After a very average summer, we are enjoying a stunning autumn – none more so than Mark Lever the owner of the 1927, 39’ J Jukes built launch – Nereides. Early in the week Mark was mooching around Kawau Island and sent me a couple of videos of life aboard. The freshly caught snapper for breakfast had me salivating. View the two videos at the instagram links below.
When not afloat Mark designs and makes beautiful homewares, furniture and light fittings from his workshop in Matakana. The pan the snapper is cooking in is one of his.
For all the wrong reasons I didn’t do a lot of boating (on my boat) this past winter, so the looming long Labour weekend was always going to see me leaving the dock even if the weather was ‘inclement’. Luckily it wasn’t and I slid away early Friday afternoon with the ultimate destination being Kawau Island. The boredom of mostly straight line motoring was broken up by Team NZ cutting up the gulf in their AC40, so so quick.
Decided to spend Friday night anchored at Moturekareka Island, the resting place of the wreck REWA (unsuccessfully scuttled as a breakwater) , not the most settled of spots but the sunset and the bird song made up for it.
Moved on earlier Saturday to Smelting House Bay and picked up a pre-booked mooring, now before you all call me a softy, we had the new dog onboard for its 1st trip and wanted to be close to shore – didn’t want an oops on board. I can report she was an angel – woke me at 5.30am for a row ashore. Sadly she also seems to think the #1 bunk is hers 🙂 The bonus of the dog pee row ashore is catching the sunrise, almost as fine as the sunset.
Mostly just relaxed mooching around, had a drink and dinner catch up with the crews off Meloa, Ngaio, Lady Adelaide and Golandrina at the Kawau Boating Club, which had just taken the shutters down after the annual winter hibernation. Food and service was first rate – if you are not a member – join, they need good support to keep doing what they do so well. The next day we dropped the pick in Vivian Bay – very quiet and later in the day several woodys arrived – seems to be the go-to destination for the Sandspit marina crowd.
I spied a stunning villa on the waterfront in Vivian Bay – photos below, will need to keep buying Lotto 🙂
Trip home on Monday was just about perfect for a straight stemmer e.g. wind and tide on the nose – 3 hours 45 min from KBC > Bayswater, that’s a good clip for my 94 year old girl.
UPDATE 03-11-2022 – Photo below of Rewa as scuttled (incorrectly). Comes to us from Auckland War Memorial Museum libray via Maurice Sharp fb.
SUNDAYS MYSTERY LAUNCH QUIZ WINNER
Well done Ken Ricketts, the winner from the many woodys that correctly ID’ed the launch as Sobrine. The pool was reduced significantly by a large number spelling the boats name – Sabrine. Link to a previous WW Sobrine story below https://waitematawoodys.com/2016/05/31/sobrine/
In between lock-downs in June 2021 I had cause to do a trip to Tauranga and took up Doug Owens invitation to visit the yard to get a peek at the refit of his 1937 Colin Wild built 55’ yacht – Nereides. The project was well underway and the commitment to best in class and standard of workmanship was already on display.
Yesterday Doug made contact to let me know that Nereides was back in the water and aside from some final interior work the refit was complete.
The gallery of photos above says it all, the pilot house just glows – well done to Doug and son Mohi. We will keep you updated as the final items are ticked off the to-do list.
In fact a tad more than a facelift- its a total refit 🙂
A couple of weeks ago I was moodching around the Tauranga / Mount Maunganui area and took Doug Owens up on his longstanding offer to view Nereides in her ’shed’. The timing was perfect as I also meet son Mohi, who is project managing the refit. Click photos to enlarge.
Nereides has always been a rather special woody – as are most boats built by Colin Wild. She slipped out of the CW shed in 1937 and her specs where 55’x15’x6’5″ and powered by a 200hp John Deere. The photos above are a combination of the ones I took on the day and others shared by Doug and Mohi, as you can see its a mammoth undertaking but is very close to re-launch. WW will kept you in the loop on this project.
Pre – Refit
UPDATE 12-04-2022 Getting very close to splash day 🙂
TUTUKAKA LAUNCH = Merlin Dean Wright sent in the above photo of this launch berthed at Tutukaka. No visible name so would be nice if we could ID her.
17-05-2021 Update ex Keeny West – the mystery game boat above is Merlin owned by Brett Bracey.
NEREIDES COULD BE YOURS WITHOUT ANY UPKEEP COSTS
One of the growth boating areas is time share – where you get access to a boat for a set period of time for a set cost.Normally the only boats available in these ‘partnerships’ are pieces of white plastic and a 3rd party is clipping the ticket, with a rather large pair of clippers. For several years Mark Lever the owner of the 1926 classic launch – Nereides, has been making her available to suitable parties via similar agreement to the above. Nereides is one of our best maintained and presented woodys, in fact just drop dead gorgeous, see more photos below. Mark contacted me during the week for a chat and he drop in that a, what he calls – ‘Crew Spot’ was coming available , so I asked for details – I’ll let Mark explain how it works below, but if you are interested give him a call or drop an email for more details 021 747 102 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
“Nereides is berthed at Sandspit Marina one hour north of Auckland. She is a glamorous Wellington boat from 1926, gaff rigged main sail, mizzen and headsail perfect for coastal cruising. The skipper looks after maintenance. Looking for someone, or a couple who would like to share the use of this classic launch.The cost is $6k per year with a weekend a month and a week over the summer period.”
