While we were living at Te Araroa
, a ship's lifeboat was washed up on the beach at Orutua. My father put it into order and it was anchored in the estuary of the Awatere. I was in it constantly, and occasionally I went out in it with my friends for a sail in the bay. I was very proud of this boat which I rigged as a yacht. My father and his friend, the page break
An early photograph of Te Araroa. Waha-o-Rerekohu the giant pohutukawa, is on the extreme right. The hill at the back is the historic Whetumatarau.
Mrs. Peni Hakiwai, sister of Mrs. Kohere, and an old East Cape resident, with her son, Ara.
chief, Houkamau, often went out in it on fishing expeditions and they invariably took me with them, not as a passenger, but as the helmsman. Once, after fishing near Iron Head and close to the rock Aumiti, where, I was told, a taniwha1
lived, we wished to go ashore where the finest of peaches were going to waste. There was a considerable sea running, but from out at sea we could not see this. My father and Houkamau bent to their oars, and, looking back, I saw a large wave pursuing us. It went right over the boat and threw me into the water, but carried the boat with it. As I came to the surface my first thought was of the taniwha
—I could almost feel myself being sucked into the monster's maw. My father came to the rescue and carried me to land. We could not put out to sea so we pushed the boat along the beach until we came to the mouth of the Karaka-tuwhero, where we were able to pull out. We arrived late at Te Araroa
, hungry, wet, sad, but wiser men.