Museum volunteer master Bob Hawkins tells us something of the early days of Breeze, from his own experience. Continued from part one.

By Bob Hawkins | 19 April 2022


Breeze was back in action early in the year, taking part in the Russell Tall Ships Race in January 1991. This race was to become a tradition for us and always attracted plenty of volunteers for both the passage up to the Bay of Islands, the race day and the return voyage to Auckland.

While in 1991 the Maritime Museum hadn’t yet started construction on Hobson Wharf, Breeze was becoming a ‘flag-waver’ for the musum. The vessel was not yet under MNZ registration so was officially able to race and won the 1991 event. Later on, we were entered on race day but officially only to take part in the regatta. The museum magazine, Bearings Vol3 No1 records the race, with Rob Morton at the helm.

1992 saw Breeze venture south in the direction of Nelson to take part in the sesquicentennial celebrations in that southern port city. It was a long and arduous voyage for the little ship, taking some 16 days with stops on the way north, rounding North Cape and Cape Reinga and on down the west coast to Nelson via the Marlborough Sounds. Breeze and her volunteer crew were well-received at Nelson as reported in Bearings. Robbie Morton was again the master on the south-bound passage with Captain Roger Morris taking over in Nelson for the return voyage to Auckland.

Taking a step back before the Nelson voyage, in late 1990 it was decided necessary to replace the original worn-out sails, so in a very short space of time the old Duradon sails were replaced with a suit of sails made from a cotton-polyester material. Peter Sewell, along with Shore Sails, made the new set of 10 sails in a very quick time.

Another important event occurred in April 1992 when Captain Peter Entwistle and his business partner at Oceanic Marine, Mr Peter Hojsgaard, kick-started the funding to purchase and install a new auxiliary engine. Subsequently, a new 85 h.p.Ford diesel was installed, replacing the worn out Lister.

Of course, the main event was yet to come. Firstly the handing over ceremony of Hobson Wharf by the Port of Auckland via the City Council in March 1992, followed by the official opening on the 19th August 1993. Breeze was centre stage at both events.

The next few years saw the vessel take part in many weekend and holiday events. Auckland Anniversary Regatta days were an excellent ‘showing the flag’ day, along with annual passages to the Bay of Islands and the Tall Ship Race day. Crews were becoming skilled operators but the museum management had always been keen to put the vessel into MNZ survey to enable her to officially carry passengers on paying trips.

So finally, after considerable effort from a number of people, along with Dunsford Marine Ltd surveyors, Breeze and the museum were presented with an MNZ certificate and officially ‘commissioned’ on 18 December, 2000.

Special mention should be made to the then Museum CEO, Cmdr Larry Robins, as well as volunteer and vessel manager, Richard Pomeroy, who pushed hard to get the vessel into survey.

Continue to part three.


  • Bearings Vol’s 2, 3,4 and 5.
  • Volunteer News, Jan,2001.
  • Hobson Wharf Breeze skippers meeting agenda. 23 April 1992.

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