wilkie was keen to cut the greasy lump into blocks and sell it as moisturising sunblock. “It could be a godsend for nudies on our beach.”
John Jaspers, of Lower Hutt, was on his dune buggy at Waikanae Beach with dog Conrod when they spotted a white blob on the tide.
They both leapt off the buggy and Conrod sniffed the blob, but was not game enough to take a bite.
After the first lump was reported at Wellington’s Breaker Bay at the weekend, opportunists tore into it, hoping it might be ambergris, a valuable spit or vomit excretion from sperm whales that is used in perfume. But it now seems more likely to be tallow or lard. …
Hoping that it was ambergris, he took a sample and lit it, after being told that, if it burnt with a blue flame and had a pleasant odour, it could be the prized whale excretion.
“Unfortunately it just melted and really stank,” he said.
“It was awful, like rancid fat or lard.” – stuff