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The Bay of Plenty & Coromandel’s own watersports news. Phone 07 578 0030 Waterline online:

March 2014

Giving the sea a bit of the WOW factor!

Women on the water Bay of Plenty ladies (in front) Rhonda Ritchie and Aimee Ritchie, with Laura Vonk (back), Leslie Goddard and Jackie Holt, want to be the first all-women crew to enter the Auckland to Tauranga Race at Easter.

MARCH 2014


The Bay of Plenty’s own boating, fishing, diving, yachting and watersports news. Phone 07-578 0030 Fax 07-571 1116 No.1 The Strand, Tauranga. PO Box 240, Tauranga. email: For advertising, call Kirsty on 07 578 0030 email Follow us on facebook

Waterline advertising & editorial deadlines



June 2014 Sept 2014 Dec 2014 March 2015

30 May 2014 29 August 2014 28 Nov 2014 21 Feb 2015


Time / Height Time / Height Time / Height Time / Height

MARCH 2014 1 Sa 0:21 0.2 2 Su 1:17 0.1 3 Mo 2:10 0.1 4 Tu 3:02 0.1 5 We 3:52 0.1 6 Th 4:41 0.2 7 Fr 5:31 0.3 8 Sa 0:16 1.8 9 Su 1:06 1.8 10 Mo 1:58 1.7 11 Tu 2:52 1.7 12 We 3:46 1.6 13 Th 4:38 1.6 14 Fr 5:27 1.7 15 Sa 6:13 1.7 16 Su 0:37 0.4 17 Mo 1:19 0.4 18 Tu 2:01 0.4 19 We 2:42 0.3 20 Th 3:25 0.3 21 Fr 4:08 0.3 22 Sa 4:54 0.3 23 Su 5:44 0.3 24 Mo 0:29 1.8 25 Tu 1:25 1.8 26 We 2:26 1.8 27 Th 3:28 1.8 28 Fr 4:30 1.9 29 Sa 5:29 1.9 30 Su 0:02 0.2 31 Mo 0:58 0.2

6:47 7:42 8:34 9:24 10:13 11:01 11:49 6:21 7:12 8:05 8:59 9:54 10:46 11:36 12:21 6:57 7:39 8:19 9:00 9:41 10:23 11:07 11:54 6:36 7:33 8:33 9:35 10:37 11:37 6:25 7:19

2 2 2.1 2.1 2 2 1.9 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.5 0.5 1.7 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.9 1.9 1.8 1.8 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.2 2 2

12:54 13:48 14:40 15:30 16:19 17:07 17:55 12:37 13:26 14:17 15:10 16:04 16:58 17:48 18:35 13:04 13:46 14:26 15:07 15:49 16:32 17:18 18:07 12:47 13:44 14:46 15:51 16:55 17:56 12:33 13:27

0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2 1.8 1.7 1.7 1.6 1.6 1.6 1.7 1.7 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.9 0.2 0.1

19:11 20:06 20:58 21:48 22:38 23:26

1.9 2 2 2 2 1.9

18:43 19:33 20:25 21:19 22:13 23:04 23:52

0.3 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5

19:20 20:02 20:43 21:24 22:06 22:50 23:37

1.7 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.8

19:00 19:58 20:59 22:02 23:04

0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3

18:53 1.9 19:46 2


Time / Height Time / Height Time / Height Time / Height

APRIL 2014 1 Tu 1:50 0.2 2 We 2:41 0.2 3 Th 3:30 0.2 4 Fr 4:18 0.3 5 Sa 5:05 0.3 6 Su 5:53 0.4 7 Mo 0:33 1.8 8 Tu 1:21 1.7 9 We 2:12 1.7 10 Th 3:03 1.7 11 Fr 3:54 1.7 12 Sa 4:43 1.7 13 Su 5:31 1.7 14 Mo 0:00 0.5 15 Tu 0:46 0.4 16 We 1:31 0.4 17 Th 2:16 0.3 18 Fr 3:02 0.3 19 Sa 3:49 0.3 20 Su 4:38 0.3 21 Mo 5:29 0.3 22 Tu 0:16 1.9 23 We 1:12 1.9 24 Th 2:11 1.9 25 Fr 3:11 1.9 26 Sa 4:10 1.9 27 Su 5:08 1.9 28 Mo 6:03 1.9 29 Tu 0:38 0.3 30 We 1:30 0.3

8:10 8:59 9:47 10:34 11:20 12:06 6:41 7:30 8:21 9:13 10:04 10:54 11:41 6:17 7:02 7:46 8:31 9:16 10:02 10:50 11:41 6:23 7:20 8:19 9:19 10:19 11:17 12:12 6:55 7:46

2 2 2 1.9 1.8 1.8 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.5 0.5 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.8 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2 1.9 1.9

14:17 15:06 15:52 16:38 17:23 18:09 12:52 13:41 14:33 15:26 16:19 17:11 18:00 12:27 13:11 13:55 14:39 15:24 16:11 16:59 17:50 12:36 13:34 14:36 15:39 16:41 17:39 18:34 13:04 13:53

0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.4 1.7 1.6 1.6 1.6 1.6 1.7 1.7 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.9 1.9 0.2 0.2

20:37 21:25 22:12 22:59 23:46

2 2 2 1.9 1.8

18:56 19:45 20:36 21:29 22:22 23:12

0.4 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.5 0.5

18:47 19:32 20:16 21:00 21:46 22:33 23:23

1.8 1.8 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.9

18:44 19:42 20:43 21:45 22:45 23:43

0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3

19:26 1.9 20:15 2


Time / Height Time / Height Time / Height Time / Height

MAY 2014 1 Th 2:19 2 Fr 3:07 3 Sa 3:53 4 Su 4:39 5 Mo 5:24 6 Tu 6:09 7 We 0:44 8 Th 1:31 9 Fr 2:19 10 Sa 3:08 11 Su 3:57 12 Mo 4:47 13 Tu 5:36 14 We 0:12 15 Th 1:01 16 Fr 1:51 17 Sa 2:40 18 Su 3:31 19 Mo 4:22 20 Tu 5:15 21 We 0:02 22 Th 0:58 23 Fr 1:55 24 Sa 2:53 25 Su 3:50 26 Mo 4:46 27 Tu 5:40 28 We 0:18 29 Th 1:09 30 Fr 1:57 31 Sa 2:44

0.3 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.5 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.8 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 2 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.8 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4

8:34 9:20 10:05 10:49 11:34 12:18 6:54 7:41 8:30 9:19 10:10 11:00 11:49 6:25 7:14 8:03 8:53 9:43 10:35 11:29 6:10 7:06 8:03 9:01 9:59 10:56 11:50 6:31 7:21 8:08 8:53

1.9 1.9 1.8 1.8 1.7 1.7 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.4 1.8 1.8 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.9 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.2 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.8

14:40 15:25 16:09 16:52 17:35 18:19 13:05 13:54 14:45 15:39 16:31 17:23 18:13 12:37 13:25 14:13 15:01 15:51 16:41 17:34 12:24 13:23 14:23 15:24 16:24 17:21 18:14 12:41 13:28 14:14 14:58

0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.5 1.6 1.6 1.6 1.6 1.7 1.7 1.8 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.2 0.2 1.9 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.9 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3

21:01 21:47 22:31 23:15 23:59

1.9 1.9 1.9 1.8 1.8

19:05 19:54 20:45 21:38 22:30 23:22

0.5 0.5 0.6 0.5 0.5 0.5

19:01 19:49 20:38 21:26 22:17 23:09

1.8 1.9 1.9 2 2 2

18:28 19:26 20:26 21:27 22:26 23:24

0.2 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.4

19:04 19:52 20:37 21:20

1.9 1.9 1.9 1.9

Tauranga tide heights in metres. Bowentown: subtract 5 minutes from Tauranga (both HW and LW) Katikati (Kauri Point): add 30 minutes to Tauranga (both HW and LW) Whitianga: High Water subtract 2 minutes from Tauranga HW tide; Low Water add 2 minutes to Tauranga Low Water. Every effort has been made to ensure that these times and tides are correct, no responsibility will be accepted for any inaccuracies, omissions, or misuse or misinterpretation of the values for tides and times published. Times used in the tide predictions are in New Zealand Standard Time (NZST1). Daylight savings add one hour.

MARCH 2014


Waterline launches online site Waterline – the region’s own boating, fishing, sailing and watersports magazine – is now widening its reach with a free, sister online publication

Launched in November 2013, is fast becoming one of the region’s top sources of online news, reviews, opinion and content in the marine-based world. Waterline magazine, owned by Tauranga-based Sun Media, has been in production for more than two decades. Editor and director Brian Rogers says this is an exciting time for online publications. “It’s great to be expanding Waterline’s readership to an unlimited market. “Thanks to all our readers and advertisers who have been on board with Waterline’s print version since its inception in the mid-90s. “A lot has changed in that time, particularly the growth of online readerships and Sun Media is right at the forefront of that market. So it makes sense that our oldest title should also benefit from spreading the word wider than just our loyal magazine readers.” All of Sun Media’s publications operate in tandem with news websites and Brian says it’s exciting to be taking marine news into the internet era. can be read from anywhere, at anytime, and will bring up to the minute coverage of marine-based news and events, while providing interactive and multi-media content, including videos. Since its launch, traffic visiting the site has multiplied five times and now has more than 20,000 readers but that’s just the start of the voyage. “Keep your stories and photos coming and we look forward to bringing you more, faster and more efficiently with Waterline online,” says Brian. For story tips, marine news, photos and information email


