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
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)
MAHURANGI REGATTA 2019 – The biggest & best classic wooden boat regatta in NZ – 90+ photos
SATURDAY – REGATTA DAY
SATURDAY NIGHT AT SCOTTS LANDING
MAHURANGI REGATTA 2019 – The biggest & best classic wooden boat regatta in NZ – 90+ photos
WoW what a woody weekend – simply stunning on all fronts – sun > wind > location > people & of course the boats. On my estimate, the biggest turnout of classic wooden craft ever. Record numbers for Saturday mornings launch parade.
I’ll go out on a limb & repeat a comment made to me on the deck of Lidgard House, Kawau Island on Sunday night by one of our most prominent & influential classic wooden boat people – “Mahurangi is the real Auckland Anniversary Weekend Regatta” & after cruising back into Auckland today, & not seeing a lot of yachts, I would have to agree.
On Saturday between Jason Prew on My Girl & myself with Raindance we hosted three of the wooden boating world’s superstars – if you read or follow the WoodenBoat magazine, Classic Boat & the hottest property on the block – the vblog, https://www.offcenterharbor.com
then the names Maynard Bray, Benjamin Mendlowitz & Steve Stone will be very familiar to you. These gents were motored around the harbour & very selectively photographed / filmed our beautiful woodys. When I mentioned that I had cancelled my trip to next months Hobart Wooden Boat Festival, one commented “why would you go – it’s all here” & woodys – it was.
I have never attempted to understand the ‘politics’ / issues between the Mahurangi Cruising Club & The Friends of Mahurangi people – but between them they turn on a wonderful day, that equals anything on the world classic wooden boat calendar. As with anything, a few wee niggles e.g. crap PA sound system at the beach prize giving meant most people didn’t know the results – but I can tell you that Tony Blake & the crew on Thelma gave all the other A division skippers as master class in regatta sailing. It was wonderful to see the big 5 Arch Logan yachts – Thelma (1897), Rainbow (1898), Ariki (1904), Rawhiti (1905) & Rawene (1908) all on the same race track together, for the first time ever (I think I’m right – Harold?) The results were:
Thelma, followed by Rawhiti, followed by Ariki, then Rainbow & Rawene.
As a result of playing driver for the overseas crew – I’m a little light on sailing photos, but you can see from the gallery above that it was a special day.
Well done MCC and F. of M. for another magic weekend.
If anyone else had the camera out & captured some goodies, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
We bailed out of Mahurangi on Sunday morning & headed to Kawau Island for some family R&R – photos below.
Question – what do you do when there is no shotgun to signal sunset & the lowering of the burgee? – well a few lads decided to bang some pots together, then drop the flags at Lidgard House – me thinks there might be a letter in the mail to certain members 🙂
A WEE BIT OF PR GOING ON HERE – WW T’s & OFF CENTER HARBOUR CAPS 🙂
THERE ALWAYS HAS TO BE A FOOD SHOT – KAWAU BOATING LUB, DINNER SUNDAY NIGHT.
Check out the video below of Rawhiti – sent in from Benjamin Mendlowitz from Off Center Harbour
Photos below ex MV Buccaneer (Michelle Bostock & Tim Ord
Woodys Clevedon River Overnight BBQ Cruise
The weekend forecast for the woodys classic cruise up the Wairoa River to the Clevedon Cruising Club was a mixed bag, but as almost always is the case with woody events, it all came good and other a few light showers the 15 launches and one yacht had a ball. We were meet by CCC member Barrie Abel in his classic Sea Craft run-about who piloted the fleet up the river, only one oops that I know of, they were following Raindance and clipped a maker pole, but blamed me as I was taking photos and ‘diverting’ a tad.
Big thanks to all the CCC members that turn out to lend a hand with the berthing, no easy task with a mix of craft and ’skills’ 😉
The afternoon was spent catching up with old and new friends via a spot of boat hopping, followed by a BBQ dinner at our hosts club house.The chef, Bazza was the best, how he remembers which food on the BBQ belongs to who and how you want it cooked is beyond me. A few of us watched the All Black v Australia rugby test (on an iPhone) so the AB’s big win capped of a great night.
Sunday dawned with a perfect day, but the sun might have been a little too bright for one of two of the revellers but conditions were agreeable for the trip home.
Again many thanks to the CCC members for the hospitality and friendship extended to us – we will be back. (Make sure you view the videos, some great dockside footage + thank you those that emailed in photos from the weekend – and as always click on photos to enlarge)
Woodys Riverhead Tavern – Winter Cruise Yesterday was one of those days where the weather forecasters got it wrong -big time. Took the dog for an early morning waterfront walk between the showers and the ferries on the harbour were sounding their fog horns – fast forward 2 hours and the suns out, water glassy flat and we are going boating. Quick side trip to collect our quests – Margo & Jamie (MV Lady Crossley) from Westhaven and we are off.
