The last post—Two weeks in one day (movie)

With fieldwork now finished this is the last piece of the pie. We hope that you have enjoyed the blog and thank you for all of the support. The video documents our time on the island and the work that was carried out—enjoy! /KB

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Out comes the sun, Wreck Bay is done!

To make the most of the beautiful weather we had on Rangitoto Island today, the team and our captain launched Chinook from Auckland CBD just as the sun was rising.

Rangitoto at sunrise

Rangitoto at sunrise

We made it out to Boulder Bay by 08:30, which gave us heaps of time to get a good look at the wrecks in the area.

Maddy and Howard examining Columbia for signs of salvage

Maddy and Howard examining Columbia for signs of salvage

Remains from nine wrecks (from a total of thirteen) were photographed, measured, and recorded at both Boulder and Wreck Bays—one of these sites displayed signs of wood sawing and a fire pit had the remains of iron bolts—suggesting salvage and reuse of the vessel.

Kurt measuring the length of the remains of Duchess

Kurt measuring the length of the remains of Duchess

The remaining four sites have either been completely submerged or evidence no longer exists of their location.

Maddy and Kurt photographing Ngapuhi from the low tide mark

Maddy and Kurt photographing Ngapuhi from the low tide mark

The team’s completion of the survey at Boulder and Wreck Bays is the perfect ending to my last day on Rangitoto. It has been an exciting week and I can’t wait to see what the team comes back with tomorrow! /VS

Kurt, Maddy and Vanessa on Vanessa's last day in the field

Kurt, Maddy and Vanessa on Vanessa’s last day in the field

The sun does shine on Rangitoto

Today was a stunning winter day, perfect for our first visit to Wreck Bay, also known as Boulder Bay. We took the ferry again, this time from Auckland city, which had us disembarking at Islington Bay at 10:00, and we then made our way along the 35 minute walking track to Wreck Bay.

Kurt hiking along the coast to the western end of Wreck Bay

Kurt hiking along the coast to the western end of Wreck Bay

We surveyed two of the eleven abandoned vessels in this location, both on the western end of the bay, Rarawa and Dartford.

Stern of Rarawa

Stern of Rarawa

Capstan/winch, most likely from Dartford

Capstan/winch, most likely from Dartford

Possible evidence of salvage was found in an assemblage of iron bolts which were collected in a pile alongside the remains of burnt timber, although it was not possible to postiviely identify the vessel which these are associated with. /MF

Assemblage of iron bolts

Assemblage of iron bolts

Looking at a bach from the inside out

The weather from my window this morning had me questioning if it was going to be another day off the island, but fieldwork was a go despite the periodically heavy rains. It was only my first day out on Rangitoto; however, it was another successful day of fieldwork for the project. The team got to see the inside of a bach, identified some possible ship doors and fixtures, and documented a total of six bach sites!

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Remains of a demolished bach structure at Islington Bay

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Possible door from an abandoned vessel.

Work started on the island when we arrived off the ferry at 0945. To spare Kurt from another day of cross-island trekking, the team stayed in the Islington Bay area. It was there that a bach owner gave us a peek into the interior of his island getaway. Looking out over the water from the front door it is easy to imagine kicking your feet up on a warm summer day and escaping from the daily hustle and bustle of city life. As much as we would have loved to do just that, there was much work to be done.

Two of the baches investigated today displayed evidence of vessel materials. The possible ship doors and fixtures that were identified require some additional investigation, but key features keep us hopeful! The team was keen to keep on recording however the 1600 ferry drew our day to a close. Looks like we will just have to wait until tomorrow! /VS

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Vanessa Sullivan at Islington Bay