Your summer cruising library / March 2022

Good books – they’re an essential part of the joys of cruising.



What an irresistible title! But beyond that, and beyond being the history of a single sailing club, this impressively designed and illustrated book is an important contribution to the maritime lore of all New Zealand.

For it balances the usual focus on Auckland and its yachties, setting the record straight to remind us of the many great sailors from Christchurch. Legends like Olympic gold medal winner Peter Mander, other Olympians Andrew Brown, Melinda Henshaw, Shelley Henson, OK dinghy world champions Peter Lester and Matt Stechmann, R-Class heroes Steve and Paul Macintosh, disabled world champion sailor Andrew May – and many more.


Beautifully photographed, as all Potton & Burton books are, this is a wider view of New Zealand seabirds and their evolution within their environment, rather than a field identification guide (though it does have a species list as an appendix). Still, from the photos you get to learn a lot about recognising seabirds, and from the text, learn why New Zealand is the ‘seabird capital of the world’, with more species of penguins for instance than anywhere else. And a wide variety of other magnificent birds. Just like the birds, a magnificent book.


This profoundly beautiful book about one man’s relationship with his Hauraki Gulf island habitat. Previously an experienced science writer, Tim’s prose here soars into the poetic realm, while at the same time displaying that discipline of restraint, and using exactly the right words and phrases for each special moment all other writers envy. It’s up there with all the nature classics you can name, and truly deserves its back cover accolade by Kennedy Warne, founder of New Zealand Geographic magazine: “Luminous. Touched with the divine.” For everyone planning to live more simply, in touch, and off the grid, Island Notes is your inspiration, working manual and vindication all in one.


The book saves itself from being a regular sailing yarn of a voyage from Auckland to Shoreham-on-Sea, England, taking in the South Pacific, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malacca Straits, Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Mediterranean and French canals, by dint of its insights into on-board human relationships, and role-modelling. For Dennis, the author, serves “as mate to Sally’s skipper, along with responsibilities of bosun, musician, chef and first engineer.” All “in no particular hurry” but with extra-ordinary good humour.




Achieves the rare feat of combining epic overview with intimate portraits of people affected by the Tasman. With opening chapters that delve into deep geological time, and explain the mysteries of ocean currents, to a natural and human history of the great sea between us and the Aussies, The Tasman really does tell the true story of this tempestuous bit of saltwater.




A true classic of the sea, hailed by National Geographic as “the number one greatest adventure book of all time.” “When I went South, I never meant to write a book” Cherry-Garrard, the youngest member of the expedition, notes in the introduction, “I rather despised those who did so as being of an inferior brand to those who did things and said nothing about them.” But it’s a good thing he did finish the book (with the help of Bernard Shaw), for as the New York Review of Books said, ““The Worst Journey is to travel writing what War and Peace is to the novel... a masterpiece.”


World's fastest aluminium superyacht?

The first VQ115 Veloce will roar along at a blistering 50-plus knots and break records in the process.

The launch model for the VQ115 Veloce line is the result of brainstorming sessions between a Vanquish repeat client and company founder Tom Steentjes. While initial discussions were based on design concepts for a VQ90, the owner added an extra cabin, a dedicated dining area on the lower deck and two garages.

The installation of the largest engines possible – a trio of MTU-Rolls-Royce 2650s mated to surface drives – will power the VQ115 Veloce to more than 50 knots, making her quite possibly the fastest aluminium yacht over 30m with non-turbine diesel engines.
The engines will be placed in a trapezium shape with the middle engine forward, while two gyro stabilisers will ensure comfort at all speeds. An impressive range of up to 600nm will be possible when running on one or two engines, with an extra fuel tank available for cruising at lower speeds.

