The Endeavour arrived early for her stay in Georgia, anchoring Thursday, March 19, in the sound and creating much speculation among the local people.
At noon Friday she picked up dignitaries from the St. Simons Island pier, and with a small accompanying flotilla sailed to her berth at Mary Ross Harbor Park, Brunswick. The most interest-ing welcome ceremony speeches were given by Captain Blake and John Longley, who noted that this is the first time Endeavour has touched the mainland of the United States (her berth at West Palm Beach being Peanut Island). I visited the ship the next day. It was cold and very windy, and the number of visitors for the first two days was estimated to be around 2000.
I returned to Brunswick later in the week to hear a very good lecture by Antonia Macarthur, author of His Majesty's Bark Endeavour: The Story of the Ship and Her People. She observed that during the ship's construction problems anticipated by 20th century minds just didn't happen as long as 18th century practices were followed. She was also delighted to find locally a suitable bird cage for Banks' yellow wagtail to add to the Great Cabin exhibit. The lecture had an attentive audience which included guides and crew members. I was fortunate to hear her, since she will not be speaking at every port.
When I visited the ship the next day, I found her leaning out of the stern windows and making notes. There were some small changes in the exhibits, and it seems that Endeavour will reflect any new information gained by ongoing research. The crowd was not huge, but there was a steady stream of excited and wondering visitors, to judge from their expressions. At times crew members went below and I had a glimpse of 20th century Endeavour life. I asked about mailing Endeavour letters and was told that the U.S. Postal Service would not permit it for the American tour. My only regret is not sailing with her as she continues her voyage.
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 1522, volume 21, number 3 (1998).
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