Sunday, June 15, 2014

Scrubbing her bottom, then out with the camera to show you some of the secrets of this river

Cleaning her bottom.

There is much variation in tidal heights here, Its springs right now, and of course not only are the high tides high, but the low tides are also very low.  I’d been wondering how to get the ship out and scrubbed and worried that I’d have to do the marina and travel lift thing with the corresponding bills.  She was a bit weedy around the waterline but with the slightly muddy water here there is less light to grow weeds below the waterline so she is not too bad underneath.
I noticed at dead low tide yesterday that she was sitting with about 200 mm below her normal waterline out of the water, solidly aground on the soft muddy bottom. Normally she is just clear of the bottom at low tide but the lows are very low right now, so I stripped off, got over the side with my heavy broom and scraper and went around the boat in about waist deep water. 
Its a bit soft, you need shoes or sandals that are fairly firmly secured but its ok.
So now she's all clean apart from the stern section where she was hard against the dock float, and I will do that today when the tides flowing out as she sits away from the float then.  All done! 

In the meantime, full tide, and as with yesterday it’s a very high one, will be in about an hour so I’m getting the kayak out and will do my morning constitutional on the water. I’ll take the camera this time as there is an old coastal freighter in a little inlet off the river about 20 mins away and I’ll take a pic or two.
She’s maybe 60 ft long, the sort of boat that would have been used to service the inner islands around Auckland or the Bay of Islands, maybe the Kaipara.
I’d guess that she was built back in the ‘20s or ‘30s ,  vertical stem, fine lines aft, and the big “house” forward of the wheelhouse would have had a cargo hold when she was in her prime, a small ship for commercial cargo but its not that long ago that most of the towns north of Auckland were dependent upon shipping for heavy freight and “Tio “ would have been ideal for creeping up the rivers,  sitting on the bottom when the tide was out and unloading onto horse drawn carts.  Until about that same time the sailing scows were still trading. We’re not that far away from our history here, New Zealand was the last landmass settled by Europeans and sometimes that shows.
I’ll see if I can spot the owners house and sometime or other will try and find out her history.

 Hidden away in the mangroves, she's been out recently, came woofling past my berth with that lovely gentle sound that big old fashioned low speed diesels make.  Hardly a ripple in her wake but the swirls from her prop stayed visible for a long time after she'd passed.

 Old,  rusty in places and her seams are a bit rough, but she's still in very solid shape. There is work being done, and there are little changes each time I paddle past so she is not just sitting there dreaming of her past.

At a guess there would be over 2.5m from the water to the deck there on the bow, that foc'sl would be a nice place to sit and think about where she'd been and what she'd seen.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, John. Lets see some more pictures of TIO whenyou have time! s/Pete