- #1739471arandarMemberMember since: November 23, 2009
Replies: 10863arandar December 22, 2019 at 8:02 pm#1739474vale019 December 22, 2019 at 8:09 pm
Love it – thanks for that, Arandar, and all the very best to you & yours for Christmas & the New Year- cheers, Val#1739475vale019 December 22, 2019 at 8:27 pm
To all the Grownup members and staff#1740523vale019 January 12, 2020 at 2:31 pm
I’m thinking about taking me auld fella on a cruise at Milford Sounds sometime soon.
(Click to enlarge).#1743377supergoldMemberMember since: May 9, 2009
Replies: 9171supergold February 22, 2020 at 11:56 am
This legend about Wellington Harbour particularly interested me. I hope you enjoy it too.
Ngake and Whātaitai the taniwha of Wellington harbour
Once long ago, before the time of Kupe, when Te Ika-a-Māui was just fished from the depths of the ocean, there lived two taniwha, Ngake and Whātaitai.
In those times, Wellington Harbour, Te Whanganui-a-Tara, was a lake cut off from the sea, and abundant in fresh water fish and native bird life. Ngake and Whātaitai lived here in the lake at the head of the fish of Māui (Te Ika-a-Māui).
Ngake and Whātaitai had a great life in their special lake, with all the time in the world to do as they pleased. Ngake was a taniwha with lots of energy. He liked to race around the shores, chasing fish and eels and leaping after birds that came too close. Whātaitai was the opposite, he preferred to laze on the lake’s shores, sunbathing and dreaming taniwha dreams.
When Ngake and Whātaitai were close to the south side of the lake, where the cliffs came down to the waters edge, they could hear the crashing waves of the ocean falling on the shores nearby so when sea birds flew overhead, Ngake and Whātaitai often yelled to them, “Tell us, sea birds, what is so special about the sea?”
And the birds would always reply, “The sea is deep, it’s vast, it’s wide, it’s where many different fishes hide. The sea is the home of Tangaroa, of Hinemoana and many others.”
Whātaitai and Ngake could only imagine what secrets the sea held. Whātaitai would loll on his back in the middle of the lake dreaming, imitating the sea noises in his throat. Ngake would swish his tail furiously, making huge waves that crashed against the lake’s shore.
As the years went by the two taniwha grew bigger, and the boundaries of their lake seemed to grow smaller.
Ngake was adamant he had outgrown his home and soon convinced Whātaitai that they both needed to break free from the lake that imprisoned them.
One summer morning when Whātaitai was enjoying the morning sunshine at the north end of the lake, Ngake began circling around at high speeds yelling, “Today is the day that I will break free of this lake and swim in the endless sea!”
Whātaitai began to be excited at Ngake’s suggestion.
Ngake crossed to the north side of the lake and coiled his tail into a huge spring shape. He focused his sights on the cliffs to the south and suddenly let his tail go. With a mighty roar Ngake was thrust across the lake up over the shore and smashed into the cliff face.
Ngake hit the cliffs with such force that he shattered them into huge hunks of rock and earth, effectively creating a pathway through to Te Moana o Raukawa (Cook Strait). Ngake, cut and bruised, slipped into the sea, finally free to explore as he had dreamed.
Whātaitai was shocked at the devastation that Ngake had caused, but also glad that his brother had safely made it to the other side. Whātaitai knew he would have to follow.
Whātaitai retreated from the north side of the lake to wind his tail into a spring as he had seen his brother do. He said a prayer to the taniwha gods, then let his tail go. But Whātaitai hadn’t been very active in the past, and he wasn’t as strong or as fit as Ngake, so his take-off was much slower than his brother’s.
As Whātaitai entered the gap forged by Ngake he didn’t realise the tide was out. His stomach dragged on the ground, eventually slowing him to a stop. Whātaitai was stranded, stuck between the sea and the lake, desperately lashing his tail and trying to move, but to no avail.
Whātaitai could do nothing but lie there hoping that the incoming tide would lift him high enough to carry him across to the other side. But when the tide finally came in, it only helped to dampen his scaly skin and provide fish to sustain his hunger. Whātaitai was stuck without a hope of ever moving.
As the years passed Whātaitai became accustomed to his life stranded between the lake and the open sea. The tides would come and go providing him with food and keeping his skin healthy and moist. Whātaitai made many friends with birds and sea creatures, and these companions helped him deal with his fate.
One morning there was a dreadful shudder beneath the ocean floor. A huge earthquake erupted. Whātaitai was lifted out of the shallow water and high above sea level. Whātaitai could do nothing, he was stranded high above the water and he knew his life would end. Whātaitai bade farewell to his many bird friends and animals and soon after gasped his final breath.
As he died, Whātaitai’s spirit transformed into a bird, Te Keo, and flew to the closest mountain, Matairangi (Mount Victoria). Te Keo looked down on the huge taniwha body that stretched across the raised sea bed and cried. She cried for the great friendships Whātaitai had made, shown by the huge numbers of birds and sea life that had gathered around, and for the freedom of the sea which Whātaitai would never experience. When Te Keo had completed her lament, she bade farewell to Whātaitai, then set off to the taniwha spirit world.
Over the years Whātaitai’s body turned to stone, earth and rock and is known to this day as Haitaitai. Matairangi still looks down on the body of Whātaitai and the very top of Matairangi is still known as Tangi te Keo.
