Preliminary results and a big thank you!

With fieldwork now complete, I am able to release some preliminary results from our surveys. After spending 55 hours on Rangitoto Island spread over 12 field days and 97km of walking, we managed to record 11 abandoned vessel sites and 101 bach sites. The abandoned vessels at Boulder Bay/Wreck Bay had limited signs of salvage activities. Bolt deposits, a fire pit and saw marks in timber were all recorded as possible acts of salvage. In terms of the reuse of ship material, all three bach communities (Beacon End, Rangitoto Wharf and Islington Bay) were found to have definite ship material and other possible ship material. The possible ship material is linked to unidentifiable pieces of timber with fasteners found at the bach sites. Other recorded material included possible ships doors and water tanks.

In conclusion the Rangitoto Island ships’ graveyard displays acts of salvage and the baches display reuse of salvaged ship material. Through archaeology the link between the communities and Boulder Bay is not conclusive, however, with the addition of archival research and oral history interviews, it suggests there is a link between the bach sites and abandoned vessels.

Of course these results could not have been achieved without the help and support of everyone who has been involved.

Special thanks to

  • The research team for volunteering their time, knowledge and equipment
  • Oral history participants (bach owners/families) for sharing their time and memories
  • The bach owners who provided access to view the inside of their baches
  • Rangitoto Island Historic Conservation Trust
  • Rangitoto Island Bach Community Association
  • Department of Conservation, Historic Heritage Branch
  • Auckland Council
  • Fullers staff
  • Birkenhead Library
  • Maritime Archaeological Association of New Zealand
  • Voyager Maritime Museum archives
  • Auckland War Memorial Museum
  • Flinders University

and thank you to all the people who have followed and commented on the blog. We hope this blog has been informative and engaging for you. The final video documenting our work will be posted in the next few days. /KB

Rangitoto Island at sunset

Rangitoto Island at sunset

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