MARCH 2014


A versatile combination – This is the story of Bob the Barge. He’s not your average barge. Bob started life as a sailing catamaran; an unfinished project. He’ll probably end up sailing again one day – but in the meantime, he’s got a real job to do. We bought Bob, knowing a bit about his hulls, as I’d helped build one of them during a Derek Kelsall foam sandwich workshop quite a few years ago. The 26 foot hulls are vacuum-bagged flat panels of foam and fibreglass, with the underwater curved sections left un-glassed until each of the two halves were joined together, opened up like an envelope and then shaped and glassed over. It’s a great system, providing gel-coat, glassflat sides; and the only fairing required is on the underwater sections. Fast, light, efficient on resin, a good finish above the waterline and reasonably easy for the home builder. Our search for a small barge came from the need to transport a variety of things across Whitianga Harbour to the family’s wateraccess-only block of bush. General commuting is by pontoon boat, but we needed a flat deck to carry things such as timber, roofing materials, orchard gear and a quad bike. None of those go particularly well on a standard boat. We were also involved in a joint venture with neighbours, getting consents for a jetty, which eventually took six-and-a-half years. That’s another story for another day. In the past, we’d borrowed the local oyster farm barge and it was great, but we couldn’t go on bludging every time we needed a load carted. We considered aluminium barges, but they were costly, in the region of $30-40K. Fine if you’re using them every day, but we couldn’t afford or justify that sort of outlay for a barge to be used spasmodically. Then we looked at modular pod systems, such as Pontoonz, which seem like a great idea. For the minimum size we required, outlay would be about $5000 plus some substantial timber framework, and decking on top. Then Bob popped up on the radar. Here was an opportunity to get some really nice slipperyy hulls, for all up less than the price of building from scratch. Plus the base set-up could be used for day-tripping and party barge on the harbour – and still reverted to “yacht” status,

when the bush block and jetty development work was over. So Bob was bought unfinished and his sailing gear stowed in the shed for the meantime. A ply and pine beam deck was constructed, using Bob’s sturdy arms built into his hulls.

Beefy Bob The deck was made pretty beefy, since it would be expected to carry at least a tonne, with the Polaris alone weighing in at 600kg. Originally, we were going to set him up with a single, centre-mounted outboard, maybe a long shaft high thrust Yammie 9.9 or similar. But there were problems with that concept. Firstly, it meant having a motor sitting around, out in the weather, being unused for a large part of the year. So we went off the idea of Bob having his own dedicated power. Then it was decided we could just use Bob as a dumb barge. (No offence intended, Bob). We’d just tie alongside and “barge” Bob around. However that would mean Bob’s use would be confined to calm days, as a few test runs found things got a bit lively in a 2ft chop and a 25knot sou-wester. And it didn’t really work for the party barge concept. Nor did we fancy undertaking the coastal voyage to deliver Bob from his mudflat building site in Tauranga, across 60 miles of open Pacific coastline, while tied alongside a pontoon boat. So that idea was scotched. Then, in a eureka moment, we decided we could ‘dock’ a small boat under Bob, latch them together, and effectively Bob would be under his own power and manoeuvrability while connected. The first trials were with an older fibreglass boat with a newish Honda 20hp. Bob’s undercarriage was adapted to fit the shape of the little boat, several latching points established and a trailer winch used to hoist the little boat up into place under the barge.

Left: Coppercoat super long life hard antifoul.

Above: built to take a load, the deck under construction.

The driver position was located conveniently through a deck hole. It worked perfectly. With the small boat secured in place, Bob could burn around at an easy 8-10 knots, un-laden. Many sea trials later and the docking system was refined and perfected. However there were some concerns about the suitability of the old fibreglass boat, and whether it would handle the pounding. It also relied on a bilge pump to deal with any water coming in. Anyone who knows anything about cats will attest to the “washing machine” action that goes on between two hulls in a rough sea.

Stabi meet Bob ... So a deal was cut with the whanau, to ditch the fibreglass boat, put the family 1410 Stabicraft under Bob instead, and fit it up with the 20hp Honda. Measurements showed the 1410 was an almost perfect fit for the barge. Although bigger and heavier than the first little boat, and with a lot more wetted surface, the Stabi’s benefit was its ability to self-drain; and it’s a much more useful boat when not employed in barging. A major part of the task was having built a customised rise and fall helm station; not a centre console as such, but the steering wheel and throttle on a simple column that could be pinned in the stand-up position, through the access hatch in the barge deck – then dropped to sitting position in the Stabi when it’s used as a normal dinghy. Mastertech Marine at The Lakes in Tauranga handled the supply and fit-out of the Stabi and worked with G-Fab in Maleme St to nut out the rise and fall helm position. Prescott Trailers whipped up a fantastic trailer, with a few special mod-cons, including side posts to help with beach landings and to aid backing visibility, especially when the trailer is un-laden. Prescott also came up with an axle adjustment system, whereby the position of the axle can be m moved, fore or aft, to account for any future c changes in weight distribution, such as change o outboard. of After many sea trials in Tauranga, and the n neighbours starting to think Bob would never m it to Whitianga, the docking Stabicraft make s system was perfected and Bob was deemed

The Stabi-craft in regular boat mode.


MARCH 2014

Stabi docks under barge

Above: 2.7 tonnes of wharf piles and concrete. Right: Early sea trials with our expert test panelists. ready for service. This coincided with the final okay, after six-and-a-half years, on the jetty project; so Bob had his marching orders. Weather patterns were watched carefully for a few weeks, then a good window of opportunity presented itself in mid-November. No swell, 10 knot variable offshore breezes.

The journey I press-ganged Tony ‘Gilligan’ Breeds into the crew; we rounded up a heap of safety gear, EPIRB, VHFs, flares, fuel, a chilly bin loaded with refreshments and supplies, bean bag and a couple of deck chairs – and we set sail from Te Puna on a perfect Tauranga morning, bound for Whitianga. The Stabicraft, being larger and heavier than the original docking boat, meant we lost a bit of speed, but the safety and strength factors were a no brainer. Loaded, the barge cruised at 7 knots; and in no time we were through the middle of the Tauranga Harbour shallows and on our way to the Bowentown entrance. It was d a pussycat on this day, and we rounded the heads and steamed along the coast,,

enjoying the scenery and relaxing on the expansive decks of Bob’s generous cargo area. The miles rolled by, the crew taking shifts of helming Bob, sleeping in the bean bag and partaking of at least three lunches. Most of the trip was uneventful and flat, with only a bit of chop off Shoe Island and a bit of a slappy headwind, the breeze and chop notching our progress back a knot or two. Bob took a few waves over the front beam, but nothing to get excited about. Soon after we rounded Hahei into Mercury Bay for the home stretch. After nine- and-a-half hours, Bob slipped quietly into his new hometown. The voyage averaged about 6 knots, used less than 40 litres of fuel and a six pack of woodies. Mick and Neil, the shore crew, arrived on cue with the Stabi trailer. Bob was delivered to his new moorings, the latchings undone and the stabi’s stern winched down – and the Stabi bobbed out from underneath. Back on its trailer and towed away – a very satisfying moment after a few years of scheming, headg trials – capped pp off with a hard case, scratching,

epic coastal trip. Since then, Bob the Barge has been hard at work. He’s carried massive jetty piles to the site, cross beams and deck timber, pallets of concrete, shed portals and building gear. Our biggest load so far is 2.6 tonne. Bob lost a bit of freeboard that day, but the handling was impeccable. The docking system works like a dream, and the Stabi-craft is a fantastic little runabout in its own right; the family enjoying its easy launching and handling, easy enough for any of the family to whip out for a feed of fish. Bob is yet to have his first party barge engagement; but come the end of the jetty project, there is bound to be some celebrating and he’ll be in the thick of it. Many thanks to supporters: the indestructible Mr Honda, Mr Stabi-craft, Karl and team at MasterTech, G-Fab, Mac MacKinven, John and the guys at Prescott Trailers; Mac, for his patience and boat building assistance; the best crewman in the business, Gilligan Breeds; and the shore team Mick and Neil. By Brian Rogers

Locked and docked -- the tinnie’s helm pops up through the barge deck.

Gilligan en route. G-Fab’s rise and fall helm station.

MARCH 2014






Having an extensively stocked shop is one thing, having staff with extensive experience and expertise is another ... because we love boating as much as you do.


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Phone: 5789593 Email:

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MARCH 2014

Boaties’ safety the view


The coastguard’s rescue vessel Whakatane Rescue ll in action.

The view from Mal Evetts’ window is one of the best in Whakatane – but his role, and that of his co-workers is not to enjoy the scenery, but monitor the safety of those who cross the Whakatane bar or are at sea. Mal is a radio-operator with Coastguard Whakatane, a role he’s held for 10 years – and during that time he’s been involved in many rescues as one of the Search and Rescue coordinators. He’s part of a team which includes three paid radio-operators, up to 20 volunteer operators and four volunteer crews, each with five to eight men and women who man the coastguard’s rescue vessel Whakatane Rescue ll. From their headquarters at Whakatane Heads, radio-operators have a clear view of the sometimes dangerous Whakatane River bar, but boaties can see exactly what they are viewing too – by logging onto the Coastguard Whakatane website and watching the bar in real time, from a camera installed in the watch house. “I advise anyone planning to go boating at Whakatane to check our website for forecasts and warnings and view the video of the bar, so they can make an informed decision on whether it is safe to set out,” says Mal. HarbourCam is provided by Coastguard Whakatane and Surtees Boats, and gives an indication of the conditions at the river entrance. However, Mal says any boat operator in doubt of the exact conditions should consult the Coastguard duty operator phone 07 308 7110. The bar entrance has recently been dredged by machinery, operating from on top of a rock groin, but at low tide still remains shallow and conditions can be rough. While operators can see what’s happening on the bar in front of them, they still advise boaties to radio the coastguard before they cross the bar, to report the number of people on-board, and ensuring everyone is wearing a lifejacket. Coastguard Whakatane also recommends all vessels intending to depart or enter across the Thornton, Opotiki and Ohiwa bars advise of

