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The Endeavour Replica - Fremantle to Sydney


Antonia Macarthur, the London-based historian and maritime history researcher, has been responsible for the authenticity of the Endeavour Replica's furnishings and fittings below decks. The furnishing of the Great Cabin included the fine details of daily log entries on the table along with specimens of banksia and leaves. When the ship is in museum mode, the plan is to make things look as though the captain and ship's company have just left their quarters. So the crew live ashore and the lower section is sealed off from the public. The other deck equipment will go ashore into containers which will otherwise carry such things as the souvenir shop, ticket office, barricades, etc. Even a goat called Sandy is on board as an historical reference to the one on the original voyage.

Researching the original paint used, Ms Macarthur found documentation in London of specifications for painting ships of the period. Then she found that a painter whose shop had burned down in 1763 had kindly left records of the type of paints and colours he needed to restock his business.

The reproduction of the 12 four-pounder cannon was undertaken by the Australian Defence Industries in Victoria. The four anchors were cast by the Wundowie Foundry in rural Western Australia, who normally make pot bellied stoves.

Chris Blake took over as Captain of the Endeavour Replica on September 1, 1994 having previously served as voluntary consultant for three years while the vessel was being built. For the past eight years he has worked sail-training ships in Japan. He began his maritime career as a 15-year old cadet in the British merchant navy. But he was born in West Africa, being educated in Uganda, Kenya and then Britain. His wife, daughter and three grandchildren live in North Carolina.

Captain Blake says he and his crew, a permanent crew of 14 with 32 volunteers, are learning the idiosyncracies of the Endeavour Replica. "We are not able to apply modern technology such as winches and blocks, we have to use what we have got; that is what makes it much more interesting," he said. The First Mate, Peter Petroff, said the crew had been well prepared by voyages to Geraldton and with exercises off the coast of Perth.

Painter Michael Summers who migrated to Western Australia from London ten years ago, completed a superb large oil painting of the Endeavour Replica in time for her launch. An ex-musician he was inspired by the sight of the ship sailing twice daily past his gallery situated at the rear of 'A' shed close to where the replica was built.

The ship's cook, Stuart Hanover, has ten years experience of feeding hungry seamen and said that the first question many seamen asked on joining a ship is "Who is the cook?" and are less concerned about who their captain is.

The first mate Peter Petrov greets the crew each day with "The sun is up and so are you".

The limitations of 18th century technology were driven home to the crew of the Endeavour Replica after they left Fremantle on October 2, when they were forced to anchor in protected waters off Garden Island. Endeavour Project General Manager John Longley told the thousands of well-wishes gathered to see the bark leave that the original would not have left on such a day. "When they left Plymouth 225 years ago, they were ready 11 days before they got to go". A howling south-westerly headwind forced the Endeavour Replica to motor away from the dock for its send-off at Victoria Quay with its square sails rolled up. A fleet of surf lifeboats and pleasure craft escorted the Endeavour Replica out of Fremantle Harbour. Thousands of people crowded the dock to cheer, throw streamers and wave goodbye, and a "Made in WA" banner was unfurled by the crew. Rain threatened to make life difficult for the seven brass and pipe bands assigned to play tributes, but after a brief front passed overhead, the sun came out and proceedings went ahead relatively smoothly.

One volunteer worker described the departure of the Endeavour Replica as "just like a marriage break-up. Actually, it's worse. I've been through both and this hurts more."


Its first port of call was Albany in October, adding pageantry and spectacle to the Maritime Festival, and staying for five days.

The Endeavour Replica tested its guns for the first time on its way to Albany, firing a cannon ball that skipped across the water. It was the first time anyone on board had seen a cannon ball fired at sea. The ship had eight sails up and was romping along enjoying seven-knot winds.


It was great having the Endeavour replica in Melbourne for two weeks recently. My wife, Claire, and I enjoyed seeing it sailing in Port Phillip Bay and going over the vessel while it was berthed here. It is a beautifully built ship. They gave to people as they came aboard a copy of a leaflet called "Self Guided Tour". There were a couple of functions while the Endeavour was here, and these will no doubt be reported separately.

