Queenstown operations manager Luke Taylor stands yesterday in
the sweltering engine room of TSS Earnslaw, which will be
inspected for preventive maintenance during the annual survey
of the steamship from next month.
After the last day of tourism operations for the season on
May 11, the 329 gross tonne ''Lady of the Lake'' will be
towed out of Lake Wakatipu on to the Kelvin Heights slipway
on May 13 to give Real Journeys engineers and contractors
access to all areas of the vessel, now in her 102nd year.
A modern Real Journeys cruise boat will take passengers
across the lake to the Walter Peak High Country Farm during
the nine weeks of work.
Mr Taylor said the tourism operator made ''a significant
yearly investment'' to keep Earnslaw shipshape for public
use. This year's survey has a head start thanks to last
year's extended survey, meaning the boat will be back in
operation sooner than usual, on July 12.