The Cruise of Calypso – Christmas 1919 – Sailing Sunday
Story & photos ex Harold Kidd
The shot below of Calypso, Celox and Waitere II is from NZ Yachtsman and Calypso is on the left.
This photo shows Calypso under tow.
The hotel shot below is at the Duke of Marlborough.
Lastly the crew of Calypso
This log was written in indelible pencil in a notebook by C.B. Madden who, like some of the others, had just returned from active service (and survived the Spanish ‘Flu epidemic). So the cruise must have helped a great deal with the normalisation of their minds.
CALYPSO was a 26ft mullet boat built to the Restrictions by Tyler & Harvey in 1909 for the Wild brothers of Stanley Bay. Barkey Wild, Colin Wild’s older brother, was killed at Delville Wood in September 1916 and Harold Handley of 73 Calliope Road, Devonport bought her in the winter of 1919. WAITERE II had always been her companion 26 footer as she was owned by the Willetts family who lived close by in Stanley Bay. By a whisker, WAITERE II was probably the fastest pre-CORONA 26ft mullet boat.
The Cruise of Calypso Christmas 1919 (an edited version)
Crew: Skipper Harold Handley, R Rodger, A Madden, C Madden, Arthur Whitely, Tom
“24th December 1919; Left Calliope Dock 8.15pm. Wind SW, weather fine full headsail full main. Waitere waited half an hour for us to start. Reached Rangitoto Beacon 9.30pm. Ruahine with troops passed inwards. We kept watches all night and sighted Sail Rock at daybreak. SS Pakeha passed inwards at 7.30am SS Manaia at 9.30am. Had kept up with Waitere right up to Sail Rock. Several yachts and launches put into Tutukaka, also Waitere also us after short dinghy tow as wind very light. Arrived 8pm had grand Christmas tuck in with assistance of two of Waitere crew.
26th December; sailed North in a nice NNW breeze. Put into Whangaruru and anchored with Waitere. Went to Maori dance ashore.
27th December; ran up to Russell with Waitere in fine SSW wind.
28th December; Waitere was put on the beach for cleaning. The plate was dropped and taken ashore for local craftsmen to remove buckle. Caught 50 or 60 schnapper at Robinson’s Island.
29th December; Left for Whangamumu with Waitere under full sail. Gave caretaker at whaling station two fish. He was pleased to get news regarding liquor poll. We got rid of most of our surplus fish by giving it to the NSSCo’s auxiliary Tuhoe.
30th December; Set sail for Whangarei after cooking breakfast on beach.
31st December; Passenger launch Oleo offered us a tow in. Arrived at Onerahi at 11.15pm. Sailed up to town wharf. After some difficulty in getting a berth tied up alongside Seagar Bros Milly at steps. Went ashore had a look around got stores and had tea at Temperance Hotel.
1st January 1920; Put quantity of ballast and all cruising gear ashore and got ready for race which started at 10.30am. Confusion regarding marks. Result of race Waitere 1 Celox 2, Calypso 3. Race finished at 3.30pm. Had tea and sailed for the Railway Bridge. Launch Ranoni kindly offered us a tow to Town Wharf. Went ashore for a walk but did not get as far as yachtsmen’s smoke concert.
2nd January; Crew went by car to Kamo. In evening gave the pictures a go.
3rd January; Waitere crew entertained us at the Whangarei Hotel. A splendid dinner was put on for us. In the afternoon we all motored out to the strawberry gardens. Left Whangarei 7pm with a great sendoff. Anchored off freezing works for an early morning start.
4th January; Set sail at 5am in light northerly breeze growing in strength. Arrived at Mansion House Bay. Only 3 launches here. After tea hove anchor and moved across the bay for shelter. Had musical evening on board.
5th January; Set sail 10am for Waiwera. No yachts here. Went to Heads to fish. Arrived at Mahurangi Wharf at 9pm
6th January; Beautiful day, very light winds. All hands went aboard the Waitere and we sailed up the river to Red Bluff where we inspected Morrison’s Orchard. Returned to Waitere and decided to proceed to Warkworth. Tide dead low. Stuck on the mud a few hundred yards from the Wharf. After lunch, floated off and proceeded to Wharf. Found Warkworth very quiet. Left Warkworth at 6pm. For 8 shillings a local launch towed us about ¾ mile past Red Bluff. At 9.30 back aboard Calypso.
7th January; Another day of the best kind. Very little wind early. Left Mahurangi as team for Tiri to fish. Left for Auckland 3pm. Put a good dinner on whilst lying off Tiri Light and entertained Waitere’s crew to their entire satisfaction.”