Community called on to help save whales
Three endangered Bryde’s whales have been killed in the Hauraki Gulf in the past three years.
A dead Bryde’s whale came ashore at Poutawa Beach, near Pakiri, last week after apparently being killed by a ship strike in the gulf. The whale was a 15.3 metre long male, with clear signs of bone breaks.
Quick action saves charter boat
Local fishing charter operator Dave Collins is thanking his lucky stars and quick-thinking locals after his 43ft steel boat escaped undamaged after breaking its mooring and running ashore at Matiatia in high winds on Monday.
The Galilee was blown across the bay and in the rough conditions was at risk of major damage but for the quick actions of a couple of locals and the presence of the police launch Deodar 3 which had just transported a team of forensic detectives to the island.
“Jeff Mitchell had come down, grabbed another local, got on the boat and the police tossed them a line and pulled the boat off. All good seamanship and quickly actioned,” said a grateful Mr Collins.
“My blood pressure was pretty high when I got the call. It could have been devastating. I was extremely fortunate she wasn’t up there long and didn’t sustain any damage. Quick reactions from all involved saved the boat, saved the day and saved my bacon.”
New ferry service will provide a boost for island commuters
A new Hauraki Gulf ferry service will give both commuters and tourists more travel options when it launches on Auckland Harbour on Saturday 4 October.
Long-running New Zealand tourism operator Explore Group will run ferries between Auckland’s downtown ferry terminal to Waiheke 12 times a day to help cater for the growing number of island commuters. It will also run tourist trips between Auckland, Waiheke Island, Motutapu and Rangitoto six times a day.
Commuters beset by ferry breakdowns
A series of ferry breakdowns have resulted in Waiheke commuters having to cram into smaller vessels and some were last week left on the wharf due to lack of capacity.
Four Fullers ferries are currently out of action – including three larger capacity vessels. While one, Kea, is on scheduled maintenance, both Quickcat and Superflyte are undergoing unplanned repairs and that is causing chaos.
About 60 people who had hoped to catch the 5pm sailing from Auckland last Friday had to watch a fully loaded ferry leave without them.