My Big Woody Adventure


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My Big Woody Adventure 

Several months ago David Cooke tapped me on the shoulder & asked if I would like to join Barbara & himself aboard their 1965 Salthouse built classic motor-yacht, Trinidad, on the first leg of their circumnavigation of New Zealand – Bay of Islands (East Coast of the North Island) > down the West Coast to Picton (top of the South Island). The short answer was hell yes.

Fast forward to Saturday January 20th 2018 & the Cooke’s, myself & Jamie Hudson (owner of near sister ship – Lady Crossley) are having our last land based dinner at the Whangaroa Sport Fishing Club. Very appropriate that it was fish & chips. An early night was called & we woke at 5.30am Sunday morning to prepare for departure – photos & trip details below – read on & enjoy the journey – I did 🙂

A slightly different format today – magazine style i.e. photos & copy to support them, have also captioned some. When you are doing 3 hours on 3 hours off watches, food plays a big part of the day – so there are a few food shots. When Barbara deemed I needed to be punished for some misdemeanor she would not tell my what was for dinner & keep me guessing all day. To a serious foodie, that was cruel.

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Dinner at Whangaroa Sports Fishing Club

We left Whangaroa early on Sunday (21/01) – approx. 515 nautical miles ahead of us. Conditions were a little damp & a combination of sea mist & low cloud meant we saw little of the Northland coast. In fact North Cape / Cape Regina was only an outline.

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We crossed the top of the North Island mid afternoon. Gave the Pandora Bank a very wide berth & pointed Trinny in a straight line to the South Island. The rain and drizzle continue into the first night but after that it was a dry run. We had a 10>15 knot breeze from NE most of the way & a 2>3m swell. The combination of a steadying sail & a wee headsail worked a treat, not for speed but simply to help steady the rolling motion. When both are set the wheel can be left and Trinny will hold her course.

They say an army marches on its stomach – well the Trinny crew certainly had no complaints with the gallery – we dined well 🙂

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Stunning sunset

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Stunning dawn, off Taranaki

The clock on the GPS says 3:58am & we were just off New Plymouth, the gas well / rig lights being the first thing we had seen other than H2O. Mount Egmont poking thru the clouds / mist. This was the view most days – same > same but very wow.

Lots of dolphins (& the odd shark)

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The crew – Barbara, David, Jamie & myself below

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Closing in on Stephens island at the northern end of the Marlborough sounds, the weather gods smiled on us for the trip across Cook Straight & with the GPS reading 9.6 knots it was a happy crew. It had been a dry trip, so we were hanging out for a cold beer once we had dropped anchor in Queen Charlotte Sound.

We arrived in Resolution Bay at approx. 6pm, a total travel time of close to 60 hrs. And immediately rafted up with friends of Barbara & David’s –  Rob and Mandy Carpenter who own the Warwick designed launch Pandanoosa. When the engine was killed it was so peaceful, but saying that the faultless beat of the 6LX Gardner was quite hypnotic.

I lost the bet on how long the trip would take (only by 45mins) & was forced to wear a bar napkin, take orders and serve drinks while displaying my best manners……….

We had a great night & a superb meal of Blue Cod aboard Pandanoosa.

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Captain Cooke – peeling the potatoes for dinner

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Bay Of Many Coves Resort

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The Crew, brunch & bubbles

We awoke after a great sleep – we had been doing watches of 3 hours on / 3 hours, to the magnificent beauty of The Sounds. It’s just so big & so stunning. The next 2 days were spent mooching around the bays & coves sucking up the scenery(Pickersgill Island, Blumine Island, Endevour Inlet, Anapawa Island). Brunch at the Bay of Many Coves resort was a special treat, as were drinks at Furneaux Lodge.

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This is my pick of the waterfront properties we saw. I will do another WW story soon on the boat sheds – some stunners.

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Cabin boy Jamie doing his morning chores

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A little sad when we had to berth Trinny at the Waikawa Bay marina & clean / pack up. End of the line for Jamie & myself but just the start for the Cooke’s – you can follow their cruise on the Trinidad Travels facebook page – link below

https://www.facebook.com/barbara.cooke.9028/posts/160438894747674

The return journey – I had always wanted to do the Wellington > Auckland scenic train trip, so suggested to Jamie that we took the overnight ferry from Picton > Wellington & caught the train home. A great plan, just had to kill 5 hours in the middle of the night in Wellington. I think Jamie thought Mermaids was a seafood restaurant………..

