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On Thursday the 7th of January Heather and myself were out on a friends yacht in the Bay of Islands,New Zealand. Just as we rounded the point into Te Hue Bay (Assassination Cove) I glimpsed a once familiar yellow funnel amongst the many other boats in the bay. It was the ‘Akarana’ the old Pilot boat I was skipper of for over 20 years in Auckland, This was the first time I had seen her in 17 years and had often wondered what had become of her.
We worked our way in till we were close enough to hail those on board – she was in exceptional condition, not a mark on her gleaming white hull.
As a working Pilot boat she did manage to acquire rather a few scars.
The owner had changed certain facets to suit her role as a pleasure launch and retired lady.
It was fantastic to see her again after all these years.
Picture below: ’ Akarana ’ as a working Pilot vessel. She is a wooden vessel of 63 feet in length built in Auckland NZ in 1961.

Assassination cove was named after the French explorer, Joseph Marion Du Fresne who upset the local Maoris in 1772. The local chief invited him along with twenty six of his men to dinner – failing to mention that he and his men were the main course !


  • AndreaEL
    AndreaELalmost 4 years ago

    What a wonderful capture and such a great write up Roy, it is amazing what one finds around the bend.

  • Thank you Andrea,Yes one of lifes twists and turns.

    – Roy Massicks

  • snapitnc
    snapitncalmost 4 years ago

    nice story roy,its great to bump into your old loves,superb shot roy.

  • Appreciate that Mike, A good start to 2011.

    – Roy Massicks

  • Colin Metcalf
    Colin Metcalfalmost 4 years ago

    Great story Roy I bet that raised the goose bumps a bit. Great capture as well!

  • Memories came flooding back Colin, thanks for the comments.

    – Roy Massicks

  • sarnia2
    sarnia2almost 4 years ago

  • thanks Sarnia.

    – Roy Massicks

  • artwhiz47
    artwhiz47almost 4 years ago

    This IS perfect nostalgia. What a find for you, for anyone with an interest in things maritime, really. Such a beauty, in such wonderful condition.

  • Comments appreciated Sheila, She looked brand new.

    – Roy Massicks

  • photogaryphy
    photogaryphyalmost 4 years ago

    Ship ahoy! Great shot Roy. Oh that rhymes!

  • So speaks the great poet of the north, Thanks Gary.

    – Roy Massicks

    MASSICKSalmost 4 years ago

    What a turn up Roy, I bet that made your day good and proper. She looks in fine condition.

    Cousin Bob.

  • Hi Bob, yes a great day out and she looked brand new.

    – Roy Massicks

  • Shaun Whiteman
    Shaun Whitemanalmost 4 years ago

    Lovely shot of this beautiful boat, the Akarana has been cleaned up nicely!

  • Thanks Shaun, I think she looks a tad naked without fenders

    – Roy Massicks

  • Sue Nichol
    Sue Nicholalmost 4 years ago

    Beautiful image and what a wonderful story. How amazing to be the skipper of such a vessel.

  • Thanks Sue, Not a day past that I was not proud to be aboard, She traveled approx 20,000 miles a year over the time I served on her.

    – Roy Massicks

  • barnsis
    barnsisalmost 4 years ago

  • Thank you so much for the feature. I used to see more of this grand old lady when I was skipper of it than I did of the grand old lady I am married to. Roy

    – Roy Massicks

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