A great turn out for mid-winter, saw 60+ woodys gathering at the historic waterside Riverhead Tavern for lunch – special thanks to those that came by car and helped with berthing the boats at the wharf. As always – click on photos to enlarge 😉
Nice to meet some new faces and if there was an award for most travelled attendee, woody Bruce Rowe on board – Ngarimu would be the winner. Bruce and his ‘decky’ mate – travelled from Thames to attend. The boys left Thames on Friday, stayed at bottom end of Waiheke, then off Stanly Point / Bayswater on Saturday night and will be heading home today. Talking to Bruce, Saturday night sounded heaven – tucked up in their warm bunks, rain on the cabin top, listening to the Auckland Blues rugby game, then the NZ v India cricket test – not a lot of sleep was had 🙂
We were also graced with the company of John and Diana Olsen on their steam boat – Dancer, The Olsen’s towed Dancer from Cambridge and launched her at the old Salthouse yard to make the trip up the creek.
Check out the Woodys Classic Weekends Event Calendar at the link below, for upcoming outings – our next one is an overnight BBQ cruise up the Clevedon River on the weekend of 14 > 15th August – a heads up – numbers will be restricted due to berthing / anchoring limits -so RSVP early.
Classic Woody Weekend At Patio Bay – 60+ Classic Wooden Boat Photos
As you will have come to expect, the first weekend in December sees the CYA hosting the annual Patio Bay weekend, for some reason in recent years its morphed into a potpourri of events – these days its – the CYA Xmas party, a cake competition, a motor boat poker rally and what it always was – a yacht race down to the bay for a old school waterfront BBQ. A little busy these days but it seems to work 🙂
This year was the first visit since the ownership of the property changed hands from the Woolicott family (100+ years) to Mike Mahoney. It was comforting to hear Mike talk of their feature plans that include continuing the event.
New to the programme this year was a poker run rally for the CYA launches. Skippers collect a playing card from 5 collection on route and then play a round of poker ashore to determine the winner. The event was sponsored by The Slipway Milford. Winners below:
First Across The Line – Gay Dawn – Mark & Pricilla MacDuff – Burnsco voucher + wine
Poker Run Winner- Kumi – Hayden & Linda Afford – COMPLIMENTARY SLIPWAY MILFORD HAULOUT + 4L ANTIFOUL PAINT + WW T-SHIRT
Shoddy Boat Handling Skills – Lucille – Alan Good (wife name withheld as she was innocent) WW T-shirt A great time was had by all and special thanks must go to everyone that helps pull the weekend together. To me it always signals the start of summer boating.
Most WW readers will be very familiar with the annual Mahurangi Regatta – the biggest gathering of wooden boats in NZ. The MCC also put together a year book that is a one of the best boating reads each year and perfect for on the boat over xmas. So woodys, if your looking for a self present (always the best) or being asked what you want from the kids – at $20 for 108 pages it’s a steal.
ROCKY BAY CYA LAUNCH RACE Saturday was one of those days that started out looking good, turned crappy (on lots of fronts), got better and then finished average. A gallery of photos above – launch race and in the bay, not a great day weather wise for good photos. From a launch view point, it was the first launch race in the CYA’s summer racing series and excuse the pun – it got off to a rocky start e.g. start boat broke down and had to call Coast Guard for a tow. Jason Prew deputised me into starting the race, only 4 boats so that was easy. Then 3/4 of the way into the race I got a call from the CYA finish boat, “running late, won’t be there to take finish times”. Bet they weren’t late for the yacht finish…………. Alan Good on Lucille was given the job of recording the times and these were relayed to Jason Prew who calculated the handicap results. All that aside Lucille, Kumi, Ngaio and Meloa all played well together and crossed the line in that order.
Handicap results were 1st Kumi – 2nd Meola- 3rd Lucille (& 1st cross the line)
As a woody treat for the launches WW arranged with Waiheke residents Tim Evill and Mark Stratton to secure access to moorings in the bay for the night – thank you Mark and Tim 🙂 Several more launches cruised down but conditions in the bay were ‘unpleasant’ so they and it would appear a large % of the yacht race fleet, either went else where or headed back to the city.
Along with the mooring access came an invite to attend Happy Hour/s at the Rocky Bay Memorial Cruising Club, with a 3pm start time it was perfect timing for a catch up before the CYA prize giving in the village hall. The club rooms are perched on/over the western end of the bay and a pleasant time was had by all. The club has a very cool, new t-shirt – details at link below https://www.rockybaycruisingclub.co.nz/for-sale
We had to be back in the city later in the evening, so departed the club around 6pm, collecting CYA secretary – Joyce Talbot, who also needed to be city-side. Trip back was very average but the company was good. SCORE CARDWeather – 4/10 Organisation – 2/10 On-The-Fly Recovery 11/10 Hospitality – 10/10
RBMCC photos below
Too rocky (rolly) for Centaurus – did a drive by and headed off for a quieter bay 🙂