Underwater Heritage Group New Zealand
A variety of items recovered from the SS Wairarapa need an identification, if you are able to help please sontact us with your suggestions. Click on image to enlarge.
The Sunken Cannon
Is there a cannon lying in the shallow water off Mill Island just to the south of Russell town?
Mill Island with mill, sans wings off Russell. Circa 1866-1869. Detail from Philip Walsh, 1843-1914; Illustrated London News Dated 1869. Ref: A-436-024. Note; is very similar to a drawing by Thomas Samuel Kemp, from 1866, possibly the original drawing. Ref: B-079-001
The Socabaya, the Sack of Russell and a curious case of Copper Bolts.
(This article originally published in the book 'Chasing the White Whale' by Lindsay Alexander)
While snuffling around dusty, tattered edges of forgotten nooks and crannies of Russell’s old history I recognised bits of a story worth the telling. Using a combination of luck and intuition, threads that tantalisingly appeared over an expanse of time and place were followed. A story has emerged that solves 170 year old mysteries and also encompasses a powerful Morality Tale.
Let’s begin with the ‘Sourabaya’, purportedly the ship that brought the cannon on the waterfront to Russell. But can we? The ‘Sourabaya’ is a fiction. She never existed, despite being mentioned in books, learned writings and worthy rambles about the Bay of Island’s past.
Here is the real story. And what a story!