This is entertainment
Despite the phenomenal propulsion package, there’s still space aft for a large tender bay that will house a VQ16 tender, a multifunctional hydraulic platform with passerelle and a swimming ladder, plus a second tender garage/leisure playground on the starboard side.
Outdoor entertainment includes an expansive foredeck with the option to create a saltwater jacuzzi. There is a wealth of relaxation options on the aft deck, too, while the flybridge has a dedicated sunbathing area.
The futuristic interior layout makes optimum use of the extra space available. The main deck saloon will be fully tailored to the owner’s wishes with movable furniture to allow flexibility of use. Office space is included, there is a neat pantry and cocktail bar, plus a day-head to keep the lower deck private. Stairs access the sport flybridge while the aft door opens fully to create a unified space with the aft deck.

The lower deck features a more extensive galley and a U-shaped seating/dining area in a country-kitchen style. Accommodations includes a full-beam master suite, a VIP and a guest cabin, all with their own bathrooms. A dedicated media room includes two Pullmans that bring the potential sleeping capacity to eight. There are also berths for four crew members.

In production
This potentially record-breaking powerboat is due to be delivered in the Hamptons, USA, later this year. Talks are underway for further models and owners who appreciate the design but don’t need the speed can adapt their engine configuration accordingly.

Marine innovation at the Auckland Boat Show

Sea trials, demos and lots of new stuff at the upcoming Auckland Boat Show in March.

This year’s Auckland Boat Show will bring a hive of New Zealand marine innovation to central Auckland. The 17-20 March show, which will create a festival on the water in the heart of summer in central Auckland, is set to be a showcase of innovative marine products and vessels.

Northland-based start-up company Naut is launching its electric drive system for recreational vessels with zero noise, zero fumes, zero emissions but one hundred per cent of the fun.

With a fully electric motor and bespoke battery system and control interface design, the Naut team has crafted an electric propulsion system capable of meeting the user’s every on-water need. Whether that’s reaching planing speed to get to a favourite fishing spot and back, powering up to pull a wakeboarder, or travelling at five knots all day, Naut builds a system to suit. Naut systems can be installed in new boats or retrofitted to existing vessels, typically over six metres in length.

Sealegs’ new 7.5m Hydrasol will be demonstrated at the show.

Test the power for yourself by booking a test ride at stand 203, or pre-order your Naut electric outboard in the second quarter of 2022.

Fellow New Zealand company Zerojet is another electric pioneer, set on removing combustion engines on new boats under six metres. It has integrated its 14kW ZJ20 electric jet system into the OC Tender range, with the production of these lightweight boats already underway.

Offering superior manoeuvrability and capable of reaching speeds of over 20 knots, the ZeroJet OC Tender package is a more fun, more convenient and greener power solution than the traditional internal combustion engine.

ZeroJet has teamed up with OC Tenders.

Sealegs’ new 7.5m Hydrasol RIB, on-show in the Boat Show marina, utilises the latest in amphibious Hydrasol technology, optimising the boat’s centre of gravity to improve on-water performance. Offering different seating, storage and usage options, three different layouts allow customers to configure the vessel to suit their needs. Sealegs’ new 7.5m Hydrasol RIB comes in either hydraulic or electric drive and carries up to eight passengers.

Safe2Dock inflatable dock bumpers are designed to be permanently fixed to your marina berth, pontoon, pier, or jetty. The easy-to-install system provides a cushion of air to prevent damage while docking. It was designed in New Zealand in response to one boater’s experience scratching his pride and joy while docking in the tidal Tamaki River. Made from durable PVC and TPU-coated fabrics, these dock bumpers are designed to sit clear of the water, ensuring no algal growth.

Innovative dock bumpers from Safe2Dock.

“The show provides a one-stop-shop for all things marine,” says organiser Stacey Cook. “It’s always exciting to see the innovation coming from the New Zealand marine industry, and it looks like the industry’s outdone itself this year.”

The show will transform Jellicoe Harbour into a festival on the water that celebrates marine heritage and boating innovation, the New Zealand marine industry and some of the largest, most-luxurious new release vessels of the past year.

With more than 130 exhibitors, Jellicoe Harbour, site of the former America’s Cup team bases, will become the site of sea trials, demonstrations, and a plethora of new vessels, products and services, all set to the backdrop of Auckland’s bustling Wynyard Quarter.

