the scow ‘Echo’

Echo 2

Picton, Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand. 1983. This is a piece of maritime heritage that has been lost to us. The Echo, built in 1905, sailed Cook Strait with freight of every description, until 1965 when the introduction of roll-on/roll-off ferries put her out of business.

Echo 1

Her greatest claim to fame came during World War II, as U.S.S. Echo, working as a supply vessel to United States forces in the Pacific Islands. Columbia Pictures made a movie in 1960 based on her adventures – The Wackiest Ship in the Army – a comedy, much to the disgust of her owners who thought her service deserved more respect.

Echo 4

When these images were made she was leased to the Marlborough Cruising Club for their club rooms. A later refit turned her into a restaurant.

Echo 5

Eventually, through lack of maintenance, the old scow became too rotten to repair and she was broken up in 2015. You can watch a three minute film of her at work in the Strait and sailing up narrow river channels on Youtube.



river road

Karangahake Gorge

New Zealand, 1985. State Highway 2 follows the Ohinemuri river through Karangahake Gorge between Waihi and Paeroa. Several walking tracks have been developed since this image was made, exploring the history and scenery of the gorge, and it’s now one of the ‘must visit’ areas in the North Island.

Karangahake Gorge-2