PHOTOGRAPHY by donhammondimage


         The Wreck of the "Osprey" ...
     11 March 1846. Lost Herekino Harbour while trying to cross the Bar.

1846 and the exploits of the warring Hone Heke and Kawiti were causing a great deal of
  alarm in the Hokianga. In an effort to offer some reassurance to the early settlers of
  the area, the British Naval Brig "HMS Osprey" under the command of Commander Patten
  was dispatched to the Hokianga Harbour. She sailed from Whangaroa on March 9 and
  arrived off what they believed to be the Hokianga Heads on the evening of March 10.
  The "Osprey" fired two cannon shots to attract the attention of the Signal Station pilot
  then stood off for the night, which at the time was rough and squally. The next day was
  still thick and gusty but as the wind had abated somewhat the "Osprey" closed with the
  shore once more. It was known that the entrance to Herekino Harbour was strikingly
  similar to that of the Hokianga Harbour, even the charts of the time carried a warning
  with regard to Herekino, accordingly marked, "
False Hokianga-Dangerous ". The fact
  however, escaped Commander Patten's attention and at 3:30pm with sail set, the
  "Osprey" confidently attempted to take the bar. Using the same angle necessary to
  navigate the Hokianga they suddenly struck heavily and it was immediately recognised
  by the continuing violent impacts that the "Osprey" was on the beach and that the
  Herekino had been mistaken for the Hokianga entrance.
   Desperate efforts were made to lighten the vessel, her masts went by the board with
  guns and heavy fittings thrown over the side. The actions helped reduce the pounding and
  she eventually came to rest in the surf line.
    At 2.00am on March 12 there was a short calm and all the crew managed to land
  on the beach. With the realisation that the "Osprey" was a total loss she was then
  stripped of all her stores and serviceable fittings and her remains left to the elements.