their intention to do so prior to the crossing. Coastguard Whakatane will log the call and monitor the vessel. Once safely across the bar, the vessel reports its safe crossing. If no safe crossing report is received by Coastguard Whakatane within 10-15 minutes, the vessel will be called on VHF 80 and VHF 60 to confirm the safe crossing. If the safety Radio operator Mal Evetts, on duty at of the vessel cannot be confirmed an Coastguard Whakatane. “all stations” call will be made; and the technology. This new system established by matter will be referred to a Marine SAR AdviCoastguard Whakatane made it possible to sor and the Police. communicate with vessels from Coromandel Coastguard Whakatane has three part-time to Hawke’s Bay and including Lake Taupo and radio operators employed for weekday manthe Rotorua lakes. Whakatane is now the radio ning of the radio communication centre, while centre for the whole of Coastguard Eastern weekend and holiday manning is carried out Region. This new technology is so successful by volunteer radio operators. The Communiit will be rolled out throughout New Zealand cations Centre is open each day, 8am to 6pm in coming years. During the hours they’re not hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year. manned (6pm to 8am) Coastguard Northern Radios are operated on SSB channel 4417 Region has a copy of the system and monitor, KHZ for long distance coverage and on VHF and reply and log all of the Central Region calls channel 80 for the general Eastern Bay of during that time. Plenty area. During a typical year, the WhakaCoastguard Whakatane has four Marine tane operators log some 30,000 calls. Search and Rescue Controllers, who take The aims of Coastguard Whakatane is to control of any marine Search and Rescue (SAR) promote boating safety and awareness through operations in the area. In major emergencies education and the use of proper procedures, to they work in conjunction with the local Police provide radio communications for members and the NZ Rescue Coordination Centre in and to arrange and co-ordinate rescue services Wellington, handling local communications at sea when required. and activities. When necessary, Coastguard The area covered by Coastguard Whakatane Whakatane also works closely with Coastextends out beyond White Island and covers a guard Tauranga, Maketu, Opotiki, Whakatane large part of the Eastern Bay of Plenty, which includes three sea access areas; Whakatane River Emergency Response Team and Ohope Surf Life Saving. By Elaine Fisher entrance, Ohiwa Harbour and the Rangitaiki To find out more about Coastguard Whakatane, go river entrance at Thornton. to or view conditions In 2008 a major investment was made to at the Whakatane bar on www.coastguardwhakatane. improve radio equipment and a new erised system was installed based on VOIP


MARCH 2014

Windlass gyp p A chance conversation with a former French rock-star at Fakareva is the reason Gean Struck sailed to Tauranga for his refit. The former Parisian surgeon was in the Tuamotu Archipelago swapping yarns with the former French singer, who left show business to go sailing. “He told me to go to Tauranga; it was a nice place to refit the boat. That’s why I’m here,” says Gean. From that moment the problems with the boat began making themselves more apparent, says Gean. The mainsail that had taken him back and forth across the Atlantic, around the Mediterranean a couple of times, and on several extensive Caribbean cruises, was coming apart at the seams. “I wasn’t tired but the mainsail was really tired,” says Gean. “I started sewing almost every stop by hand.” The windlass gypsy failed. The gypsy is the wheel on the windlass or capstan with the chainshaped gaps for hauling up anchor chains. Gean found the French company that built the original had gone out of business since he began sailing seven-eight years ago, leaving him with the possibility of having to replace the entire windlass, unless he could fabricate a new gypsy. While he had a crew of three fishing-mad American college boys on-board for the crossing from Panama, it was not too much of a problem. Four people could haul it. But they flew back to school at Samoa. “They were nice, but crazy about fishing. We got a marlin, 2.5m, weighed at 120kg,” says Gean. “They cooked it fresh, smoked it, dried it, and there was still too much.” Gean cleared customs at Whangarei and began making arrangements for a bit of a refit. A new sail is on order with North Sails and he’s arranged a new motor

DV LUH \OLQGHU 6(59,&(6


MARCH 2014

sy s for Lama Lo for the dive compressor; then he set sail for Tauranga. But Tauranga wasn’t so much fun at first for Gean. The night he arrived the tide took him by surprise. The anchor chain wrapped round the dagger board and the boat started dragging towards the harbour bridge. He jettisoned 70m of chain and a 35kg anchor to enable him to start the engines and get out of trouble. A keen diver, Gean later recovered the chain and anchor but it took four hours to find. The good news was Tauranga Bridge Marina manager Tony Arnold put Gean in touch with Baycast Foundry. Gean carved up the pattern for a new gypsy, using wood and car bog; and he’s now is possession of two special alloy gypsy wheels. “A bonus for Tauranga is the people; and finding people who are really nice and good workers,” says Gean. He’s changed the location of the windlass and is still doing some work on it while waiting for a new mainsail from North Sails in Auckland. After his next 70,000 miles or so he’ll buy new sails from Hong Kong, where they are less than half-price, says Gean. The answer to how a surgeon from Paris begins building yachts and taking up the cruising life lies in Gean’s childhood. As a child in the south of France, he recalls watching ships and cruising boats depart and disappear over the horizon. The family moved to Paris because of his father’s work; and that’s where he completed school and studied medicine. “I started working and after a couple of years I realised I was missing something; and I was wanting to be doing something with my hands, other than my job,” says Gean.

Inspired by a round-the-world sailor, Gean began building his first boat. The monohull took four years of weekends and holidays to build; and served as the family holiday home for the next 12 years. He eventually sold the boat to a friend and started seriously thinking about stopping working and going sailing full-time. “My wife was also a medical doctor [but] she didn’t get the same [feeling]... she wasn’t so enjoying the sailing. We parted, but we are still the best friends in the world; still family.” He chose a design by Van Peteghem Lauriot-Prevost, the internationally-known French naval architect partnership that spearheaded the world-beating French multihull racing design boom of the 1980s. The VPLP partnership also designed more than 240 catamarans, with their designs also being taken up by Lagoon and later Beneteau. The 15m catamaran named Lama Lo is built in fibreglass foam sandwich, in the south of France. Gean began his voyaging by setting out through the Straits of Gibraltar, making for the Canary Islands, Senegal, Cape Verde and across the Atlantic to Brazil, where he spent six weeks on the Amazon River. He then went up the coast to Venezuela into the Caribbean Sea, the Islands of Domonique, Santa Lucia, Virgin Islands, Santo Domingo and Jamaica. “Jamaica was really welcoming. I say that because people sometimes avoid Jamaica.” Cuba is another big hit with Gean – he’s been there four times.

Gean Stru ck

“Cuba really is a jewel. The people are friendly, happy; even with their problems. Havana is a really fantastic place and the boat was safe in the marina.” He left Lama Lo parked up at Rio Dulce for five months and resumed cruising down the Mexican Riviera, to Belize and Honduras. He spent a lot of time exploring the San Blas Islands, off the coast of Panama, offering more than 200 coral islands with fantastic anchorages. While promising himself he would one day go to the Pacific, he instead went back to Cuba, Bermuda and across the Atlantic to the Azores. His voyaging is not all solitary. “I have done many miles by myself, but from time to time friends visit. Different stages, different people, most of them coming from France and going back.” He was back in Panama a few years later stocking up for the Pacific voyage. People had told them there was nothing to eat and what there is; is very expensive. “That was completely wrong. We could find everything in the Pacific, sometimes cheaper and sometimes free.” By Andrew Campbell


MARCH 2014


Busy summer sailing season It has been a very busy summer sailing season for Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club sailors and families, with members competing at regattas in Tauranga, throughout New Zealand and overseas. The club continues to be overrepresented on the podium, as recent results at NZ’s only Olympic level regatta – Oceanbridge Sail Auckland – demonstrate, with eight members on the podium at the Olympic level and in the invited classes. Wins were recorded by Peter Burling and Blair Tuke in the 49er class, Molly Meech and partner Alex Maloney in the 49er Fx, Jason Saunders and partner Gemma Jones in the Nacra 17, Andrew Murdoch in the Finn Class, Tom Saunders was the third New Zealander in the Laser, and Trent Rippey was first NZ Male Youth and third overall in Laser Radial (gaining selection in the NZL Youth team). In the invited classes Sam Barnett and Zak Merton won the 420s. Sail Auckland is a selection regatta, not only for Olympic classes but also to determine selection of the NZL Youth team. Each youth class has two selection regattas – their class nationals and Sail Auckland and selection is based on net points across the two regattas. Sam Barnett and Zak Merton sailing in the 420 have their class nationals still to come in March, so must make it two-in-row to qualify. Trent Rippey has gained selection in Laser Radial with his placing as top NZ Youth male

at Sail Auckland and top NZ Youth at the Laser Nationals, which were held earlier in January. Also competing from TYPBC at the Laser Nationals, and also in the Laser radial, were youth sailors Berrick Fitzsimmons (11th) and Ben Warren (15th). In the first week of January, things were busy on Tauranga Harbour as the club hosted the 90th anniversary of the P class, with the sailing of the Tanner (regional contest) and Tauranga Cup (nationals). Eight boats representing their region took part in the Tanner Cup and the winner was TYPBC sailor and BOP representative Cole Rippey, who had an unblemished race record of six wins from six races emulating local legend Jimmy Gilpin’s triumphs in the 1950s. Jimmy won the Tanner and Tauranga cups three times in a row. Cole came close to making it a double with the deciding moment being in the last beat of the very last race in the Tauranga Cup Nationals series, which ran during four days. The eventual winner of the Tauranga Cup was Kate Stewart (Wakatere Boating Club), who became the first girl to win the contest since Olympian Lesley Egnot won the trophy in 1979. Cole was third, and second was Jackson Keon from Sandspit. Also competing from TYPBC were Tom Maidment (18th), Dylan Frost (22nd), Jack Revington (26th), Sara Dodds (29th), Niamh Dillon (31st), and Samantha Kennedy (34th). While the P class was enjoying the

fabulous hospitality of the TYPBC café and the sparkling waters of our harbor, some of its members were trying to beat the Aussies in Melbourne. Sam Barnett and Zak Merton came away with a third in the Australian 420 Nationals, and won the top boys’ team placing and came third overall in the Australian Youth Championships, where both events were sailed at Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula. The boys had to contend with some interesting weather conditions in Melbourne, including an encounter with a sudden weather change and 50knots, which saw several 420s break masts and tear sails (fortunately they dropped their main and sailed in unscathed).

