The Greater Wellington Regional Council has been busy stripping the King Kong boat Venture (actual name was the Manuia), ready for its scuttling exercise later next month. This means getting anything off it that would float back to the surface later (eg, wood), removing anything environmentally hazardous (eg, plastics), and taking off anything that might be nice to keep.
They are having a bit of difficulty getting some of it off though, the boat is a bit of a rustheap at the moment, and all the good bits are stuck pretty fast to the ship, apparently. However, one Porthole has made it off the ship properly so far, and it's available for purchase through NZ's premium auction site, TradeMe. The starting price is a mere nz$100, which is more than fair - it's made from bronze/brass and glass, and would look stunning built into your home somewhere.
Take a look at the auction here - it will run until Tuesday the 26th of January.
The porthole comes with a handwritten letter of authenticity signed by the Wellington Harbour Master.
The proceeds of the auction will go back to the region's ratepayers, to help cover the expenses of stripping the vessel and towing it out to sea.
The catch is that TradeMe is a New Zealand only auction site. If anybody is interested in making a bid from overseas, please let me know, I'm happy to bid/purchase on behalf as long as I know your bid is genuine. Drop me a line - but do so quickly!
For more details, about the state of the ship, check out the local newspaper's report today in the Dominion Post.
I'm also trying to get support for people to join me on a charter vessel on the day of the sinking, to witness the event. It could be a long day - expect at least a 10 hour day onboard (but fully catered). Again, get hold of me ASAP if you're keen. Seating will be strictly limited, and will go on a first-come, first-served basis. The ship goes down early February.
- Jack M.