The Wreck of Teddy – Sailing Sunday


Is This The Wreck Of Teddy?

photos & info ex Chris McMullen

Recently Chris McMullen was sorting through a box of old photos from the Wilson, Gould family & came across the two above showing wreckage of some vessel. Pretty hard to tell where or what vessel but Chris feels that the presence of an horizon makes one think it is not in the harbour. Also yacht B16 seems to feature in some other photos.
Chris commented that the gentleman in the image looks rather like the helmsman in Paul Gilberts (Weekly News) photo of the early Wirihana.

Chris wonders, could it be the yacht Teddy wrecked on south east end of Kawau?. He can’t recognize any of the structure to determine whether its a yacht or launch but notes the quite heavy planking. He did a wee bit of on-line searching & found these press clippings on the wreck of Teddy from the Sydney Morning Herald, March 10 1932 (refer below)

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Could the Wilson’s have taken some photos, while away on Wirihana (1) for their NZ Herald and The Weekly News? That may explain why the photos are in box.

Chris felt he had seen one of the wreck photos some where else & looked in his copy of “Little Ships” by Ronald Carter.  There are two photos of the Teddy, she was a Norwegian Pilot cutter. The big heavy sawn frames clear in the wreck photo are not typical of a New Zealand built vessel.  She had a big heavy mast and that ties in with that in the other wreck photo.

So the question of the day is – has Chris answered his own question?

As an aside Teddy was featured in Johnny Wray’s book South Seas Vagabond.

Update – Photo below from Chris Leech – he read with interest the article on the Teddy. And located a photo taken at the DYC (age unknown) showing her on the slip. Noting the article extract above it may have been about the same time – 1931?

19 thoughts on “The Wreck of Teddy – Sailing Sunday

  1. May we take it please? George’s family were actively involved with the rescue. We have a nicely fashioned trinket box on our chart table that George’s father made from her planking.
    I would be happy to scan the article for anyone wanting this also. Naughty I know : /

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  2. So sad for poor old Teddy to have made it halfway round the world and to leave her bones on Kawau. Could do worse I suppose.

    I got caught off that end of Kawau myself a few years back. I had a good breeze and was taking H28 Maroro to Whangateau for some sorely needed attention. We had just taken her over -she had been virtually abandoned by her owner and her condition was parlous. I careened her at Shoal Bay over two tides and cleaned the long kelp and mussels off her bottom. It was not perfect but certainly an improvement.

    Her engine had fizzed away to an amorphous lump of corrosion because of the amount of bilge that had slopped round inside. The sails were reasonable and I repaired the worse bits.

    So, the weather was propitious and I sailed North and nighted over at Pukapuka Inlet so as to synchronise my arrival with the incoming tide at the yard. I decided to avoid tacking through Takatu in an Easterly and instead go round the south end of Kawau. I also wanted to see Challenger Island and Flat Rock again and -funnily enough- say a small prayer for Teddy.

    Just round it, the wind became fitful and DROPPED. I was reasonably off the coast. The sails were slatting so I dowsed them and drifted a bit to and fro. With the change of tide there developed some strange, small -sort of- overfalls all round the boat accompanied by strange noise of chuckling/gurgling water. A bit like a urinal when it is making up its mind to flush and it is time to stand back. A bit worrying. Butt pukkering stuff indeed.

    We were getting ever closer to the rocks of Kawau’s rather rugged seaward coastline. No dinghy –that would have slowed me down. No oars. No options.

    Finally I was within spitting distance of the rocks and a big lazy onshore swell was developing. A fizzy came roaring past and came over to see what I was waving about. I asked if he would please tow me about a mile out. He very nicely did and, an hour or so later, the wind got up and I sailed forth to Whangateau Harbour.

    Making the entrance with an incoming tide was not worrying me in the least after my experience. However, George and Pam came out in the yard blow up with an outboard and towed me up to the yard.

    My heart went out to Erling. I was lucky that time and he was not. Boating can be like that.

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  3. There’s a very good reason why there would be images of RANGI and TEDDY in the same context because both were in the 1931 TransTasman race…….which doesn’t assist in solving the puzzle. I still think that the man in the image is Mark Anthony and I’ll try to track down an image of him in my collection of scrapbooks. Hopefully it will rain and blow tomorrow.

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  4. RANGI (ex SCHOPOLO) was built as a fishing boat of course, like her sister ship WHITE HEATHER and like the diagonal-built Logan Bros VICTORY and LITTLE JIM (and FRANCES for similar work). I have always made the assumption that she was three skin diagonal but I can’t find any confirmation of that on trolling quickly through my database, so the two Bailey & Lowe boats may well have been single skin. That kind of reinforces my tentative identification of the image as RANGI on Norfolk.

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  5. I don’t think Linc would have built a dinghy like that. He built conventional Auckland-style dinghies. Also I don’t think he built any this early in his life. He was probably still working full-time for the Schischkas at National Trading Co in 1931. It is almost certainly TEDDY’s Norwegian-built tender.

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  6. We have that same photo here- I don’t have a date on the added photo but I have the names of the gentleman if interested. Enid (George’s mother) wrote Teddy hauled out at Devonport,
    L.Wood, L.Sarson, L.McLeod Port side Erling Tambs, Sid Shaw. Ray Fisher.
    The size of the planking seen in George’s photo is consistent with the planking in the above photo. It would be interesting to see the photo of the yacht and see if her planking can give us some idea.

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  7. Chris’ guess of TEDDY is pretty persuasive but, to throw a cat amongst the pigeons, since B16 was the Bailey & Lowe keel yacht RANGI which was broken up when she came ashore at Norfolk Island in 1951, maybe this image is of her owner Mark Anthony sitting amongst her remains. The only jarring note is the little sloop just offshore. Even then she looks rather like an Aussie skiff which could well have been used on Norfolk at the time.

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  8. The wreckage in the photos is very much the same as the wreckage that appears in photos George has. George’s father was the owner of the launch Ola. Albert, was out fishing in the area that day and rescued the family from the rocks.

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