Count Drac

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10 Whiner

About Count Drac

  • Rank
    Anarchist

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  • Location
    Viaduct Basin, Auckland
  • Interests
    Blood, sleeping, flying around at night, and being a silly Count.
  1. Count Drac

    AC36 - The Venue

    Things are ramping up. The 70 metre barge carrying a very large crawler crane is now tied up at Halsey wharf, ready to start work on the Hobson wharf extension for the Luna Rosa base. Note that this crane will be used for piling and wharf-building, NOT dredging as the Sail World article states. The marina pontoons and piles adjacent to the Maritime Museum, in the outer viaduct basin, are in the process of being removed by Total Marine Services with their much smaller barge and crane. All of the yachts and launches previously moored there were all gone by late last year. A large area has been barricaded-off on Te Wero island for a construction depot, and access to the outer end of Hobson wharf is now closed to the public. The steam tug “William Daldy” has moved a short distance from the end of Hobson wharf across to Princes wharf, where I think she’s more visible to the public than where she was and I hope it generates more awareness of this beautiful old tug (one of her claims-to-fame is a photo of her towing the barque “Pamir” into Auckland soon after the second world war. Pamir is famous for being the very last large sailing ship to carry a commercial cargo around Cape Horn, and my great uncle was the captain during her third voyage carrying war material from NZ to San Francisco and back during 1943 - 1944). The old 1920 steam-driven floating crane “Rapaki” that was moored at the outer end of the Maritime Museum is now in the process of being cut up at Titan Marine’s slipway adjacent to Silo Park. I spoke to some of the Titan engineers last week and they told me she was “totally fucked, mate!” Full of rust and asbestos, but a lot of the bits, including steam engines, are going to the Maritime Museum, MOTAT and the Auckland Steam Society. For months now sandblasting and water blasting has been carried out on Wynyard wharf where the remaining bases will be built. Although the tanks have gone from the tank farm, work continues on this portion of the wharf with a lot still to do. Eventually the AC boats will be lifted out there and then transported across the road (Brigham St) to the bases on the old tank farm land. And finally, this morning the world’s biggest (15,000 tonnes with a carrying capacity of 5,000 tonnes) semi-submersible yacht transport ship “Yacht Express” was in the process of unloading the last of her cargo of superyachts and launches after a trip from Ft Lauderdale (I think). The last to leave was a superyacht (a ketch) that appeared to have “Justine” written on her boom, but don’t quote me on this.
  2. Count Drac

    AC36 - The Venue

    NGATI WHATUA ORAKEI NOW SUPPORT AC VILLAGE There is a very small piece in this morning’s NZ Herald that says Ngati Whatua are now supporting the Americas Cup village. They have filed an application with the Environmental Court supporting the notified resource consent by Auckland Council’s Panuku Development Auckland that will allow waterfront development for the cup defence. This is welcome news from one of the major players in the discussions over how Auckland’s waterfront is developed.
  3. Count Drac

    AC36 Auckland NZ

    This is a VERY selective yardstick to use, and taken to extremes one could also say that the Auckland War Memorial Museum returns even less to the economy for the value of the land it sits on. Or how about Auckland Hospital as an even worse case, because it actually TAKES money from the economy and also sits on a very valuable piece of land. And how about the land under every house in Auckland? My own little piece of land is worth close to a million buckazoids thanks to inflation and unlimited demand, and it returns NOTHING to the economy (in fact, I could swear it costs me and my wife money to even reside on it). Need I go on? The fact is that the port in Auckland contributes a huge amount to the economy of not just Auckland, but to NZ in total. If you are advocating for moving it, then you need to come up with a much better economic argument as to why .
  4. Count Drac

    AC36 Auckland NZ

    Wow! I stayed for a month or so in Kitsilano and then Port Coquitlam with some kiwi friends back in 1980 (when mount. St. Helens erupted) and I remember False Creek being a bit like how the viaduct basin used to be, except False Creek was probably more industrialised. How things have changed.
  5. Count Drac

    AC36 - The Venue

    What a clusterfuck this is turning into! And where were all these people when the plans were being discussed with council late last year, and then finalised early in 2018? Not a fucking peep out of VHH or objection from Ngati Whatua Orakei. And as for VHH's CEO Angela Bull - she sounds like a paid-up life member of SSOH when I read that her main opposition point is "we don't want any intrusion into the harbour". I take that to mean they are happy with the legacy left by Sir Peter Blake and the previous TNZ campaigns, because it has made the area into a fun and vibrant part of Auckland that draws locals and visitors alike. Sure helps when you plan on "borrowing" that happy vibrancy to add immense value and patronage to your proposed hotel. My god, these people are so selfish and driven by corporate greed that they are prepared to obstruct the resort consent process for the latest plan and put the whole event in jeopardy. I have nothing but contempt for them, and they do NOT speak on my behalf as an Auckland ratepayer (and neither do SSOH). I'm not a sailor but I am an Aucklander, and it’s my bloody harbour too! I love the Wynyard quarter (and I remember the cess-pit it used to be before we won the cup). I love all the nautical activity, the variety of yachts and launches from old to new, small to large, and I welcome some wharf extensions as long as they remain a public amenity for future generations to use. An extension of Halsey wharf would be another legacy that can be used for all sorts of events (just as it’s being used at present for the Volvo circus), and if the VHH crowd could get their heads out of their arses then they may also see it as another benefit for their hotel when events are held there. And finally, I speak as someone who has spent the last 10 years working right on the edge of the inner basin, so I see what goes on every day and what is possible if a wharf extension eventuates.
  6. Count Drac

