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Poetry from war-torn seas

Ticket to the Rangitane Ball [16044g],  part of the reserve collection of  the Maritime Museum.

During the early hours of 26 November 1940, RMS RANGITANE was travelling from Auckland to London when she was attacked and sunk by German raiders. Of the 300 people on board, 13 were killed during the attack. 

Protecting our beaches: Surf Life Saving and the legacy of Muriel Brown

Photo by Dave Young, 2010

As New Zealanders, we’re lucky to live in a country with so many beaches. But we also need to be aware of how dangerous our waters can be. Surf Life Saving New Zealand watches over our busiest beaches every summer to keep us safe in the sea - their red and yellow flags are a familiar and comforting sight.

New Zealand Hospital Ships MAHENO and MARAMA

NZ Hospital Ship MAHENO by W. Cockell, oil on velvet (2003.6) NZHS MAHENO illuminated at night, part of Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum's reserve collection.

During World War One the New Zealand Government requisitioned two Union Steam Ship Company trans-Tasman liners the MAHENO and the MARAMA to be refitted as hospital ships.

Lifejackets - safety at sea

We all know that lifejackets are essential pieces of equipment on boats – allowing wearers to keep afloat if they somehow end up in the water, saving them from drowning.
 

Lighthouses - guiding the way

This flag is from the Auckland Harbour Board, it shows Rangitoto Island and the Rangitoto Island Lighthouse. Part of the Voyager NZ MM collection (11411)
Navigating New Zealand’s coastline and harbours can be a perilous undertaking, even with all the technology available today.  Lighthouses have always been, and always will be, essential for mariners who rely on these beacons to guide them safely in dangerous waters.
 

Shipwrecks - the recovery

NIAGARA, BIll Laxon Collection, Voyager NZMM
Travel by sea was fairly dangerous in the 19th century. Ships were wrecked because of the lack of lighthouses to guide them; the inaccuracy of maps and lack of knowledge of new coastlines.

Protest Vessels

From being attacked in the safety of port, to taking protest action to the open seas, the people who crew protest vessels often find themselves in extremely dangerous situations. 
 

Navigating the Pacific

Waka Quest’s double-hulled voyaging waka Haunui

According to the Tahitian story, the ancient king and voyager Tumu-nui listed eight dangers of the sea: long-wave, short-wave, isolated-coral-rock, fish-shoal, sea-monster, animal-with-burning-flesh, crane-empowered-by-Ta'aroa [the supreme god of creation], and giant-clam-opening-at-the-horizon.

Maui Tikitiki A Taranga

Around the world, in all cultures there are heroes, and here in Aotearoa New Zealand, Maui appears as a hero whose achievements benefit people.  Taranga who, thinking that her last child was still born, wrapped him in her topknot and cast him into the sea.  
 

Ingrid Visser – Orca Protector

Ingrid Visser, Sept 1999  Photographer B.J. Berghan
With a strong affinity with the ocean from a young age, it was not surprise that Ingrid Visser followed a natural path to became a guardian of all orcas, not only in New Zealand but all of Australasia.