Would this picture have enticed you to visit Russell in 1907? It’s from the NZ Government Railways publicity department. There was no rail link from Auckland to Opua however, until 1925, so most travellers then, came to Russell by sea. From 1884 to 1931 the SS Clansman, carrying up to 100 passengers, arrived in Russell at 8am on Tuesdays. Her Captain William Farquhar may have been one of the first to recognize the Bay’s potential as a fishing ground. He was heard to say ‘I won’t live to see it but this will be a great fishing resort some day. There is no finer place in the world for it’. It was his habit during the season to take his ship over towards Cape Brett when coming from Whangaroa in the early afternoon; he’d drop a boat with an officer and two men and pick them up on his way to Auckland in the evening. Lobsters from Whangaroa, fresh hapuka from Cape Brett – what better advertising could there be?