The above amateur film (20min) by Mr. Macalister, documents maritime scenes around Wellington harbour. Items of note include ships and yachts being christened and launched, a small motor boat burning on the open sea, footage of a Humpback Whale being taken ashore at the Perano whaling station in Fishing Bay.
“Pelagian” was/is a steel motor sailer designed and built by her first owner, Doug Catley. She was built in steel, and Doug built a model and sheathed it in plates cut from cigarette tins to ensure that the full size plates would fit properly. She was unique in several ways; her exhaust went up inside her mizzen mast, and after launching she was fitted with a Mustang fighter’s cockpit canopy on her wheelhouse. There was no exterior ventilation to her engine, but the boat’s interior was extensively ducted to the engine room which encouraged air circulation through the boat. Her engine room and galley were separated by a sliding fore and aft bulkhead, which when raised turned the area into a (nearly) full width engine room.
The sequence showing “Rorqual” is the mooring area just inside Tory Channel. The spotting station was just over the ridge on the seaward side; when whales were spotted out in the Strait, the chaser crews would come running down the path to board their chasers; it was a bit like a Battle Of Britain fighter scramble!
The X-class shown on the RPNYC hard and sailing in Evans Bay look like the new type that never really caught on. Javelins replaced them.
The elephant seal is NOT in Chafers Marina as the wording accompanying the film states (the marina didn’t even exist then) but in Evans Bay where there were quite a number of private boatsheds with their ramps and slipways on the Western side. I have some sympathy for the owner of the little motor boat the seal was trying to board; Owha the Leopard Seal tried to get into my skiff a few weeks ago, and managed to swamp it. No harm done though 🙂