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Post Info TOPIC: Wahine Day 10th April 1968


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Wahine Day 10th April 1968
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Today, 45 years ago, the New Zealand inter island ferry, TEV Wahine,  ran aground and finally sank at the  entrance to Wellington Harbour.  Even though this was a long time ago I remember it vividly. We were living in the suburb of Wainuiomata and lived through this fierce storm, thankfully totally unscathed, largely because we were surrounded by hills  which blunted the wind force.  I knew without even getting out of bed that there was something seriously wrong......the electric blanket wouldn't come on because there was no power !!!  Funny how you remember things like that.  The only way in and out of this suburb was over a quite high hill and, not surprisingly,  this road was closed to traffic.  I drove around to check on a friends house as his wife was heavily pregnant, she was ok, thankfully, as getting to a hospital would have been impossible.  Her husband had actually gone into work early because he had a guilty conscience after having a couple of alcohol related sickies just previously. Now he was at work but couldn't get home.  They say that God works in mysterious ways.  His wife and I found this very amusing and I went out and did some of her shopping. The butchers shop was in at least 6 inches of water and everyone was wearing Welly Boots just in case the power came  on.  Only later did we realise that there had been a disaster on the Harbour.  That late afternoon I drove to the top of the Wainui Hill and looked out on the Harbour. The water was flat calm and there was not a whisper of wind. It was very strange how the weather could change so dramatically in such a short space of time. Only the following day did we realise just how serious it had all been.  Stu

There is a lot of information on the internet if you are interested in following up on this under  New Zealand Maritime Disasters.   Stu

 



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I remember it well Stu..We docked in Wellington early that morning on the Port Brisbane after a rough crossing from Lyttelton,

it was also my 21st birthday, this tragedy happened a couple of hours later. 

 

Dave



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Yes, Dave, that would have been a birthday to remember.  The Port Brisbane must have departed Lyttleton just a few hours ahead of the Wahine.  Coming up the Kaikoura coast can be fierce enough to knock the barnacles off the boot topping, but crossing Cook Strait was the most exciting, talk about rock and roll, ducking and diving, cork screwing your way across.  Yet on a few occasions it was as flat calm as the Serpentine. I did it a couple of times as a crew member but many more times as a passenger travelling for work.

Other bad weather experiences (as I remember) were my first trip when in the North Atlantic with a light ship that bobbed around like a cork,  around Tasmania and through Bass Strait,  a couple of days out of Brisbane being chased by a typhoon,  and on one occasion coming up the Channel on the Braemar Castle it was so bad the foredeck was awash,  gale force winds, heaps of snow/sleet, and it was impossible to get to the foremast to climb to the crows nest. So lookouts were done outside from the wing of the bridge where spray and sleet made vision beyond the focastle impossible. After a short while your eyebrows were frozen with snow and the snot froze on your face.  Aaargh, those were the days!!!!   So what about your bad weather experiences ?  Where was the worst place ?   Stu



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Ya' just had to make it to the butchers shop eh Stu?. I was in NZ(Napier, as a resisident) year of 2000 & I believe they had the worst storm in 50 yrs?. Just for the record..I owe loads of speeding fines in NZ, had to leave as a NZ person informed me:-'the flashing lights are speed cameras Bob'. So many flashing lights every day!cry.

Bobo..everybody wants a piece of me!



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Bobo, you should have been there in the 1920s when they had the giant earthquake, now that would have been fun !!!!   I was there in 1957 and as I recall it there was extreme tides there and  in addition to the usual ropes and wires we also put anchor chain ashore. But that was a very long time ago.  Anyone else remember having to do that?

By the way Bobo, my 2nd cousin is a physiotherapist in the hospital at Napier. If you were still there he could have a look at your spotty feet, as well as wearing thick rubber gloves when he touched them.    Stu



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