The 1905 Bailey & Lowe 40′ launch Kumi has appeared numerous times on WW but Nathan Herbert was recently poking around in the Auckland Library Heritage Collection section and came across the above photos attributed to Mr. and Mrs. MF Russ. National Publicity Studios; Riethmaier. Nathan asked me if I supported his belief that the boat featured was Kumi. A quick search in my WW files popped up an email (repeated at the bottom of this story) that Kumi’s owner Haydon Afford sent me back in August 2014, that made a reference to Kumi being used as a cray fish boat between 1955 and 1975 in Whangaroa, Northland, by a Mr Russ – so jack pot – its Kumi. Catch out the size of those cray fish.
Now if you know Haydon you would have to be surprised that he had communicated with me via email – in fact he told me I was the first person he had sent an email to 🙂 Haydon is a wonderful man, they broke the mould after he entered this world. Back in the summer of 2012 > 2013 Haydon undertook a 3 month circumnavigation of New Zealand in Kumi. This achievement was acknowledged in late 2013 by the NZ Classic Yacht Association awarding Haydon the ‘Outstanding Achievement Award In Seamanship’. Below is a photo of Haydon accepting the award along with his father. A group of woodys motored out to welcome Haydon back into Auckland Harbour after the circumnavigation – he celebrated with a pint of ice cold beer.
Haydon shared his story of the trip with CYA members at a special evening at the RNZYS and it was pure gold, good old school story telling at its best. Unfortunately no-one recorded it but prior to the evening I twisted Haydon’s (writing) arm to tell me about the trip, I typed this up and you can read it at the WW link below
HISTORY OF KUMI / ELIZA
Correct me if im wrong but im sure Haydon purchased Eliza from Tom the torch RIP…..
Milton Russ had a bit of a prickle farm over on the Totara North side of the harbour. That view of Kumi lying alongside the ricketty jetty is outside the pub, “Blue Marlin” wasn’t it called? In good weather he would lay his pots on the reefs to seaward of Stevenson’s Island
Love the steering- look like chain that leads down the side deck to perhaps a tiller?
I am a semi-professional writer and i found his laconic style of writing most attractive. A superb piece from a capable launch master