Train was very cool, a few issues with brakes overheating that extended the travel time – but I would do the trip again.

Highlights:

  1. The crew – Barbara, David & Jamie – perfect mix & just outright 100% nice people
  2. Trinidad – anytime aboard her is a treat, she is such stunning old lady, who has lapped NZ before, crossed the Tasman to Sydney & cruised the Pacific Islands.
  3. The food
  4. The sunsets & dawns off the West Coast of the North Island
  5. Queen Charlotte Sound & Picton town, very cool place to own a woody – I’ll be back.

For the overseas viewers I have included below a few photos of Trinidad, a rather magnificent ship – looking as always very regal. You can see / read more about her here

https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/07/19/trinidad-52-salthouse-motor-yacht/

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Beats A Day At The Office


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Trinidad

Beats A Day At The Office

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.

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Nereides

  

The Sandspit Yacht Club is looking very smart these days

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A Woody Cruise


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A Woody Cruise

Family commitments & the weather meant that this years Xmas / NY cruise was a tad short this year e.g. 7 days & the location was a lap of Waiheke Island. A lot of classics were in the same boat (pun) with the weather so we tended to be in the same spot at the same time – good for photos 🙂

I’m sure I missed a few so I apologize upfront, I have also saved a few for separate ww posts.
Enjoy the gallery of classics, most I have been able to name (scroll over image) & you can enlarge photos by clicking on them 😉

I can’t wait for the Mahurangi Regatta weekend……………………

Upper Harbour Cruise to the Riverhead Hotel


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Upper Harbour Cruise to the Riverhead Hotel

Yesterday had the makings of a stay at home day – the forecast was looking very average & the All Blacks ‘v’ Ireland test was kicking off at 9.00am. Unfortunately the gods only smiled on us once – the weather never eventuated but the AB’s dropped their guard & for the 1st time ever lost to the boys in green. Given the location – Chicago, I say it wasn’t a real test 😉
The following classics from the CYA launch fleet made the trip – Mahanui, Te Arahi, John Dory, Te Hauraki, Trinidad, Lucille, Juanita, Raindance, Matira, Lucinda, Kumi & the motor-sailer Bliss.  These were joined by others who traveled by car. Over 100 gathered on the outer decks for lunch & one or two cleansing beverages.
Another great day & special thanks to the organizer – CYA Launch Captain Angus Rogers, Tony Stevenson for the use of the Tino Rawa Trust tender ‘Whistleblower’ & the publican, Stephen Pepperell, always nice to greeted at the wharf on arrival.

A Lap of Waiheke



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A Lap of Waiheke

Over Labour weekend we did a lap of Waiheke Island in Raindance – bumped into a few classic’s, some will appear on ww in the next few days.
As we approached Oneroa mid afternoon on Saturday the weather was doing exactly as predicated  & the southerly was starting to pick up, coming around the point & it was blowing dogs off chains. Headed over to Little Oneroa & it was almost a mill pond, dropped the pick between James Mobberley (Moon Engines)  & Dan Ranell’s stunning N. Herreshoff designed yacht – Jonquil, pictured above with George Ranell ‘on watch’. Potentially it could have been a disaster i.e. 3 kids under 5 between the 2 boats – but good parenting saved the day. A few late afternoon coldies on Jame’s launch ‘Cartel’ was the perfect lead in to dinner – a wood fired pizza on the beach from the resident pizza caravan. Saturday was a cracker of a day on all fronts. Nice weather, people & boats.

For the first time (that I can remember) we had a peaceful night in Little Oneroa & woke to a stunning day (Sunday), one out of the bag. A quick breakfast ashore at ‘Wai’ & a few provisions from the ‘new’  store on the roundabout, called ‘The Island Grocer’ – its where the old general store (fruit & veg focus was) used to be. Less hairy armpits on display these days & a great hole in the wall coffee operation. Perfect spot to people watch.

Headed down the north side to the bottom end, very pleasant trip & a lot of people both fishing & catching fish. Mooched around a few bays & anchored in Man ‘o’ War Bay. The vineyard operation was a zoo with Island day trippers, so held off going ashore until late afternoon for a drink. Quiet night in the bay, except for 2 sets of very young children doing laps of the bay in dinghies with 2hp outboards – I do not lie when I say it went from 6pm to 10pm, if I had had a gun – I would have popped the tubes.

