After months of being berthed at the international terminal while it underwent an extensive refit the former Norwegian research vessel was finally granted an operating licence last week and set off to the northern island of Manihiki with 30 passengers and tonnes of assorted cargo aboard.
“They are so isolated up there that when you ship cargo you have to think of everything,” managing director Tapi Taio said.
Visible deck cargo included building materials of various kinds and a number of gas bottles, and not long before the boat’s scheduled departure time of 6pm, cargo including a large freezer was still being craned aboard.
As the crowd of friends and family members waiting to farewell the passengers slowly dwindled and 6.30 came around, it became clear there was a problem, and Taio confirmed there an “anomaly” had been found with the ship’s radar. “That’s got to be operating correctly when you’re up around Manihiki,” he said. “Someone has gone to get another power pack for the radar and then the ship will be off.”
The Grinna finally departed at 7pm, Taio said yesterday.
“Electronics are a big problem in our climate,” he added. “Unless you’re using them all the time the sea water is too tough on them.”