Todays photos are from the camera of woody Dean Wright, taken over the Xmas / NY period, I love the one on Wirihana rolling around, sent it to her skipper Chris McMullen & he commented “We were coming into the bay from Cape Brett. A nasty on the beam sea. Any boat can roll when bit by a wave. Its when they keep rolling after the event…….” Chris commented the Wirihana handled it very well. Even with a roll on, Wirihana still looks beautiful – always does, from any angle.
I have to say Marie J is looking very smart, well done to the new(ish) owners. Also what do we know about the yacht Tuahine?
CALLING ALL VESSELS COMMANDEERED FOR COASTAL PATROL DURING WWII
On November 19th 2016, the Royal New Zealand Navy are holding the 75th Naval Review & have extended an invitation to the owners of any historic vessels that might be interested in taking part in the Review procession. Interested owners can check out the Op Neptune website http://nznavy75.co.nz/international-naval-review/ & are asked to make contact with Commander John Butcher via Andrew Watts – the email address is, ANDREW.WATTS@nzdf.mil.nz , please include details on your vessel & a photo/s.
The 1932 Colin Wild built classic launch ‘Wirihana’ was one of a number of vessels commandeered by the Royal New Zealand Navy during WWII to run supplies and to patrol the coastal waters around the Hauraki Gulf and up to the Bay of Islands. Her identification was Q01, photos above & below. Wirihana took part in the 50th Naval Review along with a number of the other classics that served as patrol boats and will be participating again this year.
A lot of our classic fleet played a very important defence role during WWII, its not well recorded but the Hauraki Gulf was mined. It is NZ Governments best kept secret. The NZ press often quote the closest NZ has come to war was the Rainbow Warrior bombing! This is BS, they just don’t know. A lot of the records make the patrol work sound like a boys own trip but Wirihana and the other boats were on patrol for two years summer and winter, it would not have been much fun in these small launches.
The crews made their own navigation sketches so they could recognise headlands by their outline in poor visibility. Similar to those in the NZ Pilot. They had no chart plotters or navigation aids (only a compass) and often ran without Navigation lights.
So woodys if you own or know someone that owns one of the launches – get in touch today with the RNZN
Chris McMullen found the letter below on board ‘Wirihana’. Chris commented that he would imagine the writer has now passed on. Chris hopes the letter may draw
some history from others with photos and letters hidden away. Photography
was illegal during the war but it certainly did not stop people from
recording their life at the time.
Chris recalls going to school with a John Rhodes who he thinks lived at Bassett Rd.
Remuera. Maybe the same family?
Below is light hearted list of NAPS boats out of Whangarei. Sent to me by Brian Fulton.
08-1-2016 Input From Chris McMullen
A German Raider mined the outer Hauraki Gulf. An account is recorded in the translated from German, a book listed as “The Black Raider”by Kurt Weyher and Hans Jurgen Ehrlich.
Chris’s copy dated 1955. Below are the relevant pages but there is more. This happened June 13th 1940. As a result the SS Niagara was sunk 19th of June 1940.
The Raider Orion sunk many ships off the New Zealand Coast.
CYA Patio Bay Weekend 2015 photos ex Alan Houghton & Fiona Driver
Just back from another spectacular wooden boat weekend at Patio Bay, Waiheke Island. The weather was good for the yacht racing but a little rolly in the bay. This put a few owners off anchoring but most bit the bullet & dropped the pick & were rewarded with another brilliant evening ashore at Margaret & Burt Woolicott’s waterfront bach. It had all the ingredients of a classic kiwi boating function – sun, sand, wood fired BBQ’s, the odd cold beverage, a barrel of rum, fire works & lots of nice people.
The evening was made special by the presentation to Chris McMullen of the CYA Outstanding Achievement Trophy for services to classic boating. See the previous ww post for more details.
Even yours truly got a mention in dispatches – I was the surprised recipient of the 2015 Patio Bay Trust Book Award – for my work on/with setting up this site & ensuring that future generations will be able to better experience our wooden boating history.
Enjoy the photos. Sorry that its light on yachts but conditions did not suit bobbing around in a wee dinghy & by now I hope most people realize that a ‘drive-by’ past Raindance almost always ensures a photo on ww 🙂
Must also mention the magnificent sight of having Viking sailing in the fleet.
I have posted on the CYA forum photos from the yacht post race prizing giving – link here
Wynyards (Lushington’s) Bay photo ex Mac Taylor Collection
Now I’m sure to some / most of you the bay in the above photo will be very familiar but not to me. I have a good hunch but I’ll let you all chip in. Remember you can click on the image to enlarge & if you click again on the enlarged photo it will zoom in even more.
The 2nd part of today’s post is a great photo, below, I found in Mac Taylor’s album, the launch is the first Wirihana (1) – there is a great story found at the link below concerning Wirihana (1), which most likely became Lady Gay (1) + how Wirihana (2) & Lady Gay (2) fitted into the scene. Great reading & a fine example of the ww blog really working. https://waitematawoodys.com/2015/03/23/wirihana-who-built-her/
Seems everyone is right on the button with ID’ing the location – Harold Kidd sent me a link to the Henry Winkelmann photos (post card) ex the Auckland Museum collection below, taken in 1899. It is ‘Rodmershaw’ the residence of Mr Lushington.
I’m very familiar with the location as early one morning during a Mahurangi Regatta weekend, I had to retrieve my #1 kauri clinker dinghy from the beach after it went walkies in the night & washed up there, undamaged. The gods were smiling on me that weekend 🙂
Update from Harold Kidd The photo below, ex Auckland Museum collection, shows Mrs Lushington sitting on the ballast of her husband’s Robert Logan-built yacht MURITAI in 1899 at the property. The 22ft mullet boat on the beach behind MURITAI is the 22 footer BELLE built by Hewson & Melville in 1883 also owned by Lushington. BELLE was converted to a deadwood keel yacht & later renamed LOTUS.
