French Bay – Sailing Sunday – Revisited

So far there have been over 2,000 classic wooden boat stories featured on waitematawoodys & the viewing numbers (3,300,000) have grown from a dozen people to over 80,000. I have had some loyalists from day one but the big numbers have happened in the last 2 years – so not everyone will have been exposed to all the stories. Over the Christmas / NY period I have decided to take a peek back in time & feature some of the gems from the early days. Enjoy.

Have a great holiday & remember to take the camera / phone with you & snap a photo of any woodys you see. Email them to waitematawoodys@gmail.com

 

French Bay – Sailing Sunday

This photo c.1935 was sent to me by Roger Guthrie. The location is French Bay.
The rather chic young woman in the dinghy is Roger & Graham Guthrie’s mum – Mary, wife of Ivan Guthrie. At the time of the photo Mary (maiden name Marion Alexander) was not married so the ‘older’ women with the parasol could have been her chaperon. The young bloke rowing looks very capable of getting them ashore safely 😉

Now is that an Idle Along in the background & is the boat sailing below, one as well (its from the same day)?

Blue Boats

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BLUE BOATS

Yesterdays story on the double ender, Lake Wanaka launch – Rangi, got Roger Guthrie thinking & he posed the question – was she once a ‘Blue Boat’ in Auckland?. Part of the fleet that serviced Rangitoto Island & other Islands – thence the name 😉

Roger sent me the above photos of the Blue Boat leaving Arran Bay Jetty, Waiheke Island – certainly looks very similar to me – interested in others thoughts?

The boat was a visitor to Arran Bay to bring down a group of elderly ladies. Some of whom were – Mrs Ellingham & Mrs Lambourne, they stayed a few weeks and always welcomed Roger & his young mates for a sing song as one of them played the piano. They stayed at the Lambourne’s house which was mentioned on the early movie of Arran Bay which Peter Stein did a very good article about on Waitemata Woodys (link below). Roger’s parents used to refer to the group as “The Old Ladies” as they were the next generation older than his parents. (note – the Lambourne house is still there)

https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/10/09/the-smugglers-cave/

The photos below, from the same period, show Freddy Ladd & his ‘SEABEE AIR’ aircraft at Cowes Bay Waiheke (wharf in background)

I have an amusing Freddy Ladd tale – many moons ago, I had to work between xmas & new years eve, while my mates were mooching around Great Barrier Island on a yacht, but I had a cunning plan to join them for new years eve, I would charter the SEABEE to fly me there at 5.30pm. The trip would be funded by a cargo of ice cold DB Double Brown beer cans . Remember not a lot of frigs on yachts back then. My mates had been rowing around the bay, taking orders for cold beer. Fred was a real character & we did a deal that if the beer arrived warm – I wouldn’t have to pay for the freight charges. Well we got there & no sooner had he ‘landed’ & a flotilla of dinghys were rowing out to collect their ‘cold’ beer for NYE 🙂  I was very popular that night & the boats grog fund was very flush – I can’t remember what the profit margin was but no one complained 🙂

 

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The Smuggler’s Cave

THE SMUGGLER’S CAVE

story by Peter Stein, movie ex Roger Guthrie

Back in the early days of ww (2013) I did a post featuring a really cool black & white ‘home’ movie from the late 1920’s. Peter Stein’s father (also Peter) featured in the movie & its production & Peter jnr. has kindly written an article, below, on the movie, the people featured & the location.

The cameramen doing the filming were Alec and Alan Lambourne.  The Lambourne’s house (now owned by the Brooks) is above the jetty in Arran Bay.  They had the jetty  built in the early 1920s.

The three girls were Joan Woollams, Cynthia Restall and Shirley Vicary.  Joan was the dark haired girl who rowed the dinghy.  The Woollams owned the house on the south side of our house (Arran House).  An early scene shows them picnicking at Bulls Bay (Anita Bay) at the north-eastern end of Waiheke.  The “Smuggler’s Cave” is in the main headland between Bulls Bay and Hooks Bay and is easy to find.

