Photograph Ben Bongers Kerk-Avezaath The NetherlandsIf you have been reading my last few blog posts you will understand that my friend Ben from The Netherlands read a book when he was twelve years old called 'South Seas Vagabonds' that has provided him with one of several associations with New Zealand. When the intrepid Ben came on a recent visit to New Zealand with his equally intrepid wife Renee he actually tracked down the yacht 'Ngataki' that features in Johnny Wrays book and went and took a look at it. This is his photograph of the Ngataki (above).
If my memory serves me well, Ben told me that the current owner is like himself of Dutch nationality and that their common first language helped oil their conversation. I must email Ben and get him to remind me of his meeting with the owner so I can get more full details of what must have been for Ben a closing of the circle of sorts for him.
What pleases me greatly about this photograph is the fact that Ngataki looks in absolutely original condition. From the outside at least there doesn't appear to be any additions that seriously compromise the way she looked when she was built and sailed all those years ago.
As mentioned in a previous blog post the Ngataki is being relaunched after restoration in conjunction with a republication of Johnny Wray's classic New Zealand book 'South Sea Vagabonds'.