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 The graveyard

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Rhod Lloyd
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PostSubject: The graveyard   Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:59 am

The Kaipara harbour is not quite the largest harbour in the Southern hemisphere, but it does have the longest coastline. It is really the drowned valleys of 2 rivers running NW and SE, and was filled after the last ice age when the sea level was more than 100m lower and britain was joined to Europe.
The first humans to visit New Zealand are thought to be the Maori about 600 years ago, though it is possible some polynesian voyagers found it earlier but left no trace of their visit. The first Europeans to visit the Kaipara (litteral translation is "food, fern root") were around 1840 and the forests of huge Kauri trees were used first for ships masts then soon many sawmills started up on the river systems supplying local and Australian building work.The timber is a softwood, easily milled and stable after drying, but does not need preservative for outside use above ground.
This is where the graveyard enters the story, the Kaipara entrance is 6.5km across, and although we only have a 3.6m tidal range a huge amount of water moves during the 2 tides a day. This has built up an ever shifting series of sand banks especially on three quarters of the entrance on the Southern side, also a long line of sand bars stretching North up the coast. Add to this an average of 1.5 meters of swell 15 seconds apart, and it makes for dodgy navigating. The main channel known as the graveyard is up against the North head, and then turning NW is lost in the sand bars.
The early settlers, machinery and timber exports all had to pass through this channel, and around a 100 vessels, mainly sailing, of all sizes were lost with little chance of rescue for the crews, though many were washed ashore. The sailing ships had to wait for an easterly wind to leave when the main direction is SW, and if light often changes to a SW by mid day. There were a number of power driven vessels lost as well over the years.
I will send this, and will add some photos later.
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Logger
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PostSubject: Re: The graveyard   Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:20 am

Interesting study thumbs up
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Kirky's Dad
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PostSubject: Re: The graveyard   Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:26 am

Thanks for that Rhod very interesting. study
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Rhod Lloyd
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PostSubject: Re: The graveyard   Tue May 02, 2017 7:09 am

The only relevant pics I could find, quite a calm day for here. I suppose the whole entrance is technically the graveyard, but for fishing the N channel from the lighthouse down to the head is what we mean.



Looking towards North head of the Kaipara and the Tasman sea, The North channel in the foreground and Fanny's channel only shows in calm seas



The North head lighthouse (disused)



South head and somewhere in the middle the South channel that most charter and fizz boats use. It is only 100m wide and after half a km opens out to a flat area 20m deep for another 5km The swells coming across this can be awesome, huge hills and valleys, not a place to be in over 2m of swell. South head is 35Km from Helensville where I live.  



North head, This beach is driveable at low tide for 4 by 4s, or off road bikes from 7km east of the light and 50 km up the coast. There is good surfcasting here, but it is a 200 km drive from Helensville
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Kirky's Dad
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PostSubject: Re: The graveyard   Tue May 02, 2017 8:43 am

Thanks stunning pictures. thumbs up cheers
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Logger
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PostSubject: Re: The graveyard   Tue May 02, 2017 11:43 pm

Great pics Cool
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VALVEBOUNCE
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PostSubject: Re: The graveyard   Wed May 03, 2017 2:07 am

Look's a wild place Rhod,I bet you need to have a plan if you go out in the boat.
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Rhod Lloyd
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PostSubject: Re: The graveyard   Wed May 03, 2017 3:40 am

Way too far to go in my little tin can, but in light winds a 5 to 6m boat is more cofortable than a launch, providing nothing goes wrong of course. Probably 2 hours to get the coastguard out there, also 25 km to get back to the ramp.
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SimonT
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PostSubject: Re: The graveyard   Wed May 03, 2017 9:57 pm

Looks amazing Very Happy
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headwyn
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PostSubject: Re: The graveyard   Wed May 03, 2017 11:38 pm

Great photos and interesting info, cheers Rhod.
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