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Rugged Coast, Rough Seas
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"Surely the Wairarapa doesn't have a maritime history, there are no ports or wharves and only a few fishermen earning their living from the sea." This has been a commonly held view, and the reason this book has not been written until now. In fact, the maritime history of the Wairarapa coast is both fascinating - and important. The sea lane from Auckland to Wellington, via the Wairarapa coast, was a critically important highway during the 19th century. Coastal shipping, with its use of surfboats, delivered the essentials of life ashore and took off wool, tallow and timber in the decades before roads were carved through the bush to remote settlements and sheep stations. Rugged Coast, Rough Waters tells the story of shipping - of national and local importance - on the Wairarapa coast. It also document's the coast's Maori maritime history and the barely remembered sealing, whaling and flax industries that once flourished The unforgiving, exposed coastline and the storms that rage along it have resulted in over 70 shipwrecks and more than100 lives lost.
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