Tag Archives: Boating

Rotoiti Classic boats, here we come.

For the last three years, Alan and I have been invited by the Classic and Wooden Boat Association to join in with the parade of classic boats on Rotoiti.  We also photographed their classic boat parade for their calendar and for Waitematawoodys.com and now this blog.
Alan and I are both ex launch captains of the Classic Yacht Association here in Auckland.
This is the second year we’ve come down in Rafe and it’s always a real hoot. They have a parade of all the boats on the lakes edge and then cross to a bay for a combined family picnic.

We left Takapuna around 10:30 this morning and after a brief stop for diesel and fresh water, our first stop was KFC Matamata where had lunch and got “provisions” for another meal for the boat parade cold.
Just out of Tirau, we had to stop for a cup of coffee to wash down the KFC!

Cup of tea time outside Tirau
Cup of tea time outside Tirau
Alan after a tea..!
Alan after a tea..!

Feeling much better, we were under way again for Rotoiti.
The Classic and Wooden boat associations opening do is always a barbecue at the camping ground on the lakes edge. We’re fortunate that their secretary Rachel and the committee look after us so well.
The Lake Rotoiti Holiday Park was once a fully fledged camping ground and caravan/Motorhome park. These days it’s unfortunately is set up for annual cabin rentals more than the conventional Motorcamp setup. The facilities are fantastic although now geared more for the cabins.

 

Fiona and I came here about 20 years or so ago with a jet ski and stayed in a cabin. After parking the JetSki on the jetty, we were able to just come and go without launching it from the trailer. Being a fresh water lake too meant we didn’t have to flush the motor! We stayed for the best part of a week exploring the hot pools and lake Rotoiti and through the weir to lake Rotorua too. I remember this being a great holiday and nice spot to stay.

Roll on the BBQ. This year unfortunately, the weather isn’t playing the game. It is forecast to be showery tomorrow so let’s wait and see. Boats are made to get wet after all!

Tug Racing lots of images

Anniversary Day on the Waitemata Harbour (Auckland Harbour for our off shore friends) is always a spectacle. Especially for those of us that like to smell some diesel and hear some noise  🙂

Oh and by the way –  this is still a motorhoming blog 🙂 .. apologies for all the marine things but its that time of the year !

After the start. Auckland City behind
After the start. Auckland City behind
Sterling
Sterling

The Tug Race is now open to all Work boats and its always nice to see some of the Classic old timers mix it up with the new machines on the water.

Lots of pictures.. click on the images to see them in there full glory.

Enjoy

To see images from the Mahurangi part of this event  see http://www.waitematawoodys.com

Drama on Milford Beach

I used to think that going to the local boat ramp for a couple of hours  on a Saturday afternoon was great entertainment.

Fiona and I walked down to Milford beach to watch some of the returning long weekend launches come back into Milford Marina in a 20 knot easterly coming up your backside. This is a real challenge as the entrance is quite narrow and with the surf, you can easily broach and head onto the rocks on either side of the entrance. Its not for the faint hearted.

Milford

Coastguard Arriving
Coastguard Arriving

As we crossed the bridge and walked down to the sand, I mentioned to Fiona that the mast we could see and the way it was bobbing around looked as though it was on the beach. As we got closer, there it was. I immediately rang Coastguard but they already knew about it and help was coming.
MilfordMilfordIt seems the poor chap misjudged the tide completely and was forced to turn around in the channel (almost impossible) and lost control and ended up on the beach. There were lost of volleyball players who volunteered to help in the water.  Coastguard arrived and towed them off with a jet powered rubber boat. A very lucky fellow and what a long day he had!

After that, we sat back and watched the boats come in on the easterly..   Everyone I saw did the return to Milford pretty well but what an afternoon of drama and action.

No Rafe for the weekend so feet have to do.

Rafe had developed a nasty little irritating rattle in what seemed to be the left front suspension.  We thought given the warranty runs out in 6 months or so, we need to get straight onto to these things and get it sorted. I dropped it off last Wednesday morning and took a technician around the block so I could point out the noise. It only appeared on coarse seal but was a quiet as a mouse on smooth seal.

The awning out with our new mat down
The awning out with our new mat down

Initially it seemed that although they could hear the noise, they couldn’t find a reason for a rattle. The suspension checked out ok and after a few hours of searching, there was nothing else.
A bit of light reading by yours truly on the Fiat forum in the UK showed that they have  this issue in Britain too. The Euro’s have smooth seal but they use coarse seal in Britain like NZ.  On Monday, they wired it all up with microphones and went for a drive to locate the rattle. To add the sound equipment, they had to take off the tray which is a big piece of black rubber/plastic mat that covers the whole underside of the engine and gearbox area to protect it from dust. The Brits found that they were the cause of the rattle. With all the sound equipment, they couldn’t hear any noise at all so it seems the tray might be the cause here too. We picked Rafe up on Monday and the’ve left the tray off to try it over the new Year period and so far I haven’t heard a thing 🙂   I’ll head back to the engineers in January and have it put back on with some foam to stop it rattling if that’s what it turns out to be.

As always, make sure you click on these images to see them in hi res.

Fiona with Takapuna Beach in the distance
Fiona with Takapuna Beach in the distance

What to do last weekend instead ?  We decided to walk around from Milford Bridge all the way down the beach and around the waterfront to Takapuna Beach. Its a great walk and only takes about 1/2 hour.

