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With little publicity, Strait Shipping Ltd., (Bluebridge) new ferry arrived in Wellington last week. The 11,630 GRT 'Monte Stello' has been purchased as a running mate to the existing 'Santa Regina' and 'Kent'. Built 1979 in France as 'Monte Stello', rebuilt 1992, sold to Lithuanian Shipping 1996, renamed 'Palanga' and served under various charters until her sale to Strait. With a total of 126 lane metres, (150 cars) and 370 passenger capacity, she is due to enter service in the next week or so, initially as a freight-only ferry for a period of familiarisation. No mention of her yet on the Bluebridge website, but full details and photos of her new look on www.ferry-site.dk/ferry-php?id=7807093&lang=en
 

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Monte Stello

Yes the Monte Stello is at Wellington. She has had various problems with engines and will not be on the run for a good few weeks yet. (Cloud)
 

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Another old 'banger' plying the Cook Strait. The Strait Line's 'new' ferry just adds to the fleet of antique barges they have purchased over the years, transporting passengers and cargoes between the North and South Islands. Toll's InterIsland Line is saddled with with an Iberian wreck called the Aratere which has a mind of it's own. The 'Purbeck' a relic from some shipyard in Europe they purchased for a cargo vessel. The only descent performing vessels plying the Strait today is the Rail freight/passenger ferry Arahura...and she is 23yrs old and due to be replaced by 2009. The Stena Challenger (Kaitaiki) which carries no rail.
 

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Cook Strait Ferries

The only Cook Strait Ferry I have fond memories of was Tamahine, she was on the run for 38 years and did we have some hairy trips during my 12 months.
 

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Now now lads. Can't believe all cook strait ferries are that bad.

For example , look at Bluebridge's promotional video. Shows one
of their ferries. Very smart , good looking , well maintained.
As good as any I have seen anywhere.

JC
 

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Santa Regina

Strait Shipping may buy old vessels (all they can afford) but they have been well looked after. The Santa Regina has been faithfully plying the strait over the past 3 years and the trusted old heap the Kent makes plenty money for the company. It is good to see a company trying to keep the rail ferries honest with a bit of competiton. So get of your armchairs, put out your pipes and put a way your scotch glasses, then give some credit to a private company giving a good service over the Strait. (Eats)
 

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NZSCOTTY said:
Strait Shipping may buy old vessels (all they can afford) but they have been well looked after. The Santa Regina has been faithfully plying the strait over the past 3 years and the trusted old heap the Kent makes plenty money for the company. It is good to see a company trying to keep the rail ferries honest with a bit of competiton. So get of your armchairs, put out your pipes and put a way your scotch glasses, then give some credit to a private company giving a good service over the Strait. (Eats)


Well said Sir, my sentiments exactly. (She looks really good
in that video). The ship I mean , not the girl in the armchair !.

JC
 

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Thought I might get you lot going with my blurb on antique shipping across the Cook Strait. However vessels that old need a warrant of fitness after 25yrs service or a dispensation dont they...? However my observation of the NZ Maritime Safety Authority since its introduction in 1993, has been its subservience to big business. The Spanish Armada would have got a pass mark from that lot had it made a ghostly return. They gave 21 dispensations for the Aratere on its arrival in NZ and serves them right it is still giving them headaches. Im sure, should any of these old bangers cause loss of life the public will be pointing the finger at the MSA...
And Scotty hows my old shipmates Ronnie Colbrooke and John Reid going...I remember them as third mates on the Aramoana... or have they finished with engines.

Daveyjones
 

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Where does one find Strait Shipping's promotional video?
Apart from a shaky beginning and some industrial strife, this company has done very well when many others have come and gone.
 

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flyer682 said:
Where does one find Strait Shipping's promotional video?
Apart from a shaky beginning and some industrial strife, this company has done very well when many others have come and gone.

I downloaded from bluebridge's website.
Ferry featured is the Santa Regina. Video dont last very long
but gives us guys on the other side an idea of the run.

JC
 

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Maritime NZ

Hey Daveyjones don't start me on Maritime NZ. They do not and I repeat not go on their knees to big business. (or small business). They are ruled by politics both internal and from their political masters. I could say a lot more but slander may come in.


By the way Davey the cook strait ships are under full survey from Lloyds or others and MNZ so they are up to standard. In fact it baffles me that the Monte Stello which was under full survey in Europe arrive here (just) with so many thing failing which should have been sorted out by previous owners her previous survey is a joke. Again I could say more but not in an open forum.

Yes your two old mates are still sailing as third mates relieving each other.
 

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Scotty, Im not surprised the Monte Stello has to be be re-engined before it comes into service. That's what happens when you go round the shipping junkyards of Europe buying up old 'bangers,' and I agree with your sentiments that all these issues should have been dealt with before she venture downunder. Unfortunately the same can be said about new vessels such as the Aratere. She had just left Vigo, and broke down... Does Strait Line have any vessel under twenty years old?
Your sentiments on the NZ MSA are your perogative. My opinion about them was a common theme among NZSU members. Many times we were to say..'We told you so...' The Aratere was an example on its arrival...and the release gear on a rescue boat that eventually killed a young cadet to name just a few issues. I stand by my opinion.

Davey Jones
 

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Cook Strait Shipping

I would go along with Kaiser Bill and put my money on the Tamahine. A solid ship with a permanent list and never seemed to miss a trip.

I had the chance to met the owner of the Straits Shipping a year or so ago on his island retreat Pakatoa in the Hauraki Gulf. We were visiting on the W C Daldy and he came on board to have a look around.

By the way his island is up for sale at a price of $34million(NZ)
 

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Ray...Dont tell me the owner of Strait Line was looking for another vessel to add to the collection of antique hulls he has running across the Cook Strait, when he strode aboard the WC Daldy for a look around? Or am I being facetious?

Davey Jones
 

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Ferries

Well Davey you really have something against Strait Shipping. Or is it the fact that they have actually managed to be succesful in cook strait even taking into account their present hicups. They have even started paying people to work for them. Now is that not something.
 

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I dont think he could have afforded signing the four of us engineers on. Old as we may be our skills and experiences are priceless.

daveyjones said:
Ray...Dont tell me the owner of Strait Line was looking for another vessel to add to the collection of antique hulls he has running across the Cook Strait, when he strode aboard the WC Daldy for a look around? Or am I being facetious?

Davey Jones
 

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All in good jest Scotty. I am pleased to hear that they are paying for the services of professional sea personel, which prompts a thought. We have become a rarity in NZ today because those who live in Pakatoa Island and others who took $3mill handshakes suggest their own bank balances were more important than focussing on training young seafarers to man their vessels for the future. They could have woken up the dead ****s in the 'gas house' reminding them we are an island nation with the longest routes in the world to our markets, and recognise the Shipping Industry is an important cog in the nations welfare, and training young Officers and Seafarers is a must. We cannot rely on foreign hulls or seamen to service us.
So dont be surprise Ray if you should get a call from Pakatoa Island imploring you and your old Engineer mates to man one of his vessels. InterIsland Line have called me up 3 times asking if I would like to do a spot of relieving because they are short of IR's on deck. My answer was 'What part of Im Retired dont you understand?' Read it all in my book 'Oceans Of Time' which goes to the printers in a weeks time and in NZ book shops mid August.

Davey Jones
 

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Good on ya Davey

Finally we are talking the same language Davey. We try to train some deck boys and bridge trainees but they can only learn so much on cook strait. Finding something overseas is difficult although the Auckland Nautical school is doing its best in getting postings.
Look forward to your book. Hope it is not too one eyed!!!!
 
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