In March, 1994 the Endeavour replica launched last year in Fremantle set sail on its first ocean trial off the coast. Before it could leave it had to undergo an hour-long trial in Fremantle Harbour's sheltered waters. It sailed about six nautical miles out to sea and then north of Observation City, Scarborough. "She bowled along at five-and-a-half knots and was very buoyant, almost like a passenger liner" said John Longley, the project chief.
John Lancaster, the crew manager, said "There were 101 people altogether working on the ship over six years. The British National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, which is the mother of all maritime museums, says this is the finest replica ship yet built." He continued "We had to overcome a lot of trials and tribulations. We had to live, eat and breathe the ship for six years, sometimes to the detriment of our families. When it was completed it was a very sad day for some: their job was over."
On 25 May the ship began a programme of day sailing cruises on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, carrying up to 70 "patrons" at a time. At $150 a head it was not a cheap day out, but all the Saturdays were booked and the other days well supported until the programme ended on 25 June. Since then the Endeavour has remained in Fishing Boat Harbour, Fremantle, for the winter.
It is due to leave Fremantle in October, visit Adelaide, Melbourne and Hobart and reach Sydney in December. It will spend several months there and then sail north along the east coast of Australia, returning to Fremantle by October, 1995, to be refurbished. In November it is due to sail via the Cape of Good Hope to Britain, arriving in summer 1996.
From information supplied by Verna Philpot, Marjorie Simpson and Arthur Cant
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 1088, volume 17, number 4 (1994).