Over the last week or so, many New Zealanders have been commemorating the demise of the Orpheus, which sank not far from the entrance to the Manukau Harbour during the Land Wars of the 1860’s. Through a series or bad decisions and out-dated maps, the ship floundered and despite the best efforts of its crew, it was unable to pull itself off the ever-moving sandbars. The loss of life was terrible (169) and it remains New Zealand’s worse ever maritime disaster.
The Orpheus was on a mission to patrol the entrance the Waikato River in order to subdue rebellious Maoris who were responding to an ‘invasion’ of their territory by the settler Government, intent on attaining more land for the growing number of new immigrants. Governor Grey has been touted as one of our best Governors, but if you asked the Waikato Mari Iwis, I doubt that they would hold the same opinion.
I have written a book, based on three fictional survivors of the disaster and I had been hoping to have it printed in time for the commemorations, but sadly that has not happened. A combination of editing issues and decisions around whether to turn the book into a trilogy has caused me to delay this project. This is a bit sad as I feel it is a missed opportunity.
I am concentrating on making my other 3 books (‘Coastal Yarns,’ ‘Roskill’ and ‘Talk To Me’ more available and more ‘error free.’ I have also been unable to find a publisher for ‘Sons of Orpheus’ given that it will cost more than the other books.
I shall persist and one day, hopefully this year, you will see the launch of my ‘Orpheus’ series.