Onehunga farewells Westport
The time to bid fair winds and following seas to La Grande Dame of the New Zealand shipping scene is nigh.
The cement carrier Westport has been berthed at the Port of Onehunga throughout the past eight weeks, after discharging her final load of cement for Holcim NZ on July 23.
But she is set to sail from Onehunga for the very last time tomorrow night, after being sold to European interests.
SMT Shipping has purchased Westport and intends to employ her in the cement trade, with Norway her new operational base.
‘‘I am so pleased that we have sold her and she will continue as a cement carrier rather than going to scrap,’’ a Holcim spokesman said.
Westport was handed over to her new owners on September 7, and taken out of New Zealand registry at the same time.
She will now be known as Fjordvik, and will fly the Bahamas flag when she departs Onehunga for the final time.
A full crew is now on board, along with two Holcim employees, who will oversee the vessel’s operational handover.
They will also guide the ship through the Manukau Heads for the last time before heading south to New Plymouth.
While there, Westport will undertake an inwater survey before commencing her longest voyage since first arriving at Onehunga from Hamburg, Germany, on March 27, 1976.
That maiden call was the first of 1104 times she tied up at Onehunga, a tally no other ship visiting the port has come remotely close to matching.
Barring any calls by the other Holcim ship
Milburn Carrier II to replenish the silos with cement from Timaru before the year is out,
Westport‘ s departure will bring down the curtain on roughly 180 years of shipping activity at the Port of Onehunga.
Westport is set to sail off into the sunset on Thursday September 15, casting off at 5.45pm, with the sun setting at 6.10pm.
Visit ultimatenzsoccer.com/Onehunga for more information on the Port of Onehunga’s history.