The March show is expected to be 15% bigger than previously-planned shows. BNZ


Petrol inboards show their power

There are few boats that have a more appropriate name than John Sharp’s 6.4m Pelin Tango runabout Pride’Enjoy, which has been giving him hours of boating pleasure since the early 1990s. So when it came time for a recent repower, he installed a new Volvo Penta V6 280hp petrol inboard with a DPS-D silent-shift sternleg.

Sharp built the plywood boat himself, and has enjoyed many adventures aboard her, from game fishing on the east and west coasts of the North Island catching marlin, yellowfin and southern bluefin tuna, to following the Whitbread fleets out of Auckland and participating in powerboat rallies. She’s had two previous Volvo petrol inboard engines since new, the most recent providing around 1900 hours of trouble-free use. After giving Pride’Enjoy a recent makeover, he decided to also update the running gear.

Volvo Penta Aquamatic Sterndrive V6/V8‐DPS packages, like that fitted to Pride’Enjoy, provide a totally integrated package, combining a six‐cylinder, 4.3‐litre, freshwater‐cooled petrol engine. The common-rail direct fuel injection system provides both improved fuel economy and lower emissions, and lightweight aluminium-block construction means plenty of power without extra weight. For example, the new 280hp V6 is 15% quicker than the previous-generation model and is around 56kg lighter.

Like Sharp’s previous engines, the DPS-D sternleg on Pride’Enjoy is also a duo-prop, with modern hydrodynamics to provide speed and performance without added weight. The engine also features Volvo’s silent shift transmission technology, which makes for quiet and smooth operation.

The team at Ovlov says the new generation of petrol inboards is lighter, more fuel-efficient and more environmentally-friendly than equivalent diesel engines, and offers excellent handling and impressive acceleration. Compared to diesels, petrol inboards have been uncommon in New Zealand, but as more second-hand US-built boats are imported, with ageing engines, repowering with a new Volvo Penta V6 or V8 is a good option.

The new generation of petrol inboards are very reliable and also very economical — something Sharp can attest to: “I have always considered my two previous sterndrives to be very economical to run, and particularly in more recent times they’ve outshone many friends with four-stroke outboards. With similar boat sizes and horsepower, the four-stroke outboards often don’t come close in terms of fuel used. I’m expecting these new V6s to be more efficient again.”

Ovlov Marine, New Zealand’s largest Volvo Penta dealer, has done half a dozen petrol-inboard repowers in the last year, including Pride’Enjoy and a Mustang 2800 sports cruiser, which was running a pair of 280hp V6s. These were replaced with new 200hp V6s, and the owner is reporting a 20% saving in fuel usage, as well as being quiet and offering great performance.

American Magic, Alinghi challenge for Cup

There has been considerable movement around entries for the 37th America’s Cup in recent weeks, with two more teams confirming their participation: American Magic (New York Yacht Club) and Alinghi Red Bull Racing (Société Nautique de Genève).

Because the entry period opened only at the beginning of December, sailing enthusiasts can expect the announcement of additional challengers over the next weeks and months.
For the New York Yacht Club (NYCC), the challenge announcement is an about-face after it ‘pushed pause’ on the event late last year. Alinghi’s declaration heralds the welcome return of a veteran campaigner, this time with fresh backing in the form of Red Bull Racing.
The Trustees of the New York Yacht Club approved a challenge for the 37th edition of the America’s Cup, sailing’s most prestigious trophy, in early January.
“As the longest-standing trustee of the America’s Cup and as our valued partner during the 36th America’s Cup, we are pleased to represent the NYYC once again in our quest to bring back the Cup to its original champion,” commented Doug DeVos, Principal of American Magic.
“We enjoyed a successful relationship during AC36 and coming out of that competition, we reflected, assessed options, and determined that American Magic’s vision to be an ongoing competitor in the America’s Cup would benefit from partnering with the NYYC.”
American Magic is well prepared to compete in AC37 as it builds on the foundation and experience from its AC36 campaign. The team has been busy in its preparation for AC37, assembling an elite team and committed to further developing talent across all areas of sailing and business operations.

