Chamberlains Bay Classic Launches  – Golden Hour

Bottom end of Waiheke Island
Chamberlains Bay
Summer Wine
Sea Fever
Tuna
Isle of Arran
Awariki
Lucille
Summer Wine & Takahoa

Chamberlains Bay Classic Launches  – Golden Hour

The truely talented boating photographers talk about the ‘golden hour’, the period just before sunset and just after dawn. Rarely in a bay is it an hour, sometimes it is 10>15 minutes before the sun disappears behind the hills or clouds.

On the Thursday before Easter, this average photographer (me) arrived in Chamberlains Bay, Ponui Island at just the right time and captured some special photos of the woody launches gathering for the Woody Classics Weekend cruise the next day up the Waihou River to Paeroa.

Woodys Classic Launch Easter River Cruise To Paeroa

Woodys Classic Launch Easter River Cruise To Paeroa

The Easter weekend cruise was always going to be a biggie – with most launches having to travel upwards of 10 hours to reach the final destination – the  ‘waterfront’ Historical Maritime Museum & Park in Paeroa. Most of the woody fleet gathered Thursday evening in Chamberlain Bay, Ponui Island in anticipation of an early start across the Firth of Thames, to rendezvous with the launches arriving from Thames and to collect our guide / navigator for the trip up the Waihou River. I’d have to say that the straight line trip across the Firth of Thames was 4 hours of my life I’ll never get back 🙂

We meet just off the old Kopu Swing Bridge which was opened specially for us to pass thru – and the welcome / turn out on the old bridge was outstanding. Must have been a quiet day in Thames, maybe  it was that it was Good Friday and most things (pubs etc) were closed 😉

We shot thru the gap and 10 minutes later our lead boat, with navigator on board, found a mud bank and were ‘stationary’ for over an hour. Once moving again the remainder of the 4+ hour journey was fun to travel together in close proximity, but the scenery got very repetitive and at 5 knots max – the going was slow. The skippers were kept awake by lots of locals who had gathered at wharfs and in paddocks to wave as we went past. The dodging of the occasional ‘grassberg’ (floating mid-stream) also kept skippers on their toes.

The final short leg from the main river to the Museum dock again saw the lead boat aground and a wait for more tide. 

We sneaked in just before dusk, a very long 10 hour day. 

Jason Prew and Peter Vandersloot  oversaw the shoehorning of the 10 woodys into the docking area. Then it was ashore to stretch the legs and a BBQ dinner/ catch up. The Museum had set up an impressive and most appreciated dining / BBQ area for the crews to enjoy. Post dinner most returned to the boats for an early night. 

Observation- it’s bloody cold up a creek in the middle of the Waikato, thank god for hot water bottles. 

Saturday was another cracker autumn day. The crews enjoyed a trip on the classic launch – Ariana (skippered by Peter Vandersloot) to the Paeroa township for morning tea at the local RSA – hot scones and pastries – always a winner. To balance out the catering, the river trip was split in two – with 1/2 the crew travelling by bus and boating back and same same in reverse for the other 1/2.

The day saw a great turn-out of locals visiting the Museum and walking the docks. I would encourage you to search the following words Kopu Bridge / Waihou River / Maritime Museum & Park on Facebook – the weekend was covered by so many people – lots more photos and videos to see.

Special mention must be made to Peter Vandersloot who masterminded the weekend and was on hand to provide so many insights into the heritage of the area, vessels and personalities. The Museum’s Chairperson Colin James and partner Gloria (a trustee) who were everywhere when needed and helped the weekend run smoothly.

Lastly none of this would have happened without woodys Jason Prew from The Slipway Milford, and Kerry Lilley for pulling everything together – well done guys.

The return trip back down the river had its challenges, very complicated tide table – but to the best of my knowledge no one is still there 🙂

The Museum and their boat trips are a must do if you are passing thru or around Paeroa. And big ups to the local council and business association – Paeroa is a healthy, well presented town, and a credit to everyone living there. 

Over the next week I’ll do additional WW stories on the Museum, the river trip to Paeroa on board Ariana and a few of the launches that made the trip.