We stopped at Takapuna Beach for a while and watched the launching antics of the masses and the wayward backing attempts. Always a good hour or two’s entertainment although better at low tide 🙂

We walked up to Hurstmere Rd and had a nice lunch in a café there and then walked back towards Milford. There is a little track down to the beach right on the corner with Kitchener Rd so we headed back down along the beach and back home.

Fiona cooling off with Rangitoto behind
Fiona cooling off with Rangitoto behind

We’d only been home for a n hour or so when our good friends Tony and Julie popped in with a bottle of wine and some cider and then spent several hours sitting in the sun watching boats come and go in the marina.

A very pleasant day but I’m REALLY pleased to have Rafe back !

Catching up

From our side of the creek.
From our side of the creek.

One of the things we’ve been a bit careful of was to keep in touch with our friends after renting the house out. Although we’ve been flat out getting the place ready and then had a couple of breaks, it’s nice to come back and see our old friends.

After getting back from a weekend with the grandkids and family in Ardmore, it was nice to be surprised with a phone call by an old boating mate Geoff. His boat Florence Rose was on the slip on the other side of the creek from us and he recognised Rafe parked beside the Marina.

We spent many Christmas holidays and New Years Eves with Geoff and his family around the harbour with our old whale chaser Rorqual and  she now is moored just along from Rorqual at Milford.

I walked around to see them and what he was up to. He’s just spent 4 days with his sons, anti fouling, and painting the hull so was pleased to be nearly finished.

Geoff with his boat, Florence Rose on the slip looking very sharp. Son Ben on the back of Flo Ro
Geoff with his boat, Florence Rose on the slip looking very sharp. Son Ben on the back of Flo Ro

While we were nattering, out came a good idea that we should stay in his driveway in Rafe and go out to one of our favourite restaurants in our old suburb Devonport.

After arriving and settling down Rafe in Geoff and Bevs driveway and after a few drinks and nibbles, we were off to the Restaurant. There we were met by two other old friends, Mark and Tina.

At the restaurant looking happy. L to R, Geoff, Mark, Geoffs wife Bev, Marks wife Tina and Fiona.
At the restaurant looking happy. L to R, Geoff, Mark, Geoffs wife Bev, Marks wife Tina and Fiona.

After a great night and a couple of Rums to finish the night of, we settled down for the night. Good fun and great to catch up.

Milford Marina Footbridge

As it was
As it was
The Bridge as it will look
The Bridge as it will look

This is a wee bit off topic, more about boats than Motorhomes but I’m so disappointed in our brain dead elected council people to let this go ahead. Read on.

Years ago, there was a huge footbridge with steps that went from the northern end of Milford beach and climbed up into the cliff to join a track to go to Inga / Beach Rd. Over the years, the bridge fell into a state of disrepair and in the late 60’s -early 70’s was deemed unsafe and demolished with a promise from the council that it would be replaced at a future date.

Time marched on and the Milford Mariners Society and Milford Cruising club members developed the marina to where it is today with about 200 boats with jettys, power and water.

Along came a few people from Castor Bay who couldn’t be bothered walking around the marina to get to the beach and had the council drag out the “promise” to renew the bridge.

This “replacement” is a mechanical bridge which they intend to operate remotely which is very different from what was there and with all the best intentions, will break down. When it does, it will become a safety issue, not to mention the costs in running it.

The bridge
The bridge

Anyway, how it works – Boaties are supposed to radio in to Viaduct Harbour to have the bridge opened when they want to leave or enter the creek. There will be alarms to “warn” people off the bridge which will be heard all around the Milford basin.

Most mariners will tell you that Milford creek is a nightmare to enter in anything from an easterly quarter in more that 15 -20 odd knots with the swell. If the bridge fails to open, there would be mayhem with boats up each others chuff in the corner of the entrance with nowhere to go.

I’ve entered the channel several times in Rorqual when it has been quite rough after a holiday weekend or two and once you’re committed to enter, there is no turning back. It is simply too narrow with rocks on both sides with the swell coming from behind. This makes it incredibly hard to steer until you get well into the creek. It is a safety issue which I think the council has largely ignored.

Map from Google Earth showing the layout
Map from Google Earth showing the layout

I understand the cost before construction started was already at $1m with talkfests and surveys. I reckon it’ll be at least $2-3 m before its finished.. all for a few people to walk to the beach.

A digger in the water preparing the bridge
A digger in the water preparing the bridge

We hear them say.. “ it won’t fail”. Those in Viaduct harbour will tell you about their bridge that “wouldn’t fail” that has failed regularly since it was installed which is why we are hearing talk about it being replaced.

Bridge in relation to the boats
Bridge in relation to the boats

Anyway .. as you can see, it is being built.

Looking down from Beach road towards the Cruising club. The poles for the safety pontoon.
Looking down from Beach road towards the Cruising club. The poles for the safety pontoon.

As a safety measure, they are constructing a pontoon which will require ongoing dredging (cost) just outside the bridge. On a busy holiday weekend with returning boats, this will be totally inadequate as it will only be big enough to hold about 4 vessels.

News Flash : A wee birdie tells me that the folk who open the bridge at Viaduct Harbour won’t work the Milford bridge as they have enough trouble getting folk off the Viaduct bridge before opening, let alone try to do Milford remotely.. What now ?