The smugglers were my father, Peter Stein who was a Master at Auckland Grammar School from 1918 to 1965.  He was the one on the oar.  The other smuggler was Arthur Nicholson also a Master at Auckland Grammar School who later became the first Headmaster of Tauranga Boys’ College.

Our boat the “Pelican” was their transport.  She was named after Sir Francis Drake’s round the world ship which during the voyage had a name change to the “Golden Hind”.  The Pelican was 14 feet long and was an ex ship’s lifeboat.  She was clinker built.  The motor was a 5hp single cylinder “Du Brie” which gave her a speed of between 4 and 5 knots.  Ignition was the current from 4 large 1.5volt dry cell batteries passing through a coil.  The motor was started by crank handle and had a dog clutch so there was no reverse.

The tender was the dinghy “Beagle” named after Charles Darwin ship “HMS Beagle”.  She was 10 feet long and was heavily planked which made her ideal for boating activities around rocky coastlines.

The Coastguard vessel was the “Waitangi” which I described in my article about “Beautiful Waiheke” (posted on 2 September 2015).  The skipper was my Uncle Tom Stein and his armed assistant was Dean Ellingham another holidayer from Arran Bay.

It must be remembered that this was the late 1920s and home movies were in their infancy.   The cast were a group of people who only came together when they were holidaying at Arran Bay.  My father told me that they all had a most enjoyable time putting it together which is evident from the film.

Special thanks to Roger Guthrie for forwarding this footage to waitematawoodys.

Beautiful Waiheke – 1930’s Boating Movie with updated story

Beautiful Waiheke – 1930’s Boating Movie

I was sent this movie, filmed in late1929/30’s by the Lambourne brothers (Allan & Alex) nearly 2-1/2 years ago by Roger Guthrie, it was back in the very early days of ww & since then a lot more people have checked onto the site – in fact over 100,000 people. On ww last week I bumped into Peter Stein whose father (also Peter) appeared in the movie. Peter has written a very cool synopsis of the movie & the (now) classic launches that appear in the movie. I suggest you read Peters words & then watch the movie. Enjoy 🙂

The film “Beautiful Waiheke” by Peter Stein

Introduction:

The film was produced by the Lambourne brothers Allan & Alex in the late 1920’s early 1930’s. The Lambournes owned a large furniture shop on the corner of Ponsonby Road and Pompallier Terrace. The Arran Bay house was built in 1910 and remained Lambourne property until 1964 when it was sold to the Jorgensen Family.

Water transport for the Lambournes was the launch “Nga Whare” which is the round bilged craft in the film with the two portholes in her topsides. She was sold when I was a very young boy so I remember little about her.

Our property is next door to the Lambournes. Arran House was built circa 1885 for Andrew and Mary Croll from the Isle of Arran, Scotland. They were two of Waiheke’s pioneers. Andrew was a very fine photographer and albums of his photos can be seen at the Waiheke Historical Society Museum on Onetangi Road. Among the photos are scenes of the Annual Regatta organised by Andrew and held at Arran Bay circa the late nineteenth century. These events were well supported by “boaties” of the day. The albums were kindly donated by the Crolls of Sydney. Mary Croll was a very good artist and she put many scenes of the “bottom end” on canvas. Some of her mural work is still on the walls of one of the bedrooms in Arran House. My father, P.A.S. Stein purchased Arran House from W.J. Connell (owner of Connell’s Bay Store) in 1924 and it has been in our family ever since.

The Waitangi, the launch with mast and crosstree in the film was built in 1923 for Mr Cadman. It was a classic John L. Hacker design with sharp entry and flat stern section. The original owner named her “Karamana”. She had an aeroplane engine in her and we understand she was capable of 25knots which made her one of the fastest launches on the Waitemata at that time. Harold Kidd has a very good photo of her racing on the harbour (added below. AH). In the latter 1920s she ended up on the Tamaki Drive breakwater. My father bought the severely damaged hull and had her restored by Chas Bailey & Sons. He renamed her the “Waitangi” after his father’s steamer the TSS Waitangi of the Northern Steamship Co. My grandfather Peter Anton Stein was a Captain of various Northern Steamship Co. vessels from 1895 to 1908. Chas Bailey told my father that the Waitangi had brought them good luck because the next launch off their slipway was the legendary “Shenandoah”.