Starlings The Starling fleet group of Jonathon Barnett, Richard Wright and Elly Warren has been away to Starling North Islands (Parua Bay), Auckland Champs (Kohimarama) and Junior Sail Auckland (Kohimarama). Everyone has benefited from starting in the bigger fleets and they are on track to do well at the Starling Nationals (Parua Bay) in April. Jonathon has just started sailing the starling and enjoyed the light conditions at North Islands, which was his first starling regatta, placing 35th out of 73. He did a bit of swimming initially at Auckland Champs, which was a very windy regatta and placed 32nd; and was 22nd at Junior sail Auckland. Richard Wright has enjoyed a consistent season and some good results, placing 32nd at North Islands, 28th at Auckland Champs


MARCH 2014

Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club

Local talent shining (didn’t compete on last day), and 14th at Junior Sail Auckland. Elly Warren has also competed at all three regattas (53rd North Islands), and enjoyed success in the breeze at Auckland Champs but unfortunately had some gear breakages that impacted on her final result (38th) and 27th at Junior Sail Auckland. Dylan McKinlay, who has moved on to sail the Laser radial, was Bay of Plenty representative at the Starling Match Racing Cup and was victorious in a close-fought contest with Wellington’s George Gautrey.

Opti Also encountering some heavy winds at the Auckland Champs were our Open fleet Opti sailors James Barnett, Joel Kennedy and Tom Maidment. James and Joel are new to open fleet this season and still finding their way starting in the big fleet, which was divided into two flights. Both boys had top race results, in the teens though, and now know they can be competitive when they get a good start. They struggled in the 30-plus knots on the last day with Joel finishing 28th in Silver Fleet and James 30th. Tom had a good regatta and his experience is paying off with some good results landing him in gold fleet on the final day and an overall result of 34th. The Opti group has been putting in a lot of training ahead of their next ranking regatta – the Interislander in Picton. The boys are looking forward to the road trip and ferry and are hoping to make some improvements in results. Olly Maidment stuck out most of the races in Green Fleet at Auckland Champs, which was a pretty brave effort and

turned in a final result of 36th out of 55 and a decent haul in the spot prizes, as usual.

P Class Samantha Kennedy was very pleased to take out the P Class Anniversary Day regatta in very blustery conditions. Sailing at Takapuna on the same weekend, the 420s were enjoying fast-paced conditions in the heavy breeze and swell. Sam Barnett and Zak Merton had to settle for second after racing was called off on the final day because of the conditions, which also saw TYPBC sailor Luke Stevenson, who was in a support RIB, rescue an overturned multi hull crew unable to get free. Luke had to dive under the boat and cut the crew free. It was a very fortunate thing he was on hand and the woman was able to be revived. This drama was enough to see the contest wrapped up for the day and all boats head to shore. TYPBC boasts a significant Zephyr fleet and some of them made the trip to Lyttleton for their Nationals with Mark Thomas placing fourth, Andy Knowles was sixth and Bob Smyth 16th.

Laser As if our young sailors had not done enough sailing, many of them turned out for the 24-hour Oki race at Lake Pupuke in Auckland. Trent Rippey and partner Cullen le Roy were top youth boys and fifth overall behind some big names in NZ for the Laser full rig regattas. Andy Maloney, together with Netherlands sailor Nicolas Heiner, took out the title with Thomas Saunders of TYPBC in second place. Sam Barnett and Zak Merton made the shift to the Laser for the event. They finished sixth Youth. A great experience apparently, I think the support people for each team should get prizes, as they get no sleep and no glory – waking up to rouse the next helm from their sleeping bag, feed and water them, and some-

times assist the exiting helm up the hill to their bed. A big thank you to those who supported. The same weekend the Finn Nationals saw, once again, a battle royal between Andrew Murdoch (TYPBC) and Josh Junior (Wellington). This time Josh was victorious with Andrew placed third. This last week has seen an international fleet stationed at Takapuna for the A Class NZ Nationals and World Championships. Peter Burling took out the national title but it was all on during the week among some big names for the world title, which eventually went to Glen Ashby of Australia, with Peter Burling’s crew Blair Tuke coming second and Peter third.

Windsurfing The TYPBC windsurfers were out in force this last weekend at the RSX and Techno National Championships held at Manly. The conditions were very light, resulting in some exhausting pumping contests. Coral Headey took out the title for first Under 17 Girl in Techno, qualifying Coral for selection to represent NZ at the Youth Olympics. Josh McConnell was third NZ Youth Under 17 Boy in the Techno. Bradley Nixon placed ninth in the RSX men’s group, which included a number of international competitors.

Regatta And there is still more to come with our own Tauranga regatta this weekend, as well as the Tornado Nationals here too in March. Can we ever have too much sailing? Seems not to be the case for those who live for the sport, both young and old; they relish that moment in the day or week when they get to go sailing. It’s the sort of sport where you always learn something, there are great ‘the one that got away’ stories, plenty of thrills and near misses; and as always, there are the people who you sail with, who’ll be friends for life. By Pauline Barnett

Trailer yachts wante


The Tauranga Yacht and Boat Club’s trail er yacht division has ping away at some spir been ited and close racing so far this season. The chipquite been quite an armada, so we’re ope fleet hasn’t nly encouraging any looking for some grea one with a yacht t sailing on Wednesd ay nights to join us. All you need to do is come down to the club most of us are in the on Wednesdays and club you’ll find too happy to meet you ’s carpark setting up at about 5pm; and we’re only and assist joining in. The racing in the first half of the summer seri Glen Isla is the smallest es saw Glen Isla take boat in the division, the prize. 17. We welcome Syn so cocity to the trailer yach great effort for the Monarch so enjoy the sailing guy t fleet sailing in division s. three, The second half of the summer series is prov the weather being a little kinder, and a goo iding some great sailing, with d variety of breezes to one; so see you out ther suit everye.


MARCH 2014


Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club

New young sailors jump into racing This term, the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club Sailing School are very excited to see some of it students making the jump into beginning to race fibreglass Optimists and P Classes. Several students, who’s first time out sailing was only in September, have either bought their own boats or are chartering race spec boats to begin to join in with club racing on Sunday afternoons. The sailors started out on the September Spring Holiday Learn to Sail course and last term enjoyed the Level 2 course. Sunday saw many of them join in with club racing for the first time; and all of the sailors came off the water sporting big smiles. Cameron Snodgrass, although nervous to begin with, surprised himself coming third, only just behind some of the more experienced sailors. Helen Brumby was sailing her newly-acquired P Class for the first time; and impressed several seasoned club members with her handling of the boat in a fairly fresh breeze. It has been fantastic to see the families beginning to befriend other members; and parents are finding they have the opportunity to enjoy watching their children sailing by jumping on a patrol boat, or even hopping on the committee boat and helping with the starts. The new influx of members is adding to the strong social atmosphere TYPBC already enjoys. With more than 30 children and teenagers racing regularly on Sundays, and training happening every night, the sailing school is playing a big role in engaging both children and parents in club activities. On Yachting New Zealand’s Club Open Day, the sailing school hosted a free ‘try windsurfing’ event, which was a huge hit among both existing club members and visiting families. A lovely sunny day and a good breeze saw more than 40 children and teenagers out on the water giving it a go.

By Georgi Ridler

Brochway Carter enjoys sailing in the Tauranga harbour.


MARCH 2014


WOW Women on Water

Sponsorship needed to fill women’s sails Cover story Six Bay of Plenty ladies are tossing the idea on having a man on their boat overboard – and vying instead to be the first all-women crew to enter the Auckland to Tauranga Race at Easter. Skipper Rhonda Ritchie, from Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club, Leslie Goddard, Laura Vonk, Jackie Holt, Aimee Ritchie and Delwyn Hodgson are training their way to be the first all-women crew in the Easter race – but they need sponsorship to make their upto-24-hour-long race dream sail happen. Tauranga resident Rhonda, who owns the team’s boat Smudge, says the 120 nautical mile race begins 10am April 17, 2014, under Auckland’s harbour bridge to finish at A Beacon, outside Tauranga Harbour. “Our aspiration is to be the first all-women crew to compete in this race,” says Rhonda, who reckons her teams members travel the region weekly to train in Tauranga Harbour. Rhonda says competing in January’s Tauranga to Whitianga race was the first time she’d completed a coastal trip with an all-women crew, something she calls “an empowering experience”.

