* Update: some history on the vessel Tara supplied by Linda Redfern, daughter of the
original builder, now tagged on below this post:
This post is dedicated to the memory of George Mills and Rachel Daly,
and in support of PJ Daly, the sole survivor of this tragic accident.
|Tara, a beautiful 47' Holman and Pye Traditional Wooden Yawl.|
Solidly constructed of Mahogany Planks over Oak frames,
she was a strong and well-found vessel displacing 13 Tons.
|George Mills, Tara's most recent owner. Larger than life, and very humble at the same time.|
George was a true Scot, a true sailor, happy soul, and an enthusiast of Traditional Scottish Music.
You just have to see this impromptu recording of George in action at HBYC just a few days before this accident.
|George spent a lot of time on this boat and kept her immaculate. |
Tara also served as the Committee Boat for the previous two
Admiral's Regattas at HBYC, with George at the helm.
Yesterday, just six days after the accident, a gathering was held up at the site of the wreck, in a small bay (now called Tara Bay by those who knew George). This is a very remote and wild piece of coast, access possible only with 4x4s or similar vehicles. A number of folk arrived on horseback too from Ganzekraal.
|Some beautiful bunches of flowers placed in a remnant of the hull,|
in memory of George and Rachel.
|A few of the 4x4 arrivals from HBYC at Bokpunt.|
|The stern section of the hull was the only piece "in shape"|
|Friends of George, PJ and Rachel examining the wreck.|
Tara had received a severe pounding on the rocks and the remnants
had been prepared for recovery in small piles.
|Desolate coastline near Bokpunt...|
I came to know of this tragedy earlier in the week, and we posted a piece in memorial in the HBYC Club website, and laid flowers in the club. I knew George personally via HBYC and had many good drinks with him. But I must confess that this memorial visit to the wreck was absolutely chilling. Besides the human aspect, seeing this beautiful yacht so completely smashed up - along with the rawness of this bleak and vicious coastline - was quite disturbing. To think it all happened in the middle of the night, with dense fog, must have been a complete nightmare.
Go well George, Go well Rachel.
Our thoughts are now very much with PJ.
Some history and photos from Linda Redfern, (Amsterdamhoek, Port Elizabeth), daughter of Noel Redfern, the original builder, who (re)constructed Tara in a large garden shed at his house in Amsterdamhoek.
She was brought out to SA from Scotland (?) in the UK but got stuck in the tropics for about a year before finally reaching PE due to some political dispute somewhere up north Africa.
She left UK in mid-winter with the net result that her planking split, and so my dad literally took her apart to the very last bit as can be seen in the photographs then reassembled and re-caulked her. I remember him having a wood steamer going for months as they bent timbers to fit. There were lathes, band saws and god knows what all – it was a double story workshop and it was kitted out!
Let me see if I can find the documents pertaining to her arrival. I know I have newspaper clippings…
Ok.. she arrived in PE in April 1960.
She was designed by Kim Holman and was an exclusive design for Noel Redfern who had quite some input in the design process.
She was designed as a racing and cruising yacht.
Her dimensions as follows:
L.O.A 45 ft 4 in
L.W.L 32 ft 1 in
Beam 11 ft 8.5 in
Draft 6 ft 9 in
Displacement 28,448 lbs
Ballast 11,872 lbs
My dad sold it to John Desmond Hein of Eston, Natal. I estimate the time it changed hands to be about 1974 or thereabouts… set sail 1974/5?
The above is accurate to the documentation.
|Mahogany planking on Oak frames if I recall...|
|Built in a shed in the garden, Amsterdamhoek....|
|Click to enlarge.|
"Tara" (then unnamed) arrives in PE Harbour by ship.