THE UP-RIVER STEAMER FLEET.
Launching of the Ohura-
M«esi* A. Hatriok and Co.'* fleet of river steamer* it now an eocompHshed fact, brought about by the launching this (Thursday) afternoon of themoit up-to-date vessel for the purpose of connecting beyond Pipiriki with the upper and less mamgable reaches of the Wangnnui. A happier name than tbtt of the Ohura could hardly have been decided on, for literally tramlated it means "to open np," and it is sincerely to be hoped that the will prove sucoeisful in opening the op-river country. The little steamer was built at Dartmouth mouth (England), Messrs Thornyorofb and Co. tiling the contractors foi the boilers and turbine propellorr, these being their pitent, and the hull and engine were made by Messrs Simpson, Strickland and 00. The turbine proptllors are placed in the stern, as are ordinary propeller*, only that the turbine propeller is let in to a half round tunnel in the hull of tbe vessel. The two larger or outer propellers are enolorei in a casing with a turbine head aft of thete. The two smaller propellers (the boit having four) are immediately forward of the larger ones. The Ohura it 77 ftet in length with a beam of 12 feet, a draft of 12 inches, and a speed of 18 miles an hour. She engines are of the quadruple expaniiea type and the boiler on the new water-tube piinoiplo. Mr Hatrick h«s now sunk in stoame? plant alone a sum of £10,450 within the last five yean, tbis being enliiely exolnsive of up-river stores, wbioh were made aeoecsary for stooking goods so at to relieve the steamer* from oarrying oargo during the summer months when the river it at its lowest level, that enabling the veitelt to devote most of their attention to the tourist trtfflo. With the Ohura it is anticipated that no matter how low the river falls there will bs no interruption in the through traffic during tbe summer months, as witb her light draught the will conneot < with the Wairere and Mannwai, and thut do away with oanoemg in the npper reaches, Mr Hatriok has 'now praotioally oarried out his part of the contract for opening up the river boyond Pipiriki, and no donbt the Government will entry out their part as soon as poisibie by o'eiring , ths Tungarakaa and completing the connesting link of road from the Kohuratthi jnnotion on the Tangarkkan to the Wangamomona settlement on the Ohura rond. We understand that two mites more of felling and o'eatiog are rt«f»ired to be done and about fire miles of formation. It mty not be ont of place here to mention, to as to I give an idea of tbe ooife of olearing the Tangarakau, that when tenders were called last season the lowest tenderer wss only some £1200 for clearing the 16 miles— a small cost indeed for that length of water highway. More ptrtionlarly swing the great .benefit that will accrue to settlers on the Onura road who are for fully nine months in the year quarantined by a tea of mud, making, it almost impossible to get supplies exoept at a ptio* that will sooner or later dishearten the most persevering settlor, and caaso the settlements to be a failure, It mutt bs borne in mind that during the months when the roads are at the worst the river outlet is at its best, and Mr Hatriok's contract with the Government provides for oarrying the settlers' produce to market at railway rates. To ensure, that there should be no mistake in the oalonlations as to the Ohura's draft and spsed (as was unfoitunate'y the oate with tbe Wairere, necessitating an exponie of over £600).- Mr Hatrick had the Ohura plaoed in the water afc Home-, and her draft and spesd proved to the satisfaction of his inspecting engineer. Although the Ohura is not a Gothio in tixe, still, owing ti every* thing connected witb her being of the ntj latest and reoent patents, she has oost a gteat deal of money. Prior to fitting in her cabin* the boat will be takon up the river, and thoroughly tried ovsr all the ra'pidr. This trip will probably take place some time nut week. At we go to preis the handling ceremony was being oau<'e_i out in the oithodox manner, Mies Katie Hitnck performing tbe christening otremony breaking a bottle of ohampsguß over the vessel* bows, after whioh Mr Hatrick was highly complimentei by hit very many fiiendt and thote interested ia the opening up of ths river by means of steam oammnnioation. The afternoon being fortunately a fire one, and it being the tiitutoty half holiday, there wai a large number of tho publio present, and previous to tbe ceremony a very terte and, happily-worded speeoh wai mnde by Mr Carton, M H. 8., followed by three hearty oheert for Mr Hatriok and another for Mrt Hatriok and family. Mr W. Ooatet, who it will be remembered put the Wairere and the Manuwai together, hat aleo had the responsibility of fitting up the Ohura, which he hat dona ia hi* atual workmanlike manner, Mr Harris, engineer of the Wairere, atiitting with tho engines.
Our new Governor, Lord Btnfarley, it taking oat a large party, tayi a Home correspondent. They are travelling ria Oraadp, Vancouver, Honolulu 1 Fiji, Sydney, thenoe to Wellington. They hava an enormous quantity of baggage with them, consisting of four oaiei of wine, and all kindi of iporting spplianoei, for there is good fishing, a kind of salmon running np to 801 b being abnndact. Deer, wild duok, and pheasant areabo pleatifal. lord and Lady Ranfurly'propoio camping out a great deal, for which f purpoie ■ they are taking several tents. Altogether they have more than 60 tone 'of baggage. Lord Banfnrly hu bien to New Zialand twice, and to Anitralia three times. He was the first to start frnit farming in Australia. Hu frnit farm at Mildure, on the Murray Biter, is in a very flourishing condition. Lady Banfnrlj's two pretty daughter*.— LadyConttanoe and Lady Eilstn Knoi— we .going out, but Lord Northland will remain in England to continue his studies at Bton,
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