Ken Sheahan

I went for a sail down Port Philip Bay on the Endeavour Replica on a beautiful summer's day in Melbourne recently.

As you will imagine this 6 hour trip down our Bay in the Endeavour was something of a highlight for one who had visited some of the places Cook sailed to on one or other of his voyages around the Pacific Ocean. In the process, in the memorable words of Beaglehole, James Cook put his stamp on this area, one third of the planet's surface: "He made the Pacific his own".

One of the seemingly mystifying aspects of the voyage of the original Endeavour was where the total of 94 persons along with animals and birds and considerable stores fitted into this quite small ship. We had over 100 people on board that day on our sailing, including some 44 members of crew. The answer is that there are three decks. The top deck, in my non-Naval language, is the operational area, overlooked by the Captain and his officers on the quarterdeck. Watching the ship's crew in action under the command of Peter Petroff, it is easy to understand why a sailing ship needed a large number of crew members. On a sailing ship nothing moves unless and until crew, usually on the end of a rope, causes it to move. And heavy jobs like raising the anchor calls for the united efforts of a number of crew. To say nothing about the work aloft in working the sails.

Then on the next lower deck, in the aft end of the ship is the Captain's great cabin, with its large table, no doubt the mess table of the officers and the table taken over by Banks with other elements of that space to accommodate the botanical work of himself and his team. Amidships on that deck is the combined eating and sleeping place for crew members, arranged with tables which are lowered on ropes from the inside of the hull, and then were swung back and hammocks slung for crew members off watch.

On the original ship the third or lower deck would have been the general storage area. On the Endeavour it is utilised to make the ship a comfortable place to spend long periods at sea, with modern cooking gear, upholstered seating and below that the diesel engine specified by the Naval Authorities before the ship could be issued with the required sailing authority; an engine which is shielded out of sight while the ship is in port.

There was only one problem in our sailing experience, one not uncommon on the original vessel. There was insufficient wind to really fill out the sails and push the ship along at a reasonable speed. We idled up the Bay at about 2 knots. Yes, you could tell that we were moving, but only just!! That the Bay was somewhat like the proverbial mill pond, was confused by the sight of a paddler in a canoe, quietly pacing the Endeavour.

We were served a pleasant meal aboard, and altogether it was a lovely day.

A few days before the sail, we over at Cook's Cottage invited our friends, Officers and crew on the Endeavour over to the Fitzroy Gardens, to join us for afternoon tea, and an inspection of the Cook family cottage. It was an equally fine summer day, and during afternoon tea, by courtesy of the Music Department of the Royal Australian Navy, we were entertained by music played by a wind quartet, a happy blending of many Cook related elements there represented. The writer hopes that as many as possible of the opportunities presented as the ship voyages to European water, especially British waters, are taken to link the historical past with the historical present represented by the Endeavour Replica and those who sail on her. One of the mementos presented to those who, like me, had been for a sail on the Endeavour was a "grog mug". On the outside of the box packaging "The Grog Mug" appears the following:

Rum grog was introduced into the British Navy in 1687. The ration then was one pint of neat Jamaican rum a day for each man and a half a pint for boys. In 1740 because of the incidence of drunkeness in the fleet, Admiral "Groggy" Vernon so named because of the grogram material from which his boat cloak was made, ordered the watering down of neat rum. The daily ration was later to become a Gill (one eight of a pint) of rum diluted with two gills of water and was nicknamed "Grog" after its initiator. This mug holds that measure. The rum ration was discontinued in the British Navy in 1970.

The mug itself is a pleasant piece of crockery, soft ivory in colouring with a suitable nautical decoration on top and bottom, with the words ENDEAVOUR GROG MUG emblazoned on one side and a lovely drawing of the Endeavour in full sail on the other.

The other small piece of memento was an Endeavour sailing cap proudly bearing the inscription CREW.

