It was Classic Boat Riverhead Pub day and as it turned out a Reunion of sorts with lots of old friends I haven’t seen for a while. We were going up on Alan’s 28 ft Lanes Classic boat, Raindance.
Click on an Image to enlarge it.
Alan and I are both ex Launch Captains of the Classic Yacht Association so we had both done this trip many times before as part of that role and it was always a fun day out.
Alan picked me up from home about 8:30 and we were down at Bayswater Marina ready to go just before 9. The forecast was for showers and very little wind so the 13 or so other boats coming would be able to deal with this easily.
As Alan had organised this, I’d had a bit of a heads up on who was coming so I was looking forward to see some of the original people involved with the rebirth of the Classic Launches in Auckland.
We left in the sunshine to head under the harbour bridge and headed up a little beyond the Greenhithe Bridge where we were to meet up with all the other boats and at 10:15, we headed up in single file to the Pub. The departure time was crucial to give us the maximum eating / drinking / social time before the river lost its water with the tide.
Jason in his newly restored boat called My Girl caught up with us off Beachaven and we followed him up to the meeting point just past Herald Island. The other boats all seemed to arrive together and soon we were off to the pub.
Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow
Freinds Dave and Barb Cooke with their lovely old Salthouse Trinidad
Everybody anchored and tied up without any drama and it was up to the Marque to catchup with old friends. A few people I talked to asked me questions about Motorhomes ! .. seems we might have a few more ex boaties coming our way 🙂
A great day but all good things have to come to an end and with the tide on its way out, it was time to dodge the showers back to Bayswater.
It was an easy trip back with the chop building a little on the way and a few showers.
This was first posted in Feb 2016 .. a special repost for lockdown!
After the torrential rain on Saturday morning, the organisers of the Rotoiti Classic boats decided to postpone it until Sunday.
For the last few years, Alan and I have jumped into Rafe and come down to see the great spectacle that is the Rotoiti Classic Boats Parade. For the last few years, we have also provided images to the society for their annual calendar. They’re a really friendly bunch and we’ve made some really good friendships with quite a few of them.
We left the camp early and after a quick breakfast, we took Rafe around to the top of the “viewing platform” which is a park and parking area just along the road from Okere Falls Store.
We were welcomed by commodore Grant and past commodore Fraser down by the water and offered several options for possies to help with pictures and they couldn’t have been more helpful.
Alan took his from the back of the commentary boat while I set up in my nice comfy deck chair on the grass and sat right by the waters edge and shot from there.
Several hundred people materialised from everywhere quite quickly and made themselves comfortable on the grass.
At 10:30, the whistle sounded and the first boats started the parade. From Rowing boats right through to big launches. All meticulously maintained and most with oodles of history.
As always, click on the images to see them in hi res and the slideshow below.
A great spectacle. A nice weekend with some great people.
After the parade finished, the boats all headed over to the other side of the lake and enjoyed their annual picnic on the beach.
We headed for home after stopping briefly at Tirau for lunch.
This was first posted in Feb 2016 .. had to repost it for lockdown!
The weather dealt to the Rotoiti Classic Boats parade today. It has been postponed until Sunday so this morning, we arranged to stay here another day.
Our friends Shawn and Kathy from Taupo arrived late yesterday from Taupo with their two children and despite the rain, people came out from under cover to admire their 1960 Dodge with their new Retro Chris Craft.
Not long after that Tim and Pam arrived with their 2 door pillar less Chev Bel Air coupe with their custom made Miss Bel Air speed boat.
Russell Ward also arrived late with Steam Boat Romany and spent the morning getting her ready for the parade while kids were doing antics around with bikes in the rain.
This morning we were invited around to check out a boat Kereru that’s for sale so we went around in convoy in the Dodge and Chev and later to the Orere Point Store for lunch.
The Steam boat Romany at the jetty
Kids doing gymnastics with bikes in the rain
The Orere point Store
Orere point store
Tim and Shawns son having fun.
Alan giving me some instructions, can’t remember what they were.
Alan sitting in the Chev
Russell with Romany
The store has a really nice outdoor area complete with a stage and has a great selection of food and wines.
One of the nice things about Lake Rotoiti and the boating setup here is their lakeside covered docks where they are used as vehicles to get about in. Backing out their boats just like the rest of us do with our cars. Fantastic.
The boat parade is on today so we are looking forward to that.
The forecast was fantastic, no sign of any rain or wind so we were heading off from Milford to go to Rakino Island about 9k’s away. For those overseas readers, it is one of the furthest Islands out from Auckland behind Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands.
