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The Nelson Photo News



Jinx Boat Made it to Auckland

Many Nelsonians probably heaved a sigh of relief as the jinx boat "Ariana" ploughed out of the harbour, bound for her new home in Auckland.

When Auckland company manager John Hamilton, 25, bought the "Ariana" from Jack Davis, he declared to "bust wide open the jinx myth about the boat."

One can scarcely blame people for considering the 22-ton ketch to be jinxed. At least, not since her association with Nelson.

The run of bad luck experienced by Canadian Jack Davis began with the delivery voyage from Christchurch to Nelson, last winter. Southerly gales, at times reaching 100 mph, smashed the ketch and her four-man crew and drove them through Cook Strait and miles out into the Tasman Sea. The solidly built "Ariana" survived the pounding and, even though a massive air and sea search failed to find her, she turned up off Farewell Spit.

Determined to prove that he and the ketch could complete a successful voyage, Jack Davis gathered a crew and set off for Sydney, last May.

They didn't make it!

Again, storms struck and a near grounding off the Taranaki coast resulted in a decision to retreat to Nelson. Jack Davis had had enough, and decided to quit the "Ariana."

Undaunted by the jinx theories, John Hamilton and his crew set about preparing for the 650-mile voyage to Auckland. Aided by a favourable south-westerly, they headed for Cook Strait. And there they were hit by huge waves and strong winds, which shredded the main sail. However, they pressed on and made it to Napier, where repairs were carried out. From there they reached Auckland safely.

She's your pigeon now, Auckland.


Before leaving Nelson, John Hamilton (centre) and two crew members, Clive Hamilton (left) and Keith Baillie, radio operator, checked the sails


The jinx myth busters. From left, John Wheeler, Merve Halcrow, John Hamilton, John Ashworth, Clive Hamilton and Keith Baillie


Flashback: The crew of the "Ariana," who were swept out into the Tasman Sea on the delivery voyage. Dick Taylor, Randy Hansen, Jack Davis and Jim Harper