Sierra – ‘Horse Float’
photo ex Dave Jackson
The above photo of “Sierra” was taken in the Hokianga – no date sorry.
Now when I showed the photo to Harold Kidd, he was good, he correctly ID’ed the location as Hokianga & the Omapere Wharf and the launch most likely ex Fell’s Boatyard, established in 1905 at Kohukohu by Joseph Fell. But Harolds not that good, he did not know the names of the horses 🙂
Sierra is now in the CYA fleet, colour photo below. Any details on her past would be appreciated.
08-01-2016 photo at Kawau Island ex Tom Kane
13-01-2016 Input from John Mortimer
In the late 1950’s l lived on a remote and marginal sheep and cattle farm on the Waima River in the Hokianga.
In a direct line, Rawene was only 3 miles away,by river it was 5 miles and by road 30.
The river was the obvious highway and the Sierra, owned and skippered by Fred Young was our main means of communication.
Several contracts relied on the Sierra. The school contract took children to and from Moehau school morning and afternoon. Most farmers on the river had poor or no road communication and the cream output from farms carrying anything from 20 to 120 cows went down to Rawene in the Sierra to Rawene for transshipment by pontoon to the dairy factory at Motukaraka. Empty cans from the previous day we loaded on board and delivered to farm jetties on the up river journey next day.
The mail was delivered three times week and the Herald on the afternoon return trip. If there was no one on the jetty , Fred would send the rolled newspaper to the deck with a dexterous flick of the wrist.
The launch also carried morning passengers to Rawene to do their shopping. They returned when she went back to Moehau in the afternoon at 1.30.
A conversation overheard in the open cockpit in the stern on a sunny afternoon:
First Lady – I read the Truth for the recipes.
Second lady – I read it for the horoscopes
Third lady – I read it for the scandal
A burst of laughter from all three.
When the dairy factory closed and the Moehau school roll fell her days in the Hokianga were numbered. I understand that she spent her last summer at Opononi taking visitors around the harbour and then sailed out over the bar, round the turbulent seas at North Cape and down to the Waitemata where she was used as work boat during the construction of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
Her name was always mentioned in conjunction with the name of her builders, Fells of Motukaraka. I understand that there were three sister ships, the Sierra, the Nevada and the Santa Fe.
Sounds more like an old song to me.
She approaches her hundredth year with dignity and grace of an old timer who may well live for ever.