Wondabyne


WONDABYNE

photo ex Colin Pawson

Today’s photos are from Colin Pawson’s granddad, Charles Pawson, photo collection. The one above shows his launch ‘Wondabyne’. The first one below shows Wondabyne anchored with another launch in a mystery location.This photo is one of my favorite black & white classic boating photos.

I’ll give the first woody to correctly ID the location a Harley Davidson motorcycle leather key fob. The first woody to positively ID the 2nd launch (on the right in the photo) scores a HD pen & its not a plastic ball point. (2 prizes = 2 winners) Wondabyne was kept moored off Hamilton Road in Herne Bay, Auckland, as were a lot of vessels in the days before the Westhaven marina was developed.

Keen to know more about Wondabyne e.g. designer / builder, other owners, what became of her.

Harold Kidd Update Her correct name is WONDABYNE, not WONDERBYME, thanks Harold, Colin P had already pulled me up on that 😉. Her history is somewhat obscure but my best guess is that she was built in 1921 by Dick Lang as LOLITA for H. M. Phillipson. A.C. Pawson of 33 Hamilton Road, Herne Bay, the publisher of the Auckland Star, bought her about 1924 when LOLITA II was built, and renamed her WONDABYNE. She was 30′ x 8′ and had a 2 cylinder Palmer. My guess of spot is Deep Creek if Riverhead’s not correct. PS after reviewing the LOLITA and WONDABYNE entries in my database, I’m more confused than ever as I see Phillipson owning WONDABYNE (sic) on the RNZYS records until 1925. No doubt there’s a strong link between the two boats but I can’t be precise on it. However, it looks like it was Phillipson (who formerly owned AORERE) who named her WONDABYNE. PPS Sorry to have a third hack at this. Andrew Pollard came across a launch in 2008 of very similar layout with the name LOLITA carved in her bows. Perhaps Andrew could have a look at the pics he took at the time and confirm whether that LOLITA is WONDABYNE? Photos added below. Alan H

Nathan Herbert asks the question – same boat (below)?

30 thoughts on “Wondabyne

  1. Just because I can ….. I can tell you that the bottom black and white photo was taken on the 5th of February 1950 and they are following the 2nd heat of the 1950 World’s 18-footer Championship which had started several minutes earlier off Orakei Wharf.

    The obscured yachts are.. from left Irene Too (Aust), Waimanu (NZ), Alruth III (Aust), and Takiri (NZ). The winner by a huge margin that day, Komutu (NZ) is already out of sight.

    For those lucky owners of that excellent book Galloping Ghosts, there is a photograph of the same scene on page 112, probably taken from the Blue Boat (currently a Grey Boat) beyond Lolita/Wondabyne in the image above and taken at almost the same time as this one.

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  2. That’s a nice surprise! Finally there is a reward for having son who is an underwater hockey nut!.
    Yes I think you’d be struggling to get a kayak up there now. Still something magical about the spot despite the odd shopping trolley and other garbage…

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  3. Not likely. Memories of another ‘restoration’ project at NZTBS are still too raw.
    But its easy to see how the emotions could cloud ones judgement…………

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  4. No, Deep Creek is the creek at Torbay. You might just be right about the creek at Henderson although the falls aren’t in evidence, perhaps because of the tide. It was a favourite destination for launchies.

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  5. Long time reader, first time poster – My guess for the location is the top of the Orewa Estuary, up by Kowhai Rd?

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  6. Pardon my ignorance but does Deep Creek = Henderson Creek? The rock formation reminds me of a spot by West Wave Aquatic Centre….

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  7. The property she is on used to have a few other wooden boats etc up off the beach, overgrown in the last ten years. Quite a big keep out sign from the road, IIRC.

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  8. Harold, you are a legend! Lolita surely is Wondabyne. How you can recollect a 2008 photo like that is incredible. Seeing that photo of Lolita was amazing as we thought Wondabyne must have joined the beehive refit brigade years ago. (Maybe she has by now!)

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  9. Will send the Lolita pics I have to alan now.She was at Opua owned by one of the Deemings from memory…

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  10. It seems a bit vague now but yes, it could be the head of Deep Creek. For whatever reason it was commonly called Dead Man’s Hole. Our family farm ran down to the banks of the creek and on the opposite side old Mrs Begavich had a vineyard producing wine which she sold by the flagon and by all accounts tasted like vinegar. As kids we used to occasionally go swimming at the hole and catch eels some of which were the size of our arms.
    There is no way a boat could reach anywhere near the head today, the creek is full of mangroves and silt.

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  11. Sorry to have a third hack at this. Andrew Pollard came across a launch in 2008 of very similar layout with the name LOLITA carved in her bows. Perhaps Andrew could have a look at the pics he took at the time and confirm whether that LOLITA is WONDABYNE?

    Like

  12. PS after reviewing the LOLITA and WONDABYNE entries in my database, I’m more confused than ever as I see Phillipson owning WONDABYNE (sic) on the RNZYS records until 1925. No doubt there’s a strong link between the two boats but I can’t be precise on it. However, it looks like it was Phillipson (who formerly owned AORERE) who named her WONDABYNE.

    Like

  13. Her correct name is WONDABYNE, not WONDERBYME. Her history is somewhat obscure but my best guess is that she was built in 1921 by Dick Lang as LOLITA for H. M. Phillipson. A.C. Pawson of 33 Hamilton Road, Herne Bay, the publisher of the Auckland Star, bought her about 1924 when LOLITA II was built, and renamed her WONDABYNE. She was 30′ x 8′ and had a 2 cylinder Palmer.
    My guess of spot is Deep Creek if Riverhead’s not correct.

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  14. In my view the one with people in the dinghy at the stern could be Waiheke, Rakino, or Motutapu — but which one is the question??? Hope someone can pinpoint it. First guess for me getting ready to go ashore (or come back) & is taken at the western side of Rakino, looking across to the eastern side of Motutapu. KEN R

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  15. Top pic — showing the south eastern end of Motuihi & Crusoe Rock in the middle distance with Beachlands area in the background & the 2 boats together, at the top end of the navigable part of the Warkworth River

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