I've been talking to the Wellington's Deputy Harbour Master, Patrick Atwood, about the fate of the Venture that was used in King Kong. The boat used to belong to Peter Jackson (or at least to one of his companies, I guess) but he sold it years ago, right after the movie was completed. It's been sitting on the wharf all this time, slowly rusting away. I've showed the boat to most of my guests over the years, as it's just at the entrance of the Miramar suburb that we visit on the way to the Weta Cave.
I'd noticed that there had been some action on the boat lately - a pile of old firewood and some odds and ends from the boat, the occasional Wgtn City Council vehicle parked beside it, that sort of thing. So I introduced myself a month or so ago to the council official, and we got to chatting about it. He gave me some information that I blogged already in an earlier post.
I've spoken to him again, and it looks like the approximate date is set. The final cleanup is due to be completed somewhere in the first week of February, and the ship will be towed out to sea, to an undivable position unfortunately (approx 1.7km deep!), where they will open the sea valves, and it will slowly take on water. There will be no explosive charges or anything theatrical like that.
I'm currently trying to gauge interest with a few local groups to see if anyone is keen to come out with us - if I get enough people that want to see it going down, I can arrange a tourboat to follow along from an appropriate distance. The tourboat is lined up already, and I'll be talking to the captain later today.
As an aside, Patrick has managed to salvage a few choice items off the ship, and will contact me when he has them ready for eBay. I'll announce the auction as soon as I know about it. I understand the first item will be one of the portholes, with possibly more to follow. The anchor unfortunately has already gone, luckily to a local museum.
More details when they come to hand.
- Jack M.