Since we’ve been moored alongside the wharves in Auckland Harbour a strange eerie menace has been anchored in the middle of the harbour. Rumours have been floating. A Russian billionaire has come for a new paint job, a repair job in fact. He’s been suing a US-based marine outfit for poor workmanship on the paint job half finished: bubbles in the paint apparently.
The boat – call it an espresso machine, call it the Russian Iron – hasn’t come alongside at the wharves at all. Strange openings slide open on the side and all manner of other pleasure craft emerge for ‘discreet’ travel ashore.
Day and night from our mooring along Princes Wharf West the vessel – a world enclosed within it’s own iron curtains – continues to speak volumes despite it’s steely silence. Who is this man? What goes on inside? Whatever the answer, it’s a far cry from the the five bells calling the rhythm of life on board the Tecla and now aboard the Europa.