March 8, 2013

new zealand haul-out: whitianga, mercury bay

Last Saturday, Anasazi Girl was moved from the Viaduct Harbour in Auckland, down the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula to Mercury Bay.

Mercury Bay was originally called Te-Whanganui-o-Hei by the ancient Maoris, meaning the "Great Bay of Hei".  Hei was a Maori chief who brought his family there in 1350.

Its new name came from Captain James Cook.  He sailed the HMS Endeavor into Mercury Bay on November 3, 1769.  He entered this particular harbour to watch the Transit of Mercury, which was due to happen on the 9th.  (A transit of Mercury occurs when Mercury passes between the sun and the Earth, creating a black dot that moves along the face of the sun.)  A cairn on the eastern end of Cook's Beach marks the spot where the observations were made by Cook and his astronomer Charles Green.

Anasazi Girl sat on a mooring in Maramaratotara Bay (known today as Flaxmill Bay) for three nights with a view very similar to Cook's.

She was lifted out of the water by the Whitianga Marina thanks to the help of Darryl and Graham.  Anasazi Girl now sits on the hard-stand work area, awaiting a refit to prepare her for the next voyage.

Shakespeare Head and Maramaratotara Bay, Mercury Bay with HMS Endeavour
This engraving by an unknown artist appeared in "The Early History of New Zealand"
by R.A.A. Sherrin & J.H. Wallace. Brett's historical series edited by T.W. Leys, 1890

View of Shakespeare Head from Anasazi Girl's mooring.
Maramaratotara Bay (March 2013)
(Engraving image from

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