Classic Woody Summer Cruising – A Game Of Two Halves
Happy New Year Woodys – WW is back ‘live’ so no more oops boating photos 🙂
On Saturday when I was reviewing and editing the above photos I struggled to believe that we had a xmas/ny cruise, but as they say the truth is in the photos 🙂
I decided to break todays story into two parts:
1. Raindance related
2. Woodys Out & About
Mostly from my camera but assisted by Barbara Cooke (Bay of Islands), Mark Edmonds (Waiheke), Russell Ward, Jason Prew (upper harbour) and Alan Gilder (Woody Bay Rakino)
Raindance’s cruise / tiki tour mainly consisted of bouncing between Rakino Island and Waiheke Island. Left on 27 Dec and the weather was just stunning with crystal clear, warm water. On 01 Jan the forecast was starting to look very average and most concerning was all 3 weather platforms that I follow were saying the same thing. So early morning on 02 Jan we made the call to up anchor and head home. Turns out that was a good call because for the next 5+ days if it wasn’t raining it was drizzling non-stop + ugly seas and high winds.
So woodys the second half of our planned cruise was sent at home enjoying good food, wine, movies and watching almost every wooden / classic boating video on YouTube.
Very grateful we had 6 days of great weather before we pulled the pin. As an old salt told me once – when it comes to happy family boating – better to have a handful of fabulous days than an abundance of average days – very sage advise.
Enjoy the gallery.
UPCOMING ON-THE-WATER WOODY EVENTS
Circle the calendar:
28 January – Mahurangi Regatta launch parade – more details closer to the day
25 February – Stillwater Picnic + Dockside Raft-Up – more details closer to the day
On Sunday we held a woodys gathering ashore on Motuihe Island – trip down was commonly described as ‘lumpy’, except for the large woodys skippers who just smiled.
The bonus of a lumpy passage was almost zero trailer craft or pwc’s, so had the beach to ourselves. Very sheltered and sunny afternoon – always good to catch up with other woody owners and swap tales. Trip home was perfect with wind and tide assisting.
Nice to see both Lady Crossley and Pirate after there winter hibernation / haul outs.
My boat of the day was John Wright’s latest project the uber cool double-ender – Kiwa. That man has a wonderful eye for bringing the best out of any classic craft. Photo below when she was at Te Atatu Boating Club + links to previous WW stories on her
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/
Just back from a near perfect weekend cruising with a great bunch of classic wooden boat enthusiasts, up the Wairoa River to the Clevedon Cruising Club for an overnight shindig.
The weekend had all the right ingredients – great weather, cool boats, nice people + mouth-watering food, that always = a winner. Todays photo gallery comes to us from my cameras and Jason Prew’s new out of the box iPhone 14 Pro (I need one, I’m buying one).
By now regular WW readers will be familiar with the format of the weekend – we meet off the entrance to the Wairoa River and then weave our way up river to the Clevedon Cruising Club. The flotilla berths at the CCC dock, in front of their clubhouse, then we ‘open’ the boats for club member to view. Happy hour tends to start early up the river, and this weekend it was even earlier. Later in the day we retire to the clubrooms for a shared BBQ dinner, and live music.
This year the club organised a number of raffles and a mystery auction – the club and Woodys collectively raised over $3,500 for the new fuel jetty. Well done to everyone involved – I indirectly won a new bilge pump (my cabin boy, bid on a mystery package and one of the included items was the pump – and my bonus – he doesn’t own a boat)
Boats participating in the cruise were – Allergy, Awariki, Lady Clare, Lady Ellen, Merita, Mokoia, My Girl, Ngaio, Ngarimu, Raindance, Smooth Operator, Trinidad, Waikaro.
I’ll let the photos tell the story. Below are two videos which highlight the two extremes of classic wooden craft – Raindance at 7.5 knots and Jason Prew’s – My Girl, doing est. 24 knots 🙂 Thanks to Jason and Ant Smit for the footage.
As always – click on photos to enlarge 😉 ENJOY. Details on more Woodys Classic events below.
Ps that dessert plate wasn’t mine and I’m too nice a person to name the owner…… and equally no story as to why there is a photo of a skipper dipping wet on his duck board 🙂
When I was coming onto the Slipway at Milford the other day, this very smart launch – Kotuku had just vacated the cradle I was heading for. Kotuku is a 26’ Pelin Mascot and has just had some serious TLC (9 weeks out).