When Ngake let the spring in his tail loose he used so much force that he created a great gash in the earth and a river was formed. This river is now called Teawakairangi or the Hutt River.
The remnants of rock smashed aside when Ngake exited into the sea are visible today and Te Aroaro o Kupe (Steeple Rock) and Te Tangihanga o Kupe (Barrett’s Reef) have long been known as dangerous rock formations to mariners entering the Wellington harbour.
Although Ngake was never seen again it is still believed that he resides in the turbulent waters of the Te Moana o Raukawa (Cook Strait). When the sea is calm Ngake is off exploring Te Moana Nui a Kiwa (the Pacific Ocean). When the sea is turbulent and rough, Ngake is at home chasing sea life to satisfy his taniwha appetite.
And this is the story of Ngake and Whātaitai, the taniwha of the Wellington harbour.
Supergold-Wainuiomata (Wellington)#1743394vale019 February 22, 2020 at 2:36 pm
Loved it, Supergold – a fascinating, beautiful legend.
Thanks for posting that and it’s really great to see you here. I miss you 🙂#1743398vale019 February 22, 2020 at 2:57 pm#1743438kaiMemberMember since: January 4, 2008
Replies: 9503kai February 23, 2020 at 1:13 pm
Thanks so much for the post above Val
what a little piece of Paradise ,,,,hidden in n.z that we have never been to,
must put it on to do list for home holidays 💡
take Care my lovely friend ,, and also Supergold n others on here as well
Cheers From Kai#1743441kaiMemberMember since: January 4, 2008
Replies: 9503kai February 23, 2020 at 1:37 pm
Sorry missed your legend one Supergold,
cant blame the hot weather either ,,cos it’s a comfortable 24 deg 😎
take care …
Cheers From Kai#1743632supergoldMemberMember since: May 9, 2009
Replies: 9171supergold February 24, 2020 at 4:14 pm
At Pencarrow Head – 15 Aug 1913
– SS Devon runs aground and is wrecked –
She is Wellington’s largest historic shipwreck that has not been removed from its site
The Devon was a passenger/refrigerated cargo, steel screw steamer of 6059 tons, 400ft x 54ft, depth 28.7 built in 1897 at Hebburn-on-Tyne, by Hawthorne Leslie & Co., and owned by the Federal Steam Navigation Company, under charter to the NZ Shipping Company. Her first visit to NZ was in 1902 and she later departed with volunteers for the South African War. After the war she was contracted with the NZ Government to provide a regular service. She was on a voyage from Montreal, leaving 31 May for Australasia, with 60 crew and a thousand tons of general merchandise, including motor parts and agricultural machinery. Bad luck was with her from the start. The master, Captain Robertson was attacked by typhoid fever. The vessel put into Capetown and the Captain taken to hospital. Chief Officer Captain Arthur Henry Caunce then assumed command. She encountered high winds and rough, heavy seas enveloped the vessel most of the journey until Port Phillip on 6 Aug.
On the run across the Tasman she encountered strong winds and heavy head seas and again when bound from Auckland to Wellington.
While endeavouring to make port in a very strong southerly and thick driving rain, Captain Caunce mistook the Falcon Shoal Light for the red sector of the Somes lighthouse and set a course too close to the eastern shore of the harbour. The Devon struck the rocks at 8.15pm, right under Pencarrow lighthouse. She is seen here lying hard and fast on the rocks about a hundred yards from the beach. The bottom of the vessel was ripped from engine-room to stern. Within 10 minutes the lighthouse keeper signalled to Wellington for assistance.
* The Lyttleton ferry steamer ‘Wahine’ stood by until 9.45 but was unable to read the Morse signals from the stranded vessel
* The harbour ferry steamer ‘Cobar’ attended the scene with the harbour master Captain H. Johnson, Pilot Hayward, Constables John Forsyth & George Johnston and Signalman J. Peters.The object was to land at Rona Bay and to walk round to the scene to establish communication by Morse lamp. A telephone message from the “Times” reporter who went with the party on the Cobar said that no lives were lost. The Devon’s stern had swung right round to sea and the seas were breaking clean over her. The cargo was washing ashore. There was a heavy southerly gale blowing and raining at intervals.
* A telephone message from Pencarrow stated that no lights were visible on the Devon at 10.30pm which would seem to indicate that something very serious had occurred to the vessel’s machinery.
* The only signal despatched was from the lighthouse asking the Devon if she was going to send her boats ashore. The reply was “no”. Further signals from the ship seemed to indicate that something should be done ashore but the full meaning of the signals could not be made out.
* Attempts to get a line ashore failed several times during the night but the crew were finally evacuated one by one.
* In the days following, the Devon became a local attraction. Steamers like the ‘Awarua’ ran daily excursions for up to 300 sightseers. A film of the wreckage played at Wellington cinemas.
* The inquiry found Captain Caunce at fault and suspended his masters certicate for 3 months. This was later overturned and the 2nd inquiry blamed the confusion over the harbour lighting and recommended Somes Island light should be made occulting and that a white flashing beacon be placed on Barretts reef and a beacon on the Hope Shoal was proposed.
* The wreck had still not been removed by April the following year so became a target for the Fort Dorset gunners. This, along with subsequent storms battered the wreck to pieces. In 1940 the bow was still visible above the water
Read more in the newspaper article in comments ..
taken by Albert ‘Percy’ Godber (1875-1949)
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