WHANGAROA - Mr. KUHN ARRIVES ...
Posted by: Axel Kuehn
Date: June 24, 2003 10:41PM
thanks Trygve for the invitation :-)
WHANGAROO (correct name according Norwegian registers) was built in 1908 as HJÖRLEIFUR II at Nylands Verksted, Oslo, No175.
After four years in Iceland for Hans Ellefsen, Mjöfjord (Mjoafirdi) she was sold to A/S New Zealand Whaling Co.Ltd., Larvik in 1912 and renamed WHANGAROO (another whaler of this company was WHANGAREI, later KYA, well known in Norway and with a long life). In 1914 owners changed to A/S Fremantle Whaling Co.A/S Larvik, manager for both companies was Chr. Nielsen & Co..
The ship returned 13.12.1914 from its last whaling season at the French Congo coast to Larvik, nearly one year later, on 03.12.1915 it was sold to France, taken over by French Navy in Glasgow in January 1916.
This towage of the barge FLORIDA is quite interesting, as it is the first sign of any movement/use of WHANGAROO in the time slot between return to Norway and sale to France! So far I had assumed a lay-up (hadn't seen this mentioning of her in Skipet).
WHANGAROO was not leased by RNN for patrol service, different to her "sister" WHANGAREI which was leased in August 1915.
The loss report of FLORIDA as mentioned in SKIPET describes WHANGAROA as a towboat/tug, but as a number of whalers in these days have been used as towboat/tug I'm sure that we speak about the same ship. Question is whether she did work as a tug for her original whaling owners or being leased to another owner?
The further life of WHANGAROO is one with many question marks in the Mediterranean, which deserves a thread of its own.
Trygve, satisfied ? :-)
All the best, Axel