“We intend to compete in AC37 and are hungry and highly motivated to be the most innovative team on and off the water,” remarked Hap Fauth, Principal for American Magic.
“We are proud of how our team rebounded during AC36, but we have unfinished business and are committed to investing in technology, design, innovation, and talent so we are best positioned to bring the America’s Cup home!”
“The America’s Cup remains the highest peak in sailing and one of the most difficult challenges in the world of sport,” remarked Paul M. Zabetakis, M.D., Commodore of the New York Yacht Club. “The lessons learned during our previous campaign, combined with American Magic’s physical and intellectual assets and a commitment to multiple cycles, will ensure we come into this challenge with a strong chance to claim sailing’s ultimate prize.”
The team and the Club await the announcement of the venue and race schedule for AC37, the details for the America’s Cup World Series, and the plan for the youth and women’s events. The venue announcement is expected on March 31, 2022.

Bertarelli’s back
After an absence of over a decade, Alinghi, is returning to battle for sailing’s pinnacle honour, and this time the twice consecutive-winning syndicate is partnered by a driving force in global sport, Red Bull.
Sailing under the flag of the Société Nautique de Genève, Alinghi Red Bull Racing has already begun preparations to race as an official challenger when the Selection Series for the 37th America’s Cup begins in 2024.
“While keeping the winning spirit that has always animated Alinghi, we want for this challenge to do something totally different, totally new, totally fresh,” said Alinghi founder Ernesto Bertarelli.
“When we imagined with Dietrich Mateschitz the involvement of Red Bull in the America’s Cup, he said: ‘Our way is not to get into the sport as sponsors, but to blend into the team, to form a true partnership, to nurture young athletes and turn them into the best in their field.’ He also proposed that we should make contributions to give the America’s Cup itself a new dimension.”

Christian Horner of the United Kingdom and Red Bull Racing, Ernesto Bertarelli of Switzerland and Hans Peter Steinacher of Austria and Alinghi Red Bull Racing seen during the press conference announcing the entry to 37th Americas Cup in Geneva, Switzerland on December 14, 2021.

“We are equal partners in this venture,” says Bertarelli, “Red Bull brings its competence, energy and strength in creating performing teams; we bring our experience in sailing and winning the America’s Cup.”
Red Bull’s Hans Peter Steinacher, a two-time Olympic champion in the Tornado Class, co-founder of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup and Red Bull Foiling Generation, and Austria’s most successful summer sport athlete, is enthusiastic about the new partnership.
“Alinghi’s experience and team spirit are unique in the sport of sailing. All of Red Bull is behind this project – I doubt it could have been done with another team.”
In partnering with Alinghi, Red Bull also brings the expertise of the Red Bull Advanced Technologies unit which has supported Red Bull Racing in achieving five Formula One Drivers’ Championships.
Red Bull Racing principal Christian Horner welcomed Alinghi Red Bull Racing to the World of Red Bull: “Our F1 team is looking forward to helping this new member of our family to succeed.”
Twenty-year Alinghi veteran and four-time winner of the America’s Cup, Kiwi Brad Butterworth, commented, “Getting into this new challenge with Red Bull is very exciting. The America’s Cup is a technology race won on the water with race strategy and tactics, something Red Bull has demonstrated time and time again in F1 and in many other sports.”
In conjunction with the America’s Cup, Alinghi Red Bull Racing will also field teams in the inaugural Women’s America’s Cup Regatta, as well as the Youth America’s Cup, which returns this cycle.
Alinghi Red Bull Racing will be headquartered in Écublens, Switzerland, near Lausanne

Go electric, go TEMO

What weighs less than 5kg, runs for 80 minutes at cruising speed, doesn’t use a drop of petrol and will propel your tender wherever you want it to go?