“Being totally in charge of the boat adds a new dimension to being in the race – we’re not content to just complete the race, but aim to be competitive.” Rhonda says the team may not be world champions, but is passionate about sailing. “Together we give each other courage to push our personal boundaries and achieve our dreams. “By taking on this race, we hope to encourage other women to take charge of their destiny and get out there and give it a go; whatever their dreams are.” But the ladies need sponsorship to enter

Smudge, a Farr 9.2 fibre glass keeler built in 1986, at Easter. “There is a big jump in the cost to prepare a boat,” says Rhonda. The sponsorship wish-list includes safety equipment and inspections, a new sail wardrobe – replacing a genoa and spinnaker and adding a gennaker – internet data to run applications, sailing shirts, covered travel costs for bow woman Laura, who moved to Wellington mid-campaign, and nutrition supplements. Rhonda says the crew trains as a unit and each has an integral role to play, “so it’s important to the success of the whole campaign we’re all available to sail”, adding: “Electronic wind instruments would improve our ability to select and trim the head-sails more accurately”. Sponsors receive promotion and website links via the Smudge Facebook Page, among other bonuses. “We’ll post photos and reports featuring our crew using products; and sails and crew shirts will have prominently-displayed logos,” says Rhonda. “We’d also be happy to take sponsors for a sail.” By Merle Foster For more information, visit www.facebook. com/smudgeladies or email Rhonda at seamum@

Another first - but we need your help Many people have aspirations, but not everyone commits themselves completely and wholeheartedly to achieving them. Rhonda Ritchie and the crew of Smudge have definitely done just this, and that is why WOW’s Team Smudge needs your help. Aiming to be the first all-female crew to compete in the Auckland-Tauranga race, sponsorship is of key importance to skipper/owner Rhonda and her crew in order to help outfit Smudge, a Farr 9.2 fibreglass yacht. Desired items include new sails, travel-cost compensation, safety equipment and nutritional supplements for the race, all of which will help to ensure Rhonda and her team perform at their safest and competitive best in this 120-nautical mile race, which begins 25 April, 2014. The courage of Rhonda and her crew – Delwyn Hodgson, Jackie Holt, Aimee Ritchie, and Laura Vonk – and the trust they have in one another, in terms of skill and teamwork, provide inspiration for WOW’s other sailors; and show what is possible. The members of Team Smudge met through WOW, and have honed their skills through racing on Tauranga’s tidal waters, as well as in the Tauranga-Whitianga race in January. Anyone who is interested in sponsoring Smudge can email Rhonda at: The team’s Facebook page will provide exposure for sponsors, including photos of the ladies using sponsored products, as well as links to each sponsor’s own website. Team Smudge’s crew shirts and sails will proudly display sponsors’ logos. Please help this group of dedicated ladies to see their dream through; what an exciting and worthy cause to contribute to. By Nicole Harris

MARCH 201 2014




All together now

Tauranga has a long tradition of producing top secondary school sailing teams – notably Tauranga Boys’ College and Otumoetai. After a few seasons of relative quiet on the Tauranga front, we’re pleased to have recently helped kick-start initiatives in four schools. A development squad formula was developed with Tauranga Boys’ College last season and this has continued successfully this season. The squad has moved up from our Topaz boats, with coaching from the Tauranga Yacht and Boat Club coaches, into the racing squad training with the A team under senior coach Nigel Rippey. Meanwhile, interest has been strong in a new development squad, which, as we go to press, has begun training in the Topaz with the club. So it’s Tauranga Boys’ College all over the harbour on Monday nights. After lots of work with sports co-ordinator Bill Kite, from August to October 2013, Aquinas College has put together a development

squad which trained for most of 2013’s last school term on Wednesdays. Now, they’ve also moved on from the Topaz boats to 420s. A keen team of 10-12 is training regularly under TYPBC coach Rory Gleeson. Most recently, Leanne Warren has managed against the odds to get a combined Tauranga Girls’ College and Otumoetai College team together and find a day, other than Mondays and Wednesdays, when everyone can train. So there’s more school sailing fun on Thursdays, with recently-arrived Argentine sailor Maximo Muller becoming the team’s coach. What is the target? Firstly, it’s the regional regatta happening in late March on Lake Taupo. The top schools will go from there to the nationals up at Auckland’s Algies Bay in April, with the winning teams having the chance to take on the Aussies at an Interdominion event later in the year. Last year the Tauranga Boys’ College team came a close second at the nationals, continu-

ing a strong run for the school during recent years, which they’ll be aiming to repeat. For Tauranga Girls’ College and Otumoetai College, the aim this year is each of them will field a team to begin training in term four for racing next season. Team sailing is a cool way to get on the water for children who aren’t active club sailors or necessarily even sailing club members, and who don’t have their own boat and are unable to put in the time to regularly train, race, and attend regattas throughout the year. Because it is strongly team-based, and the courses are short and races quick, there are lots of laughs; and it is a huge amount of fun for everyone. Moves are afoot to establish team sailing as an intermediate school sport as well, so watch this space. So if you see a fleet of boats off Sulphur Point after-school, with distinctive yellow and blue sails, it’s school sailing activities. By Stuart Pedersen

MARCH 2014

Sailing on a wave of success Two Tauranga sailors are riding a wave of success, following a winning effort in an international regatta that could see them place in the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship later this year. Zak Merton and Sam Barnett, both aged 17, won the first half of the youth world championship selection races and have been training for the second half of selection races in the 420 class. The pair trained together with Auckland sailors Eliza Wilkinson and Kate Stewart on Tauranga Harbour earlier this month, when Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club celebrated its open day. The day was in collaboration with Yachting New Zealand’s first Volvo National Sailing and Boating Day on February 16. Eliza, 17, Kate, 15, are placed second best female team in the youth worlds so far – and are close enough to win their class in the second half of selection races. “We get out and practise skills and techniques…making sure we get everything fine-tuned so we don’t make any mistakes,” says Zak. “We’re also working on speed,” says Sam, who reckons racing against the girls will help them with speed testing. Zak has been sailing for seven years, while Sam has five years’ experience – and the pair has been sailing together for two years after meeting at Otumoetai College. “I just really enjoy it and once I put into it I couldn’t stop,” says Zak. “It’s the best feeling…definitely give it a go. It’s a sport for life.” Sam’s parents encouraged him to start sailing and since then he “can’t stop”. TYPC commodore Gary Smith says keen boaties from beginner to national champions are involved with the club. “We’ve got people from learning to sail…to national champions and guys who are going to the world championships – and they’re all down here together. “You don’t have to start as a kid ; it’s for the whole family.” By Zoe Hunter

Tauranga sailors Zak Merton, 17, and Sam Barnett, 17, with Auckland sailors Eliza Wilkinson, 17, Kate Stewart, 15. Photo by Zoe Hunter.

MARCH 2014


Teen lands shark tale

Te Puke’s Reuben Martin.

Te Puke’s Reuben Martin is well and truly hooked on his love of fishing after reeling in a two metre bronze whaler shark in Papamoa.

Above: Reuben Martin, with the two metre bronze whaler shark he hooked at Papamoa Beach. Photo supplied. What started as a visit to Papamoa Beach with father Kelly, ended up being the catch of a life time for the 17-year-old on Thursday, January 9. Reuben, who has autism, was on the beach when a trio of local fishermen offered him a turn behind their heavy-duty surfcaster. “They had a big, proper fishing rod because they were down there to catch the sharks,” says Reuben’s sister Rebecca Martin, who arrived in time to see the shark to being reeled in.

“They gave him another rod and then the line took off. Reuben grabbed it and went with the rod; people had to grab him so he wouldn’t be dragged out.” Strapped into a harness with the graphite rod up, Reuben fought with the shark – estimated to weigh about 160kg – for 45 minutes before bringing it into shallow water. The fishermen helped hold it down and open its jaws, removing the hook, with Reuben posing for some photos before it was released. “Rueben loved it,” says Rebecca. “He fishes as much as he possibly can. It is definitely the biggest he has caught.”

Rebecca says her brother is yet to stop talking about the experience. “He’s normally just surfcasting and off the wharf at the Mount. He doesn’t usually catch anything that big. “He was back down there two days later and caught a big kahawai, which fed us for two days.” Bronze whalers, which can grow to 3.3m in length and weigh up to 200kg, are common along the stretch of beach. They can be found in shallow bays, harbours and offshore waters, 330 feet deep or more, but are not regarded as a threat to humans. By Luke Balvert

Couple hook the big prize A Tauranga couple are reeling after hooking the ultimate trout fishing prize from throughout the Eastern Bay of Plenty region. Retirees Eric and Elaine Kinnaird have been fishing for more than 40 years, but are still surprised to win the prize package. “He [Eric] was speechless,” says Elaine. “He’s never won anything in his life.” The first prize includes $1400 worth of fishing gear, Rotorua hotel accommodation and local theme park passes, and a guided trout fishing adventure. Second prize went to Douglas and Karina Charmley from Turangi, and Kawerau’s David and Marie Moncur took out third. To qualify for the draw, a family licence had to be purchased for the Eastern region before

December 31, 2013. But this wasn’t difficult for the Kinnairds; they’ve been purchasing trout licences since they became available. The couple, who have been fishing together throughout the decades, taking their children and now grandchildren fishing too, say it is “very special.” These days they have three grandchildren visiting frequently, two girls aged 12 and 10 and a 14-year-old boy. The pair lived in Whakatane for many years, Eric working as a builder and Elaine at the local board mill. They holidayed at Gisborne Point on Lake Rotoiti for many years where on one occasion they each caught an 11 pound fish on the same day. Fish and Game eastern region manager Rob Pitkethley says staff are delighted to meet the couple who are “very deserving” winners, given their dedication to trout fishing through

Eric and Elaine Kinnaird are the Eastern Fish & Game Ultimate family trout fishing prize. the years, and contribution to the management of the fishery – via the purchase of so many family fishing licences. “It’s very pleasing to be able give something back to Eric and Elaine,” says Rob.

MARCH 2014




Mega marlin at Motunau A snapper fishing adventure to Plate Island has ended with a record size catch for one Tauranga couple. Gary and Tana Krom were out fishing at Motunau off the coast from Maketu in the late afternoon when they unexpectedly hooked a feisty black marlin weighing in at 361.2kg. “We were in shock – there was the screaming of the reel and the jumping out of the water. There was a bit of panic, but you have to think ‘right, what do I need to do here’.” The pair had headed out for a day’s fishing on their 10.8 metre launch, Primal Instinct, and anchored up at Plate on February 15. There was only the two of them on the launch when Gary decided to try his luck on the 37kg line. He baited up with kahawai live bait and secured the Shimano Tiagra reel, before casting off in what Tana says were choppy conditions. “Gary had the big rod out because black feed off live bait and it was near the full moon. “We initially thought it was a shark, as we had spotted a Mako in the area, so to begin with we didn’t take too much notice. We were pulling in fish even when we saw it jump.” It took 1.5 hours for Gary to haul in the catch, at which stage the couple was unable to pull the marlin on-board due to its weight. “It jumped a lot and took out a lot of line – about three-quarters of the line was gone before we could control it. We got it to the boat and

it went off again, and Gary went after it and we tied it up.” Tana made the quick decision to

call friends fishing in nearby launch Little Toot to help the pair secure the catch. “They just stood guard in another launch. Eventually, we went back to Plate Island and they boarded; and there were six of us who dragged it onto the boat. “Once it was on, we radioed in and SeaComms kindly organised the weigh-master at Sailsbury Wharf to come and take it off the boat and weigh it for us at about 10pm – that was very kind of them.” The female black marlin weighed in at 361.2kg at the Mount Maunganui Ocean

Tana and Gary Krom, with the 361.2kg black marlin caught at Plate Island. Sports Club – the biggest fish the Kroms have ever caught. It was then transported to Tauranga’s Game Fishing Club, where it was stored in the chiller overnight. The hearty-size fish has now been cut into pieces to feed friends and family, who Tana says have enjoyed it “both fresh and smoked”. The head, however, has been sent to the taxidermist to allow the Kroms a piece of the By Phillipa Yalden catch forever.

