The morning of the 28th of May
Dawned with perfect weather,
And it was down at the
That we first saw the Endeavour,
We admired her soaring masts
Which soared up to a great height,
And I’m sure you will agree
That she was an inspiring sight.
We couldn’t wait to get on board
And for the journey to get underway,
But first we had to sign in with Ellie
To learn the part we were to play:
She sent us to our watch groups
To meet our topman and upper yardy,
And in the cast of Main Mast
This was Victoria and Darbey.
We went on board the ship
And had a challenge straightaway:
We somehow had to fit all our stuff
In our lockers without delay!
Before we could sail anywhere
There was a lot we had to learn:
Like knots and safety procedures
And what to do if someone fell of the stern.
The tide was working against us
So we couldn’t go anywhere fast,
But in the calm water of the river
We practiced climbing up the mast.
Our final challenge for the day
Was trying to sleep in our 18th century beds,
As well as doing an anchor watch
Before resting our weary heads.
Today we’d made a lot of friends
And found out a lot about each other for sure,
But perhaps we found out a bit too much
When we learned that some of us snore!
The time that we could leave
Was determined by the tidal flow,
So it wasn’t until seven the next morning
That we could finally go.
That morning dull grey clouds
Were blotting out the sky,
As crowds of Gladstone people
Gathered at the wharf to say goodbye.
The lines were all cast off
And we drifted from the quay,
But a tugboat had to push us round
So that we faced out to the sea.
People lined the river bank
To watch the old ship go past,
And we gave them a farewell
With a booming canon blast!
We weren’t really sailing yet
But we were still using propeller power,
But the fun of sailing soon began
When we learned the joys of Happy Hour!
We passed 23 degrees And officially entered the tropics that night,
So some of the crew put on tropical shirts
That were an appalling sight!
That night we sailed with just the topsails
So we wouldn’t go so fast,
The same way Captain Cook did
When the first Endeavour went past,
Main Mast had the night watch
And the stars were a sight to behold,
You could see the entire Milky Way
If you hadn’t frozen from the cold!
The ocean was a beautiful blue
And there was hardly any swell,
It was perfect weather for sailing
But Steve still felt unwell!
We all gathered at the waist
To hear the Captain give a talk,
He told us all about square sails,
And drew diagrams with chalk.
That afternoon we all saw
Our first sun set at sea,
So we rushed on deck with cameras
So we could brag to our family.
Main Mast were woken up
In the middle of the night,
And we gathered in the galley
Beneath the dim red light.
We wondered why anyone would choose
To wake up at half past three,
But it was always worth it
When you saw the sun rise over the sea.
It was another beautiful day
And the water sparkled in the sun,
As we tried to tack the ship
But couldn’t quite get it done.
As always Jeremy spoiled us,
This time with pasta and sorbet,
And we sailed on through the night
To reach Percy Island the following day.
There wasn’t a cloud in the sky
And it was another beautiful day,
Just another day in paradise,
As the Captain liked to say,
It was perfect weather for swimming
As I’m sure you would agree,
But Darbey didn’t get a choice
As he was thrown in to the sea!
We had to furl the sails
Because at anchor they are no use,
For some this was a painful time
If you climbed the masts without your shoes!
And then we all discovered
The best part of the Endeavour by far:
Using the anchor cable
And getting completely covered in tar!
We went across to Percy Island
To place our plaque with all the rest,
Some of the plaques were quite creative
But ours is surely the best!
We all posed beside the shack
So we could take our group photo,
Then we had to get back to the ship
Because it was time for us to go!
Those who went on deck next morning
Were greeted with an incredible sight:
For we had reached Scawfell Island
After sailing through the night.
Crystal clear waters lapping
At a pristine hidden beach,
While all around, the mountain forest
Soared high up out of reach.
We were forced to swim and sun bake
So it was another tough watch for Main Mast,
But soon we had to return to the ship
Because this idling couldn’t last.
For lunch we all had burgers,
While Vicky tried cheese and vegemite,
Which is an enriching cultural experience
Though Vicky said it didn’t taste quite right!
We sailed off the anchor
Quite to the Captain’s amaze,
And we sailed into the night
With our course set for the Whitsundays.
The Morning Star blazed forth
Standing out from all the rest,
As the grey light filtered in
And darkness faded to the west.
Soon the whole horizon
Was painted with an orange light,
As the glowing disc of the sun
Came soaring into sight.
The Endeavour glided in to the passage
That Cook named after Whitsunday,
Two hundred and forty one years exactly
After Captain Cook had passed this way.
We fired the starboard cannon
To announce that we were passing through,
Then we sailed onwards
Through waters that were a lovely aqua blue.
Main Mast were told to put on clothes
That we didn’t mind getting marred,
Because we had to lay out the anchor
And we were going to get tarred!
At Sid Harbour the Captain
Taught us how to use a sextant the right way,
As the sun set into the water
Marking the end of another beautiful day.
We’d faced a lot of challenges
During our time at sea,
But on the eighth day we faced a test
Of a different variety!
We had to call on energy reserves
That we didn’t know we had,
But when we finally reached the mountain top
The views certainly weren’t too bad!
The trail snaked through forest
And was often a very steep track,
So when we finally reached the top
We appreciated having a snack!
Back on the beach we all ate buns
While we waited in the bay,
And as people were ferried back to the ship
The two Germans swam away!
When we were all back on the ship
And we had re-joined the crew,
Dirk declared the “pool” was open
And we dived into sea that was aqua blue.
It was another amazing day
But all this fun just couldn’t last,
As the duty of pulling up the anchor
Fell once again to poor Fore Mast!
Whitehaven was the next place
That we had to get to,
And we anchored in the dark,
Which was a tricky thing to do.
So tricky, in fact,
That there was a yacht just off our bow,
Whose crew did not know how to anchor
Until Ally and Mischa showed them how!
Our luck with weather ran out
As it was not a sunny day again,
But we still went over to Whitehaven Beach
In spite of the pouring rain!
Nobody’s spirits were dampened
As we set up a sandy wicket,
Where we initiated Victoria
Into how to play Aussie beach cricket!
Then it was time to haul up anchor
And say goodbye to land,
For now it was time to do some serious sailing
If we were to arrive in Townsville as planned.
But by now we were all
Such an experienced sailing crew
That by the next morning
Magnetic Island had already come into view!
The next day was National Swedish Day
Though we had no Swedish things to do,
But we had a lot of Swedish flags,
And a translation of our menu,
Up we climbed and every sail
Was unfurled from its mast,
And this time when we tacked the ship
We were able to do it at last!
Next day we sailed on to the anchor,
Which was another first for our voyage crew,
Although surely now there isn’t
Anything that we can’t do!
And so now as our journey
Counts down to its final days,
And the time is fast approaching
When we’ll go our separate ways,
I’m sure we’ll always remember
Having had a really good time,
And now I’d like to thank you all
For reading this very long rhyme!