Meet the TEMO 450, a brilliant French product that will completely transform the way you think about short distance travel at sea.

The TEMO has built-in lithium batteries that you can recharge from 230V or 12V power sources. The unit can telescope from 130cm to 170cm, all while maintaining an IP67 waterproof rating. It has a progressive trigger for complete control of speed from the 450w brushless motor, plus both forward and reverse propulsion.

Safety is ensured by use of a magnetic safety cut-out device, similar to the kill switch you may be familiar with from an outboard engine.

Easily mounted using the included rowlock pin fitting, a full range of accessories is also available, from security to spare parts.

From ferries to electric vehicles, green technologies are now a part of our lives. With the TEMO 450 that technology is now available to every small boat owner.

The TEMO 450 is marketed in New Zealand by Tenob Wholesale Marine Ltd and retails for $2992.94 INC GST. 0800 273 9180

Check out the video.

Battery failures concern Coastguard

Covid-mothballed boats and jet-skis could be at risk of battery failure that could put lives in jeopardy, warns battery manufacturer CenturyYuasa.

With summer the peak time for boating, Century Batteries, together with Coastguard NZ, remind boaties and jet-skiers “you can’t get a push on the water.”

While there might be enough charge to get your watercraft started and out on the water, it is vital that at the end of a day’s activities there is enough charge to restart it for the journey home.

“Flat batteries cause a lot of headaches for boat users, with Coastguard volunteers attending to a high number of these callouts each year,” says Coastguard Chief Executive Callum Gillespie.

You should ensure your battery is powerful enough for all the gear you intend to run off it and if you have added something since your last outing, make sure your battery has the capacity and health to handle the extra load. Coastguard recommends a secondary or ‘house’ battery for auxiliary systems.

“Unfortunately, you can’t wave down a passing car like on a busy highway. There could be little or no marine traffic where you are, the weather can change and suddenly you are in a life-threatening situation.”

Century Batteries proudly sponsor Coastguard NZ.

Century Batteries spokesman Andrew Bottoms said two years of lockdowns and reduced activity has meant many watercraft have had less use than normal, so checking the battery this summer has never been more important.

“We don’t service our boats as regularly as we service our cars and time gets away from us: suddenly you realise the battery you thought you bought last year is in fact three years old. It could be close to its use-by date or needing a good charge,” said Bottoms.

Irregular use of trailer boats can also be an issue. If it sits for a few months, the battery deteriorates through lack of use.

“There are so many stories where families’ plans for the day are ruined because the boat won’t start.”

Century Batteries’ market research showed that many people are unaware marine batteries are specific, with some boaties running automotive batteries in their vessels.

Bottoms said, like cars, boats are becoming increasingly complex, incorporating advanced electronics and engine management systems, all placing greater demands on the battery.

“Unlike car batteries, marine batteries must be able to resist vibration from wave pounding and trailer transportation,” Bottoms said.

“In fact, neglecting the battery between trips and not using a marine-specific battery are two of the biggest problems we encounter. Today’s fishers and boaties run a lot of gadgets – charging their phones, running a fridge or playing music through a speaker – all connected to the battery. Century Marine Pro batteries provide sufficient starting power for high compression engines that also deliver power for on-board accessories, even when the boat engine is switched off.”

Coastguard battery checklist

• Make sure your battery is properly installed and securely
• Check the terminal connectors are free of corrosion.
• Check the battery is fully charged, especially if you haven’t used the boat for a while.
• Don’t mix old batteries with new ones on the same battery bank: old batteries can pull down new ones to their deteriorated level.
• Turn off gadgets like fish finders if you’re not using them: even small loads can eventually sap a battery over the course of a day on the water.
• Lastly, if out for the day, remember to leave enough charge in the battery so it will start for your return journey.

Your summer cruising library / January 2022

Another installment of interesting reads for January. Good books – they’re an essential part of the joys of cruising. And if the lockdowns continue – well then, they will probably be even more welcome!