The Waitangi was 28 feet long (8.5m), had a beam of 7 foot 3inches (2.2m) and draft of 2 foot 8 inches (.8m). She was built in kauri and the bottom was double skinned from the bow to the wheelhouse.  The rest of the vessel was single skinned. Her Auckland mooring was in St Mary’s Bay in front of the Ponsonby Cruising Club at the bottom of St Mary’s Road. Maintenance was carried out at Collings and Bell Boat Builders adjacent to the PCC.

About 1930 my father replaced the old Studebaker engine with a 105hp Kermath marine engine. Allely Bros. of Beaumont Street imported the motor and installed it.  It was known as a 6 cylinder flat top. The pistons had a bore of 4” (100mm) and each cylinder had two spark plugs. It was double ignition with one spark plug connected to the magneto and the other one the distributor. Maximum speed was 18kns and at this speed the motor burnt 8 gallons of petrol per hour.   Petrol was bought in 4 gallon cans and there were two cans to a box. We still have an old Atlantic box which we use as a vegetable bin at Arran House. Petrol in the early 30s was 1 shilling and six pence a gallon. A 50% rebate brought the price back to a respectable 9 pence a gallon. My father told me that the best run home he achieved was Connell’s Point to Kings Wharf in 1 hour and 12 minutes.

 

The film:

The film began with shots of the Guthrie family aboard their launch “Alcestis”. It then moved to shots of Arran Bay taken from different location around the Bay. The people setting out down the path are coming from the Lambourne’s house.

The aquaplaning sequence was filmed from the shore and the “Nga Whare” which was the tow boat. My father was the young man with one of the Lambourne girls on his shoulders. Years later I learnt to aquaplane on the same board.

The “Waitangi” then heads to Bulls Bay with my father as pilot. The majority of the film is shot at Bulls Bay (Anita Bay) on the north eastern end of Waiheke. At the northern end of the bay are many small rocky islands and the launches are filmed going through the channels between the rocks. These are not hard to navigate but should be done at ½ tide or more.

The “Coughing Caves” are in the southern point of Bulls Bay. With a northerly swell and incoming tide, waves enter the caves and when the top reaches the ceiling of the cave the air behind it is compressed until it bursts out in a cloud of spray. The boy in the dingy, Reg Crawford, is trying to get as close as he safely can to the emerging spray.

The “Whirl Pool” is in the long reef extending from the northern end of Bulls Bay. Riding the swell in and out of the pool could be quite exciting as seen in the film.

The homeward bound shots of the Waitangi in the storm were taken in the channel between Pakatoa and Waiheke.

Harold Kidd Input from previous ww post

Waitangi was built as KARAMANA for F.B. Cadman in 1923 by Bailey & Lowe to a design by Hacker. KARAMANA = CADMAN in pig maori.
She was later bought by Auckland Grammar School teacher P A S Stein and rebuilt as per the 2nd photo below. She was fitted with a war surplus 6 cyl Green sohc aero engine producing 120-140bhp, bore 5.5 ins, stroke 6 ins (you work out the capacity). She was pretty radical.

03-09-2015– comments

1. The Lambourne launch was called NGAWAI I think, not NGA WHARE. She was later bought by the Andrews family on the Hokianga. I remember her as a child during WW2 laid up in a shed with a Chrysler engine. Maybe another NGAWAI but she looks the same.
2. KARAMANA/WAITANGI was built by Bailey & Lowe in 1923, not by Chas. Bailey Jr who built SHENANDOAH in 1929. There’s some conflation there.

Thank God Diesel Engines Came Along

Thank God Diesel Engines Came Along

Its a wonder not more of the early motor boats didn’t blow up, Ken Ricketts sent me the photo above (ex Dianne Hopson – Ravenhall era) of Silver Spray with three  4 gallon tins of petrol on deck. And the chances are that the blokes would all have been smokers as well.

