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White Wings Vol I. Fifty Years Of Sail In The New Zealand Trade, 1850 TO 1900

The Star Of Erin

The Star Of Erin.

Wrecked at the Bluff.

A ship that came to an untimely end in New Zealand was the Star of Erin, a vessel of about 950 tons, first rigged as a ship and then as a barque. She made three passages to the colony. Leaving London Docks on May 2, 1882, she reached Port Chalmers on August 10, 100 days, anchor to anchor. In 1890 she again visited that port. Leaving London on December 16, 1889, she took 99 days to reach Port Chalmers, where she arrived on March 25, 1890. On November 25, 1890, she left the Docks for Wellington, which port she made on March 3, 1891, a passage also of 98 days. On this occasion the Star of Erin was wind bound off the port for nine days.

The barque loaded in the South, and on February 6 she sailed from the Bluff for London, having on board a cargo of 7219 sacks of oats 2721 bales of wool, and 40 sacks of tallow. The cargo was valued at £33,000 and the ship at £10,000. Just after the barque left port a thick south-east gale sprang up, and at midnight she ran on the treacherous Wai-papa Point, where she became a total wreck. Captain Hopkins and all on board got safely ashore, and there was no loss of life. The reefs off this well-known point run out from the mainland towards Ruapuke Island, which lies right in the centre of Foveaux Straits. Sailing vessels used to be warned to give this part of the coast a wide berth. More than one good vessel came to grief there, including the s.s. Tararua, which was wrecked with great loss of life in 1881.