“Black Tide: The Story Behind the Rena Disaster”
By John Julian. Hodder Moa. (2012.) $40
Oil is still washing up along the Bay of Plenty’s beaches. Head out near my place at low tide without jandals and you’re likely to come back with black splotches decorating the soles of your feet. Sure, they’re not the big stinking oil patties of last October, but these freckles of tar make it clear that although it’s been more than six months since the Rena hit the rocks on 5 October 2011, the oil is still out there. And no one really wants to know about it anymore.
As a Tauranga resident who took an active role in the Rena clean-up, I was eager to read “Black Tide”, John Julian’s new book about the wreck. According to its subtitle, the book tells “The story behind the Rena disaster”. But actually, it only tells part of that story. The focus of “Black Tide” is primarily off shore, on shipwrecks and salvage operations and the men of the sea – the mariners and salvors – for whom Julian clearly has both close connections and the highest regard. Read more »