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Departure from Fremantle for Britain


The Endeavour Replica - Departure from Fremantle for Britain

In Fremantle on 16th October 1996 at 4.30pm the Western Australian built replica of Cook’s Endeavour departed on a four year global tour. The ship will return to Australia in time for the Sydney Olympics.

Launched in 1993, she has just undergone an extensive refit. She has about 55 people on board. Many of the crew have paid up to A$9,000 for a berth, and there is one passenger who paid A$50,000 to pass the five month trip to England in relative comfort. A forty knot sou’wester pushed the ship along at about 6 knots.

The ship was a splendid sight, and as it left it was accompanied by a large contingent of pleasure craft, and news helicoptors. Cannons were fired from its deck just to make sure everyone knew of the event.

Traffic jams ashore were something else, but probably nothing to what will happen in the UK and USA, so don’t say you were not warned. In the port area here, things were made worse when a gang of car thieves made use of the congestion to hot-wire a half dozen brand new imported cars in a storage area. The authorities sealed the port up, but it was a case of closing the stable doors after the horse had bolted.

Paul Weaver

After 23 days at sea the ship had made such good progress that she had time to call in at Port Mathurin at the island of Rodriguez for two days. The 340 mile passage to Mauritius was sailed in ideal conditions with all squares set and, for a time, with the stunsails. The wind continued to blow form the south east at about 15 to 18 knots through-out. Endeavour achieved speeds of up to 7.5 knots for quite long periods of time.

The ship stayed at Port Louis, Mauritius, for four days, which gave the crew a good opportunity to do some overside shipboard maintenance and to tight- en up the rig that had stretched a bit during the Indian Ocean passage.

For the first part of January, 1997 the Endeavour Replica should be at Cape Town, South Africa, before leaving for St Helena where she is due to arrive on the 29th. After a short stay, she sails on to Ascension Island, Teneriffe and Madeira before arriving at London on 25th March.

The Endeavour is carrying over 13,000 letters that will be delivered to the Royal Mail in London upon her arrival. They are reproduction 18th century rag paper, that are folded like an aerogram, sealed with an embossed wax-like seal. A Cabinet of Curiosities containing specimens of Australian flora and fauna is to be presented to the Royal Society in Greenwich.

Reports on the ship’s progress, from which some of these details were taken, are being put onto the Internet at the Web site of the HM Bark Endeavour Foundation:

Colin North would like members to send him any video shots they take of the ship at the different ports she visits, so he can collate them to form something for all members to see.

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 1355, volume 20, number 1 (1997).

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