Blast from the Past

Auckland Star, 18/11/1932
If it is true that the ghosts of old sailormen return to the ships in which once they sailed, strange sights may some day be seen on the banks of the Kaipara at Helensville. Almost at the entrance to the township itself is the rusty hull of a once smart steamer and a mile or so nearer the sea, nestling in a mangrove-fringed arm of the river, is the skeleton of a ship that did valuable survey work around New Zealand’s coasts.
When spring tides lend importance to the Kaipara the Kina – for that is the name of the old steamer that to-day rides motionless on the fringe of a broad meadow – hears again the lapping of water along her iron sides. Viewed from the main road she appears to be miles away from any water, but actually she is within a few yards of the river which once bubbled to the churn of her screw. All that remains of the steamer is her iron shell and inside this grows long grass, just out of reach of the cows which at times which at times threaten to crumble in her rusty plates ….
Telling the story of the old ship yesterday Captain Thomas Ross, who had commanded her for many years and is now living the evening of his life at Helensville, said that when he acquired her it had been his intention to resheath her, but that he had never done so. Instead he had got the ship on to the river bank near his old homestead, and it is there that her shell still remains.

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