Powered by a 25hp Isuzu 2ab1, she would be very frugal on the fuel.
She wasn’t going far – she’s a river rat e.g. calls Milford Creek home.
Message For The Skippers That Did The Woody Trip Last Easter To Paeroa
Check your prop/s – seems there was a few solid items hiding in all that mud – Raindance’s prop was in need of some love from Dr. Cam at the Slipway Milford workshop. All 3 blades were similar to the one below 😦
MYSTERY LAKE TE ANAU LAUNCH I was recently contacted by Richard Hockey who resides in Brisbane in regard to the above launch. Richard is very keen to find out anything about the launch.The top photo (must be by a professional – stunning quality) is dated 1947 and the location is Brods Bay, on Lake Te Anau (see info on the area below). The photo is ex Archives NZ, a Tourist and Publicity image, photographer unknown.
The second photo is dated c.1950, again Lake Te Anau and was by a VC Browne uncovered in a collection of photos put up for sale by Webb’s the auction house.
Can anyone tell us more about this rather fine launch? Side note – she appears quite bow down in both photos.
Info for readers outside of NZ – Lake Te Anau is in the southwestern corner of the South Island of New Zealand. The lake covers an area of 344 km 2 (133 sq mi), making it the second-largest lake by surface area in New Zealand (after LakeTaupō, North Island) and the largest in the South Island. It is the largest lake in Australasia by fresh water volume.
SOMETIMES YOU’RE ALLOWED TO SKITE
WW readers will be familiar with the name Benjamin Mendlowitz, one of the worlds top marine photo journalists. For the last 40 years Benjamin and his buddy Maynard Bray have been publishing the mega selling calendar – ‘Calendar Of Wooden Boats’. If you have a copy, when you flip the page today for September, bang – there you’ll see the interior of my pride & joy – Raindance. Needless to say I bought a few copies 🙂
Benjamin and Maynard are also co-founders of the wonderful video-blog – Off Center Harbor that we plug often on WW. And to even further confirm Benjamin’s woody credentials – the man co-owns one of the fastest and prettiest woodys on the Waitemata – the 1919 Bailey & Lowe built launch – Romance II – we like that 🙂
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)
Saturdays weather forecast was a wee bit gnarly but with the promise of an improvement later in the day – Harbour bridge > Kauri Point – unpleasant. Kauri Point > Herald Island – average. Upper Harbour > Hotel Good.
The time ashore was perfect, great location, service and the food very good. Return trip ok, except for between the Hobsonville and Te Atatu area – SW wind was whistling thru from the Waitakere Ranges.
We had 10 woodys turn out, 4 of them being newbies to the creek – Awarua, Manu, Margaret Anne and Waione – nice boats, nice people 🙂
Given I have had a very light summer boating wise, we decided to head out on Friday afternoon to Rakino for the night and partake in Auckland’s best wood fired pizzas at Woody Bay.
Again everything lined up – food, good wine and another spectacular sunset. Had a late evening visit from Jason Prew on My Girl, the wife “what’s that noise”. Then we were ‘entertained’ by a plonker and his partner on a Formula 4000, singing karaoke 1/2 the night ……….. they seriously thought they were good, they weren’t 😦
Saturday we headed over to the Weti River at mid day for the Woodys Picnic at the Stillwater Motor Camp. So lucky to get access, with the wharf it just makes the ideal venue for a catch up. Covid made a few gun shy but we had 11 woodys attending and a further 3 owners arrived via car – all in all a great afternoon. Lots of new (restored) woodys and new to the movement owners. The woody launch scene is getting more and more popular.
Post the picnic I pointed Raindance to a new (to me) anchorage and we enjoyed another wow sunset.
NEXT WOODY EVENT IS SATURDAY 26 MARCH – UPPER HARBOUR LUNCH CRUISE TO THE RIVERHEAD TAVERN – More details closer
The answer to yesterdays – name the yacht quiz was ‘Frances – A11’, the 1905, Arch Logan classic from the Class Yacht Charitable Trust stable. Photo below. And no one picked the right answer. So the WW t-shirt, gets to be put up again.