Takutai is Maori, from the Ngaiterangi
Iwi, her name means, "One who has an affinity with the sea".
They have four children and one Mokopuna (grandson). All of their
children: three sons and a daughter, have lovely natures and are
extremely competent boat handlers.
As a result of their long family association with the Marlborough
Sounds they have developed a strong sense of responsibility for
the area. Following the devastation caused by the introduction of
fast ferries, Pete founded a very successful environmental watchdog
group called the "Guardians
of the Sounds".
He is well qualified and happy to discuss environmental issues.
Pete & Takutai have an amazing knowledge of the Marlborough
Sounds and speak with a passion that is infectious.
As Pete says, "Our families have lived the history. When we
speak of it, we speak from the heart; our business is an extension
of our ethos. Ours is a personalised cruise where tourists can interact
with Maori people and feel free to ask questions about our life
style, our heritage, culture and environment."
Tutanekai is a beautiful old two-masted classic
launch, full of warmth & character and is named after one of
the most famous love stories in Maori folklore (ask Pete to tell
you the story.)It has large walk-around decks for looking at the
wild life, a big boarding platform for swimming and diving, a dingy
for rowing, and cabin tops ideal for sunbathing on big soft pillows.
Relax on soft lounge chairs and if it's cold we wrap you up in duvets.
He (not she) is over 70 yrs old and was built by E.R. Lane in Picton
in 1930 out of full-length Kauri plank, 42 ft long, 10 ft beam,
3 ft 6 inches draft. Powered by a 471 GM diesel engine rated at
115 hp at 1800rpm. Cruising speed is at a comfortable 9 knots.
Built for use as a passenger vessel over summer and as a mother
ship towing harpooned whales back into the Whaling Station during
the winter season.
He has spent 30 years as a mail boat, then a fishing boat, then
20 years in the mussel industry pushing barges, where it was run
down into a near derelict state.
The old owner gifted the 'Tutanekai' to Pete who has restored him
to his former glory.
anonymous poem sent to Takutai
In the Marlborough Sounds where the sun smiles down,
And the trees roll into the sea,
plies a handsome ship at a stately clip,
Tutanekai roving free.
Spent a lifetime at the hand of the working man,
and proved steady to every load,
Till in ripe old age a question was made,
Where now would Tutanekai go ?
Now the man who rode him loved him,
and knew of one other who could,
so as a labour of love he gave as a gift,
this fine little Kauri ship
The task was gladly taken,
with pride in such fine lines,
to rebuild what years had shaken,
and undo the wears of time.
Kind friend step lightly on here,
and thank Pete that Tutanekai is free,
in the Marlborough Sounds where the sun smiles down,
and the trees roll down to the sea.
“The Beeches are absolutely
awesome people!!! We learned so much from them – they truly
are wonderful people!!! The Sound experience has been a highlight!!!”
Sincerely Debbie (USA)