Last week myself and Jamie Hudson (Lady Crossley) pointed the car south for a pre-arranged visit to the yard where Paul Tingey is performing his magic on the 1948 Colin Wild built woody – Haunui.It was just over 5 months since I was last there and the project is moving along a great clip – check out the WW link below to view the first visit and to read the scope of the job.
THE LAUNCH MIDNIGHT II AND THE CHAMBERLIIN FAMILY OF PONUI ISLAND I received an email last week from Ross Dawson, a passionate woody fan, Ross resides in Kawakawa Bay and let me know that he had just visited Peter Chamberlin in a retirement home and he kindly gave permission for Ross to take a few copies of photos in his family photo album. Peter’s son David now manages the family farm at Motunau (the South end of Ponui Island). The launch – Midnight lI according to notes in Peter Chamberlin’s photo album, was a petrol powered launch built for Peter’s father Fred (son of Charles jnr) by Lanes in 1928 and was sold to Ian Chamberlin in 1950, when Fred took delivery of the Colin Wild built diesel launch – Motunau. WW would love to learn more about Midnight II and what became of her.This weekend I will share the story of – Midnight, the Chamberlin’s yacht. Before we finish today – Ross has a hobby horse he would like to exercise 🙂 I’ll let Ross tell the story “I want to comment on, what seems to be a common theme whereby Aucklanders from the earliest colonial times right up to the present day, seem to think that privately-owned Gulf islands are a legitimate place to wander at will, help one’s self to whatever is lying around, and to depart leaving behind much more than one’s footprints! The old newspaper articles surprised me that petty theft, and not so petty theft was perhaps as common in 1800’s as it is today.
The first items I noticed, up to about 1900, were advertisements promising rewards for “information leading to the prosecution of persons who had stolen large quantities of standing and cut wood”…probably tea tree I am guessing. ( Auckland used huge quantities of firewood for domestic heating & cooking in colonial times)
From about 1900 for perhaps 30 years, the adverts changed to dire threats of prosecution for dastardly scow operators helping themselves to beach shingle. (Ted Ashby’s book “Phantom Fleet” gives a good explanation of illegal shingle extraction)
Other newspaper public notices refer to other problems of shooting of pigs and farm stock. It seems the Chamberlin families might have been justified in having jaundiced views about their mainland neighbours, and it is surprising that they have managed to maintain a reputation of being gracious hosts to visitors and willing helpers to boatees in need of rescue.
Even today, they deserve better from the wider Auckland public. As a long time yachtsman myself, often anchoring in Ponui’s many bays, I am sometimes horrified by the casual way boating people feel it okay to roam over the island, sometimes even with their dogs. Some even think it okay to browse around the farm buildings…do they actually think Ponui is public estate?
And while I am on a rant, where do all the plastic bait bags littering the beaches come from…not accidental discharges from Auckland storm water drains! A great stain on the reputation of the majority of well behaved boating community. My heart goes out to the Island owners who also pay eye-watering land rates to a City Council that does very little by way of public services which we take for granted on the mainland.”
Update ex Ross Dawson – he meant to add – “No criticism intended”
Royal Saxon 1989 > 1994 The top photo made a brief appearance on Lew Redwood’s fb and Nathan Herbert correctly ID’ed the launch as the 33’ Colin Wild, 1930 built – Royal Saxon, anchored in Islington Bay, Rangitoto Island. At the time I would suspect she was owned by Rick McCay (MV Luana), so sometime between late 1980 and 1994, when he sold her. These days Royal Saxon resides at the top of the South Island, at Motueka. The WW link below and comments section will tell you all about the boat and how she ended up down south.
The 2nd photo I took 2 years ago of her anchored at Kaiteriteri, when we were on-route to the Abel Tasman National Park. Fantastic to see her unchanged after 30 odd years, another example of how beautiful Colin Wild’s designs were and how most remain so today 🙂
15-03-2021 Input From Mark Newcomb – I am pretty sure I recall being a young boy on a trip from Tauranga to Mayor Island on the launch Royal Saxon. It must have been the mid 1950’s, and I had thought the launch belonged to Arthur Honeyfield, a well known farmer and businessman who had a lovely farm at Kauri Point(?) near Katikati. Honeyfield was a member of the Tauranga Harbor Board and had somehow managed to get a substantial wharf built near the farm for easy access to the inner Tauranga Harbor. We embarked on our journey from this wharf. I recall a lodge on the island at SE Bay, not sure if we stayed there or on board. I still have some obsidian that I found on the island. It is entirely possible that Royal Saxon was owned by a friend of Arthur’s, or was on charter. Sadly, the son John Honeyfield, died last week, so that avenue of follow up has gone.
CYA BUMPER BOATS – I hear that during race one of the Classic Regatta the other week, the A Division boys were playing silly buggers again. At the start 3 of of the ‘stars’ of the A Class fleet all got hooked up on the start line and ended up all doing an unplanned buffalo girl 🙂
I first bumped into the 1924 Colin Wild launch – Viveen, back in 2014 at one of the first Classic Launch & Yacht Exhibitions at Auckland’s viaduct harbour. Back then she had recently moved to a new home, in Thames, where she still resides to this day. Prior to this she was berthed at Milford Marina from a number of years.
Back in 2018 her owners gave her a birthday and under took an extensive refit. Angus Rogers snapped the above photos of her over the holiday period moored at Waiheke Island, looking very smart with her new paint job. Being a Colin Wild launch, her past has been well documented on WW – a couple of stories are linked below