Hooking up with the clubs Tauranga Sport Fishing Club has been around for more than 90 years, but only recently has been based in Tauranga. The club was first set up in Opo Bay, also known as Southeast Bay on Mayor Island, in 1922 before being relocated in the 1990s. TSFC manager Grant Holley says originally a group of local businessmen got together, wanting to boost tourism in the Bay of Plenty. Opening the deep-sea fishing club on the island did just that, with tourists visiting from all over the world to target big game fish in the fertile waters. “It is one of the first five fishing clubs in New Zealand; it was a rich man’s sport back then though,” Grant says. The Tauranga-based club was then reopened on December 7, 1991, at Sulphur Point. This gave more anglers in the region access to the club – and memberships flourished.

Grant says the club currently has about 2500 members. “We have a lot of families and kids at the club; also a lot of people from the Waikato because it’s a close drive.” Being a member at the club means you not only get to enjoy the views, and wine and dine at the club, but also the chance get in on tournaments, club draws and seminars throughout the year. Competitions are on most months, covering everything from snapper to marlin and also some specifically for children. The club is affiliated with NZSFC and IGFA, which means all members can weigh fish in for possible New Zealand and world records. Grant says most anglers try and get the first and heaviest titles for marlin. “They are the most sort-after titles; if they don’t get the NZSFC title, they can go for the heaviest billfish club title.”

The club is also involved with the Wish for Fish charitable trust, which takes less able-bodied people fishing on the water. “When you go fishing it’s relaxing, and the camaraderie that goes with it is great,” says Grant. “It’s awesome they get to experience it.” With numerous extensions to the club during the years, there is not much left for members to do but fish, says Grant, who reckons the focus for the future is to keep providing a familyfriendly environment, jam-packed with things for its members to participate in.


MARCH 2014

Summer on the sea The Waterline crew undertook a couple of missions north around the Mercs in the early New Year. The scallops were rumoured again to be fatter and more plentiful in Opito than Home Bay, but by the second week of January, our sources report the Opito beds had taken a hammering and some divers were struggling to find their quota on some days, even out to 70 feet. Not surprising when you see the number of boats congregating through the bay on occasions. Talk around the bays was that the dredging was fairly ineffective a lot of the time, the scallops were laying deep in depressions and the dredges skimming over the top. Our experience of a couple of dives in Home Bay found reasonable numbers but the size continues to lack that of previous years. A few already seemed to have spawned. The early season divers are no doubt getting the best of the biggies, but in my opinion the condition is usually a bit lacking till around new year when they tend to fatten up more. Still, it’s a pleasant way to collect these treasured delicacies and this year was particularly rewarding, with some of the younger family members joining me for a scuba dive. There were signs of a lot of disruption from dredging and many areas of broken shells, some of them quite small, which is a concern and perhaps it’s time the practice of dredging was examined; or the methods and types of dredges investigated more thoroughly. Personally, I think it should be banned. Again we witnessed dredging boats running amok through areas packed with dive boats displaying flags, and other, quite large launches, powering at speed at close proximity

to dive flags, divers in the water and right over the top of bubble trails. Some blatant disregard for the life of fellow humans displayed by a few completely arrogant and ignorant tossers. Adding weight to my theory that the water temperature is a little colder than usual, was feeling cold at 50 feet in my 2mm suit, which is usually fine at this time of the year. Or perhaps middle age and poor circulation is taking effect? The dive computer reported 17 degrees at 12 metres and 19-20 on the surface, which I seem to remember being a couple lower than last year. Game fishers on the radio were reporting the odd patch of warmer water out wide, of 21s and 22s and correspondingly, some fussy tuna amongst them. We trolled lures while undersail for many hours and the results were unusually sparse. A double strike of albacore east of Great Mercury was the most excitement, other than that, the odd kahawai hopped on to break the monotony. Spearfishers report a slowish start to the New Year, but picked up later in the month toward the full moon. My early efforts were a bit abysmal, but in my partial defence, have been more focussed on taming the new gun-mounted action cam, and experimenting with still shots and video filming; than actually stalking fish. The camera was partly deemed necessary after last year’s harassment by a large mako, off Bumper Cove. Underwater coverage of that episode would have made exceptional footage for this column, and also saved me a lot of expletives and hand-waving. One notable mission this New Year, Ben joined me on a rare father-and son-outing on the east side of GMI near Rocky Bay. After assuring him that no, stingrays weren’t inter-

Immersed in the work. Waterline in-depth research.

ested in “coming at us” and to just give them a wide berth. “They’ll either stay parked in the sand or kelp, or just mosey away.” Famous last words – I was proven wrong, quite dramatically. A metre plus diameter short tailed black ray had been hoovering around below me, after we’d bagged a few butterfish. It seemed quite happy cruising the kelp at about 20ft sucking

My new friend. up bits and pieces from the spearing. I’d taken a few grainy, distant shots of it in passing, earlier in the session. When one particularly good butterfish was nailed nearby, this ray decided suddenly to follow the fish to the surface – then pursue me all the way to the chill pod at the end of the float line. Realising that it wasn’t going to stop the pursuit, I briefly considering dropping the fish. But it was so well skewered through the gill plates, the fish wasn’t budging from the spearhead. And, besides, why should I give up my catch? I did that last year for the mega mako and it still came back for more. All I could see was the ray’s looming white underbelly and its gummy mouth, opening and closing as it honed in on free fish lunch. So swimming more briskly by the minute, I headed straight for the dinghy. I’ve seen a lot of rays, virtually on every spearfishing mission in 40 years, but never been pursued; and with vigour! Ben was watching from the dinghy and saw the greenbone come flying in first, closely followed by a fairly excited father, straight aboard the dinghy. The ray cruised to within a few metres of the dinghy and then glided away back into the depths. Unfortunately the one time the action cam wasn’t rolling… Both of us were laughing about my assertions that rays never get aggressive. Well it wasn’t aggressive, but certainly more assertive than I’m comfortable with. For all you bravado types out there who say they aren’t dangerous I have two words: Steve Irwin. Any time these beasties get within tailflick range is too close for my liking. At least it was only a short tail and I’ll keep telling myself, its intentions were friendly and it’s used to being fed from boats. By Brian Rogers


MARCH 2014


MARCH 2014

Opportunity knocking

It is a rare thing when the combination of a stunning Riviera 47 and a 16-metre berth at the Sulphur Point Marina come on the market. The sought-after chance to own a beautiful vessel and berth in a premier location is on offer with Matriarch, a 2005 Riviera 47 which has been lovingly cared for by her original owner. She features a luxurious three-cabin layout with two double cabins, and two single berths

in the third cabin. Her leather fabrics, gloss cherrywood interior and attention to detail delivers the classy feel one comes to expect from Riviera. Complete with all of the bells and whistles, Matriarch provides safety and comfort for everyone, be it family or friends. Powered by twin CAT C12 700hp diesels, she cruises smoothly at 22 knots, with a top speed of about 30 knots. Engine hours are about 1800. Matriarch is equipped with an 11kva genset, auto fire system in engine room, Raymarine electronics, dinghy davit, 3.2m Aquapro with 5hp Yamaha; and too much

more to list here. She is fully game-rigged, including live bait tanks, tuna tubes, game poles and a game chair. Matriarch is wellknown as a proven sportfisher. Matriarch and her 16m Sulphur Point Marina berth are offered for sale as a package for $872,000 by Tauranga Boat Sales. Get the best of both worlds – an outstanding vessel and an outstanding berth, representing outstanding value. Contact listing agent Grant McMillin today on 027 227 1962, or Tauranga Boat Sales on 07 571 8443.




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FOR SALE CRUISER 32ft WITH MOORING â&#x20AC;&#x201C; has a 160 Ford turbo diesel engine, game rigged, 2x helm stations, 2x fridges and freezer, radar, chart plotter, depth sounder. Has a shower toilet, live bait tank, sleeps eight. $38,000. Ph 07 570 0333 CATAMARAN 32ft â&#x20AC;&#x201C; inboard 30hp diesel engine, shower/toilet, 7berth, Autopilot, Bow Thruster. Great for coastal conditions or live aboard. Excellent condition. Ph: 075700333 BOLGER PLY DINGHY â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Stitch and glue. As new $500. Ph: 021 260 4080. Barb - lm VOLVO MTR 200 HP x2 $14,500 each. 140 HP $8500 or to be run in. FORD 250 HP $6500. May trade. Ph 07 843 4392 or 027 620 9712.

