Bob Large

I was born in Durban, South Africa: a major seaport and whaling station in those days. I have very early memories of visiting the whaling station at “the Bluff” and a mix of fascination and horror at seeing those great carcasses being hauled up for processing. Near-by, fishermen were fishing for shark with huge hooks and great sides of meat for bait.

My family moved inland to a small town in Northern Natal, on the edge of Zululand, where I grew up: far from the sea. My years of study in Cape Town gave me time to learn the art of dinghy sailing, but it was not until moving to New Zealand that I had the chance to develop and mingle two of my great loves: music and sailing. I can now sail the Hauraki Gulf and explore its myriad bays and islands, whilst living on the moody, atmospheric Manukau Harbour which must surely have a Taniwha guarding it’s entrance. I can look out at the bar which wrecked the Orpheus, from my deck at home. Many of my songs have taken inspiration from these two waters that lap the isthmus of Auckland. This link will tell you more about the songs: (

Joining the Maritime Crew was a thrill and a challenge for me. I have needed to develop the volume in my voice to match my comrades. I have also been inspired to work on my harmonica playing, emulating my Grandfather who gave me his lovely old octave 16 hole Hohner Band so many years ago in Durban. Most of all, I have revelled in the companionship of the Crew and the sheer joy of singing and harmonising as “our voices mingle and capture time”. May we sing until all the songs are sung!


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