This is the most recent addition to the library of traditional Pacific navigation – and the most vital in a human sense. The interviews of living master navigators (a chapter for each) give this book immediacy, a current relevance and an irresistible appeal. The photography – portraits and action sailing shots – is compelling too. This book is all about vaka moana sailing in the here and now.


This book helps you to get your head out of boats and away from the sea. This is another magnificent, lavishlyillustrated book. Perfect for the dip-in, dip-out reader – and full of surprising images. The book will generate great saloon table discussions about aesthetics, a subject all boaties are well-versed in.



Intriguingly traverses backwards from the furthest points of Polynesian navigators’ reach – Aotearoa New Zealand, Hawai`i, Rapanui Easter Island, and the South American coast. Crowe adds notes from a recent Pacific cruise. It includes many excellent graphics and also succinctly explains why Pacific oceanic voyaging had declined so much by AD 1450.


Written by the Timothy Nicol, the bloke who managed our lighthouse system from 1990 to 1999, Sunset to Sunrise (New Holland, 2018) is full of fascinating info (factual and legendary!) and images. It doubles as navigational education too!


For much-needed inspiration. If we can do so well in New Zealand with forest habitat rescue, then it’s possible in the ocean too!



There’s been much media interest this year in the 40th anniversary of The Tour of 1981 – and its repercussions for modern New Zealand. This lively, truth-telling novel will get teenagers up to speed on this important part of our history. They will also relate to the anti-establishment in it, I reckon!


The story of two kuaka godwits whose flight in 2007 was tracked using transmitters. A male bird E3 mysteriously turned back when he reached Papua New Guinea. What had happened to him? A female, E7, showed that godwits can fly from Alaska to New Zealand, a distance of 11,200 non-stop kilometres.

Cyclone storms in

Cyclone, Raymarine’s latest solid-state open-array radar, delivers rugged performance and unmatched situational awareness in an innovative and stylish package crammed with technology.

Available in 3-, 4- and 6-foot array spans and two power output options, there’s a Cyclone radar for every vessel, including trailer boats. Due to space and styling constraints, smaller vessels including trailer boats have tended to favour closed-array (dome) radars which generally perform less well than open-array units.

Each Cyclone model features innovative detection technologies, including RangeFusion, fast 60rpm rotation and a Bird Mode that Raymarine believes sets it apart from the rest.

The unit’s striking design takes its cues from an aircraft’s wing. Indeed, Raymarine undertook extensive wind tunnel testing to get the antenna and pedestal shapes just right. Rated to operate in up to 100 knots of wind speed, Cyclone works perfectly on the fastest of boats and in the most extreme weather conditions.

At 335mm tall, Cyclone’s low profile provides adaptability and easy installation on a wide range of boats. At only 23kg, Cyclone is Raymarine’s lightest open-array radar, with the three-foot array providing superior open-array performance from installations in tight spaces. A stylish pedestal design and cable gland conceals the cables for a cleaner, sleeker installation.

Using CHIRP pulse compression and beam sharpening technology, Raymarine claims Cyclone offers superior target separation and long-range resolution, while its fast 60rpm rotation ensures 360° awareness and real time target tracking. Combined with doppler tracking to simplify distinguishing between safe and dangerous targets, and professional-grade ARPA tracking capable of monitoring up to 50 targets at once, Cyclone delivers unmatched situational awareness.

Cyclone is compact, streamlined and powerful

Serious anglers will be excited about Cyclone’s superior bird location performance, for which the system has been specifically tuned. Enhanced Cyclone Bird Mode uses CHIRP pulse compression to quickly locate distant flocks of birds shadowing schools of fish.

RangeFusion combines short and long pulses into a single high-clarity radar image. Short-pulse imaging is optimised for targets close by while long-pulse imaging renders targets at longer ranges. Cyclone simultaneously delivers short- and longrange targets displayed as a single easy-to-interpret radar image.

Cyclone offers two levels of high-power, solid-state performance to choose between while different array spans offer unprecedented installation flexibility.

