Putting the ‘classic’ into classic wooden boats: the Halvorsen dynasty

A collection of Halvorsen vessels at the 2012 Classic and Wooden Boat Festival. Image: ANMM.

A collection of Halvorsen vessels at the 2012 Classic and Wooden Boat Festival. Image: ANMM.

Over four generations, Halvorsen boats have become revered collectors’ items. A Halvorsen craft is an example of master boatbuilding, and several of them will be in attendance at the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival 2016.

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In conversation … at the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival

Classic and Wooden Boat Festival 2012. Image: ANMM.

Classic and Wooden Boat Festival 2012. Image: ANMM.

As part of the 2016 Festival we are presenting, for the first time, In conversation … talks with a range of interesting people. Featuring a variety of speakers, In conversation … provides an intimate insight into maritime themes from the world of yachting, skiffs, tall ships, museum research and more. All talks will be held in the museum’s Vaughan Evans Library in Wharf 7.

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Mark your calendars for the Classic and Wooden Boat Festival 2016

The Ena, a fine example of Edwardian elegance. Photo by Andrew Frolows/ANMM.

The Ena, a fine example of Edwardian elegance. Image: Andrew Frolows/ANMM.

The Classic and Wooden Boat Festival, April 15 to 17 2016.

The answer to the question ‘what is a classic boat?’ will be on display over the weekend on 15th to 17th April at the Australian National Maritime Museum, where The Classic and Wooden Boat Festival will have over 100 craft that show the diversity that fits this title.

One of the most easily identified classic vessels will be the steam yacht Ena. It features high class Edwardian elegance throughout and the sight of this fine craft steaming along, cutter bow carving through the water, a gently curving sheer, raked lines to the superstructure and a long overhang aft are all hallmarks of what most would consider classic without question.

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Palate and sea passages: wine tasting and conversation with the Captain of the Endeavour

For those with an appreciation of wine and tall ships, you can indulge both interests on Friday 26 June at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

Captain John Dikkenberg of our HMB Endeavour replica will impart first-hand accounts of his voyages on this popular ship while our friends Angove Family Winemakers share samples of their delicious wines.

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School Performances at the Museum

Each year the Museum plays host to a variety of school bands, showcasing their talent and musicality through well known songs, from past and present. Over the last couple of weeks we have been fortunate enough to have some talented students come along and take to the stage on our Performance Platform, The Cashmere High School from New Zealand and the Pulteney Grammar School from South Australia.

Touring the east coast of Australia with a mixture of bands, The Cashmere School have their concert band, stage band, choir and orchestra in tow, showcasing varied songs to engage the crowds. Even though the sky was scattered with intermittent cloud it didn’t dampen the talent displayed by these students.

Years 10 to 12 from Pulteney Grammar School from South Australia, showcased their abilities, drumming and singing up a storm through their choir, percussionists and stage band against the spectacular backdrop of our submarine, HMAS Onslow. Despite the ominous clouds overhead and swirling winds casting their music sheets to the entertainment gods, the students and teachers performed a myriad of songs that the crowd enjoyed. Even though the gathering storm shortened the performance, we all still appreciated and enjoyed the day. Continue reading

Vivid first weekend at the museum

There were many long weeks preparing for the Vivid at The Museum. we lit up our basin with colour and music for all who passed by, or chose to stay and enjoy the food and beverages at Yots Café for the Vivid Sydney nights.

Friday Night saw DJ Bennett kick off with some awesome beats, followed by DJ I-AM-SAM. DJ Bennett will be joining us again this Sunday the 1st of June. With a backdrop like no other the Maritime Museum Basin definitely put on a great show.

DJ Bennett Mixing it up on Friday night...

DJ Bennett Mixing it up on Friday night…

DJ I-AM-SAM showing us how it done, on Friday night

DJ I-AM-SAM showing us how it done, on Friday night

The aquatique show in Darling Harbour helping enhance the experience on the Performance Platform @anmmuseum

The aquatique show in Darling Harbour helping enhance the experience on the Performance Platform @anmmuseum

Saturday Night proved infectious with the talented Joe Mungovan kicking things off, then backed up by Tommy M and the Mastersounds, getting people up on their feet to dance the evening away. Tommy M and the Mastersounds will be gracing the stage again on the 8th of June.

The crowd by the end was definitely left wanting more...