MARCH 2014

MOORING FOR SALE OR RENT at Tanners Point. &HUWLÂżHGPRRULQJ Ph: 0274 517 759. FARR 6000 TRAILER SAILER Good condition but electrics need attention. Includes a choice of 2 outboard motors. Has WOF and rego. As new squabs. Main, Jib, storm jib, spinnaker, assymetrical spinnaker, porta potti and other extras. Now reduced to $7000. Trailer and outboards recently serviced. Phone Keith at 07 5520215

Please ring 576 0294 for more info. MOORING - Waikaraeo Estuary #5. Good position, good swing, good depth. Fully rebuilt. Suit up to 29â&#x20AC;&#x2122; boat. Phone 07 576 1309. LAUNCH - Steel launch 30ft to 10ft. Little use View B46 Tauranga Marina. $34,500. Ph 07 843 4392 or 027 620 9712

BOAT FOR SALE Nolex 22, Martin Marine, 9.6 Suzuki outboard, 2 sets of sails, VHF $3500 ONO call 0276660698 SOLE MARINE DIESEL Sole - 20hp, excellent condition, $3000. Ph Ian 570 0333. 4.95 ALUMINIUM MAST AND SAIL - plus centre board, rudder and anchor. All in very good condition. Reasonable offers considered.


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MOORING FOR RENT â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Pilot Bay P47 $25 week. Ph: 07 843 4392 or 027 620 9712. MOORING FOR RENT â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 100 yards from Bridge Marina. Very protected, great position. $180per month. Phone Jeff 09 426 8803 or 022 351 1334. MOORING FOR RENT PT19 Pilot Bay Straight out from the toilets near the yellow catamaran. $25pw call to enquire 075333560 or 0274261408 TOWN REACH SWING MOORING â&#x20AC;&#x201C; For sale or rent. Ph Peter 027 491 5616 or 578 0230. MOORING - Omokoroa. Phone 021 114 7339. MOORING FOR RENT -Town basin, TA10, will take up to 30â&#x20AC;&#x2122; boat. Phone Ian, 5700333. MOORING FOR RENT - Waikaraeo Estuary. Phone 07 843 4392 or 027 620 9712.


MOORING - handy to Omokoroa Boat Club, suit up to 30â&#x20AC;&#x2122; boat. $17 per week. Ph 027 201 5113. MOORING - Omokoroa, close to beach. $20 per week. Registered mooring. Ph 07 548 0328. MOORING TE PUNA â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Most sheltered area in harbour, handy position $12/week. Ph 0274 996 747.

WANTED YACHT OR LAUNCH in need of love or care. Up to about 40ft. Phone Jeff 09 4268803 or 022 351 1334. WANTED Volvo 200HP or 230HP. Phone 07 843 4392 or 027 620 9712.

BOAT MAINTENANCE - Matamata Motor Trimmers & Upholstery Boat clear, canvas work, upholstery CNR Mirrielees & Cross Roads, Tauranga. Ph: 075714421 FINANCE - AFB Accept Finance Brokers Ph: 075740002 or 0274435524 Available 7 Days KAYAKS - Viking Kayaks 6SHFLDOLVLQJLQÂżVKLQJDQGUHFUHDWLRQDO.D\DNV


MARCH 2014

Sam’s soft spot for sponges Diving in the waters around the Bay of Plenty may not seem like average research activity, but for a University of Waikato Masters student, it’s an essential part of a study that will forge new ground globally in the field of marine chemotaxonomy. Sam McCormack, winner of the Research-in-3 competition at the University’s 2014 Treasuring the Bay Coastal Economic symposium in January, is investigating the bio-chemical composition of sea sponges to classify and identify the different varieties found in the Bay of Plenty. This process is known as taxonomy; and Sam’s research will be the first project to examine taxonomy linked to ecology and chemistry, in order to look for new methods of identifying sponges. Sea sponges are increasingly of interest because some possess anti-cancer properties. “Marine species face constant attack from bacteria and viruses in the marine environment; and sea sponges in particular have evolved to produce chemicals that

Sam McCormack, with one of the sponge samples he’s analysing for his Masters research.

ensure their survival,” says Sam. “In fact, of all marine species, sponges have developed the highest number of toxic chemicals to protect themselves from predators.” These chemicals can lead to drug discoveries, which scientists are keen to find out more about, says Sam. “For the welfare of people, this study is really beneficial. You could dive into five metres of water, pick up a sponge, bring it in for analysis; and possibly find a new drug.” Sam is working with the University’s chair in Coastal Science, professor Chris Battershill; and also with Dr Michelle Princep, senior lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Waikato in Hamilton. By Andrew Campbell

$10, prize 000 s up

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MARCH 2014


Billfisher walk-around A walk-around hardtop is a unique aspect of the latest Billfisher by Buccaneer, which launched onto Tauranga harbour for the first time this month. By Brian Rogers

The Billfisher range is exclusive in NZ to Mastertech Marine, of The Lakes in Tauriko, Tauranga. They’re excited about the latest arrival in the Buccaneer line-up, with the 650 available in soft or hard top and featuring the full walkaround layout. Karl Rastrick at Mastertech says much of the appeal of the 650 Billfisher by Buccaneer is its proven rough water handling, safety features and good ride. It’s also a very dry ride. The Billfisher range comes

standard with so many extras, all designed to make fishing easier, cleaner and more efficient. Plus many clever innovations that can only come with the experience Buccaneer’s d designers h have amassed iin n 36 years oof produciing n quality fi fibreglass b boats from ttheir base in th H Hamilton. The high sp spec includes su such things as d dual fairleads in the case of mooring or marina berthing; heavy duty bow rails; wiper; hydraulic steering; trim tabs; lock-up cabin; safety glass curved windscreen; interior lighting; huge curved livebait tank; bait station, rocket launcher racks and much more. The only thing not installed in the review boat is a plotter/fish finder, as these invariably are left for the new buyer to make their own personal choice.


MARCH 2014

Ready for the rough water The cabin has full length bunks for overnighting and is surprisingly wide and spacious, considering the cabin is a walk-around. It’s beautifully appointed and with a full hull liner in the cabin; a great finish. It also makes the design strong and quiet, with foam filling for extra noise dampening and inherent safety value. Visibility is excellent through the large curved, full safety glass windows. The 650 is powered with a Suzuki 150 four-stroke, fourcylinder, three litre outboard. The engine seems a great match for the hull, with some gear box reduction to allow the fitting of a large diameter prop. This provides

good thrust, extra stern lift and a slow plane speed. Overall, the Buccaneer 650 is a very well balanced package and superbly appointed. It is big enough to handle serious offshore fishing missions, yet manageable on the road. The traits of this vessel are well-known and respected by fishing enthusiasts, who appreciate the eexcellent handling in tthe rough, dry ride and ssafety features of the ffoam filled hull sections. “Feedback from ccustomers is they feel ssafe, get a great ride and llike how strong these bboats are built,” says K Karl. The review boat iis in stock at $125,000 aand available to view at M Mastertech in Tauriko. C Check out Waterline’s video review of the 650 Billfisher by Buccaneer at:

MARCH 2014


Got SST? Get big fish! Come late-November, gamefishers around the country suddenly start taking interest in the computers that they’ve neglected during winter months. They start thinking about packing away the winter snapper fishing equipment, sharpening game fishing hooks, and planning for the season ahead. Banter around game fishing club tables turn to where to all hinges on the warm water, and likely they’re following via satellite Sea Surface Temperature images (SST). There are many factors that influence the arrival of the warm water, with ocean currents and wind being two of the most important. We’ll take the current game fishing season as an example. During October and November, we had unusually settled weather, with just a few moderate northerlies. This allowed the warm water to push in close earlier than expected. As a general rule, the first billfish of the season is caught somewhere around New Year’s Day, give or take a week. This year, marlin were hooked and dropped during the middle of December, and at the same time water temperatures of 21 degrees were recorded at Schooner Rocks.

Then the sou-westerlies hit, pushing the warm water out and to the east. Sea surface temperature charts showed a warm finger of water down the Kermadec Trench, but it was unable to overcome the strong offshore winds. On January 19, the water was 18 degrees Celsius on the surface at Motiti Island – and at 26 metres, where I was spearfishing tarakihi, the temperature was a bonechilling 16.5 degrees Celsius. Since then, we’ve had a couple of sub-tropical depressions hit the country and pass out to the east. The prevailing north and north-easterly winds, and swell associated with these systems, matched the currents and the warm water came back. There are many platforms from which to follow the movements of the temperature. The Metservice offers a service for the whole country, and is a good general indication. It’s free, but not very specific. Niwa offers a slightly better service, which is charged through a subscription service. It is updated on weekdays, but not on public holidays. Given that your SST could be up to 24 hours since it was last updated, or 72 hours if it’s during the weekend, and the current could be moving at a rate of 0.5-1kts, your patch of warm water could have moved by as much as 12nm-36nm on a long weekend. Continued...



MARCH 2014

Finding the right breaks Continued... Probably the easiest way to get SST information is Furuno’s Navnet TZ touch system, and can download it directly using a hotspot made by your smartphone. You can download it out at sea, and overlay it on your chart, provided you have an internet signal. But again, the SST information isn’t 100 per cent precise. For the best accuracy, commercial systems such as Geoeye from Digital Globe, which will cost you US$500 per month, or US$160 per week, are the only choice. The price can be a bit of a hurdle, but when compared to a tank of fuel, which you are likely to save, it soon becomes economic. With Geoeye, chlorophyll, currents, salinity, thermocline depths and the depths at various areas can also be tracked, giving you more information to make the all-important catch. To put it into perspective, your monthly cost is equivalent to 400 litres of diesel, or about two days’ trolling in an average boat. It can save you a lot of time looking for the all-important temperature breaks. Essentially game fishermen are looking for places where the current changes dramatically, where the water colour changes suddenly, or where the temperature changes. If you get all three...well, give me a call and tell me where. It’s not all about finding the warmest patch of water. It’s more about finding warm water in proximity to baitfish, which as a general rule tend to hang out in the cooler more nutrient-rich waters. Marlin and tuna will chase food into cold water. I’ve personally seen striped marlin in water of 17.5 degrees Celsius, cold and green, off Whangaroa – but they weren’t light years away from warm water. The trick to using a SST to your advantage is actually to use many of them. Follow the general trends of the currents as they move the warm water around. Cross reference it with places known to hold food, pinnacles, canyons, harbour mouths etc. Then, on the day you fish, take the latest data you can get your hands on and back it up with what you’re actually seeing on your temperature gauges. Find the breaks, the bait, and the colour changes. At the end of the day, it is still fishing, and it’s not guaranteed that you’ll catch fish every time you go out. But by making the most of the information you have available, you can increase your chances of finding fish....then it’s just up to you to catch them.

