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This Is Northern New South Wales

Old Boat

“The vessels that will never go out again… and those that never came back”.

I have a strange fascination with old boats, especially wooden boats! Once proud crafts that were created with love and skill by old craftsmen, then left high and dry to rot when their working days were over. I look at them and wonder what brave and adventurous things they might have done!

I took this photo a few years ago at a little place in New Zealand called Waikokopu with my trusty old Pentax SP1000 (Wet film) And I recently thought I might do some research on it.

found out she was called “The Daily Bread” and she used to run between Waikokopu where the above  shots  was taken to Portland Island which was a Maori settlement off the tip of Mahia Peninsular on New Zealand’s East coast, delivering supplies etc. Rumour has it that the crayfish were so abundant back then that the return trip was dangerous because they would fill her up to the top of the gunnels  with crays and motor home again. Portland Island was occupied by early Maori for generations and was known to them as Waikawa. It was a Whare Wananga (school of learning) and the sacred waka (Canoe) Takitimu stopped there for a while. Captain Cook named it Portland Island as he sailed past in October of 1769 and had a few anxious moments off the SW end when it looked like they would be blown onto the rocks which was not all that inviting as there were large numbers of warriors on the shore brandishing spears and clubs.

Today, Waikokopu has only a few houses, and little evidence of its industrial past is visible. The wharf has been reduced to rubble by southerly swells, and only a few boats use the small harbour. The remains of the wharf and breakwater can be clearly seen on Google earth or on satellite view. The old port is probably now best known to the world at large as an access point for the Rolling Stones surf break on the southern headland.

Rolling Stones: Right-hand point break in S-SW swells with N-NE offshores. Big surf from 4 – 15ft. Experienced surfers only. Tricky access over private land. Permission needed

So this little boat has probably seen some wonderful waves in her time, if only she could talk…..

Photography and musings by Max Pendergast.