Botany and Ormiston Times
Howick and Pakuranga Times : Howick and Pakuranga Times, Thurs, April 11, 2013
www.times.co.nz Howick and Pakuranga Times, Thursday, April 11, 2013 --- 7 JOHN Daniell spends half of the year at his Half Moon Bay home and the other half at his home close to the port of Falmouth in Cornwall, England. Between April and October last year, he worked as a volunteer on a stunning nautical project. It was established to build a UK Bronze Age boat using replicated materials and tools dating back to 2100-740BC. Now a New Zealand citizen, Mr Daniell arrived in Aotearoa 15 years ago to take up a six-month job run- ning a company manufacturing over- head transmission line systems. The factory was eventually closed and, after Mr Daniell made himself and the staff redundant, he decided to stay. He still owned a couple of com- panies, one making non-ferrous alu- minium castings which he sold, and a consultancy that operates in New Zealand and England. But he found himself in a dilemma with his daughter and two grandchil- dren in Auckland and his son and two other grandkids in England. “I realised I missed my son and the kids, so the only thing to do was live six months here and six months there,” he says. He went back to his roots in Corn- wall, buying a house close to the port of Falmouth and, fortuitously walk- ing distance from the British National Maritime Museum. In a pub he met Brian Cumby, a master wooden boatbuilder, who was managing an ambitious project to construct a replica of a Bronze Age boat in the museum’s workshop. “The hull of a wooden boat was found exposed in the sand and mud off the east coast of England and it carbon dated back to the Bronze Age,” Mr Daniell says. “So the academics at Exeter Uni- versity decided to apply for funds and build one.” It cost £20,000 ($36,400) to have two English oak trees chopped and the timber delivered. Both were cut in half to produce four lengths used for the main keel – two lengths each side, joined in the middle. Yet, 80 per cent of the timber ended up as chips, because of the way the 55-foot fve-tonne prehistoric boat had to be crafted. The keel, not unlike that of a waka, Mr Daniell says, had to be chipped with the bronze head of an adze to carve the curve in the hull, leaving a smooth surface behind. Pitch was unknown in the Bronze Age, so the volunteers used moss and tallow (animal fat) for the caulk- ing, the traditional method of sealing seams between the planks on wooden boats. Usually caulking is made of cotton or oakum, which is hemp soaked in pine pitch. Similarly nails were a no-no, so branches, or withies, of the yew tree were soaked and rolled with ani- mal fat to stick the wooden planks together – “bloody amazing”, Mr Daniell says. Visitors to the British National Maritime Museum often came to watch the volunteers at work and his Half Moon Bay Marina t-shirt attracted attention. When he’s back in New Zealand, he does a part-time customer serv- ices weekend job at the marina. “They would say, ‘you’ve come a long way to do this job’. It was a lot of fun.” Because he’s back in Half Moon Bay, Mr Daniell was unable to be at the boat’s launch at the beginning of March, when the big question was “will it foat?” It was launched on one of Eng- land’s deep high tides down a con- crete slip, on the basis that if it sank, it could be easily retrieved when the tide went out. It leaked, but it didn’t sink and remains moored outside the museum. After the launch, Dr Linda Hur- combe, archaeologist at the Univer- sity of Exeter said: “You think a lot as an academic, you prepare, you do the writing, you make a grant appli- cation and then you actually achieve a research project, and this was the culmination of a very large scale project that worked out brilliantly. “To sit inside something that has not been seen in British waters for 4000 years and paddle it, and to see the carving of the wood, the tallow and the yew stitching all working together is a sight to behold.” There are plans to sail the boat with nine people rowing either side to the Isles of Scilly, about 30 miles from Falmouth and across the treacherous convergence of the English and Bris- tol channels, the Irish Sea and Atlan- tic Ocean. In the meantime, Mr Daniell will return to his Falmouth home in May and is looking forward to fnding out whether the Exeter academics have raised funds for their next project, building an Iron Age boat “which means we can move into using nails and saws”. Episodes of the construction and ■ launch of the Bronze Age boat can be found online at www.youtube. com/falmouthvideos, or view a short video We Made a Boat at www.fal- mouthphotos.com. Ancient building craft revisited CHIPPING AWAY: John Daniell at work on a replica of a prehistoric boat from the Bronze Age in England. Photo supplied / falmouthphotos.com A retired boatie revels in the sparkling waters of the Hauraki Gulf, but for part of last year he took a step back to the northern hemisphere Bronze Age, reports MARIANNE KELLY. Eastcliffe on Orakei Retirement Resort All occupational licenses for units at the village are secured by a first ranking encumbrance over the village land in favour of the Statutory Supervisor. CONTACT US 217 Kupe Street, Orakei, Auckland. Phone: 521 9015 Fax: 521 9011 Website: www.eastcliffe.co.nz 121186 Two serviced apartments in our main building are available now priced from $289,000. Enquire about our flexible service package and come and enjoy the magnificent views from one of the 4 lounges at Eastcliffe on Orakei. Security and small hospital on site.
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