Woodys Classic Launch Easter River Cruise 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)

THE FLEET

AWARIKI – 1967 – Owen Woolley
MARORO – c.1905 – tba
NGARIMU – 1945 – Fred Goldboro
KAIKOURA – 1951 – Percy Vos
SUMMER WINE- Noel May – 1992
CINDY JANE – 1975 – Pelin Empress
MY GIRL – 1925- W H Hand Jr
RAINDANCE – 1928 – Lane Motor Boat Company
LUCILLE – Logan 33
LUCINDA – 1930 – L Coulthard

Woodys Clevedon River Overnight BBQ Cruise – 35+ photos & video’s

Meloa’s 60th Birthday

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)

READ THE BACK STORY HERE https://waitematawoodys.com/2021/08/04/why-you-should-hold-off-paying-your-classic-yacht-association-subscription/

Woodys Riverhead Tavern – Winter Cruise 

Te Hauraki
Dancer
Ngarimu
My Girl

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.

https://waitematawoodys.com/2021/06/15/woodys-classic-boating-calendar/


The poster below greeted us at the door to the tavern – has a nice ring to it………….  maybe someone is sending me a message 🙂

The tale of two Ngarimu’s

imagengarimu

The tale of two Ngarimu’s

A waitematawoody follower & classic launch owner, Bruce Rowe, has contacted me with a question.

Back in June Russell Ward sent in a photo of him sailing a dinghy between the anchored launches at Kawau Island, in the photo he ID’ed the launch Ngarimu & commented that she was owned at the time by Muir Chilwell.

Harold Kidd posted that Ngarimu was built in 1945 by Fred Goldsboro & named after Lt. Ngarimu VC.

Now the photo (b/w above) ex Russell appears to be of a launch from the 1920’s & does not match the launch named Ngarimu that Bruce owns (colour photo above).

So the question is – do we have two Ngarimu’s ? (most likely) & if so which one was the Muir Chilwell boat?

Bruce is in contact with Sir Muir Chilwell & he may have some old photos of his Ngarimu that he owned in the 1960’s. He was, Bruce believes, the 3rd owner.

Harold / Russell – can you throw & more light on this & Bruce’s boat ?

Harold Kidd Update

Well, My only personal recollection of Muir’s NGARIMU was when she was used as the finish boat for Law Society Regattas when such things were held by the Law Society. They aren’t now for reasons that I won’t go into, but suffice it to say that the Law was once a proud profession, with real people in it, yachtsmen like Muir and several other Judges including Sir Erima Northcroft (ILEX), Sir Graham Speight (VALKYRIE) and Sir Robert Smellie with whom I had the privilege of working under for several years.

So when I saw Russell’s pic of the launch he called NGARIMU and it generally conformed to the image I had of her, I accepted that she was NGARIMU. I did comment that she was “old-fashioned” for 1945. I am now certain that the pic above is Muir’s NGARIMU and that there was only one.

PPS Robin Elliott has just pointed out to me that there are some contradictions in the above from what is written in our book “Vintage NZ Launches”. The book was written in 2004 since when I’ve added 9 years of research. The NAOMIS were always confusing because they all kept their names ans were called often just NAOMI. However, it is NAOMI III in Lyttelton and NAOMI II at Panmure (or wherever she is now) despite what we said in the book at pages 18 and 19!.