Robert Martin

The Endeavour Replica sailed into Port Philip Bay with a 25-knot south-westerly wind.


We were present to see the arrival of the Endeavour in Sydney. Originally we were due to return to Canada on December 8th but as we saw news items of it gradually getting closer I thought it would be foolish to miss such an opportunity and was fortunate enough to change our departure date until the 21st. We took a cruise boat out to meet the Endeavour and what an experience it was, well worth the stop over. They opened her up to the public on Tuesday, 20th, the day before we left, I got there very early and had the privilege of being the first member of the public in Sydney to set foot on board.

Ron Thiel

My husband Ron and I flew from our home in Western Australia to the east coast to see the Endeavour replica sail into Darling Harbour, Sydney, on 18th December, 1994.

We booked a room at the Novotel Hotel, which is right next to the Maritime Museum. We had a really good look at the Endeavour and she is all I expected. The new volunteers in Sydney were all ready for public, first day being Tuesday, 20th December. I met the Captain Chris Blake and even had my photo taken with him. He is a small man, but I believe he has a booming voice that can be heard anywhere. I don't think I would like to sail in the Endeavour, how 94 existed on board on 1770 I will never know. On the Sunday that it came into Sydney, we saw it on the tele and then in the afternoon, after we had been out and about we came into our room and heard cannons firing and would you believe, there was the Endeavour right outside our window and she stayed there overnight and early morning of 19th went to her berth at Maritime Museum. She certainly caught the imagination of all.

I came home with a few Captain Cook books I didn't have and also some three Cook plates, a jug and a Banks engraving and a bank account a trifle smaller.

Verna Philpot

The first sea fog for 25 years enveloped Sydney on Saturday. By 6 pm visibility was down to 10 metres in places. But on Sunday the fog had mostly cleared as thousands of spectators lined the harbour foreshores to cheer the Endeavour Replica as it sailed towards Farm Cove through an armada of pleasure craft. About 1,000 well-wishers packed the Opera House forecourt to watch the welcoming ceremony. Aboriginal groups staged a noisy protest as the ship docked at Man O'War Steps. From behind nearby barricades, about 20 protesters held up a large Aboriginal flag and banners reading, "Don't forget White Australia has a Black History," and "Isn't Once Enough?" Ambulance officers treated two people for heatstroke as crowds jostled for more than an hour in 28-degree heat during the speeches.

The Endeavour Replica spent Saturday night anchored just 30 kilometres north of Sydney so the official guests could board for the final leg. As the ship sailed down the harbour passing close to both the southern and northern shores she fired several salutes from her cannon, deafening those spectators who ventured too close. A Sydney Ports Authority tug boat sprayed three large water jets hundreds of metres into the air to ward off any craft that got too close.

After a State reception at the Opera house for 1200 official guests, the Endeavour Replica sailed up the Harbour and around Cockatoo Island before pulling into Darling Harbour. On Monday she moved to her long stay berth at the National Maritime Museum.


The Endeavour Replica's 76-day voyage involved calls at Albany and Esperance Western Australia, Port Lincoln and Adelaide in South Australia, Hobart in Tasmania, and Portland and Melbourne in Victoria.

The Endeavour Replica is due to leave Sydney on April 2, heading south towards Eden and stopping off at all the major ports on the NSW South Coast. She will return to Botany Bay on May 1 for the 225th anniversary of Cook's landing. While at sea funds are raised by offering berths to the public at $400 a day. This helps offset operational costs which amount to some $5,000 a day out on the high seas.

Additional information from Arthur Cant, Cameron Evans, Chris North, Brenda Paulding, Verna Philpot and Ron Thiel.

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 1140, volume 18, number 2 (1995).

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My wife and I were supernumeraries on Endeavour's first voyage into Sydney having boarded in Melbourne. Can anyone please help with sources of any images available taken on that great day?
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By Peter Bellamy on 12/5/2012 4:14:43 AM Like:0 DisLike:0

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