People keen to learn more about the history of the Bay of Islands will be able to join some of the country’s leading historians in a one-off Fullers morning cruise of the Bay on Sunday August 25.
Led by Dr Manuka Henare of the University of Auckland School of Business and Bill Edwards of Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, the three-hour cruise will follow in the wake of Captain James Cook’s 1769 ground-breaking exploration of the Bay.
The cruise will be the final part of a three-day wananga that will involve some of New Zealand’s foremost navigators, archaeologists, tohunga and historians looking at different aspects of the navigational heritage of the Bay of Islands.
"The wananga is a follow-up to the archaeological excavation at Mangahawea Bay on Moturua Island earlier this year, which generated a lot of interest among the public," says Arakite trustee Robert Willoughby.
"Like the excavation, the wananga is led by the iwi-based Arakite Charitable Trust with support from Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, the Department of Conservation, the University of Auckland and the University of Otago."
The programme is funded by the Lottery Tuia – Encounters 250 Programme, which provided a grant of $250,000 for the excavation and wananga as part of this year’s national commemoration.
Although the wananga will be for invited participants only, opening the cruise to people keen to learn more about the maritime heritage of the area was seen as an important priority.
"The cost of the cruise will be subsidised from the Tuia 250 grant, reducing the price of a ticket to $100 per adult, and $30 per child – which includes morning tea," he says.
"This will be a historic cruise in more ways than one. Having some of our best scholars on board will certainly make for a very interesting commentary and experience."
The cruise is being coordinated by the Arakite Charitable Trust, and is based on a map designed by Heritage Northland Inc depicting the exact location of Cook’s ship the Endeavour and her crew during the vessel’s time in the Bay of Islands.
"The map provides a day-by-day breakdown of what was going on with the Endeavour and her crew in the Bay of Islands based on charts and journals kept by Cook, Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander," says Robert.
From that information commentators will tell a series of stories about the interactions between Cook and Maori at the different locations where these events took place.
"We will also look into the connection sites with the Bay of Islands have to Polynesian voyaging with support from Ngati Kuta and Patukeha Kaumatua, Matu Clendon," he says.
"Many place names in the Bay have a direct link back to Polynesia which adds another fascinating dimension to the Bay of Islands’ rich maritime heritage."
Bookings for the cruise essential – to book contact: [email protected]