Click on any Image for Hi Res(Cell phone images)
Rorqual was all ready to go and we were off. A quick call to the Bridge operators by son Andrew to open the bridge and we were on our way.
Andrew driving Rorqual out of Milford Marina.
Turn the volume up to hear that 400hp Turbo charged Detroit!
We had just got out a bit beyond Castor Bay when friend Greg Fenwick rang Andrew from his house up on the cliff watching us go by. He could hear distinctive roar from the Detroit as we went past from several k’s away 🙂 he sent us the video below! Thanks Greg
After that, we stopped off Rangitoto when we saw a whole heap of fish on the depth sounder complete with measurements and a smile on their faces 🙂 Given the lack of success there in catching anything, I’m sure they were poking their tongues out at us 🙂 I did get one really good bite but he got away!
We stopped again to try later off Rakino but same luck so we went on into Woody Bay into 3metres of water and had lunch and a glass of wine. Absolutely perfect day.
Andrew saw some mates in at the beach in a fizz boat so he swam in to say hello.
Half an hour later after he’d just returned, my other son Alex came into the bay with a friend of his Sam on their identical Jet Skis. They had come around from Half Moon Bay which is by Pakuranga, probably about 10k’s or so.
They were out for a fish but hadn’t had much luck, just like us… until we sat in 2-3 metres of water in the bay. We were just sitting there, having a drink and the rod just kept bringing them in. Andrew was filleting them and put them on a plate with soy sauce and wasabi. Fantastic. About 3 reasonable sized fish popped onto the plate during the afternoon 🙂 Yum!
Later in the day, the time came for the boys to go with their Jetskis and try for a fish round the Rangitoto Channel.
Andrew put the BBQ on and we settled down to listen to some good music. The Stereo is a monster with 3 amplifiers with a Subwoofer powered by a Solar backed 450 odd AH bank of House batteries so no danger of running out of anything!
While we listening to the music, the bait runner ran again and this time, in came breakfast! Yippee!
After a nice bread crumbed pan fried Snapper and a cup of coffee, we tidied up the boat and got ready to head back to Milford Marina. A nice weekend and nice to see Alex and Sam come in too.
Auckland Anniversary always starts with the famous Tug Race which starts off Westhaven. They then head down towards Orakei to round a buoy and then back down to the bridge for the finish.
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A few years ago when I was involved with the Classic Yacht Association Committee, I helped organise a few of the Launch races and for me it was really nice to see some of the old Launches in this race still going for it.
Click on the Gallery below for a Slideshow
One of Aucklands older original Tugs Te Hauraki
Jeneusse off to the line
off to the line
Not to be outdone
Sterling always used to do well and it was nice to see Ronaki, Te Hauraki and Jeneusse out there too.
The Rudder cup was first run in 1908 and again on its 100th anniversary in 2008. The race involves some of NZ’s finest Classic launches racing overnight up to Sail Rock and back. This is the third time the full length race has been held.
Sail Rock is just over 100 nautical miles from Auckland and is just off the coast by Pakiri. north of Auckland.
In 2008, I was keen to run but Rorqual had an overheating problem and it would have been too risky but now that my son Drew has spent the last year going over the boat completely and has largely sorted out all these issues, we’re getting much closer but its great that he’s basically beaten it.
Because so much has been done on Rorqual recently and it has literally only just been put back together with so many changes, it was deemed to risky to go the whole distance but we thought we would show up on the start line and join in the fun and then peel off.
Click on an image for Hi Res
We left Milford on the tide around lunch time and headed down to Westhaven marina to the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron (Home of the Americas Cup for those overseas) which is a bout 40 minutes by water. There we were to join up with some of the other boats who were going to start the race.
We had a great afternoon at the Squadrons visitors berth catching up with everyone and checking out different boats.
With us at the visitors berth was Jason with his boat My Girl that he has been restoring over the last couple of years and she looks fabulous. It has a big Turbo charged Volvo in her so she was one of the race favorites for her class. Behind us was an old work boat owned by Ian called Meola. Ian invited us on board and and showed us around. He has repowered it with a 4 cylinder Gardner and she looks a picture.
Not long after we arrived, old friends Barb and Dave arrived with their old Salthouse classic Trinidad. It was nice to see them too.
About 6:30, everyone started to head out towards the startline under the bridge. There were 14 boats racing and they were all ready to go. While we waiting there, race official Baden motored around in a tender and checked all the boats had all their safety gear.
Click on the Gallery below for a Slide show
Everyone milling around the bridge before the start
Jason’s crew with their Christmas gear on
Race officials in the tender.. Baden in the blue.