Slow start in the morning, had to wait for the tide, appears I had discovered a wee mud bank, never went a ground but I draw 2’3″ & the depth sounder was showing 0.700m (27.5″) 😦 So it was a leisurely breakfast 🙂 Th day was overcast & forecast to rain later on, so we headed home at lunch time. As we were leaving MoW, W1 was coming in – first time I had seen her ‘live’ on the water – way more narrow than I expected given her length, but still an impressive sight & a credit to the owner, who under took a lengthy restoration in his driveway in Herne Bay.
Saw Deodar (#1) in MoW looking very smart – photos tomorrow on ww.

A fantastic weekend, only takes a few days of good weather & one quickly forgets all the cursing & swearing over winter about bloody old wooden boats.

Below are a couple of photos from Rod Marler of the classic’s –  Arohanui, Trinidad, Lady Crossley & Nereides (looking none the worse for her oops at the Whangateau boat yard) at Kawau over the weekend. I hear the Kawau Boating Club was going off on Saturday night for the All Blacks v Aust rugby test.

Photo below of Wairangi at West Bay, Rakino Island on Sunday, taken by her owner & emailed in by Ken Ricketts.

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Classic Woodys Cruise To Riverhead Pub


Classic Woodys Cruise To Riverhead Pub

The NZ Classic Yacht Association (CYA) launch group have amazingly good fortune when it comes to the weather for their events. Saturday was just a day out of the bag – sun, mill pond sea state, cool boats & nice people. The trip was a first for me in that I did not take launch Raindance & instead traveled on Trinidad, Barbara & David Cooke’s magnificent 1965 Salthouse motor launch.

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On the trip up the harbour we passed 2 very cool steam boats – Puke & Zeltic out for a cruise & enjoying the day.

We do this trip 2 or 3 times a year & a few trips ago added a mid trip raft-up meet & greet to the agenda, its a great chance to say hi to everyone before we hit the pub. A little like the American concept of a  ‘rehearsal dinner’ the night before the wedding day 🙂 If you check out the raft-up photos, all the males are enjoying a coffee & the females have a glass of bubbles in hand – how did that happen.

We had 3 creek virgins making the trip for the first time – Florence Dawn, Lady Jane & Skipper CJ.

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Florence Dawn

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Lady Jane

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Skipper CJ

Interesting to witness the speed of the housing development in the Riverhead / upper harbour area – once all we saw was trees & paddocks, now its houses houses houses. Check out the photo of launches anchored Indian file – the land at the top was all pine trees 6>12 months ago.

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From the top – Skipper CJ, Florence Dawn, Arohanui, Lady Margaret, Monterey, Silens

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Arohanui

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Lunch at the hotel was more casual i.e. less organized than on previous visits & that was a good thing – in fact the food got a big tick from everyone.

 

The day was not without a few oops – two people enjoyed an unplanned swim, no damage other than bruised ego’s & a lesson that when on-board always have two points of contact 😉 My lips are sealed on names, photo below of the 1st oops, no photo for the 2nd – I was doing the Piha Rescue.

Publicans Paula & Stephen Pepperell came out to inspect Trinidad, given their history of wooden boat ownership / travels I suspect a classic could be on the shopping list.

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Paula Pepperell, David Cooke, Stephen Pepperell

Spotted this smart bridge-decker (Lady Thelma) anchored off Hobsonville Point.

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Arohanui Restoration – Watch it ‘live’


 

Arohanui Restoration – Watch it ‘live’

The above video records the renovation of the classic 1965 Lane Motor Boat Co. built launch Arohanui. The refit work was undertaken in 2015 at the Sandspit yard of Lees Boatbuilders for owners Fiona Driver & Rod Marler. Greg Lees & his team have established themselves as the go to yard for the application of Awlwood MA (Uroxsys) the flexible polyurethane marine clear coat finish. But I have to say that the yards craftsmanship & attention to detail prior to the final applications was second to none. Lees is a very classic friendly yard & whether the vessel is sail or motorboat, large or small its in good hands.

The short film was produced by Gareth Cooke (SubZero) who also filmed the restoration of Trinidad at Lees, refer below videos.