The Guthrie family were very inventive with their empty containers – photos below of baby Hugh Guthrie, grandson of Hugh Douglas Guthrie, c.1925 taking a bath aboard Alcestis. You would like to think that the tins were well cleaned before being taken ashore and used as a stove cum bbq…….. Roger Guthrie who sent me the photos said “the scorched bush in the background must have been from a “previous person” – yeah right 🙂
The gent tendering the fire is the grandfather, Hugh Douglas Guthrie born 1883, aged 42 in this photo.

Alcestis

ALCESTIS  (Raiona)

Photos ex Roger Guthrie ex H.D. Guthrie Family Collection

These three photos show life aboard the Guthrie family launch Alcestis. The ‘hole-in-the-rock’ one is dated c.1930.
The baby photos, c.1925 are among my favorites. Roger told me that when Aucklanders went North to the Bay of Islands for holidays they sent fuel ahead & the petrol in those days came in 4 gallon tins, with 2 tins to a box. The fuel was left at pre-arranged coastal locations & labelled by boat name. As with all things associated with boating back then, this was quite safe. As a result of this practice there were a lot of spare cans lying around…. well as you can see in the photo, one became a baby bath, note how someone has very carefully turned the lip over to remove any sharp edges. The little chap is Rogers uncle Hugh, now in his 90’s. Hugh was the youngest of 5 children. Rogers grandmother is the mother in the photo. I bet the bassinet that Hugh is photographed in was the most comfortable berth aboard.

A slightly amusing adjunct to the benzine tin story above ex Harold Kidd & Auckland Star, 5 April 1933 (paperpast)

Leaking benzine fumes introduced a grave element of danger into the voyage of Mr. Zane Grey’s launch Frangipani from Auckland to Papeete, and for over twelve days those on board were unable to smoke or to obtain any hot food or drinks. “She was absolutely like a volcano,” 6aid Captain A. Pyper, of Auckland, on his return by the Makura to-day. “With the least mistake with matches or even a backfire from the engine we would probably have gone up. On the first da/ out from Auckland we noticed a benzine leak, but could not locate it, and we did not strike a match all the way to Papeete. We had to eat cold tinned food and had nothing hot to drink at all. “Gasping For a Smoke.” “All five of us were smokers and we were gasping for a smoke. It was a lonely trip, the only craft sighted all the way to Rarotonga being a scow shortly after we left Auckland.” Captain Pyper said that during the first two days the launch rolled heavily, and he was obliged to tie himself to the mast and to tie the sextant to his head to take sights. The rest of the trip was comparatively smooth. The launch used 2000 gallons of benzine. Occasionally the crew set the sails when the winds were suitable. The benzine consumption was a gallon an hour at a speed of seven knots, the most economical cruising speed. At top speed, twelve knots, the consumption would have been about twenty gallons an hour. It was most uncomfortable sleeping on top of benzine cases, as all available space was utilised for fuel. The benzine lasted out well, and there were 500 gallons in- reserve when the launch reached Papeete after taking in 400 gallons at Rarotonga. The Frangipani left Auckland on March 3 under the charge of Mr. Peter Williams, of Russell, who has always been Mr. Grey’s principal boatman in New Zealand. Other members of the crew were Captain A. Pyper, of Auckland, navigator; Mr. Collings, engineer; Mr. C. R, Bowman, of Auckland; and Mr. C. Jackson, of Russell. The journey to Tahiti was made in two stages, the finst to Rarotonga, a distance of 1633 miles, and the second from Rarotonga to Papeete, 620 miles. The total trip is stated to be the longest ever made by an ordinary motor launch not specially constructed for the purpose. Rarotonga was reached on March 13, and Papeete on March 19.

Tide In / Tide Out

Tide In / Tide Out

Following on from yesterdays post, these two photos are from Mary Guthrie’s collection & are most likely from the same day c.1935, we get a glimpse of the launch in yesterdays photo.
Its that classic scene everyone having a great time ashore then oops – where did the tide go 🙂

Certainly the Manukau Harbour, most likely Titirangi / French Bay area.

Any one able to ID the launch?