By Robert McAllister

Fanworm find at Coromandel The call for boaties to keep their hulls clean is being renewed following the discovery of more fanworms at Coromandel. The marine pest Mediterranean fanworms were found before Christmas at Te Kouma Harbour, the bay just south of Coromandel Harbour. It follows an earlier discovery of fanworms in Coromandel Harbour last March. The Waikato Regional Council and Ministry for Primary Industries are concerned about the spread of fanworms on the Coromandel, due to their affect on mussel farming operations and ability to take over natural environments. March 2013’s fanworms were found on two barges, which came from Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour, where fanworms are already well-established. A pre-Christmas check found two small patches of fanworm at Te Kouma, on a mooring and the bottom of a boat. The latest discovery was made in a follow-up operation to check if any fanworms remained. “It’s unclear whether these latest finds are related to the earlier discovery in March last year,” says Waikato Regional Council’s animal pest team leader Dave Hodges. “We are now going to do follow-up checks in more locations to see whether this is a relatively isolated problem or whether fanworms have become more established. We will be meeting with representatives of the local marine farming community to enlist their help in this process.” “We need boaties to play their role in helping prevent the spread of fanworms and other marine pests so that our precious marine environment and our economy are protected. This pest has potentially serious environmental and economic consequences.”

Graham has retired to the winterless far north. We thank him for his columns over the last many years and wish him well.

MARCH 2014


Motiti transport issues In an effort to solve some of the transportation issues facing Motiti Islanders, resident Aubrey Hoete has developed a pontoon to try to bring down freight costs to the island. Two steel pontoons support a deck offering cargo area of 3x1.8m, with a carrying capacity of about 880kg. He tows it out to the island behind his Noelex 22. It works as a freight delivery system; and is better for ferrying passengers ashore than a dinghy, says Aubrey. But it’s a weather-dependent service, as he found out on January 31, in a blustery easterly. A wave caught the pontoon as he was passing Rabbit Island on the way to Motiti. The pontoon went sideways, wrapped the tow lines around the rudder – and Aubrey needed a tow back. In good conditions the 22km trip from

Aubrey, the Noelex and the pontoon in Pilot Bay.

Motiti Island to Pilot Bay takes about two hours, but he has to pick his weather. It’s a voyage best made in a northerly or southerly breeze, says Aubrey. Easterlies bring big swells, and westerly winds also bring problems. “I really have to take the southerly wind and northerly winds; they just push me straight across. The westerly winds will bring me back to the island, but it’s very tricky on the beach. “A grandfather lost three of his mullet boats to the unpredictable winds round the coast of Motiti Island. And here I am today, waiting for a wind change to sail.” If the wind blows from behind, he tows an aluminium bucket open at both ends behind the pontoon as a drogue to prevent the pontoon surfing down the swell. “The pontoon is just like a floating jetty;

very stable. You can jump on it you can’t sink it.” Aubrey had the hulls made by an engineer on the mainland; and he’s designed the pontoon like a kitset. “We don’t have any engineering shop on the island. I drew the plans to make it so it’s much easier to put together.” The hapu at the north end of the island has no jetty, no breakwater; and the pontoon is Aubrey’s transport solution. “We have problems of access from Motiti Island to Tauranga; it’s very, very, difficult. The 12-minute flight to or from the mainland costs $50 or $100 if there’s no one going with you. “What the hapu want is something on a bigger scale; about twice the size of the Nolex.” By Andrew Campbell


MARCH 2014

Pest-free Great Mercury Nearly a generation after eradicating rabbits and rats from Stanley, Red Mercury and Cuvier islands, the Department of Conservation is turning its attention to privatelyowned Great Mercury Island. With the co-operation and support of the owners Sir Michael Fay and David Richwhite, the department intends to begin a $1.5 million pest eradication programme on Great Mercury this winter, with the aim of removing all pests within two years. “The greatest challenge will be getting everyone to play their part in making sure the island remains pest free,” says Michael. “Ahuahu Great Mercury has been freely accessible by boat for the public since we took over ownership in the late 1970s; and it will be a significant future risk that rats, for instance, could reinvade from privately-owned boats.” The aim is to kill off all rats, cats and other pests. Removing the predators will enhance the presence of lizards and seabirds and also assist in the conservation of threatened and at-risk plants on the island. One of the reasons Ahuahu Great Mercury Island needs to become pest-free is to remove the island as a possible landing stage for reinvasion on the other islands. Rats can swim

Peter Corson from f DoC.

Pest-free future ahead for Ahuahu Great Mercury Island. Photo by Brian Rogers.

the distance from Ahuahu Great Mercury to Stanley, Red Mercury and Cuvier islands, which underwent pest eradication in the early 1990s. The plan is to remove all of the stock from the island at the beginning of winter this year, says the DoC manager of the project Peter Corson. “Two aerial drops of Brodifacoum poison, which is a rodenticide, will take place during winter. “At the same time DoC and the owners will embark on a 12-month programme to get rid of all the cats on the island. The cats will go through a period of ‘prey switching’ once there are no more rats to eat. While they are still hungry, will be our window of opportunity to eradicate them. We’ll return the stock to the island no earlier than two months after the last aerial drop. Peter says once DoC is happy the island is pest-free, all of the public will have to be vigilant to ensure it stays that way. “We’ll have bait stations, tracking tunnels and traps, which we’ll monitor constantly to detect if anything is getting back onto the island.” Meanwhile DoC is urging people to check their boats and gear before venturing onto Ahuahu - Great Mercury Island. Rats and cats are not the only unwelcome guests on the island; ants, rainbow skinks, weeds, hedgehogs, stoats and rabbits would also be devastating. Mice have never been detected on the island, but may be present in very low numbers. “They are also the most likely ‘stowaway’ in gear and on boats. If we look for something as small as an ant, then we should also find the bigger things,” says Peter. Day visitors are welcome on Ahuahu - Great Mercury Island, but are advised to comply

with the instructions on signs and requests from the island’s residents and staff when visiting. The best way to stop pests getting onto the island is to stop them getting onto boats, prior to departure. Removing rats and rabbits from Red Mercury, Stanley and Cuvier islands marked the first aerial drop of ICI’s Talon poison for pest control in New Zealand. The main aim of that project was to restore three nearly-extinct populations of tuatara and provide safe habitats for other threatened species. The project also enabled three-phase development of methods for aerial application of rodenticides using helicopters, and measuring the effects of aerial applications on possible non-target species including saddlebacks and little spotted kiwi; and developing ways to minimise non-target and financial costs. The campaigns were conducted under an experimental users permit. Each of the eradication attempts was successful, but there was a negative public reaction to the programme with Auckland academics launching a campaign against the rat (kiore) poisoning. Various university staff were quoted as claiming that because kiore are regarded as taonga by Maori, DoC should put a moratorium on eradication to prevent its extinction. After ship rats, Rattus rattus and Norway rats R. norvegicus, kiore are the world’s third most widely-distributed species of rat; and their eradication in New Zealand, let alone elsewhere in the Pacific and Asia, is not possible or even contemplated. Removing the rats and rabbits from the Mercuries was estimated to directly benefit at least 20 species of rare plants, invertebrates, reptiles and birds, as well as increases in the abunBy Andrew Campbell dance of other species.

MARCH A 2014 014


Wairoa-built boat

Margaret Anne was built by Oliver and Gilpin at the Wairoa Rd shed in 1960 for a Mr Jack Stevens of Waihi. Margaret Anne was originally used as a pleasure boat and for game fishing charters in the Tauranga area. She was later owned by Claude Conning, who operated her out of Tauranga and also from the Bay of Islands for many years, with many game fish to her credit. During the years, Margaret Anne has had many updates and has been modernised with fly bridge, hardtop, walk-through transom and changes to the interior layout. Margaret Anne is carvel-planked kauri with solid timber coamings. She is out of survey and used as a pleasure launch.

Powered by a 135hp Ford diesel, with a cruising speed of 8-9 knots, shee has an electric ble capstan, inflatable plus outboard. She’s game rigged, with a game chair, and cockpit controls. There’s a new galley, new fridge freezer, bait freezer, two burner oven, and toilet/shower. The main cabin has been refurbished in cherrywood. Accommodation is five single berths and two double berths. Margaret Anne is currently on the market with Brian Worthington from 000. Gulf Group Marine Brokers for $195,000.

Fullers boat on the market F Miss Brett is a classic displacement launch, built for the cream trip at the Bay of Islands operated by Fullers and formerly known as Knoxie II. Built by Deeming Boat Builders Opua in 1924 of kauri carvel-planked construction, Fullers boats Knoxie and Knoxie II became well-known for the now famous day-long cream ttrip, credited with starting the touris ism industry in the Bay of Islands. Re-named after leaving the to tourism industry, Miss Brett was be beautifully restored and modernised in 2005/2006. M Miss Brett is out of survey. She is

powered by a six-cylinder 100hp Ford diesel with a cruise speed of about seven-and-a-half knots. She has a roomy sheltered cockpit, large walk-around decks with side-opening doors from the wheel house. Miss Brett comes equipped with electric capstan, holding tank, toilet, cockpit shower, pressured water, three-way fridge, twoburner grill; and has accommodation for six people. Miss Brett is nicely presented with loads of history and is currently on the market with Brian Worthington of Gulf Group Marine Brokers for $75,000.

MARCH 2014



MARCH 2014

Waterline March 2014  

Waterline Magazine March 2014

Waterline March 2014  

Waterline Magazine March 2014