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Cliff Thornton
Hi Garry, on Saturday 30th June 1770, Cook climbed the grassy hill to the south of where Endeavour lay on the bank of the Endeavour River. From the top of the hill Cook recorded that he could see sand banks and shoals lying offshore. The nearest were some 3-4 miles off shore, and they continued out as far as he could see. As there was no clear route out to sea, when Cook left the Endeavour River, he was foced to sail north, hugging the coast, where there were no sandbanks or shoals. I am not familiar with Flinders voyage. But I suggest that your question needs rewording to ask what happened to the sandbanks and shoals off the mouth of the Endeavour River in the 32 years after Cook recorded them. I have just seen a map of Flinders voyage and it looks as if he never went to the Endeavour River, but took a more easterly course to avoid the Great Barrier Reef!
Garry Newstead
Why did Cook state in his jurnal that the mouth the Endeavour river was vertically blocked by shoals and reefs and took him 4 days to exit, yet on Flinders chart a few years latter show no shoals or reefs, most of which was copied for Cooks charts and soundings, there are certainly none there now.
I'm reading Beaglehole and I read Tony Horowitz before that. It's a shame Cook isn't treated better by general history. His accomplishments! My question is where on these ships did they do ironwork? The armory? Where's that? I looked at the Australian diagram of the replica and they don't show it. Where do you put a forge on a wooden ship?
Cliff Thornton
Thank you for your enquiry. You have interpreted the situation correctly, in that the ship's armourer was a blacksmith, with very little of his work involved the ship's weapons. I do not think that the armourer used his forge whilst at sea, as you point out the dangers are too great. As you read through Beaglehole you will see that there were many occasions when the forge was carried ashore to enable the armourer to undertake his work. If there was a need to use the forge during the course of a voyage, I suspect that the same safety measures would be used as were applied in the Galley for the cooking equipment. This usually involved standing the equipment upon a layer of bricks to insulate the ship's wooden deck from the heat of the stove.
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