Cyclone 55-watt with 3-, 4-, or 6-foot array options offers 6kW equivalent magnetron performance; Cyclone Pro offers 110-watt (12kW equivalent magnetron) performance with the same array choices. BNZ


Art-appreciating dolphins

Here’s the dolphin’s eye-view of our boat. As you and the dolphins can see, we adorned it with an enlarged line, taken from a painting of mine. We hoped to make it a distinctive craft. The squiggle work’s in place of a name, just like the singer who once tried the same.

The curious thing is that whenever we’re visited by dolphins while out sailing, they display what can only be an interest in the art.

Anyway, instead of the usual coming from behind parallel to the boat’s course and surfing in between the hulls on the pressure of the combined waves from both bows, since the painting the dolphins streak in from the side, and at the last moment turn on their sides to have a good ol’ dekko at the line. The graphic is in dark red, so it could be they see an alluring and interesting splash of blood – they are top-end predators after all. Or maybe they like the work? Maybe these are dolphins with an advanced art appreciation – an artist is always seeking affirmation, even if from another species!

The artistic visual world of the dolphins must be somewhat limited: blue, deep blue and more blue. With occasional fish. Which must be eaten.

So perhaps they make their own art out of streams of bubbles. Or one could say they do aerial (and underwater) gymnastics, with the way they frolic. Perhaps they even have competitions, with controversies over rigging of scores, favouritism, and what ‘artistic interpretation’ really means. Just like we do at the Olympics. They seem to take synchronised swimming seriously – or at least build it into their daily workout regimes.

Scandal with a full crew aboard.

But does my anecdotal evidence stack up? Here’s a special example. Off Tikitikiatonga Point (near Horuhoru/Gannet Rock) a wee while ago, three dolphins came past and took a look at the line. Swish, flip, splash, pffht! (blow) and again. They were distinctive, being big dad, medium-sized mum, and small baby, sticking close. They hung around for a minute or so, doing the ‘looking at us from the sides’ thing, and then I imagine the littlie’s attention wavered and they wandered off. I invited them back anytime, by calling to them when they last surfaced. I hoped they heard.

Sure enough, five minutes later, they returned with about 20 mates. We recognised the original three among them. They all did the art appreciation thing again, as if showing their friends an interesting show at the human gallery. And then did a fine jumping display for us, which lasted 20 minutes or so. Was this reciprocation – a kind of art exchange? What they were doing was certainly not the usual humdrum business of hunting. This was something else, something recreational. And it appeared to involve us. I wish we could have asked what was going on. Maybe the line on the boat was doing the talking.

Some language experts say we’ll soon be able to speak dolphin. But in the case of the visual language outlined above, I do believe we already do. BNZ

Bean Rock 150 years

Alex and Lesley Stone delve into the history of Bean Rock lighthouse – 150 years old this year.

Fl(3) WR 8s 15m 14/11 M

She flashes three times every eight seconds. White or red lights, depending. They are elevated 15m above the mean low tide mark and can – nominally – be seen from 14 nautical miles (the white light), or 11 (the red).
That’s the simple translation of that arcane formula on your chart NZ 532 Approaches to Auckland.
Four red arcs, three white, showing respectively those dangerous courses into and out of the Waitematā Harbour, and those safer. She does not shine her lights on Bastion Point, Mission Bay Kohimaramara, or St Heliers.
And she has done so, non-stop, for 150 years. She’s our last wooden, wave-washed sentinel, a Historic Place, Category 1. Just to the north of her, there’s 23m of water, which is why the ferries go so close. Just to the south there’s bugger-all.
Called Kapetaua by local Maori, Bean Rock was named after a Mr PCD Bean, a crew-member on the HMS Herald which visited Auckland in 1840. He helped chart the harbour.
She allows no anchoring nearby. And although she has been a home at times – a three-room, elevated cottage with expansive views – she allows no visitors nowadays.
She’s Bean Rock, the lighthouse that for a century and a half has lit the way into the Waitematā Harbour. She was to be demolished in 1985 but a public outcry stopped that. She’s set to be here for a long time still to come.

