Westhaven features in 'Ocean'
Yachting writer Sarah Ell has been involved with boats and the sea all her life, and her memories of Westhaven date back more than thirty years. She is the author of 'Ocean’ which tells the story of New Zealand as a maritime nation, both before Cook with the Polynesian navigators and Māori settlers who had such amazing, in-depth knowledge of the ocean, and after his arrival, with the influx of settlers, exploiters and entrepreneurs. ‘Ocean’ covers ten different aspects of our relationship with the sea, including defence, the environment and recreation, and comes right up to the present day, with contemporary interviews with Kiwis who work and live with the sea.
As the heart of boating in Auckland, Westhaven has a central role to parts of this book. It talks about Auckland’s boatbuilding industry, much of which was centred around Freemans and St Marys Bays, which now form the backdrop to Westhaven. Sarah says that there are all sorts of other snippets in there too which touch on Westhaven’s history, from the mullet boaters to the America’s Cup, and the historic steam harbour ferries, many of which ended up broken up and buried as fill under the carpark reclamation at Westhaven.
The author herself, a former Auckland Star yachting reporter and Boating New Zealand magazine editor, was abought up sailing and racing. Her memories of Westhaven date back thirty years to when the grandparents of a schoolfriend kept their keeler at the marina.
“I remember going on a day cruise from there one day in the late 1980s — it was so exciting to see so many boats and go out on this yacht (which seemed huge) and have a picnic at an island. I don’t think I’d ever seen so many boats in one place, close up, before.”
Today Sarah still crews in the women’s series on Tuesday nights and conducts many of her meetings at buoy Café.
Ocean can also be purchased from all good bookshops, and Sarah recommends Mighty Ape if you purchase online, because orders are fulfilled in New Zealand, therefore supporting local publishers.
We have a copy of Ocean to give away. Send your response to email@example.com : What year did the RNZYS first challenge for the Louis Vuitton Cup?
(The winner of the book can collect it from the marina office during regular office hours.)
Photo (c) Will Calver, Ocean Photography