In October 2002, Endeavour Replica slowly navigated through Cork Harbour to arrive, for her first Irish visit, at her berth on Custom House Quay which for the next few days, was shrouded in mist and rain. I had travelled down by train from Dublin to spend a few days viewing the beautiful ship, speaking with her crew and occasionally drifting into conversation with fellow visitors on board (or in local hostelries!) The replica was very well received and by all accounts her crew made very welcome too. Functions were held and despite the poor weather, spirits were kept high. Her visit coincided with the Cork Jazz Festival.
One thing really surprised me though – the lack of knowledge of The Captain Cook Society, not only among some Cook "aficionados" who "blew in" but even among her crew! I was happy to pass around my copies of the most recent issues of Cook's Log. Also, I was able to have a few covers cancelled at Cork GPO with the Irish Captain Cook stamp affixed: a nice addition to my Cook cover collection. I must pay tribute to 2nd Mate George Lemann for his personal guided tour and interesting asides concerning the ship.
A nice coincidence took place during her Irish visit. The story goes something like this. Not far away, near Tralee, another replica ship was nearing her (costly) completion. She is the Jeanie Johnston, a barque built as a replica sailing memorial to her tragic place in Irish history. The original Jeanie Johnston was built in 1847 and carried emigrants, escaping for The Great Irish Famine, to the United States and Canada. To the credit of her owner and crew not one emigrant was lost during her many voyages either through sickness or accident – a truly remarkable achievement for those terrible times in many "coffin ships." But here is the coincidence: the replica Jeanie Johnston was designed by Fred. Walker, Chief Naval Architect with the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, who was the supervising architect for Endeavour Replica! So when the Jeanie Johnstonwas in Dublin recently, undergoing her sea trials, I visited her and had a few covers cancelled with the Irish Jeanie Johnston stamp affixed. A link was forged between what one might call two sister ships
The Jeanie Johnston sails on a re-creation voyage to various ports in Canada and America during 2003. Wouldn't it be nice if the two lovely ladies met somewhere?
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 3, volume 26, number 2 (2003).
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