The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 12 (April 1, 1930)
Some Aucklanders, who love to stroll along the busy waterfront, have been regretting the absence of the water melon boats this season. For many years a small cutter-yacht from Whangaparaoa, out on the Hauraki Gulf coast, used to tie up at one of the wharves and retail over the side the cargo of melons and pumpkins and other garden products.
In earlier times the Maori canoes and boats from Waiheke Island were the melon-carriers. The garden-stuff yacht's absence is accounted for by the fact that the crop was quite a failure this year—cause, unseasonable, and unreasonable weather.
Water melons, I fancy, were grown far more generally in past years than they are to-day. Everywhere in the North, on a farm or in a Maori village, you could be sure of being offered a delicious helping of it, or a whole melon, if you felt that way, and in the hot weather it certainly was most acceptable. But never have I been more grateful for a water melon (taste inherited from small-boy days on the old farm) than on a certain sea voyage long ago to the South Sea Islands. It was nasty knockabout weather for the first few days out from New Zealand, and I didn't feel at all friendly disposed towards pea-soup and corned beef. But as it happened, the steward had laid in a lot of water melons just before leaving port, and for a week I lived on them. They may not have been particularly nourishing, but they were just the thing for a precarious interior in a big jobbly sea.page 44