■ ■ ■ «»» DREDGING AND RECLAMATION. WHAKAEIRE'S MISSION. "SUPREMA A SITU." Half playfully, last year, a member of tho Harbour Board suggested that the dredge Whakariri should be selected to convey the marine fathers around tho bay on their annual pilgrimage of inspection, but, unfortunately, his recommendation was not adopted. The trip was made by ladies and gentlemen, in holiday attire, with afternoon tea as a distraction. The dredge was visited, but sho was voted too drab for close scrutiny, and was left to moan over her tasks unadmired. Yefc sho was, and Is, the central figure in the board's scheme of greatness. THE EVERLASTING CHORUS. Tho dredge does much work, and makes a song abpyt it, too. Long bcfpre the electric cars begin to hum their merry tunes in tho morning, the Whakariro is groaning aifU grumbling over her task; biit like a true Briton, she does not let the fondpess fpr growling interfere with her usefulness. -To some ears tho cry of the buckets may co.me» like a dirge scaring "the spirit^ of sleep away from tired eyps that yearn for it, and to others it is welcome as the jubilation of a giant, under little man's control, triumphing over brute matter. It is the glad roar of "thp spoilers," who lake ground from places where it is not wanted, and set it on the shore- where it is prized at pounds sterling per foot. What tho lordly dredge takes away from the grip of the sea it gives to tho laud, and therefore thoughtful men bless the rumbler. Any man who loves machinery should explore the Whakarire. Forbidding to tlip eye, at a distance, she is lovely at close quarters, and the music of her engines, compound by name, but simple in work, is something to thrill the blood. When bho endless chain of buckets is revolving, a visitor down in the ucpths is at once very conscious that a man has a monster in harness, a ■ monster that grants and shrieks, but dees his work faithfully and well THE GREAT MACHINERY. Everything is driven off a single shaft, and the "everything' 'includes severil forceful operations — sending the ladder of buckets around, working the centrifugal pumps, .whirling the propellers. The single ooiler can give 650 mdi .-.t'-eJ horse-power, and with her twin screws tho dredge, with her hopper canvni her full load of 650 tons, can makj eight or nine knots an hour. A modern dynamo supplies electric light th.osgiout the vessel. Altogether Iho cq npment is so complete that the mister (Mr. T. Martin) confesses that he can see no room for improvements. Each of tho main driving wheels thai may be seen at the point whero the forty buckets tip over, is 12ft in diameter, and weighs eight tons. F«i:h bucket, with the pair of links to vvni:n it is fixed, weighs 35cwt, and has a capacity of twenty cubic feet, rqual !j a ton, ab^ut a cart-load. When it is remembered that sixteen buckets pass i given point in a minute, it will be seiu that tho Whakarire levies heavy tribute on the bed of the sea. The lip of a bucket is detachable, and is' renewed every six or twelve months, according to the character of the- ground thai :s being scooped. To save time, the mas:er has tho renovations nnde thirteen o: fourteen at a time, and thus tho giant is given a new set of incisors, with only threo operations at tho dentist's hand?.' Tho ladder may bo raised or lowered, by a hundred-ton winch, and the dep~Ji at, which tha buckets are working in-iy bo read off a platform, along which the ladder shifts according to tho distance of tho bottom. A BUSY LIFE. , A pipo carried don m beside the hull j may be let down on to tho bottom, if this is composed of sand* or other "soft stuff," and ths spoil can be sucked direct into ths hopper. In Wellington, howovor, the Whakr-riro has seldom fallen on to such v soft snap, and the ladder has generally to bo U3ed. The material is drawn with the huge receptacle, and if it in amenable to a passage through the eight-inch holes in the hoppor'a sluice gates it is pumped behind the breastwork of Waterloo-quay. Mullock and gravel of msdium size go that way, but heavy, solid clay and tho coarser stono debris must bo taken out to soa, and dropped through the floor of the hoppsr. Working on "soft stuff," tho Whakarire can lead up in half .an hour, but harder material may occupy her for acven or eight hours before the hopper is full. Water goes in with ijio solids, but flows out as -the level of tho spoil ri?cs. A ceirgo of gravel can bo pumped out in thirty-five minutes, but clay requires up to three hours. RECLAIMING FORTY ACRES. Since tho dredge was put into active commission here m October, 1003, it has lifted about a million tons of spoil, of which about half has besn ussd for reclamation and half has been buried at the Heads. Over 26,000 tons went to make pai't of Clydo-quay, and nearly half a million tons has been shot behind thn concrete face wall of Waterloo- quay, which runs out over 600 yards. Already some acroo have baen reclaimod, and daily tho soa is being beaten further back. Figuring valuably here is an appreciable quantity of tha 325,000 tons of tha matoraj dragged up from the cite of tho praying dock. The sheds which Mr. Pulley is U3ing. for. furthering tho cpnstruction of the King's Wharf stand on ground which the Whakarire has made over to tho city. Tho dredge is credited with 6d for every ton that it discharges for reclamation purposes, and on thi3 basis the areas gained are worth £2000 an aero ; but of course tho actual value, in such a locality as Waterlooquay, considerably oxcead3 that figure. There tho Harbour J3oard is to reclaim about thirty-nine acros, which will be a o.cen3 of much activity by and bye. Tho Government will resume about five and a half acres, and of the remainder about half will be taken up by roading and railway accesses to tho wharves an,d to building and yard, areas, A DOUBLE SHIFT. A double shift of mon, seventeen in each cvew, runs the dredge from 4 o'clock on Monday morning till 4 on Saturday. It is only between 9at night and 4 in the morning that there is silencß, »nd then the men sleop on board. Modestly, therefore, but splendidly tha dredge is helping Wellington to justify tho corporation b motto, "Suprema a Situ." While Mr. Morton, City Engineer, is busying himself with tno projects which wore outlined yesterday, Mr. Fergusor tha Harbour Board's engineer, secretary, aad treasurer, is aa busy as he can be in making Wellington s water-front something well worth the envy of any port in Australasia. Hero are a few of tho projects, some of which are already materialising :-~Tho graving dock, the King's Wharf, a wharf near Clyde-quay for timber, coal • and ferry traffic, the widening of the outer tee of tho Queen's Wharf by about 62ft, r.nd the erection of two-story sheds there, the construction of a second joint road and railway wharf to the eastwnrd of tho Glasgow Wharf, a second jetty from tho Te Aro foreshore for the purposes of the coal, timber and repairing trades,
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