A couple of weeks ago I was up Sandspit way & spent an hour or so mooching around the new (ish) marina. Very impressive set up & with the yacht club’s haul-out facilities its a prefect spot to keep a woody. The real win win factor is the proximity of the ‘Greg Lees Boatbuilder’ yard, in recent years Greg & his talented team have rubbed the magic wand over some of our finest classic woodys. Just type Greg Lees in the WW search box to see the level of workmanship & perfection.
I have included a few photos of the motor camp where I stayed with my ex woodys boater – Chris Miller in this stunning motor home.
A real bonus was the amazing meal & service we had at the Sandspit Yacht Club on Saturday night – I was expecting burgers & fries but no – everything – décor, service & the food was superb – check it out if you are up that way. The scallop entree was as good as anything you would get in Auckland City. Photos below.
Update: I have been sent by Dean Wright the photo below of the dinghy ‘Tiki’ in happier times 🙂
Nereides & the Wahine Sinking + My Girl Restoration Update
Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of the Wahine sinking, the inter-island ferry that ran around on Barrett Reef in the entrance to Wellington Harbour. Sadly 51 lives were lost that day, but 100’s were saved by the brave actions of the Wellington boating community that mobilized to rescue passengers as they abandoned ship.
One of those vessels was the 39’ classic motor-sailer Nereides. Nereides these days is owned by woody, Mark Lever – check the link below to read in the on-line ‘Junction Magazine’ how Mark when researching Nereides past, discovered a personal friend had two family members rescued by Nereides. It’s very small world. I have also included WW link to Nereides for you to view this stunning woody.
Photos below show Nereides in Wellington (b/w) & at Patio Bay, Waiheke Island
The attached document, see link below, was sent in by Greg Skinner- & contains notes from his late great uncle – in fact an extract from his book “A Kiwi Journal – the life and times of Barney Thomas Daniel” – son of Capt Charles Daniel – skipper of ANZAC.
I stress that this is one man’s view & published for general reading only.
The My Girl is Jason Prew’s foray into classic launch ownership – on Saturday she popped out of the shed for the first time in 4+ years, looking rather fast, even sitting on a trailer. Splash date May/June – WW looks forward to it – you can view on My Girl more here https://waitematawoodys.com/2017/06/24/28126/
There is a saying I like – “Some days you are the dog & some days you are the tree” – all week Friday was shaping into a tree day, so when David Cook called & asked for a hand taking Trinidad to the Greg Lees Boatbuilders, Sandspit yard – the answer was yeap I’m in 🙂
90% of the day = the 1st day of summer, the other 10% was wet, but that is greater Auckland for you.
Trinny, below, was being hauled out for some TLC before her upcoming circumnavigation of NZ (again).
Spotted a few classics at the new marina – scroll over photos to see names, most have appeared on WW before so a quick look in the WW search box will show / tell you more.
Great taste in signal horn
The Sandspit Yacht Club is looking very smart these days
Nereides is a very lucky boat – primarily because in Mark Lever she has a wonderful owner who treats her well, in fact better than well – she would have to one of the best presented classics in the CYA fleet. She is also lucky because she has survived a few oops, but we won’t dwell on those.
Mark sent in the above photos of Nereides showing her new cockpit covers & new Pohutakawa jaws he fashioned out of some knees George Emitage gave him. The photos give you a peek at the rest of the boat. I’m told Marks workshop is rather impressive 😉 The first 2 photos I took at Patio Bay several years ago & I included them to show off her lines.
Mark has reached out to WW for some help, you see Nereides will be 100 in 9 years & Mark has started gathering resources for a book he plans to write.
Fate can be a wonderful thing & recently there have been some very strange coincidences – I’ll let Mark tell the story.
“My daughter Lucy just happened to have the Great granddaughter of J Jukes (builder of Nereides) move in with her. Have contacted the family and waiting for their return from overseas. Also a friend I made a few years ago went past with her father in another boat and said his parents were friends of the owners back in the 1960s and his brother Peter used to go out in her a lot. Well after a bit of digging soon realised it was my friends Grandmother and her Uncle Peter who were on the boat during the Wahine rescue…how about that!
I rang Peter and had a good long chat and was fascinating to hear the story again from the very person who was there. He’s going to send me the contact details of the Mr. Pain’s (owner during the 60s) and see if there are any old photos kicking about.
Had a look on the Royal Port Nickolson Yacht club and found just a couple of photos (below)
Basically would love to find any other Nereides related leads, maybe Harold Kidd might know where to look?
Also when she was being repaired at Half Moon Bay an elderly gentleman said his father bought Nereides in the 1940s and she still had a machine gun mounted on her bow. Now that would be great to reinstate! Apparently I heard she used to patrol the airfield and look for mines during the war. I tried to find out more info a few years back but had no luck. Wonder if there is some enthusiast who knows about wartime service for these old girls? Anyway enough for now”
So woodys can we help Mark with the publication of the Nereides Centenary book?