TLC for 'lady of the lake'

Photo by James Beech
Photo by James Beech
Keeping a complex 101-year-old steam-powered machine afloat, in more ways than one, is a full-time job for Real Journeys staff and contractors at this time of the year.

However, TSS Earnslaw needed extra tender loving care this annual survey in the form of a new forged and machined piston for one of the engines.

The Queenstown operator decided to make a head start on next year's maintenance plan by towing ''the lady of the lake'' to the Kelvin Heights slipway.

The silent cruise around the corner from its regular berth at Steamer Wharf took about an hour yesterday and was the first time in living memory Earnslaw made the trip without her own steam.

The vintage twin-screw steamer is due to re-enter service in mid-July.

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