The crowd by the end was definitely left wanting more…

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Picture This: History Week 2013

History WeekWhat’s your favourite story from our photographic collection? Is it the voyage of the Sunbeam, the glamorous Hera Roberts or the mystery disappearance of two film stars? How about the ‘yachties’ – master shipwright Billy Barnett, Frank Albert or Sydney’s oldest yachtsman? For History Week this year the theme is Picture This, and on 11 September, in partnership with our friends Inside History Magazine, we will be exploring how cultural institutions are using digital communities to share photographic collections and unlock the past. Join my fellow blogger Penny Hyde, myself and our guest panellists Paula Bray, Geoff Hinchcliffe, Mitchell Whitelaw, Lisa Murray and Bernard de Broglio for a lively discussion about the exciting world of online collections! Continue reading

An afternoon with HMB Endeavour

Picture of Antonio Ponto

Antonio Ponto entertaining us all on board HMB Endeavour
Photographer Nicole Cama, ANMM

Photograph of Sydney Harbour

An overcast day on Sydney Harbour
Photographer Nicole Cama, ANMM

On a day-to-day basis our job is to research the collection, mainly working through the books and records that supply the stories of our objects and exhibitions. Uniquely at the museum, a large part of the collection sits in the water right outside our office window in the wharves. On Saturday, museum staff were treated to an afternoon harbour outing on board the replica HMB Endeavour. Even the miserable weather couldn’t dampen our spirits as we departed the North Wharf, canon firing (in the direction of an unsuspecting Sydney ferry) and winds blowing with a touch of rain. Somehow, these conditions added to the experience, giving us only the slightest hint of what things may have been like on board without Sydney’s renowned sunny weather. Continue reading

La Belle Époque

Group photo

From left to right: Laura Stewart, Christie Milton, Robyn Murphy, Jessica Allison, Inger Sheil, Anna Porcaro, Tara Mannell and Stephanie Wigens
Photographer Nicole Cama, ANMM

Portrait of model wearing black evening gown

Anna Porcaro modelling a black evening gown made by Rebecca Smith
Photographer Nicole Cama, ANMM

On Wednesday night, the museum hosted its answer to this year’s History Week theme – Titanic Threads. And what a spectacular night it turned out to be! For two hours, guests were transported back to the fashions of the Titanic era. Beaded hats, pretty lace and hobbled skirts paraded across the carpet, a sight not usually witnessed in the Tasman Light Gallery. There were gowns made in every fabric including velvet and silk and one outfit composed of tablecloths dyed in different shades of green. Each outfit was sewed and threaded to perfection to create a vibrant festival of colour that made us all wish we lived in the ‘Beautiful era’ for just one day. Continue reading

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival kicks off this weekend in Sydney

We’ve been busy this week at ANMM preparing for this weekend’s festivities at our Classic & Wooden Boat Festival. Our harbourside festival site here looks amazing and is testament to the hard work our wonderful team have put in over the last few months.

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival kicks off this weekend in Sydney

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival kicks off this weekend in Sydney

Our theme this year is ‘Old is New – recycle, restore, reuse’ and the star guest undoubtedly capturing the spirit of the festival will be the visiting Gaiasdream, a two-hulled fossil-fuel free vessel that runs on vegetable oil and solar power.

There’ll no doubt be something here at Darling Harbour for everyone – with the spotlight shining brightly on our collection of tall ships, HMB Endeavour, James Craig, Southern Swan and Soren Larsen who will be joined by over 100 gleaming classic boats from all over the country.

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival stallholders

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival stallholders

For those who are more interested in fabulous fashions, there’ll be a parade of sophisticated (and outrageous) nautical-inspired outfits that will be judged and awarded on the Sunday afternoon in our Fashions Afloat event.

Even dedicated foodies are catered for, with a wide variety of cuisines available to sample, from fresh grill wraps and Turkish delicacies to crowd-pleaser dutch mini pancakes. Shopoholic? You can buy anything from a boat to a book at our nautical marketplace.

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival - something for everyone!

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival - something for everyone!

We’re also proud to be hosting specialists in nautical crafts, who will be demonstrating age-old traditional skills like woodturning, rope making and the art of restoration throughout the festival.

Internationally-renowned tall ship ‘Soren Larsen’ to visit ANMM for Classic & Wooden Boat Festival

One of the Pacific Ocean’s most glamorous tall ships will sail up Sydney Harbour on Thursday, 14 October, to take the spotlight at our Classic & Wooden Boat Festival for 2010.

The 145 ft (44.2 m) two-masted brigantine Soren Larsen, arriving from New Caledonia, will berth in Cockle Bay (Darling Harbour) where it will be open for inspection through the festival Saturday and Sunday, 16-17 October.

Soren Larsen will be just one of four tall ships on show over the weekend. The others moored here for the festival will be the HM Bark Endeavour replica,  James Craig and Southern Swan.

Soren Larsen to visit Sydney for the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival

Soren Larsen to visit Sydney for the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival

Soren Larsen is looking splendid after major restoration and re-rigging as a brigantine (square-rigged foremast, fore-and-aft rigged mainmast) and in the late 1970s it embarked on a new ‘acting’ career – first starring in the BBC TV series The Onedin Line and appearing in movies The French Lieutenant’s Woman, The Count of Monte Cristo and Shackleton.

In 1988 Soren Larsen sailed as flagship in the re-enactment of the First Fleet’s 36,000 km voyage from England to Port Jackson.

Based in Auckland, the vessel these days spends most of its time adventure cruising around New Zealand and the South Pacific.  This will be its first Sydney visit since 1998.

We’re looking forward to welcoming her next week, along with all the visitors to our popular weekend festival.