Thursday, August 13, 2009

The King Kong Boat

Well, I set out yesterday for an 18 km return walk from Miramar to the city.After only about 300 metres, I hit the Miramar Wharf where this old rotting rusty hulk is moored. I remember when it first arrived, all us Miramar-ites stood on the wharf chanting the letters as the painter painted the name on the bow.

"Give me a V," some wag shouted. "Gimme an E. Now, an N, and T and a U ... R ... E. Altogether, now ...."

'VENTURE", we all bellowed. Peter Jackson's biggest 'King Kong' prop (excluding, I suppose, the giant ape ... Oh, well, and maybe that dinosaur ... and perhaps the Empire State Building) had hit Miramar. The Jackson empire is almost swallowing the suburb. What with Park Road Post (post-production building) and Weta workshop, the Stone Street film studios, and the various offices dotted here and there that house Weta Digital, and all those carpentry workshops, and not to forget the admin offices ...

Anyway, I arrived at the wharf and the army was doing an exercise on and around the "Venture". The PR army bloke, all done up in fatigues and heavy boots was very nice and said I could watch. The exercise, in conjunction, I think, with the Customs Dept was to be all about apprehending smugglers, and there was an inflatable, and the whole exercise was going to be about surreptiously boarding the ship, and fighting, etc.

I said, "Can I be an innocent bystander who gets taken hostage and shot by mistake?" Surprisingly, the army guy said "yes, if you want". But on second thoughts I wimped out and Iscurried home instead for my camera.

The "Venture" was sold by Peter Jackson a few years back to a scrap dealer who dismantled a lot of it, but the firm went bankrupt I believe before they could take the whole ship away. The army PR guy said that the "Venture" will finally depart Miramar Wharf very shortly and be turned into a reef for scuba divers. But I've been hearing this for years.


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