Muritai & Belle (Lotus) c1899
Pam Cundy Input
Pam sent me the photo below of of her partner, George Emtage, grandfather Captain George Samuel Emtage. They lived in a bay just around the corner from the bay shown above and worked for the Lushingtons and the Chandlers on Motuora. The excerpt from the book Jade River tells the story of how George’s family inherited Motuora island.
Chris McMullen & his 1898 reproduction Herrreshoff steam boat
One of Chris’s experiments
Otira- 1902 Logan Bros
Otira- 1902 Logan Bros
And of a few photos of one of the prettiest boats on the Waitemata – Wirihana, the 1933 Colin Wild launch.
A Visit to Chris McMullen’s Boat Shed
Yesterday was a biggie on the wooden boating front – Barbara Cooke & myself organized for the Classic Yacht Association a visit to Chris McMullen’s workshop & boat shed. I have posted photos of the shed & its contents on ww before & ww has published several of Chris’s posts on the topic of electrochemical damage to wooden boats – but it was special for the members to meet the man himself & hear him speak on his past, his current passions / projects & future plans. The reproduction 1898 Herreshoff steam launch project just has to be one of the best kiwi ‘can-do’ tales around. The day she hits the water will be a very special occasion, I just hope I’m around to see it 😉
Today two things stood out for me: 1. The turn-out of two wooden boating icons – John Salthouse & Max Carter 2. The healthy number of sub 35 year old guys with a new found passion for classic wooden boats in attendance
If your a CYA member & you didn’t make the effort to come to the event – more fool you – as one of your most respected members said to me “today was a privilege, Chris is a one of a kind, his practical knowledge on boat building and engineering is unique”.
In my time as CYA launch captain one of my personal goals was to help deliver up events & access to people & ‘cool stuff’ that people would not normally have access to without being CYA members – from the comments & the smiles as people where departing today, Barb & I got it right today 🙂
To read / view more on Chris, his boats & the topic of electrochemical damage to wooden boats just enter – Chis McMullen – in the ww search box 😉
Todays post is in two parts – first an attempt to ID some of the Colin Wild crew that built Wirihana. Chris McMullen, the caretaker of Wirihana had been looking through a box old of Wilson and Gould family photos & uncovered todays photos. Chris’s guess on a date for the above photos is 1933. Even thou its over 80 years ago one of the ww followers may recognize a relation. So folks – dig out those old family albums & lets see if we can put some names to the faces.
Col Wild and Mr Martyn Wilson are on the right. The man with the black hair holding the dog may be young Jack Gould who was (Chris believes) Mr Wilson’s step son. That needs to be verified. The Gould Family still own Wirihana to this day.
The 2nd part is to try & confirm what became of the earlier Wirihana, as pictured in the photo below. The ‘smaller’ Wirihana was also owned by the Wilson family. There is a family photo album recording a cruise on her. The album is dedicated to ‘The Crew of the Wirihana 1930-1’.
Chris wonders if the original broke her mooring. Interestingly there are some photos (not in the subject album) showing the wreckage of a wooden vessel but regretfully no details. Could it be that the current Wirihana was a replacement?
Looking forward to some interesting feedback. If you know anyone that had family or a relation that worked at Colin Wild’s yard in the early 1930’s can forward this ww posting on to them & ask for their help with ID’ing the people.
And lasting I could not do a Wirihana post without a photo showing how magnificent she is today 🙂
Update from Nathan Herbert
The below press clippings from the NZ Herald (2nd August 1933) make interesting reading. Wirihana (1) was relaunched on 01/08/1933 after an extensive overhaul at Lanes yard, the work included a new keel – so the questions are
1. Was the work done following an oops ?
2. Was W1 renamed, as W2 (Colin Wild) was being launched around this time?
Harold – where are you?, put down that legal brief & join in 🙂
Harold Kidd Input
My reconstruction of this tangled web is as follows (and some of it is conjecture). 1. Lane Motor Boat Co built WIRIHANA (1) for Joe Wilson in 1929. There is an image of LADY GAY (1) on Lanes’ slip at Mechanics Bay and she’s indistinguishable from WIRIHANA (1).photo below added by AH
2. She flew a “Wirihana” flag because “Wirihana” is maori-ised “Wilson” (and is nicely euphonic). 3. Colin Wild built WIRIHANA (2) in October 1933. 4. The quote above concerning WIRIHANA’s overhaul in 1933 is from the NZ Herald (owned by Wilson) but there’s an almost identical quote in the Herald of 17th November 1933 but referring to the boat as “J. M. Wilson’s LADY GAY”. 5. Clearly, WIRIHANA (1) was renamed LADY GAY while getting her big overhaul at Lanes in 1933 and after WIRIHANA (2) was launched. Her cabintop was altered drastically to provide full headroom so that her earlier semi-bridgedeck style disappears. 5. Wilson kept LADY GAY/WIRIHANA until July 1935, shortly before LADY GAY (2) was launched. 6. He then sold her to H. Walker and I lose sight of her, obviously with an agreed name change. 7. Sooner or later we’ll find out what Walker called her and say “Of course!”.
Dean Wright – professional photographer & owner of the classic 1927 Bob Brown built launch ‘Arethusa’ had his camera out over the break & snapped a few of our fleet at rest in the BOI’s. Greg, like most of us, has a bit of a crush on Wirihana 🙂