    AC36 - The Venue

    Sorry WetHog, my post was not a comment on your post, but a general observation on one of the problems we have in establishing the bases for the next AC (if that was what your post above was about). You just happened to bring it up, and I expanded on it from my point of view (and agreed with you in the process). Cheers, Drac.
  7. Count Drac

    AC36 - The Venue

    One thing that really pisses me off is the same old refrain from the "save our harbour" types about "losing the view". I walk the circuit around the whole viaduct basin including Silo park and North Wharf almost every lunchtime during a working week, and all the people I watch are mostly interested in looking at the restaurants, architecture, and superyachts moored close to that main public route. What I NEVER SEE are people on Te Wero Island, or the lifting bridge, going "wow, look across the tops of the fishing boats past Halsey wharf to the view of the North Shore". For those that want a closer look at the harbour, they either walk to the outer end of Princes Wharf or Wynyard point, where both provide a far better vista than can be seen from the viaduct. My wife and I visited the Volvo village on Saturday, and all the teams have erected identical prefabricated buildings on the outer Halsey Wharf (where some of the America's Cup teams were planned to set up bases in the accepted original "hybrid" option). Although these buildings are less than 15 m high, they already block the view across the harbour so a 15 m high building will make no difference. I'm waiting in anticipation for the flood of letters to the Herald complaining about the lost views, but I bet there will be none. It just isn't a big deal to the public, and I believe it's being used extremely cynically by a vociferous minority to sway public opinion.
  8. Count Drac

    AC36 Auckland NZ

    Yeah, it is more efficient to burn the coal in a power station compared to burning it at home, and the scrubbers do trap fly ash and some of the sulpher products. But that's not the point because they don't burn a lot of coal at home in Australia anyway, and they certainly don't burn it at home to produce electricity. The main pollutant from burning any fossil fuel is CO2, and there is no way to mitigate it apart from not burning the stuff in the first place. If you are going to burn fossil fuels then it's far better to burn something that has a lot more Hydrogen atoms in relation to Carbon atoms, because it's the hydrogen bonds that give up the most energy when they are oxidised (ie, burned and turned into water). Methane and other components of natural gas are relatively clean fossil fuels because their molecules have a lot of hydrogen atoms in relation to the number of carbon atoms, but brown coal (lignite) is probably the worst because it's the other way around. What the fuck any of this has to do with the next AC in Auckland is anybodies guess, unless they plan of burning coal (steam power, anyone?)
  9. Count Drac

    AC36 Auckland NZ

    Thanks Hoom
  10. Count Drac

    AC36 Auckland NZ

    Looks good, BUT.... Where do the fishing boats that currently use Halsey go to? Where does the steam tug "William C Daldy" go to? Where do the boats that current berth inside Hobson wharf go to? Where does the Waiheke and GBI car ferry go to? Do Ports of Auckland have room to move these vessels to other berths that have similar facilities and truck access?
  11. Count Drac

    AC36 Auckland NZ

    DUH!!! I got my wharves mixed up in my previous post. Change "Halsey" to "Wynyard" and "Hobson" to "Halsey" and then it'll make sense.
  12. Count Drac

    AC36 Auckland NZ

    Stinger, a bit late but to answer your question: Halsey wharf is used all the time by our coastal tankers bringing oil-based products down from the oil refinery at Marsden Point. In addition, the fuel lighters that replenish the cruise ships, and I presume the container ships, fill up at the wharf. At present James Packer's ocean-going ship ARCTIC P is moored there, and we've had various types of large ships use the wharf (most recently a chinese "spy" ship with some very large domes on the upper deck). One problem that I haven't seen addressed anywhere is where to park the fueling lighters when they're not being used, because they normally berth on the outer Hobson wharf extension where some of the bases are slated to go. A lot of inshore and some ocean-going fishing boats also use the area bounded by Halsey and Hobson wharves, as well as the car ferry to Great Barrier Island and a De Havilland float plane doing scenic flights. The ferry and the plane occupy the area shown as bases S1, S2 and S3 on the HHW plan.
  13. Count Drac

    Team NZ

    Ha! after catching up on 3 pages I see that NAV is still with us after all.
  14. Count Drac

    Team NZ

    Ahhh - the SNAERK is back. Not sure if this is a good or bad thing. But I haven't seen any recent posts from NAV - hope he's OK.
  15. Count Drac

    Team NZ

    I was just looking at some video of ETNZ doing a tight turn and wondered if any of the teams had considered Ackeman geometry for the rudders - seemed like a no-brainer when foiling (but not so good when both hulls are in the water). So, do they really use this geometry and do any of the other teams? (I've never bothered to look in detail, hence the question).