(Woodys who attended – My Girl, Raindance, Awariki, Lucille, Summer Wine, Ngarimu, Lucinda, Maroro, Cindy Jane, Kaikoura, and guest appearance by Ariana – refer photos below)

(Photo credits to – Jason Prew, Linus Fleming, Andre Thomas, Andrew & Mechaela Dobbs and yours truly)

THE FLEET

AWARIKI – 1967 – Owen Woolley
MARORO – c.1905 – tba
NGARIMU – 1945 – Fred Goldboro
KAIKOURA – 1951 – Percy Vos
SUMMER WINE- Noel May – 1992
CINDY JANE – 1975 – Pelin Empress
MY GIRL – 1925- W H Hand Jr
RAINDANCE – 1928 – Lane Motor Boat Company
LUCILLE – Logan 33
LUCINDA – 1930 – L Coulthard

Worldwide Classic Boat Show

Regular visitors to this site will be familiar with my enthusiasm for the uber cool website – offcenterharbor.com (screen grab above), last year the crew behind OCH during CV-19 lock down pulled together a world first, an online virtual woody boat show and today I can advise that its on again in 2022. With a slight twist – this year access is complimentary thanks to the generosity of the OCH founders. Details below

And because I couldn’t not give you a woody treat today – check out this link to a great OCH video, it is one of my favorite videos, I’d be a little embarrassed if I told you how many times I’ve watched it 🙂 Its titled Live Well: The Cruising Smack STORM BAY with Tim Phillips

So woodys mark your calendars — the second annual Worldwide Classic Boat Show is almost here, and friends of Waitemata Woodys are invited to CLICK HERE to register and get a COMPLIMENTARY PASS to the entire Show!

The Show is a completely online event from February 18th-27th, which means you can enjoy this gathering of the world’s best classic boats from wherever you are (without leaving the comfort of your favorite chair). 

More details about the Show are below, and…

You can CLICK HERE to GET YOUR COMPLIMENTARY PASS while they last.

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?

Our friends at Off Center Harbor have used the power of the internet to put nearly everything in the world related to classic/wooden boats on one big interactive Google map…


WHAT’S “ON THE MAP” AT THE SHOW?

  • The Map – Everything related to classic boats is on one interactive Google map
  • Boats – Over 1,000 of the world’s best classic boats (with photos and details)
  • Organizations – Explore festivals, boatbuilders, clubs, museums, schools, etc.
  • Live Presentations – Inspiring presentations featuring experts on a variety of topics
  • People – Connect with other attendees anywhere in the world (right on the map)

YOUR BOAT COULD BE IN THE SHOW:

You can submit your own classic/wooden boat to be in the Show! Again, the Show is entirely virtual/online and will be open February 18th to 27th at ClassicBoatShow.com, and…

You can CLICK HERE to GET YOUR COMPLIMENTARY PASS while they last.

Enjoy the Show!

Mahurangi Regatta 2022 – 150+ Classic Wooden Boat Photos

MAHURANGI REGATTA 2022 – 150+ CLASSIC WOODEN BOAT PHOTOS

2022 will be remembered as the no frills regatta – no small boats, no beach activity, no beach party (band, bbq’s), no prize giving – but woodys it still rocked. Great turn out of both launches and yachts, and the weather gods delivered a breeze that provided some of the best racing we have seen in a long time.

I was told by someone that should know – that the budget for previous regatta’s is knocking on the door of $50,000 – maybe CV-19 has been a relativity check and maybe – less is more 🙂

I’m told Peter Brookes has Rawhiti in the groove, she is smoking the rest of the fleet – well done skipper and the grey haired crew 😉 for taking out the A division + Little Jim backing up last years Logan Trophy win with another win.

Tomorrow we will have a look at Mondays launch drag race for the quicks – conditions were below average on the inner harbour – correction, bad everywhere, I had the 2nd worst passage back from Kawau yesterday – 4.5 hours of my life I’ll never get back 🙂 . If I ever see the prick in a very large Riviera that went past me at full chat less than 50m away in the Rangi Channel and almost rolled me – he will get a bottle of Thai Fish Sauce in his air-con intake. 

No real story today, just a photo gallery from the weekend – sit back and enjoy. Remember click photos to enlarge. No photos from the Scotts Landing casual gathering – no need for a record ;-).

Special thanks to Murray Deeble and Glen Keeper for sending in photos 🙂

Update 02-02-22 Mahurangi weekend photo gallery below sent in by Graeme Finch