Ferro and Kumi getting ready
Getting ready to start. Kumi, left and My Girl
Alan on the bow of Trinidad
Waimiga and Meola
The good crew of Ferro
Waitangi won the vintage division
The weather forecast for the race was a little grim with heavy rain and thunderstorms predicted for most of the race area and Auckland and while we bobbed around waiting for the start time at 7pm, the patchy showers were heading across Auckland.
The Cannon sounded at 7pm and Drew opened up the noise and we were off. With a puff of black smoke we were heading off down to North Head at the entrance to Auckland Harbour. As there is a 12 knot limit in the harbour until you get to North Head, Drew kept Rorqual’s speed down until we got well past Devonport and then opened her up to 16 knots.
Click on the Gallery below for a Slide show
And we’re off.. Trinidad and Sterling
Sterling won the Veteran Division
Trinidad won the Classic Division
Lady Margaret with her new John Deere motors!
Trinidad passing Takapuna Beach
By the time we got to Devonport Wharf which is about half way down the harbour, we were well ahead of most of the fleet and only one of Drew’s mates in a Thundercat with a 50HP Yamaha on the back was with us. He spent 10 minutes or so playing in our wake which provided some entertainment for us.
We got about half way across to Rangitoto light when Drew decided to withdraw from the race and we headed back sedately at around 15 knots.
Rorqual performed amazingly and I was really pleased that Drew has managed to crack the heating issue with only some small things to be done to finish things off.
They dropped me off in Viaduct Harbour and I caught the ferry home to Devonport. They went on to Islington Bay for a boys night away. A fun day!
I was watching the race on my phone on a tracking app and I noticed some of the Rudder racers had returned back to the Squadron base in Westhaven by 3am in the morning which is great timing.
Every year at Waitangi weekend for the last 4 years , Alan and I have hit the road in Rafe and headed down to Lake Rotoiti and joined the Lake Rotoiti Classic Boat Association, who have a parade with their lovely boats and a picnic day out on the beach. Its a great occasion where the public can watch from the shore or any other vantage point they can find and enjoy the spectacle.
Click on any image for Hi Res or a slideshow
We left Auckland in the middle of the day on the Friday to try and avoid some traffic. We were half successful and we arrived around 4pm and set Rafe up at the Lake Rotoiti Holiday Park. We were given a park right next to our friends from Taupo Shawn and Cathy. Just around the corner were Tim and Pam with their Chev and Miss Belair which they parked right next to us.
After registration, a few drinks and a meal at the Pikiao Rugby League club we returned back to Rafe for a few drinks with our friends and neighbours, Tim, Pam, Shawn and Cathy.
The next morning, we were up early as it was parade day. The previous Commodore of the Classic boats, Fraser had offered us the use of his Tender as a platform for taking some images from the water. Alan was driving so I could concentrate on getting the images and we could use them both here and on his blog, Waitematawoodys.com
Fraser came and picked us up from the campground and after a look around his amazing waterfront house on the lake, we went and got settled with the boat.
Enjoy the images.. Click on an image below for a slideshow.
Shawn and Cathy’s new boat
Tim and Pam with Miss Belair
Time for a selfie
Friends from Auckland
Fraser’s Guests watching the parade
It was a great day with lots of the Classic crews ready to show off their lovely boats and most were dressed in period costumes for the occasion. The winner of the costume award went to the crew of Alberta.
After the parade, everyone headed over to Wairau Bay for a picnic and catchup. It was great to catchup with old friends and meet some new people and see their boats.
The Barge at Wairau Bay
People getting ready to picnic
One of the things about the lakes is there are no tides so they run their boats up in the sand and step off their bows with ladders onto the beach. Some choose to anchor and get picked up by the barge.
A great day on the water finished off with a beer at a bar which was accessible by boat and then back to the camp.
There are lots and lots of pictures duplicated on Waitematawoodys.com taken by me with Alan on the helm.
Every year at this time, the Classic Yachts and Launches of the CYA race down and anchor at Patio Bay and enjoy a great knees up for Christmas.
The old girls (Wooden boats !) and their owners enjoy a few cold ones on their boats together before heading to shore to Bert and Margaret Woollicotts family Bach. Several Barbeques are setup(with wood) and everyone does their own thing.
Click on the images for hi res or a slideshow
Alan and I are both ex Launch Captains of the CYA and have been on the committee and helped organise different parts of this great annual event. My old boat Rorqual was still in bits in mid restoration by my son Andrew, so I was really pleased to be able to go down with Alan on his 1928 Lanes launch, Raindance.
