Nautical Features


As you were! – 1993

If you were a yachtsman or launch owner in the pre-1920’s it’s likely you would have been exhorted to race your vessel, and not only race it, but make a very fine show of it.
These days the show is more about the latest electronics, hull and spar materials and gadgetry.  Then, one brought one’s vessel out of the water over winter months and gave her a new coat of paint.  The colour and the quality of the job was the remarkable thing, more than the quality of the protection. Marine paints were of course only developing then.

An article in The New Zealand Yachtsman of 1 September 1917, recommended, “white is probably the best for topsides although some owners prefer black.  In the last year or two, several other colours have been used on topsides such as olive green and battleship grey, but after one season of these the owner usually goes back to the old standard black or white.”
Continued…Comparison with turn of last century sailing, and olden day water etiquette – approx 1000 words


Make a Rope Mat  May 1994

There are many different types of rope mat but one of the most practical to have on board is a simple two dimensional knot variety.  We found these mats both handy underfoot and a practical use of old halyards or sheets which we no longer trusted as mooring lines.

Continued…Detailed instructions – approx 300 words – plus detailed drawings by Els van Drunen


Make a Monkey’s Fist– February 1995

Usually when we see a Monkey’s Fist it is used as a decorative knot.  Originally however, it was used to give weight and impetus to a heaving line. All vessels should carry at least one heaving line aboard.  You may only need it once but nothing else is as effective when you do.  Here’s how to go about making one for your vessel.

Continued…Detailed instructions – approx 300 words – plus detailed drawings by Els van Drunen


Navy League to stand down – June 1995

The Northland Branch of the Navy League will be decommissioned this month after twenty-six years of service to Northland.  The Navy League was founded in the United Kingdom in 1895.  Its purpose was to advocate for the building of a strong Navy and to educate parliament, the public, and the press about the necessity of an adequate waterborne defence body.

At the time naval competition between Britain and Germany was escalating and the development of the dreadnoughts, armoured battleships with 15” and 16” turret guns, were one of the manifestations of the race.  Accordingly defence taxes rose to meet the costs of the competition.
Continued…History of Navy League in Whangarei, involvement with the replica Bounty, establishment of independent Sea Cadets organization – approx 1500 words


Make a Rope Ladder – June 1995

One night in Calais we went ashore at high tide to enjoy a quiet meal.  When we returned we found our yacht’s decks had descended on the tide, metres below quayside.  I’ll leave it to your imagination to get us back aboard, but the following day we made a rope ladder.  Since then it has travelled with us always and we have found many uses for it.
Continued…Detailed instructions – approx 500 words – plus detailed drawings by Els van Drunen


End of the Hiscock Era– July 1995

“Up the red socks,” was the postscript on a letter to long-time friends in New Zealand by Susan Hiscock, MBE, only days before she died on 12 May 1995. Susan was the wife of Eric Hiscock. The couple were one of the first cruising lifestylers in the late forties and fifties before world cruising in small craft became popular.

They owned a series of five vessels all named, Wanderer, the best known of which was Wanderer III, a much-stretched Laurent Giles ‘Vertue’ design.
Continued…Brief history of Hiscock’s exploits, and what Susan later did, racing on the Solent, etc . – approx 1200 words


Shoreline – July 1995

New Zealand’s Whangarei Town Basin is well known among cruising yachties as a pleasant port in which to wait out the tropical hurricane season.  The variety of backgrounds represented on cruising vessels is impressive – engineers, writers, photographers, and surgeons, to name a few. Often the artists are the most interesting, however; their minds always explore the edge of life while their hands capture and express the fleeting images they encounter.
Continued…Brief profiles of live-aboard artists: Petra Scotese, Sandra Storey & Chris Carey, Leo & Karen Cappel, Carmel Gleeson – approx 1000 words


Third Time Round – September 1995

Extract..his navigation saw him safely missing his target of Barbados and striking a reef off Brazil…an error of over a thousand miles. Having thus set the tone for the rest of the trip, one of learning the sea and ‘Solitaire’, Leslie was determined to circumnavigate again, this time eastabout non-stop.
Continued…Profiling Leslie Powles midway through his third circumnavigation – approx 1000 words


Not so X-clusive – February 1996

Extract…The X-Class is a popular British one-design from the board of Alfred Westmacott, but the name is shared by a different design in NZ.
Continued…History of X-Class/Jellie Class in NZ – approx  400 words


Historic ‘Jellie’ class salutes war hero – May 1996

Extract…When a curious U-boat crew spotted one of these ships through its periscope, they were drawn to discover what such a vessel was doing at sea.  As it was possible that the schooners were running either arms or food, the submarine commander would give the order to surface to get a better look.

Apparently panicked by the sight of the surfacing submarine, the crew of ‘The Prize’ would launch a lifeboat and all but two men would abandon ship and paddle madly away in full view of the enemy.  The U-boat would approach the sailing ship, and once the submarine was within…
Continued…History of NZ X-Class/Jellie Class and Lieutenant Commander William Sanders , X-Class dinghy, Emile – approx 750 words


Supertanker pilot for a day – June 1996

Extract…Three rostered pilots work in Whangarei on a day-on, day-off basis.  A further two people hold pilot’s licences in case of emergency.

The oil tanker, British Success, is waiting off Bream Bay for a pilot to bring her to Marsden Point, at the entrance to Whangarei Harbour. The Northland Port Corporation has assigned three large tugs (Reinga, Rotorua and Waitangi) and two workboats (Busby and Kemp, to aid the tanker in.
Continued…Berthing a 261.2 metre supertanker at Point Marsden – approx 800 words


Whangarei’s first club in good heart at 75 – June 1996

This year the Whangarei Cruising Club is celebrating its 75th anniversary.  The Club, Northland’s first, was officially inaugurated on June 7, 1921, but organized events such as the Parua Bay and Onerahi regattas have been occuring since before the turn of the century.
Continued…Whangarei Cruising Club history – approx 1500 words


Oil Rigged Up – August 2007

The Swire Group, who own the 85 oil rig supply vessels BP charters, began in business much the same way as P&O Line, by trafficking in opium from India in the colonial years.

Nick Padfield is an engineer on the Pacific Wyvern, an Anchor Handling Tug & Supply boat. The Pacific Wyvern is a three year old 60 metre vessel with beam of 15 metres and draught of 5 metres. She is powered by two Rolls Royce engines of 3500 horsepower each for a top speed of 13 knots, unloaded.
Continued… Life as a marine engineer on an Anchor Handling Tug and Supply Boat to oil rigs off Azerbaijan – approx 750 words

Copyright © Theresa Sjoquist