Carlos fantastic poem written for Sod’s opera

Day One

The morning of the 28th of May

Dawned with perfect weather,

And it was down at the

Gladstone Marina

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!

Day Two

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!

Day Three

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.

Day Four

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.

Day Five

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.

Day Seven

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.

Day Eight

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!

Day Nine

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!

Day Ten

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!

Day Eleven

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!

4 thoughts on “Carlos fantastic poem written for Sod’s opera

  1. What an “epic” poetic description of an Endeavour voyage for all to savour. Thank you Carlos.

  2. Fantastic poem. Brings back memories of my voyage with Duyfken and makes me even more excited about my pending voyage with Endeavour in November.

  3. Thanks for this poem. It was wonderful to read it after seeing the Endeavour anchored in Cid Harbour. It was a great sight and we loved watching you jump into the water befor pulling up the anchor and sailing away. Margot

  4. I saw the Duyfken in Freo years ago. Lucky to be living on Rottnest for two years.

    Both of my sons sailed aboard the Young Endeavour.

    Sheet ropes passed through my hands as they passed through my fathers and my grandfathers.I miss them both.

    I leave you a written work of my own

    plot a course between
    now and not sure
    read the chart carefully
    read it again
    it may be lost
    you can navigate without it.
    make good miles on those days when the sea is kind
    and the wind is right
    there will be days
    even weeks
    when she is not
    your grip on the wheel stays the same
    in fair weather or foul
    if you leave the helm in any weather
    you will run aground
    god forbid your rescuers
    in their vanity to save you
    one eye on the compass
    one eye on the

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