After getting things ready at Bayswater marina, we headed off to the start line of the yacht race at Orakei Wharf. It was going to be a long day as there was absolutely no wind. The sea was flat calm.
Alan at Bayswater getting ready to go.
Alan preparing his #1 tender “Peg”
Peg behind with the Auckland Harbour bridge behind.
The start boat Wild Duck with Tony on the bow
We hung around for 20 minutes or so to get some pictures and then handed down towards Waiheke. After a couple of hours or so so later, we arrived at the bottom end of Waiheke with quite a few boats already there, mostly from the day before making a weekend of it. The weather was just stunning even a little too hot.. Everyone was looking for shade and there was no wind at all.
We visited Roseanne and Brian on their boat Silens which as anchored just behind us and later were visited by our friend Richard from the Devonport Yacht Club.
Around 5, the yachts had finally arrived and we headed into shore to enjoy a meal from heaven that Alan had already prepared. …Alan’s a great cook and is legendary for his skills in the galley 😀
A great night of catching up with old friends and we later headed back to Raindance.
In the morning, we were visited by Steve who had sailed down from Mahurangi for the event. Alan cooked up a great feed of Baked Beans on toast and several cups of tea to blow the cobwebs out for all three of us.
By 9ish, we were under way for the 3hr trip back to Bayswater. A great couple of days and nice to see everyone.
With the All Blacks losing to Ireland and the weather forecast looking miserable, you could have easily flagged the day as one for the slippers and the fireplace but when the call goes out for the Classic Launches Riverhead trip, it is one not to be missed!
Fiona and I have done this for years, usually twice a year and it never disappoints. See a previous trip here.
Click on the images for Hi Res or a slideshow
Classic boat owners Paula and Stephen Pepperill sold their Classic Yacht to renovate their newly purchased Riverhead Hotel and have done a stunning job in rescuing it after years of being run down and neglected. These days, ferry loads of passengers make the day trip from Auckland to have a great lunch with a few drinks and to enjoy the river trip. It has also become one of the more popular trips for the Classic Yacht Launches too.
Its always a fun event and can be quite nerve racking for the novices as the channel is quite narrow in places and can be only a 1 metre or so deep in places so its a great event for confidence building and to join in with a new adventure.
Fiona and I decided to take Rafe down to the marina carpark and stay two nights so we could get away early and stay the night after.
We were meeting Alan and his wife Robyn on their 28ft 1928 Lanes tramtop at the marina at 9.00am. Friends Dani and Grant were going to be there too. Alan was Launch Captain of the CYA (Classic Yacht Association) for 4 years after my 2 years as LC, and Alan, Grant and I have done lots of boating together when I had Rorqual.
We met under the centre span of the Auckland Harbour Bridge and at 09:30, Alan led the way up to the first meeting point at Lucas creek, about half way where we were meeting several other boats and their crews.
In the well sheltered upper harbour, the water was calm and there was very little wind. About an hour later, everyone was jockeying for a parking spot, some rafting with friends and the Tino Rawa Trust tender Whistleblower was on hand to ferry people into the Pub’s jetty.
Marita with the city behind
John Dory, under the bridge
Mahunui, city behind under the bridge
John Dory arriving at Riverhead
Trinidad at Lucas creek
The Ferry at the jetty
Fiona nd Robyn at the Riverhead.
Boats moored below the pub
About 100 people turned up, some by car as well. There was a band playing, the sun made an appearance and it was a great few hours of catching up with old friends and meeting a few new people too.
About 2pm (1.5hrs after full tide), many started to leave before the creek ran out of water 🙂 We had a fun trip back with a couple of drinks, some Sausage Rolls and some chocolates and strawberries which Fiona had prepared.
We stepped off the boat to a hot shower and a cup of coffee after a neat day out. Thanks for a great day out on the water Robyn and Alan, and its always fun to see Grant and Dani too.
On the way back from Waihi, we stopped in at the Paeroa Maritime Museum.
With my past involvement with Classic Launches, I was keen to see what was there. The main building is the ex Paeroa Post Office and is chocker with relics from the area. Apparently Captain Cook sailed up the Waihou and checked it out for Spars.
The old Paeroa jail house
The camping area, normally there are no cars here.
Paeroa didn’t see roads until the mid 1940’s and the main transportation method was ships up the streams to where the Maritime Museum is today.
They also provide overnight Motorhome parking with power for $15 and there are toilets and plenty to see and do.
You can also go for a ride in one of their two vessels up the Waihou river.