Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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Sixteen hikers met Lester Simpson volunteer member of SOSSI Shakespear Open Sanctuary Society Inc at the Waterfall Gully entrance to Shakespear Regional Park. Lester is a volunteer field worker most Tuesdays and he explained the many duties undertaken by the volunteers to make the park a popular recreational facility and also a vital sanctuary for native birds. Shakespear Regional Park was awarded a silver award among international urban parks in 2019. Members enjoyed the Waterfall Gully bush and then the Lookout where we marvelled at the wide views of the gulf. We walked on to the degaussing plant and Lester explained about its operation in WW2. The degaussing plant demagnetised ships to lessen the risk of attraction to mines. Ships as large iron objects became floating magnetic fields through movement and a ship could detonate the mine laid by the enemy and it would be set to go off at the midpoint of the ship overhead.  As the ships sailed between the buoys in Tiri Channel electrical underwater coils were manually operated from the shore base to create a magnetic field to demagnetise the ship. We walked on to Te Haruhi and Okoromai Bays where we had lunch and discussion with Peter and Leonora de Vries, Baptist missionaries in India.  We walked the Kanuka track across the peninsula to our cars at Waterfall Gully and the hot afternoon ended with a popular swim and BBQ at Nelson Young’s home at Red Beach.
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