Bean Rock restoration in progress June1985.

When she was built In 1871, the navigational lighting of our harbours and well-studded coastline was poor. Before that, the rock of Kapetaua had been marked with a modest red perch and black buoy.
Three blokes were closely associated with the lighthouse’s design and construction: William Cameron, the builder; James Melville Balfour, who drew the initial plans; and Auckland’s first city engineer, James Stewart, also the Inspector of Steamers for the Government.
Balfour favoured wooden structures because he thought it was “important for the coast to be lit rapidly, even if the lighthouses did not last as long,” so Bean Rock lighthouse was built from wood.
The innovative design was technically challenging. It included solid foundations to the high-tide level, with a lightweight structure above. The upper part of the lighthouse is a hexagonal, board and batten three-room kauri ‘cottage’ with surrounding cantilevered verandahs. Above is a hexagonal lighting chamber. The open timber tower, also hexagonal, has cast-iron tubular piles. The base was reinforced using masonry quarried from nearby Rangitoto Island.
Bean Rock Lighthouse was officially lit at 6pm on the evening of 24 July 1871. The first light at Bean Rock was fuelled by kerosene.  A live-in keeper would light it every evening and check it throughout the night.

In 1912, her new owner, the Auckland Harbour Board, installed an acetylene light, making it the first automated lighthouse in the country. An electric cable was connected in 1936, increasing the light’s brightness fivefold. Now it runs entirely on solar power.
By 1970 there was talk of replacing the old lady beacon, but in 1985 the Auckland Harbour Board chose to restore her instead. The old lighthouse was taken ashore for five months for her big make-over, which included re-roofing and some new external cladding. The renovated structure was placed on new timber legs with concrete foundation posts.
So there she sits, our grand old lady Bean Rock Lighthouse. Good – we hope – for another 150 years.

Lighthouse specifications

construction timber legs, hexagonal wooden cottage
tower height 15m
markings white
power source solar power
operator Ports of Auckland
heritage NZHPT category I listing
first lit 24 July 1871
automated 1912
focal height 15m
range 14nm (26km) (white)
11nm (20km) (red)
characteristic FI WR 8s, FI(3) WR 8s
Admiralty no. K3748
NGA no. 111-4064, 4064

Images reflect ocean’s anguish

Britain’s Mandy Barker is an international award-winning photographer raising awareness about plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, highlighting its harmful effects on marine life and humanity.

I aim to stimulate an emotional response in the viewer,” she says, “by combining a contradiction between initial aesthetic attraction along with the subsequent message of awareness. I have documented the impact of marine plastic for more than 10 years and I hope my work will lead to positive action in tackling this growing problem.”

Barker’s work has been published in over 50 different countries and has been exhibited globally – including at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the United Nations, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Science & Technology Park in Hong Kong.

Her first book – Beyond Drifting: Imperfectly Known Animals – was selected as one of the Ten Best Photography Books of 2017, while another, Altered Ocean, was chosen by The Royal Photographic Society as one of the most coveted titles and top 10 Photobooks of 2019.

Entitled Barcode, this image features small pieces of fishing net. Researchers estimate about eight million tonnes of plastic enter the planet’s oceans annually.

In June 2019 she took part in the Henderson Island Plastic Pollution Expedition which was awarded the title of an ‘Explorers Club Flag Expedition’. Only a handful of expeditions receive this recognition every year. Others include the Apollo 11 Space Mission and the dive to Challenger Deep. The latter recorded and photographed marine plastic pollution – it has now become an archive accessible to other modern-day explorers and scholars.

She was shortlisted for the Prix Pictet Award SPACE 2017, the world’s leading photography award for sustainability, and nominated for the Magnum Foundation Fund, LOBA Award, and the Deutsche Börse Foundation Photography Prize 2020. BNZ

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Above photo: Penalty comprises nearly 600 footballs collected from 87 beaches around the UK.